It seems that HTML 5 is surpassing Web 2 as the latest buzzword thrown around by web developers, and picked up on and misused by non-developers.
HTML is the language used to define what appears on a web page. Our job as web developers is to use tools to produce fixed HTML content for static websites, or write programming code to output HTML content in the case of dynamic websites.
The web standards body, after long periods of negotiation and discussion, release updated versions of the HTML standard, getting rid of outdated features and adding new features. This allows web developers to produce better looking/performing websites by having more features we can exploit without having to resort to tricks or extension technology such as Flash.
Something we have been waiting for for a long time now is the ability to embed videos in web pages without resorting to Flash to help us (in particular for those people with Apple devices that won’t run Flash). This is due in the HTML 5 standard.
However, although new web standards are being released, those standards have to be implemented by the browser manufacturers for them to work. Given that Microsoft seem barely able to implement existing standards you might be unsurprised to learn that their browsers are lagging well behind on implementing HTML 5.
Even if it weren’t for Microsoft’s lagging behind (and 50% of people still use their browsers), not everybody uses the latest versions of browsers, making HTML 5 a distant dream still. In reality there will be an awkward and long transition period before we can truly switch to HTML 5 and all its inherent benefits.
So, should you demand your web developer produces you an HTML 5 website? YES! But not yet…