HTML 5 PROS & CONS
By Lucid Softech IT Solutions | web design, 31 Jul 2015
What is HTML5?
HTML 5 is the fifth revision and newest version of the HTML standard. It offers new features that provide not only rich media support, but also enhance support for creating web applications that can interact with the user, his/her local data, and servers, more easily and effectively than was possible previously.
HTML5 has been around for some time, but it has only been in recent years that there has been an increase in its popularity and usage. It is widely appraised as the best HTML standard so far.
As HTML5 becomes more ubiquitous, it offers a number of advantages for businesses that are building and deploying Web content.
Here are a few of the potential perks HTML 5 brings to the development community:
- Video & Audio Support :
HTML5 includes an exciting new element—the CANVAS element. This element has a lot of uses. It can be used for a lot of things that previously you had to use an embedded application like Flash to generate:dynamic graphics, online and offline games, animations, interactive video and audio.
In fact, the main reason people are starting to use the CANVAS element is because of how easy it is to turn a plain web page into a dynamic web application and then convert that application into a mobile application for use on smartphones and tablets.The ‘canvas’ option offers a true alternative to Flash if you want to move away from dependence on that software and plug-in while still offering an interactive multimedia experience.
- Neater Code : If you are passionate about simple, elegant, easy to read code then HTML5 is the beast for you. HTML5 allows you to write clear and descriptive code, semantic code that allows you to easily separate meaning from style and content.
- Consistency : As websites adopt the new HTML5 elements we will see more greater consistency in terms of the HTML used to code a web page on one site compared to another. This will make it more easier for designers and developers to immediately understand how a web page is structured.
- Page layout : Another area that has been enhanced is page layout. In the past HTML has only offered Paragraph, Div, Span and Heading elements for page layout. With new elements such as Section, Area, Article, Header, Footer, and Aside; pages can be constructed much more semantically and the mark-up is more representative of the purpose of the content. This has many benefits, including better search engine rankings and more maintainable code.
- Geo location support: With help of Geo location any one can find out where you are in the world and sharing that information with people. There is different ways to figure out where you are — your IP address, your wireless network connection, which cell tower your phone is talking to, or dedicated GPS hardware that calculates latitude and longitude from information sent by satellites in the sky. But The new HTML5 geo location APIs make location, whether generated via GPS or other methods, directly available to any HTML5-compatible browser-based application.
- Mobile: Mobile devices are taking over the world. The adoption of mobile devices continues to grow very rapidly and this means that more and more users will be using their mobile browsers to view your web site or application. HTML5 is the most mobile ready tool for developing mobile sites and apps. Mobile browsers have fully adopted HTML5 so creating mobile ready projects is as easy as designing and constructing for their smaller touch screen displays.
- Open & Accessible content: Because HTML5 WebPages are easily built by pulling content from many different locations, its use naturally encourages open and accessible content and code sharing on all levels – something that customers like and understand.
- HTML5 is designed to work on both desktop and mobile device browsers with little need for tweaking and revision.
- Client-side database: While cookies have been used to track unique user data for years, they have serious disadvantages. The largest flaw is that all of your cookie data is added to every HTTP request header. This can end up having a measurable impact on response time. So a best practice is to reduce cookie size. With HTML5 we can do better by using session Storage and local Storage(two different storage in HTML5) in place of cookies. It is not a permanent database, but enables you to store structured data, temporarily.
- Fulfill the need of Web application: Many new features and standards have emerged as part of HTML 5. Once you detect the available features in today’s browsers, you can take advantage of those features in your application. Main focus of HTML5 is to make easier application with easy front-ends, drag and drop tools, discussion boards, wikis and other useful elements.
- Requires less maintenance: Easily upgradable for application (HTML5 comes as an open source programming language which almost all developers know and prefer to use. Also the app can be updated easily with no need for re-submitting to the app store).
- Offline Application Cache: HTML5 offers more reliable storage options – including the ability to store client-side data temporarily in a true SQL database rather than using cookies. Internal and external customers using a business website will appreciate having a working offline application cache. They can reload a previously visited webpage fully even if they are temporarily offline.
- Browser Support
The main problem with HTML5’s acceptance is that only modern browsers support it. A lack of compatibility with Internet Explorer is one concern. Internet Explorer is still behind the curve in compatibility with HTML5. Given that this is an enormously popular Web browser, using a language that isn’t fully supported by that browser may not meet business requirements for some customers.
- The Language is a Spec : Another problem is that although parts of the language are very stable, the language itself is considered a work in progress, so technically, any of the elements could change at any time. The language is not expected to be completed for several years, which complicates things further. Thankfully, a lot of the language is considered stable and ready to use.
- Media Licensing Issues : Another ugly fact about HTML5 is that because of licensing issues, rich media has to be compressed in multiple formats in order to be compatible with most browsers. So you’ll probably use something like mp3 audio for webkit browsers (safari, chrome), and ogg for mozilla (firefox) browsers. It involves a bit more work and it is a pain, but hopefully those issues will be resolved soon.
- Multiple device functionality : As highlighted above, HTML5 is geared towards multiple devices, but this is a curse as much as a blessing. Quite rightly, there is an expectation for the webpage or application to look the same across all of the devices for which it is available, so it must be developed and tested using all of the devices, pushing up the cost of development and test environments. Then, once it’s live, there is the chance that it won’t render correctly on a subsequently released device.
This issue is exacerbated by the different levels of support for HTML5 available on different platforms and browsers, which is commonly referred to as fragmentation. For example, that fancy new HTML5 feature may look great in FireFox but doesn’t show at all in Internet Explorer. This is gradually improving as HTML5 matures, but browser history suggests that it will never be fully resolved.
- Less cache space/ storage for instant recovery of elements in online as well as offline modes.
- Sluggish performance, sine data and screen components may require to be pulled down for each page.
Expectations may be too high from HTML5, but it is still taking baby steps. There has been a lot of hype revolving around HTML5, but only time will tell if it can live up to this. Most of the complaints will probably be resolved as HTML5 gains in popularity. Ultimately its success will depend upon how it is accepted and nurtured in the future.
HTML5 may not be end-all solution for everyone, yet instead a powerful means for providing content as well as experiences which can best service needs and expectations of your user groups using variety of devices.