Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

{ action.text }

HTML 5 will also bring new video and audio capabilities to Web pages. A feature called Canvas–now supported by every major browser except Internet Explorer–lets developers create HTML graphics that match those that they would build using Adobe’s Flash software. Andreas Bovens, Web evangelist for Opera, says that “developers are still exploring the richness of Canvas,” but he believes that the feature could be used to create sophisticated games and other graphical applications employing HTML and JavaScript alone.

The new standard also focuses on making Web applications work offline. Google Gears and Adobe AIR already allow a Web-based application to access local storage and processing on a user’s computer, but HTML 5 aims to make offline capability even easier for a browser to use, without requiring additional plug-ins. Mozilla’s Blizzard adds that it’s not just about going offline: it’s also about allowing a browser to access more of the user’s hardware. For example, he says, standards are starting to emerge for defining how a browser running on a cell phone should access the location information stored on that device.

All the major browsers–Safari, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer–have started adopting parts of HTML 5. But each browser has taken a slightly different approach. Apple’s Safari, for example, has focused on performance, incorporating new features only when they do not harm the browser’s overall speed. The latest version of the Opera browser includes many features of HTML 5, and an experimental version supports HTML 5’s video capabilities. Both Google Chrome and the beta version of Safari support HTML 5’s offline features.

For the features described in HTML 5 to become an official Web standard, they need to be incorporated into two different browsers. Since they are built on the same framework Safari and Chrome count as one browser in this respect. A Web page that uses the feature will then need to work just as well in both browsers. Smith of the World Wide Web Consortium says that it may take some time to make progress, since there are so many independent browsers. “There’s no way to speed it up,” he says.

2 comments. Share your thoughts »

Credit: Technology Review

Tagged: Computing, Web, Web, web applications, Chrome, HTML5, browser, Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me