The Potential Impact of HTML 5

The Appetizer

HTML 5 is the latest version of the HTML website design language and programming. What is so significant about the new iteration is that it enables programmers to integrate elements such as videos and videogames directly into the website without having to use a proprietary language such as Flash in order to view the content.  Instead, the content can be placed directly into the website, ideally offering a more seamless experience and less need for various codecs and languages/applications to be downloaded onto a person’s computer, ultimately leading to faster load times and more integrated compatibility over multiple platforms.

The Main Course

The Dessert

HTML 5 hit the big time when Steve Jobs publicly announced his support of the platform over Flash on the very successful iPad hardware.  It was such a big deal that even Adobe had to admit that they were going to have a potential loss in revenue as a result.  Flash as it stands today, is the preferred language for online video streaming and dynamic websites.  HTML5’s potential to offer similar capabilities without the extra downloads is  a big deal, much along the lines of WiFi Direct being able to offer the same capability as Bluetooth: HTML is more standard than Flash in terms of websites.  In fact, to have a Flash site on the internet, you have to integrate it into HTML– but you do not have to do it the other way around.  I am centering on Flash in this topic because Adobe’s product is HTML 5’s greatest competitor.  With an integration on approximately 98% of all computers worldwide, getting rid of Flash is not going to be a fast, or even sought after, development by the majority of users- or developers looking to protect their content.  In the case of the iPad, many users and developers were not happy with Apple’s lack of Flash support, and since, Apple has bent some due to the demand.  In addition, as the article mentions, HTML 5 has one major aspect working against it, and that is content protection.  With it being HTML, a user could easily download  a video, or videogame, from a website directly onto his/her computer.  Where as with Flash, a user is blocked from that.  So, for example, let us say you are a person who, uploads a film that you created via HTML 5 which enabled all of the benefits stated above, and you charged people for viewing it.  Well, based off of the current state of HTML 5, after a person paid for it and was able to view the video on its webpage, the user could do a simple right click and download as– and now they have it on their computer to view and share as much as they want.  Whereas with Flash, that is blocked, so a user would have to pay again to view it if wanted and could not share it to anyone/everyone.  This is where HTML 5’s major issue occurs.  Of course, you could probably find some form of coding to try to protect it, but then that leads into additional scripting and languages, the very thing that the purpose of HTML 5 is trying to streamline and minimize.  HTML 5 already has a strong and growing list of supporters, however, until this potential DRM issue is resolved, it will have a hard time overtaking HTML 5 as the development / publishing platform of choice over Flash.

The Overall Meal

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The Doggybag

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