Demystifying HTML5

I had the opportunity to participate at Linuxcon Europe 2011, which happened in Prague during October 26 to 28(pictures here, here and here). Besides meeting so many old friends and listening the review on last 20 years of Linux from people like Jon Corbet(LWN), Dirk Honhdel(Intel OTC), Alan Cox and Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux; I had the great pleasure to present my findings on HTML5 so far and what they represent for developers in general. I had the great help from Gustavo Barbieri(Profusion), talking about WebKit-EFL and hybrid applications. In this post, I will try to sum up what I presented there. HTML5 is an exciting standard being developed together with the web applications community to address the evolution on-going in the field. While the browsers and engines enable tags needed for their work, and requests made by developers, the W3C board also take these requests and define them into a standard to be adopted by the industry. This quote from one of W3C mailing listsillustrates this:

Implementatons and specifications have to do a delicate dance together. You don't want implementations to happen before the specification is finished, because people start depending on the details of implementations and that constrains the specification. However, you also don't want the specification to be finished before there are implementations and author experience with those implementations, because you need the feedback.

HTML5 is not a complete closed block, being instead a set of features being implemented in parallel with the specification. One of the objectives is to make previous features simpler. The book Dive into HTML5 provides a very interesting example, comparing a blog page written in HTML before 5 and in HTML5. I’ve placed the header into a web comparison tool so you can see in highlights the differences. You can see that while simplifies much of the required metadata, it's not possible to say HTML5 reduces much of the code. It certainly simpler, but the new added resources may increase the total code. But one of the most interesting features in HTML5 are the new tags introduced to the standard. We at the Intel AppUp® Developer program are working on several documents to cover and illustrate these new features, to be published soon. The AppUp® Encapsulator, the tool providing an engine to wrap HTML5 applications and integrating them with AppUp®, is also progressively implementing the new features proposed by the standard. You can find here the features supported right now by the Encapsulator, which will be updated as new versions will be released. The slides can be found here. Based on the amount of questions and even pictures being taken of slides with HTML code, it's clear HTML5 it's a hot topic on everybody's agenda. For you, what is the most interesting topic around HTML5? A special new tag, like canvas or video? The possibilities open by web applications? The ongoing work between community and W3C defining the standard? Looking forward to hear!

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