Let’s clear up seven of the top HTML5 myths and misconceptions circulating on internet and meeting rooms.
1 - HTML5 is just a buzzword.
HTML5 is the 5th incarnation of the HTML standard and as fashionable as HTML may be, it is much more than a buzzword.
Probably overhyped but also very much overdue, after almost 15 years the W3C decided it was time to push the new recommendation forward to replace HTML 4.01.
Although HTML5 is essentially a natural development for the internet, it can sometimes be a hard sell and not only to the non-technical crowd.
2 - HTML5 applications? You must be kidding!
The use of HTML for user interface on desktop software is not recent. Microsoft for example started to use HTML as early as 1998 in Microsoft Money.
WinRT support for native HTML5 applications and also the commitment of Tizen and Firefox OS to HTML5 on mobile show us that the industry is already taking the subject seriously.
3 – HTML5 is slow.
On its own, HTML5 is a standard specification – nothing more. Saying that [HTML5 is slow] is meaningless without a context.
Certainly, not all web browsers are on par in regard to their execution speed but this is not new nor specific to HTML5. These disparities do not substantiate that HTML5 is flawed.
For example, Intel with the XDK and Ludei’s technologies are here to attest that HTML5 applications run at native speed (on mobile!) when supported by the appropriate and dedicated runtime.
4 – HTML5 is not even finalized.
HTML5 has not yet been ratified but it does not mean that browser vendors are waiting to implement the standard recommendation. In fact, some HTML5 features have started to appear in browsers as early as 2008. All major browsers now support most of the features of the standard – including on mobiles.
5 – HTML5 is just another Flash.
This cannot be more untrue, the primary purpose of HTML5 is to standardize the web to remove the need for proprietary technologies.
Flash is one of those proprietary technologies (Adobe’s) which requires the installation of external plugins in the browser. Being such a commonplace technology, it has become “standard” to use a flash applet to stream video or audio in a webpage. HTML5 is trying to make this redundant through standardization.
One advantage is that we (as end users) will stop being the victims of these IT giant wars over the availability of proprietary technology.
6 – HTML5 will be used to lock the web with DRM.
Digital Restrictions Management with the Encrypted Media Extensions will probably not be as dreadful as it seems – Flash and other technologies are already providing the service and as much as Flash has not locked the web, there is no reason to believe HTML5 will.
However it is true that one should worry about the ethical foundations behind this decision. We are in the antipodes of the values on which the WWW was founded. Tim Berners-Lee may have to explain this to the posterity.
Thanks and feel free to get in touch.