IT Pro Impact: HTML5

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DuPont, Ben | 05/04/12

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IT Pro Impact: HTML5: Remember when Netscape proclaimed the operating system ­irrelevant? Had Microsoft not squashed the company by embedding Internet Explorer in Windows, that vision of the future may have already been realized. Still, better late than never.

These resource articles have a knack of showing up just when I’m about to embark on another crack at our website.  Thanks to Ben DuPont for making this resource available.

When to Switch

The evolution from static documents to the current rich multimedia Web to the future of Web apps that are indistinguishable from desktop applications is well under way. Marc Andreessen’s browser-as-platform vision is in sight, and HTML5 will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.

It wasn’t always so–many of us remember the days of browser vendors defining their own tags and sites sporting “best viewed with” banners. But now, key vendors, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera, actively participate in W3C groups. The goal: creating test suites and specifications that are freely available and may be implemented at no cost under the W3C royalty-free patent policy. This broad collaboration will help minimize differences among browsers. “When vendors rally around a specification that is supported by a comprehensive test suite, you’re more likely to get interoperability,” says Ian Jacobs, head of W3C marketing and communications.

Of course, the time it takes a spec to get to recommendation stage–the final stop before deployment–varies depending on participant support and technological complexity. Still, two Google W3C representatives–Ian Ellison-Taylor and Glenn Wilson–say the process, from specification to implementation, has been streamlined, with specs moving from API to recommendation in a matter of months.

So there’s plenty of optimism. But what does this all mean to enterprise IT? We’ll investigate. (S4810412)

Table of Contents

3    Executive Summary
4    When to Switch
4    Figure 1: Scope of Alternative Application Architecture Use
5    We’ve Heard This Song Before
5    Anatomy of a W3C Specification
6    HTML5 Features
6    Figure 2: Features Table
7    WebM vs. H.264
8    Figure 3: Factors Driving Use of Alternative Application Delivery
9    HTML5 Resources
10    Figure 4: Support of Mission-Critical ­Business Applications
11    SEO and Assistive Technology Ready
11    No Need to Wait
12    Browser as a Platform
14    Related Reports
15    Author’s Bio

About the Author

Fundamentals: Wireless Mesh NetworksBen DuPont is a software engineer. After nearly 10 years of developing software and systems in a corporate environment, he founded Nebland Software, an independent software consulting company.

You can reach him at

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