The switch to HTML5 for cross-platform content has received a few important boosts in the past few years. Arguably, the real momentum began to build when Apple declared Flash dead on its handheld gadgets, a move that left developers unable to fall back on the venerable plugin when it came time to design their Web apps. Now, with the world's tech users moving in a direction that supports the use of HTML5 and the technology finally earning a recommendation status from regulatory body W3C, more factors are aligning for further use of this language. It may finally be time for widespread HTML5 conversion and new development in a variety of industries.
Settling the questions
The Server Side recently addressed the issue of whether Web developers should abandon older languages and embrace HTML5. Though the source focused on websites, the same concepts apply to Web applications and any pieces of content that are meant to be both visually compelling and widely compatible. The Server Side came down in favor of going with HTML5 from now on, pointing out that several of the old arguments for staying with previous versions of HTML (such as XHTML 1.1) have become weaker as the computing landscape has shifted, bringing new facts to light.
For instance, one of the main challenges posed to HTML5 is the fact that some older browsers fail to display the content. The key word in that sentence is "older," though, as The Server Side pointed out Internet Explorer 6 and 7 lack full support but are going the way of the dodo. These products are associated with Windows XP, which has itself been phased out. Now, corporate offices are switching to more modern operating systems and every consumer PC purchased is another machine equipped with a capable browser, one that can interpret HTML5 pages in a way close to their creators' individual visions.
The source explicitly stated that there is ample reason to hold onto HTML5 for development purposes, or at least not be afraid of using it, because it is a fundamental building block of the next stage of technology. This is linked to all of the other factors building momentum for the language. HTML5 has accumulated too much power in the IT world to be easily stopped, and the next generation of connected hardware and devices is poised to thrive on a basis of HTML5 applications. The Server Side explained that it is "now or never" to make the jump.
When considering what types of screens will support the next generation of HTML5 applications, developers should think beyond the classic mobile and PC dichotomy. As Programmable Web recently explained, Amazon has introduced the concept of HTML5 Web apps that run on a set-top TV box, adding support to the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. The source noted that this is a concerted push by the industry giant, with developers gaining templates that will help them tune their apps and the ability to work with the Fire TV remote control. With devices of all shapes and sizes potentially understanding HTML5 in the years to come, the concept of multiplatform development is gaining new dimensions.