What's the deal with the HTML5 craze?

There are sites all over the place that say “look at my new HTML5 site! Look how cool HTML5 is!”.

Yet, at closer inspection, while the site might utilize some of the new HTML5 tags, all the interesting parts are done in Javascript.

Why not say “look at my cool Javascript site”?

HTML5 is a buzzword, largely because it is being touted as the thing that will render Adobe Flash obsolete, and this is a big deal for iOS (Apple mobile OS) users (because Flash is not supported on that platform, but the users want the sorts of things that are currently commonly delivered via Flash), and anything that is a big deal for Apple people generates a lot of noise.

So how does HTML5 replace Flash? I just looked at a very brief look at it, and I can’t see any possible way it could replace Flash. I mean maybe those crappy Flash pages artists use for their portfolios, but the type of Flash you see on Newgrounds? No way. Flash is a program suite that lets you do scripting, animation, symbol tables to control that animation etc. Unless I missed something huge (which I’m not saying is impossible), there’s just no way the few new features of HTML5 could create a video game* or an animation, even if you had the best damn GUI HTML editor ever conceived by man.

  • Well, I mean not in any meaningful way, obviously you can create a simple game in the same way you can create a browser based game with HTML and CGI scripts nowadays.

I’m not sure it does, but reality is not perception (and vice versa) especially for Apple folks.

Angry Birds for Chrome [WARNING: Angry Birds], programmed in HTML5. Obviously works in Chrome, may also work in some other browsers.

Apparently I am wrong. Still, I imagine it will take a long while for a good HTML5 editor that handles animation to get the amazing market penetration Flash has. I’m pretty sure every animation major everywhere learns it, not to mention it being used by a number of TV studios.

Or maybe the iOS lucre really is that strong.

Wikipedia has a nice intro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_HTML5_and_Flash

HTML5 isn’t meant to replace JavaScript. It’s meant to work together with Javascript as a replacement for Flash and similar. JS is an integral part of the package.

It’ll take a while, but even Adobe is feeling the heat. They recently decided to stop developing Flash for mobile (including Android) and their developer tools have rudimentary HTML5 support.

This is just a stupid game that the framework vendors like to play. Apparently nobody really likes standards unless it’s their own. Before Flash there was Java, after Flash and before HTML5 there was Silverlight.

IMO, though, it’s nice to see Flash losing ground to a more open-sourced solution, if only because Adobe solutions tend to be cesspools of bloat, bugs and vulnerabilities. They’re the Microsoft of the creative world, meaning they’re so entrenched in their position of power they stop innovating and really caring about their customers. Instead they sit on their lazy asses, fix things only when embarrassed by the press, and make minor changes to break compatibility with new versions just to milk another generation’s worth of income. It sure would be nice to see better, more open, editing suites. That, to me at least, is why HTML5 is a little exciting.

Adobe is actually working on a new set of tools to work with interactive HTML5/JS. Should be coming out sometime next year.

I’m looking forward to it. I hate flash.

HTML5 is a term that is confusingly used for two different concepts: actual HTML version 5.0, and the platform created by combining HTML 5.0, JavaScript, and CSS 3.0. The buzz is around the platform, not the latest version of HTML.

I don’t think anyone who actually creates the sites would agree that all the interesting parts are done with javascript. Anyone who makes cool HTML5 sites knows they’re using CSS3, Javascript and HTML5 together to do the cool things they do.

People tend to say HTML5 because it’s the newest of the 3 to have broad browser support thus its new features are the latest we can take advantage. Javascript is the least new.

If you’re finally able to do something cool with the HTML5 Canvas element because it’s supported by all the major browsers, why wouldn’t you call it a new HTML5 thing? Sure you make it do cool things with javascript, but that was supported for years and years.

Ultimately, because HTML5 means web browsers will be able to run software that can compete with Office, for example.

Why would they want to?

The cloud. The cloud!

Because, one, it is different companies, two, it appeals more to mobile devices, and, three, it appeals more to non-Windows users. This is one reason MS has historically lagged a bit when it comes to web technology, like updating MSIE. However, even IE has to support this stuff now.

Minor nitpicks (but agree with your statement):

  1. Nobody really used Java in the browser, Flash took over rapidly
  2. Nobody really used Silverlight, Flash continued to dominate

Java definitely had its popular days back in the 90s, right in there with site-specific plugins, ActiveX, QTVR and VRML and all that. Flash made much of that irrelevant, and for that I guess Macromedia deserves some credit…

But yeah, Silverlight never really had a chance. Too little, too late, too Microsoft.

Silverlight never took off on the wider consumer market, but I know lots of developers using it for enterprise solutions.