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HTML5: Reasons to Learn and Use It


HTML5 is a hot topic in the tech industry, and with good reason. Actually, there are several reasons why it is so popular right now, and this article will list some of them.

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By: wubayou
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April 09, 2012

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HTML5 is a hot topic in the tech industry, and with good reason. Actually, there are several reasons why it is so popular right now, and this article will list some of them.

If you are a developer that has not yet jumped on the HTML5 bandwagon, you may want to seriously consider doing so.  HTML5 has become the technology of choice over the basically defunct Flash, and its future looks extremely bright.  Support for HTML5 has grown, and even tech giant Apple has praised it, so you know there must be something special that makes it so appealing.  Even Adobe has conceded defeat to HTML5 and has started building new products around the language to help with the transition away from Flash.  Many top websites have taken a liking to HTML5 as well, and others are sure to follow. 

So, with all the good vibes surrounding HTML5, why are some still weary about learning and using it?  One reason is probably unfamiliarity, as most humans like routine and keeping things safe with what they already know.  Still, HTML5 offers plenty of functionality in a manner that is user-friendly.  The learning curve may not be as steep as you think it is, and there is no better time to jump into the HTML5 circle to begin leveraging its power and experience all the things it can do. 

You may be thinking that since HTML5 is relatively new that using it could be a bit of a risk, but it is not.  There are plenty of ways that you can put HTML5 to work right now.  There is no reason to wait, and the quicker you begin, the more acquainted you will be with HTML5 so you can expand your skills to meet the increasing demand that is sure to come. 

With all of that being said, since you probably need some more nudging to move over to the HTML5 side, here is a list of reasons why you should stop delaying and start using HTML5.  If you already use it, you can use this list to reaffirm your intelligent choice.

No More Messy Code

If you are like me regarding code, the less messy, the better.  After all, we are in 2012 here, so code should be getting cleaner and less complicated, shouldnít it?  Luckily, that is one of HTML5ís many appealing characteristics.  Your code can remain concise while still retaining plenty of description and meaning.  HTML5ís new tags are great for describing content, and you no longer have to use divs as if they were going out of style.

Simple Doctype

HTML5ís doctype is as simple as can be, and it works across browsers.  In fact, it is so concise, that you can even type it quickly.  Oh, by the way, here it is: <!DOCTYPE html>.

Support across Browsers

Internet users today vary in their browser preferences.  Some like Internet Explorer, while others prefer Google Chrome or Firefox.  Then you have your Safari and Opera fans.  That does not even begin to describe the issues that come with users that refuse to update their browsers to the latest versions.  HTML5 addresses these issues in order to become more cross-browser compatible.  The latest browsers support HTML5, and there are little fixes available to make objects viewable in older versions of Internet Explorer.

Better for Mobile

The popularity of mobile devices has skyrocketed, so developing for such platforms is a must if you really want to capture a huge audience.  HTML5 is great for developing mobile-ready sites and applications, and some of its meta tags cater specifically to mobile development.

Creating Websites that are More Accessible

A major reason why HTML5 is so valuable is that it provides excellent accessibility.  There are a couple of ways in which it achieves this.  First, screen readers have an easier time of accessing content thanks to new HTML headings in the form of <header>, <footer>, and <section>, just to name a few.  The new semantic tags enhance screen reader efficiency when it comes to analyzing HTML documents. 

Another way in which HTML5 improves accessibility is through the W3 specification dubbed ARIA.  This spec delegates roles to an HTML documentís various elements.  By doing this, header, footer, navigation, and other important page landmarks are created.

Potential for Improved User Interaction

Having a site that engages your users through interactive features is essential to broadening your appeal and gaining loyalty.  HTML5 allows this via the <canvas> drawing tag as well as several native APIs, such as drag and drop, timed media playback, and offline storage database, just to name a few.  With all of this at your disposal, HTML5 can give you the necessary tools to build some impressive applications.

Audio and Video Made Easy

The days of getting audio and video content to work properly on your site are a thing of the past with HTML5.  Its <audio> and <video> tags work like a charm, and you can even define attributes for things such as height, width, and more right in the tag.  In the end, you get the functionality you need with cleaner code.

Storage Efficiency

HTML5 employs local storage that stores data in a userís browser.  Such a setup allows you to make web applications with a ton of features without the need for third party plugins.  You can create apps that cache data, store user data, and more thanks to local storage.  Even better, this feature of HTML5 offers enhanced security and performance as well.

Better Games

So, you say you have enjoyed developing Flash games in the past, huh?  Well try doing the same with HTML5, and you should come away impressed.  Fun game development can be had by using the aforementioned HTML5 <canvas> tag.

Conclusion

The aforementioned reasons are just some that should open your eyes to the wonders of HTML5.  Perhaps the most important reason to begin using it, however, is that it is the wave of the future.  The stars are aligning for HTML5 to dominate the main stage, so learning it now and honing your skills will help you become more marketable as a developer and allow you to develop innovative sites and applications.


DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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