Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Next Big Thing : HTML5

Ask any senior IT manager what are the hot trends in the industry today and they is likely to rattle off two or three categories. They will include, in no particular order:
  • the "cloud"
  • mobile computing
  • "big" or unstructured data
Admittedly, big data might be on the edge for some while others would include security. But those are pretty much the hot topics of the day. 

I like to keep my ear to the ground and people who have known me for a long time know I have a nose for what is likely to be the next big thing. One of my favorite stories is about the Palm Pilot. Way back in the 90's when this personal digital assistant (PDA) was first introduced I thought it was likely to catch on. Saturday afternoon I went to the mall and on a whim purchased one at CompUSA. At the time, I was working at a major reinsurance company and the Chairman was a real technophile. Sure enough, Monday morning he returned from a cross country business trip waving the proverbial full page ad from the airline magazine for none other than this new handheld device. Shortly thereafter it became de rigueur for executives and wildly popular for years.

I had a similar experience identifying the RIM Blackberry as the device of choice, a distinction it held until recently when first the  iPhone and then Android devices swept in. Android (my latest pick of the litter) has moved rapidly into the lead (read here.) 

Lately, I have been reading a lot more about the new HTML standard, HTML5, and how it is going to revolutionize the web experience. While I have not had much first hand experience with HTML programming, it just may be the next "watershed" event in the history of computing. It has been around for years but the most popular browsers IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, are only beginning to fully support it in their current versions. 

Google abandoned their "gears" in favor of HTML5 native offline support. Apple, IBM and Microsoft all  published their support for HTML5 as the future of the web, and other pundits have begun to echo the news.

Offering new capabilities, simplicity of development, tighter code and device independence, it seems HTML5 should be the choice of every web developer from this point forward.

Let's see if I called this one right.

Captain Joe


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