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HTML5 – To Be or Not To Be?

Non-web designers won’t be really aware of what HTML is and how does it work. As a common man, he must have heard the term off course but he won’t know the advantages and disadvantages and to be honest, he wouldn’t even care much as long as his browsers are functioning properly. Now, let us think from a web developer’s perspective. In the world of web development, HTML is the new ‘IN’ thing. The best thing about HTML 5 is the built in functionality into the browser. But before we go further and discuss advantages and disadvantages of HTML5, we really need to know what HTML 5 actually is.

HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and HTML5 is the latest edition in the world of web development. In older times the HTML had a very simple role to play and that would be cross linking of various documents. HTML5’s basic purpose is to do the same however; it has a lot new to offer to the web developers to make their life simple, easy and convenient. As we always say that everything has its own pros and cons so same goes for HTML5 too. It will have a few disappointing aspects along with a lot of beneficial aspects. Let us evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of HTML5.

Advantages

Following are a few advantages of HTML5:

Built-in functionality


As mentioned in the beginning, the biggest advantages that HTML5 can offer is you is it has built in functionality when it comes to the browser. Web development is an industry where developers are always coming up with something new to make the web development easier. Web developers have always been looking for or trying to create applications which can help them with a perfect layout. There should be no issues with flashy websites or animated videos. Also, the social networking websites should be easily accessible because they are getting popular with every passing day. Earlier, the only option to facilitate users with all these things was to install add-ons to their browsers. The result of this action was an increase in difficulties and confusion from the users’ end. With the help of HTML5, you will not have to put your users through a hassle of installing add-ons. HTML5 is capable of showing high quality videos, animation and anything of this sort without any extra efforts.

New Code


It is good for developers to use a new code and with the help of HTML5, developers can use a cleaner code. Cleaner code will obviously resolve a lot of issues and will get rid of a lot of difficulties that a web developer has to face otherwise.

Amazing Consistency


Not only the site looks great with the involvement of HTML5, it will make things a lot easier for the designers who are not aware of the website’s history. If you have not developed a page, understanding the ways of how the page was structured could be really difficult. But, with the help of HTML5, things have gotten easier for the developers as well because they find amazing consistency in web development and they can easily understand how the page was structured even if they were not the one to do it.

Increase in Semantic Value


As a web developer, you would be aware of the fact that the elements used during the coding of a page are standardized if you are using new HTML5 elements. If you are, the good thing is that with the help fo HTML5, the semantic value of your page will be increased like anything. Because you will be able to easily understand the different parts of the page for instance the header, footer etc, it will be really easy for you to understand the site as well. Also, with the help of HTML5, you can understand the purpose of every elements used in the web development page.

Detailed Understanding


With the help of HTML5, developers can actually make the website accessibility easier for the users. If someone is interested in to a details learning of a website, they can simply understand the entire structure of the website by viewing its elements.

Making Locations


This web application is available for any browser that is compatible to HTML5. Basically, it makes locations with the help of HTML5 geolocation.

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function showMap(position) {
// Show a map centered at
// (position.coords.latitude, position.coords.longitude).
}
// One-shot position request.
navigator.geolocation.getCurrentPosition(showMap);

Once this feature is widely available in mobile browsers (I do hope for this summer) my bet is that we will see a whole bunch of websites doing all sort of crazy things with these information. I’m a big Location Based Services (LBS) fan and I can’t wait to see people taking advantage of this.

HTTP Offline Application Cache

As a user I can say that it gets very annoying that if you download a page and disconnects the internet, on reloading either it does no reload properly or it does not reload at all. HTML5 has an option to store offline cache due to which a user would be able to view the downloaded page even if he is no longer online.

Store Your Data Locally

Now, if you are using HTML5, you can easily store your data locally with the help of SQL data-based API. Do keep in mind that you cannot save data forever but you do have an option to save it temporarily for your need. Saving client-side database can be really useful for developers as well and HTML5 gives you an option to do it.

Enhanced Forms


The fields in the website are very important and correct placement of them is even more important. HTML5 can provide you with enhanced forms.

New tags

HTML5 brings many new tags you may not be familiar with, Following are the new tags which is introduced:

  • <article> tag defines an article
  • <aside> tag defines content aside from the page content
  • <audio> tag defines sound content
  • <canvas> tag defines graphics
  • <command> tag defines a command button
  • <datalist> tag defines a dropdown list
  • <details> tag defines details of an element
  • <dialog> tag defines a dialog (conversation)
  • <embed> tag defines external interactive content or plugin
  • <figure> tag defines a group of media content, and their caption
  • <footer> tag defines a footer for a section or page
  • <header> tag defines a header for a section or page
  • <hgroup> tag defines information about a section in a document
  • <keygen> tag defines a generated key in a form
  • <mark> tag defines marked text
  • <meter> tag defines measurement within a predefined range
  • <nav> tag defines navigation links
  • <output> tag defines some types of output
  • <progress> tag defines progress of a task of any kind
  • <rp> tag is used in ruby annotations to define what to show browsers that do not support the ruby element.
  • <rt> tag defines explanation to ruby annotations.
  • <ruby> tag defines ruby annotations.
  • <section> tag defines a section
  • <source> tag defines media resources
  • <time> tag defines a date/time
  • <video> tag defines a video

Although these tags may need some getting used to, they will hopefully allow for better loading time as well as making it easier for search engines to crawl your site—making it easier to find quality information.

Detailed Importance to Other Requirements

HTML 5 has given a details importance to every aspect of a website in order to make sure that they work efficiently and effectively as users’ end.

Disadvantages

Meant for Modern Browsers


We all know that even today, more than half of the people are using internet explorer and HTML5 does not offer any support to IE. If we say that it is meant for modern browsers, it won’t be a wrong statement.

Language in Progress


Now, I am not saying that HTML’s language is not at all stable but some parts of the language are still under progress which means you can witness elements change on their own and that too anytime.

Media Licensing

Because of the media licensing issue, you will have to use different formats for running rich applications but this issue is expected to get resolved soon. But till the time it is pending, you will have to go through the pain.

No URI or DOCOTYPE

Docotype was introduced to display the web pages properly even if the browser was having a hard time understanding a few elements of the coding. HTML does not have any URI which means that it won’t work with the browsers that are not compatible with HTML5.

Retaining OLD Elements


HTML5 retains a few old elements such as presentational elements which is not a very good idea for practicing coding as it can appear very sloppy.

Final Thoughts

HTML5 is considered to be a great progress in the web development world. Obviously it consists of a few weak points but they are being worked on to make HTML5 perfect and compatible with the modern needs. As mentioned earlier, everything has its own pros and cons and same goes for HTML5 as well. With the passage of time, disadvantages will lessen and advantages will increase.

About the Author

Arfa Mirza is Manager Media Creatives and a free soul. Find more of her writing at DzineBlog360.