HTML 5 is getting more and more attention in the web development world. Currently in a draft revision, HTML 5 is the next major version of html, the language used to program websites. HTML 5 promises better integration of audio and video without requiring plugins, such as Adobe Flash or Microsoft Silverlight. It also includes support for geolocation, a few other web-centric goodies, such as web storage, and a new structure to build sites in a more semantic way to better identify important areas of each website. For example, identifying header, footer, navigation, articles, sidebars, and other website areas specifically in the programming. So theoretically a search engine could read these areas and perhaps add more significance to content appearing in the article section versus the sidebar section.
So trying to get a head start with this coming shake up in the web world, I’ve rewritten this WordPress-based website using HTML 5. My first impression is that it’ll be a welcome transition. The differences between HTML 5 and HTML 4 are subtle at this point, but can have a big impact on sites embedding a lot of video and audio. Some of the semantic structuring is a little ambiguous right now, but that could be by design to allow designers flexibility. We ARE talking about a draft revision after all. Who knows what will change by the time it’s released.
While HTML 5 isn’t ready for prime time just yet, it is interesting to see how it develops. Adding video and audio without requiring proprietary plugins has obvious benefits. But I think I’m most curious to see how the semantic structure of the new language will ultimately be used.