Is HTML 5 the Flash Killer? It's sure got the potential!

By HTMLGoodies Staff

HTML 5 isn't new by any means--the first Public Working Draft of the specification was released on January 22, 2008 by the W3C. HTML 5's canvas element and audio/video tags offer particularly promising potential for developers, especially since it's plug-in free and non-proprietary. Recently some very impressive demos have been released that showcase what HTML 5 can do, using HTML 5 can do, using JavaScript and the HTML 5 APIs.

While HTML 5 is supported by most browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera, Microsoft Internet Explorer's support is still lacking. In particular, it doesn't support the canvas tag. Given that the canvas tag is part of the HTML5 specification, it's inevitable that it will eventually be supported by MSIE, but only time will tell when that will happen.

Even without that support, there are several methods that MSIE can be forced to use the canvas tag, namely the Explorer Canvas project's releases, and throug the use of the Google Chrome Frame. That said, you really need to fire up Firefox, and check out these demos...they will show you why HTML 5 has been touted by some as the "Flash Killer".

Besides the canvas tag and audio/video tags of HTML 5, the 03D API enables developers to create pages which feature 3D rendering applications and graphics inside the web browser itself. An important side effect of this would that client-side real-time processing increases the speed of cloud-based apps, which could also be important for mobile app developers.

Let's get to the demos themselves--take the time to run them in your browser and see for yourself just what HTML 5 is capable of. The first demo shows off the O3D rendering features of HTML 5. If you don't have time to download it in your browser (it is 13 MBs, after all), you can watch a YouTube video of the demo right here:

The second demo shows what you would expect to see in a flash application, but it's all just HTML 5, using the much touted canvas element and their own javascript-based particle engine. It was created by 9elements, and can be viewed here, and you can read more about it in their blog. Each "particle" created by the particle engine represents a Tweet--so be prepared to see a lot of tweets each time you click the screen. And turn your speakers down if you're in an office cubible.

The third demo is actually pretty entertaining in and of itself, especially if you are into digital drum kits. This is another one you may want to turn the volume down on, but after playing with it for a while, you may be turning them back up to impress (or annoy) your co-workers. Brian Arnold created this demo, and he calls it the HTML 5 Drum Kit. His open source drum sequencer records your drumming skills and plays them features 14 drum effects that are sure to enthuse you, and remember, this is just HTML 5--no Flash required.

HTML 5 is coming on strong, and there are more impressive demos coming out every day. If you'd like to do some more reading about everything HTML 5 has to offer, be sure to check out HTML5Doctor, whose motto is "helping you implement HTML 5 today".

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