February 25, 2013

The Rise Of HTML5: What Does It Mean?

One of the biggest developments in communications and technology in recent months is the rise of HTML5. This new programming language has serious potential to destabilize a variety of different computing environments as we know them, and yield impact to the field that can only be barely conceived of today. But what in particular is likely to hit? There’s been plenty of analysis of the field, and many conclusions that can be reached as a result.

One of the biggest impacts HTML5 is likely to generate in 2013 is in the field of mobile platforms. Already, HTML5 is looking to destabilize the mobile environment, with Web-based apps that can be run via browser potentially looking to encroach on app stores in their current form. Several publications like Bright Ideas are already using HTML5 as a way to bring out its magazine to mobile devices—it can be found in the iPad App Store—and that’s just one key point. More and more mobile applications will come available using HTML5, and that’s going to mean a huge difference in the way these mobile applications are developed.

Though mobile development is likely to overtake desktop development with HTML5 technology over the coming months, it’s not going to completely swamp the desktop market. Desktop systems are still going to remain a development priority thanks to the substantial numbers of information workers that will need the desktop format for some time to come. But the rise of mobile technology will leave many developers looking for a way to develop for desktops that also allows for use on mobile devices. The PC will be, essentially, just another screen in the rotation rather than the primary screen for development.

What’s more, HTML5 is looking to change the way apps are developed. There will be, as previously mentioned, an increased focus on mobile, but apps in general will be somewhat easier to develop. Apps without plugins, without so-called “heavyweight programming” methods, and applications developed with single page application (SPA) methods are expected to be on the rise.

HTML5’s rise will also bring the rise of other complementary technologies. Technologies like, which allows for improvements in terms of writing fast HTML5 applications, as well as the equally rapidly-growing Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) field, which allows for not only chat and video communications, but also point-to-point file sharing all from a browser without the need for plugins. Microsoft (News Alert) Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) and IE9 are likely to gain ground as well thanks to improved focus on HTML5 via Microsoft’s HTML5 Labs.

Rises commonly don’t come without falls, either, so look for several still widely-used platforms to fall by the wayside as HTML5 advances and more users want in on the associated benefits. Microsoft IE6, IE7 and IE8 are likely to fall next, as is Android (NewsAlert) 2.0, which is still surprisingly widely used.

HTML5 has a lot of potential to change the environment as we know it. It’s going to remove some systems from consideration in many users’ normal slate of operations, and it’s also going to put an increased emphasis on others. This is largely the standard for a major technological advance—consider the difference in how people reacted to the computing environment when smartphones and tablets first started to rise—and may well bring in other possibilities as yet unconsidered.

The future of HTML5 is comprised of a huge array of possibilities, and it’s only a matter of time before we find out which possibilities become realities.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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