10 questions about: HTML5
1. What is HTML5 and what are its advantages?
HTML5 is a standard which is still in development and which is used to display websites and applications. It will replace the current web standard HTML4 and offers a series of new features.
2. Everyone is talking about HTML5. But is it really ready for everyday use at this stage?
Yes and no. HTML5 is now supported by all newer versions of current browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome and, of course, Internet Explorer. But each browser still interprets some things in their own way.
However, as HTML5 is an integrated element of these browsers and can also be run on all current smartphones and tablet PCs, HTML5 is already omnipresent.
3. What are the most important new features?
In addition to the changes which are “in the background” and are therefore only of particular interest to developers, HTML5 also offers benefits for end users:
One of the most interesting new features is the option to reproduce animations, audio and video with no additional plug-ins like Flash. This makes it possible to display complex media on devices which do not permit plug-ins (e.g. iPhone/iPad).
4. Is HTML5 a real replacement for Flash?
Even though HTML5 offers many of the same functions as Flash, it cannot truly be considered to be a replacement (yet). Flash's particular strengths are its ability to run content independently of the device and its quick and simple reproduction of animations. HTML5 is still struggling in these areas.
However, when it comes to designing websites with a moderate to low degree of interaction and animations, HTML5 in connection with CSS3 is an alternative to Flash which already needs to be taken seriously.
5. What should end users bear in mind with regards to HTML5?
As HTML5 is still in a development phase and will be developed on an on-going basis in the future, end users should always install the newest version of their browser. In this way they can guarantee that HTML5 content is displayed as intended.
6. What challenges need to be mastered when using HTML5?
Even though HTML5 aims to make everything easier and more compatible, the new standard has not yet been officially approved and is therefore afflicted with several problems, gaps and unfinished definitions which the various browsers interpret in different ways. This means that HTML5 content will not necessarily be displayed the same way in all browsers and some of the functions (e.g. audio integration) may not work reliably.
It is therefore all the more important for suppliers of HTML5 content to adeptly handle this pitfall and know exactly which content works on which browser.
7. What should providers and customers watch out for in an HTML project?
It is important to understand that HTML is (not yet) a medium which can make content available in the same format on all browsers and end devices.
The more complex the content becomes (animations, interactions, sound, video etc.), the more complex is the development and quality assurance process to guarantee the correct display in the required browsers and on end devices.
It is therefore also important to hold an intensive discussion with the project participators before beginning the project, asking the question: Which features need to be implemented and in which browsers and on which end devices should it then be possible to access the content?
8. Could HTML5 represent a revolution for smartphone app development, particularly with regards to the different operating systems?
Definitely. At the beginning of the smartphone era – in particular as a result of the market penetration of the iPhone – the trend was to offer native apps in the company's own app store. This will change to such an extent in the future that many apps will move to the “cloud”. It will be possible to run one and the same version of an app on several end devices and on the internet. This will permanently change the app market.
9. How has IMC AG used HTML5 so far?
Lately, we have implemented various HTML5 projects especially for smartphones. These include, among other things, an interactive learning game and a browser game in a comic style.
10. Which formats will IMC offer in the future for the development of e-learning content on the basis of HTML5?