HTML5 for the Layman

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Quick Rant
Since last week’s news of Adobe stopping further development of Flash Player for mobile and embracing HTML5, as is typical in this day and age, some fellas have been screaming, “Flash is dead!”

I don’t get it: is it that we have become so numb and lack basic use of English or we have become so numb and don’t want to think?

First, the development work that was stopped was specifically mobile. Work goes on with Flash on the web.

Second, even if all development work on Flash were stopped today, hundreds of thousands of developers will still continue to churn out Flash products for a significant time.

similarly, we hear people scream, “Symbian is dead”; yet that platform sells tens of millions of devices quarterly, and has new apps being developed for it daily.

Yes; Symbian may be on its way out, but that’s a long journey.

People should just stop being shallow. Its not dead until its dead. Flash is not dead. Not by a long shot.

Rant over. Now on to HTML5.

What Is HTML5?

HTML5
HTML stands for “Hyper Text Markup Language”. Basically, HTML is a set of rules that tell device browsers how to interpret code to display websites.

We can say that HTML5 is version 5 of HTML.

HTML wasn’t good at making interactive websites, so developers had to use Flash and a host of other tools for those. HTML5 brings HTML up to speed in terms of rich web content and interactivity.

With HTML5, we can include multimedia and graphical content in web pages and applications without the need for proprietary plugins and APIs. With HTML5, we can do not just video for mobile browsers, but rich web-based applications that do not need an internet connection to run.

HTML5 – Mobile Friendly

Flash had to be optimised for mobile, and even at that you have to throw really powerful processors at it for the best experience. But HTML5 has been built ground up so that it is able to run on mobile phones.

HTML5 – Ready to Replace Flash and Native Apps?

Not yet. HTML5 is not fully developed yet, so many of the functionality that currently obtains in Flash and native apps on your mobile are not available yet.

But once complete, HTML5 will be hard to beat. The need to develop native apps for each different platform will be mostly gone. One HTML5 app simply runs across multiple devices that support the standard.

HTML5 – Current Mobile Browser Ratings

Modern mobile browsers are all being built to support HTML5, some more so than others.

Among desktop browsers, the current HTML5 browser test top dog is Chrome with 340 points. Bearing that in mind, take a look at the table of mobile browser scores below:

  1. Firefox Mobile 10.0a1 – 314*
  2. iOS – 296
  3. MeeGo/Harmattan – 272
  4. Opera Mobile 11.10 – 269
  5. BlackBerry OS 7 – 260
  6. Firefox Mobile 6 – 254
  7. BlackBerry OS 6 – 252
  8. Android 2.2/2.3 – 177
  9. WebOS 2.1 – 155
  10. Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) – 140
  11. Symbian Belle (Unofficial) – 96**

Source

*Firefox Mobile 10.0a1 on my Nokia N9 scores 314, but its not a public release yet, it hasn’t been scored on the test page.

**Symbian Belle on my Nokia N8 scores 96. Not sure why no Symbian scores are included on the HTML5 test site.

Wrap Up

I hope that this article helps the non-tech person understand HTML5 better. Feel free to request any further clarification in the comments section below.

7 comments

  1. They say Apple has killed Flash……lol but they certainly contributed to HTML5 and disassociated themselves from Flash on iPhone&iPad.

    The main issue I have with Flash on Mobile is the power requirement.

    Have seen some nice stuffs you can do with HTML5 in browsers and they are pretty nice.

  2. Please sir do explain to me, is it possible for symbian to get html, that is the s60v3 *modern ones like e5* bcos they have a special browser, they have the same one on the symbian anna???

  3. Yomi thanks for this article. I never had any idea about HTML5 and all the ratings over flash especially in recent days. Thanks for the info. My questions are as follows:

    – is 340point the benchmark for HTML5 or is chrome too still in the race and yet to get there?

    -will HTML5 be available as updates for all OS platforms when fully developed or would we have to buy new phones it comes with by then?

    – will HTML5 improve our resource efficiency?

    -will the HTML5 on mobile experience be as we have on our desktops with flash running?

    -is the firefox mobile 10.0 a1 you mentioned available for android? though not for public as you said.

    Thank you.

    1. Belushi,

      My responses to your questions.

      – is 340point the benchmark for HTML5 or is chrome too still in the race and yet to get there?
      The benchmark is 450 at the moment, but the test page says that this is a moving goalpost, so it is likely to go higher as more features are incorporated into HTML5

      -will HTML5 be available as updates for all OS platforms when fully developed or would we have to buy new phones it comes with by then?
      As OS and mobile browser developers update their products, more HTML5 features will be incorporated. Whether existing devices get those updates depends on each developer and manufacturer.

      – will HTML5 improve our resource efficiency?
      It is believed so, as HTML5 is built ground up to be mobile-friendly.

      -will the HTML5 on mobile experience be as we have on our desktops with flash running?
      I don’t think that end users will notice the difference between an HTML5 video and a Flash video. It’s video all the same to the eyes.

      -is the firefox mobile 10.0 a1 you mentioned available for android? though not for public as you said.
      Yes; it is available for Android. Download any of the Beta or Aurora builds here

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