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How HTML5 Will Change the Web 208

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the heard-this-before dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner looks beyond the codec and plug-in wars to examine nine areas where HTML5 will have a significant impact on Web development. From enabling more interactive graphics, to tapping local file storage, to geolocation, HTML5 is rife with rich capabilities — and may even improve our ability to secure applications delivered via the Web, Wayner writes. But the most important impact of HTML5 will be its ability to simplify Web development itself: 'HTML5 offers one language (JavaScript), one data model (XML and DOM), and one set of layout rules (CSS) to bind text, audio, video, and graphics. The challenge of making something beautiful is still immense, but it's simpler to work with a unified standard.'"
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How HTML5 Will Change the Web

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  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:46AM (#32664294)
    HTML5 may offer a unified way to do things...but that does not mean that the other ways will just vanish. It will be a long time before HTML5 completely displaces Flash or Java applets, assuming that such a thing even happens. Frankly, I doubt that the popular browsers will even have a reliable implementation of the standard until at least 2013, so HTML5 won't really offer developers anything unified for a while.
  • by lorenzo.boccaccia (1263310) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:54AM (#32664400)
    we've waited almost fifteen years for the browser war to settle, we can wait a couple more

    also, 40 years of ninja coding (since the beginning of time) gave programmers a great deal of tool for handling platform incompatibilities. just don't do your own cross platform library but rely on precooked libraries

    we can make games that run on pc, xbox, and ps3 but we can't manage some browser quirks? just let others provide you compatibility scripts and code happily your stuff on top of them. maybe you'll be hit by the occasional bug, but years of tuning made them pretty good by now.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:58AM (#32664442)
    As you point out, developers will use a library that resolves the incompatibilities for them. More precisely, they will seek software the levels the field between browsers -- software that already exists, in the form of applets (Flash and Java) and HTML4/JS/etc. libraries. My point was that the current way to deploy applications on the web is not going to disappear just because HTML5 comes out, and that incompatibility between browsers will only ensure that the current methods stick around even longer.
  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:00AM (#32664466)
    You most certainly can block it -- it resides nicely between two tags. The bigger question is, will asshole web developers use canvases in places where straight up text would have worked just fine, and force us to deal with their CPU eating abominations for no good reason at all?
  • Re:As always... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bratch (664572) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:15AM (#32664630)
    This is why I read the comments before the article.
  • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:20AM (#32664676) Journal

    I think I'll just put the canvas tags right besides the body tags and save myself a lot of work instead of dealing with this whole Aech Tee emm Ell thing.

  • by SQLz (564901) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:40AM (#32664882) Homepage Journal
    HTML5 is just another level of bullshit to worry about when writing a web page that needs to render properly on multiple browsers.
  • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:41AM (#32664906) Journal
    Semantic web will take off when AI agents will be elaborate enough to fill in all the metadata thet humans don't care about (because they are still better than computer at rebuilding the context of an information). Right now user-entered information has this form : "#GoReds : Arrived at the stadium at 10AM woohoo!" and semantic web expects them to do something like

    "<user id=1983744 nick="#GoReds"/> : Arrived at the<location><reference>ElisParkStadiumSouthAfrica</reference><tag>stadium</tag></location> at <datetime><timezone>SouthAfrica</timezone><time>10:00:00</time></datetime> woohoo"

    The core assumption that users cared about filling correct metadata was wrong outside the research community (and even outside the IT research community). It will take off but you need software to fill in what was assumed users would do.

  • Security? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cgenman (325138) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:02AM (#32665146) Homepage

    HTML5 will improve security

    While I love many things about HTML5, the idea of throwing out rendering libraries and starting again from scratch does not necessarily fill one with confidence about the security of the tools. Sure, less reliance on plug-ins means less opportunities for 3rd party security holes. But doing everything in the browser code itself also means that the potential attack vectors have more direct control over the machine. Plus any new library is going to have security vulnerabilities for a while.

    I'm not saying HTML5 is insecure. But let's not kid ourselves: there will be a year or two of scrambling to fix new attack vectors.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:23AM (#32665466)

    What happened was that xhtml2 had two flaws.

    1: errors were treated like errors. That means that broken hacks made by graphic artists would result in an error message instead of a random attempt to render a broken document. This also made creating a partial implementation more difficult.

    2: No one implemented a reference implementation. So that web browser vendors would have to do all the heavy lifting.

    WHATWG formed and decided to take all the hacked errors and random implementations of browsers and make those errors the standard, then they added some cruft on top. Thus HTML5 was born. For some reason, W3C then abandoned the superior standard of XHTML2 and adopted the steaming pile that WHATWG dumped on them.

  • by vtcodger (957785) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:24AM (#32665488)

    ***HTML5 will allow applications to tap local file storage***

    Once or twice a decade I encounter a "They can't possibly be serious" moment. This is one of those occasions.

  • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @11:48AM (#32665798) Homepage
    In the past, whenever someone has recommended XHTML on Slashdot, there are generally been cries of "It's too much work to make it validate!" Now, that might be true for Joe Average who just wants to put up a simple personal website (but he's more likely to use a CMS anyway), but if you're an experienced developer, than I for the life of me can't understand how writing valid XHTML can be considered too hard.

    Closing tags, for example, should come naturally. Do you leave parentheses out when you're writing in a scripting language? Emacs at least at NXML-mode which shows you immediately if you've made a mistake that will not let the document validate.

    And anyone who has had to extract data from a webpage ought to adore valid, semantically-meaningful XHTML, because it makes the process effortless whereas HTML requires specialized, not always accurate libs and a lot of work.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @01:06PM (#32667092)

    You contradict yourself. How "standard" (as in "pile of paper") can be superior to actually working implementation?

    I hope you're not a software developer. The world is full of 'actual working implementations' which have caused years of pain for the sake of not spending a few days thinking it through on a 'pile of paper' before implementing, and then 'not having the time' to rewrite it once the blatant design flaws become obvious.

    Most of the worst ideas in the history of the web have come from taking some web browser's 'working implementation' and making it part of a standard.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:39PM (#32668292) Homepage Journal

    That's a wise choice I'm not sure others will follow. If possible, it's always best to use the oldest specs that are still supported that will actually do what you want the page to do.

    As to chickens and eggs, the egg came first, as any palientologist or biologist will tell you. Chickens aren't the only animals that lay eggs. It's ok if your egg lays dinasaurs, as long as the dinasaur is well trained.

  • by Xest (935314) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:19PM (#32668926)

    The issue isn't that it's not possible, the issue is that HTML5 seems to tend towards HTML markup over XML markup.

    Effectively it pushes bad practice as standard because there really is no benefit to HTML markup other than the ability to write sloppy markup, which is stupid.

    People publish using tools nowadays, leave markup to the professionals (not that writing well formed XML is hardly a difficult job). If people can't understand how to write well formed XML markup then they've got no chance of understanding CSS and Javascript so might as well give up and use a web app to publish for them anyway.

    Best to support the people who actually write web apps to make it easier to write better web apps, than to support sloppy developers who use HTML markup "because it's easier".

  • by hkmwbz (531650) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:03PM (#32669830) Journal

    Nope, HTML5 really makes the whole situation worse too, because rather than being a forward thinking spec, it takes everything that's been done wrong over the years, and makes it part of the standard.

    No, it will make the situation better. It takes the real web into account, and standardizes behaviors that are already in use out there. At the same time, the spec is much clearer and easier to implement correctly because it also specifies error handling and such. In other words, the opposite of your FUD.

    Overally it means more ambiguity, more jumble in the spec

    No, the spec has been written to be clear to implementors how they should implement it properly.

    HTML5 just doesn't come across as a professionally written spec, you compare it to other specs out there and it looks like it's been slapped together by a bunch of kids with no real experience of large scale software development.

    Ok, so Google, Apple, Mozilla and Opera have no real experience from large scale software development? Heh.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @05:47PM (#32671312) Journal

    You're joking, but I actually foresee this being used very widely to block copy/paste and web scraping.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @12:35AM (#32673718)

    There may be nothing stopping me from using well-formed XML in my HTML5, but I won't be scraping my own website. I'll be scraping other people's, who very possibly aren't using well-formed XML. It's not just a question of what it lets me, as a fairly knowledgeable and responsible developer, do.

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