Posts Tagged "HTML5"

What Will Web Development Look Like in 5 Years

Posted by on Mar 24, 2010 in Mobile, Software Development, Software Tools, Web | 0 comments

Developing applications for the web has changed significantly over the last 5 years. Since 2005 the term AJAX has been coined, Ruby on Rails is now an open source web application framework, jQuery was created and has subsequently revolutionized JavaScript development, and now HTML5 is the top buzzword of the day. I believe the next 5 years will hold just as many improvements for web developers.

I foresee a new framework will be created to make developing fully interactive AJAX applications as easy as it is to write current MVC applications. Current frameworks like Ruby on Rails and Symfony provide everything you need to develop a modern application without having to build plumbing infrastructure; however, they do not provide nice components for interactive applications. In addition to a robust server core, this new framework will have a client side JavaScript component that simplifies the process of building interactive web 2.0 applications. Some critical components would be:

  • Form Validation. Libraries do exist to validate forms in JavaScript, but they don’t integrate with the server side form validation. In this new framework you won’t have to write form validation code twice.
  • Paginated Lists. Almost all web applications have at least one page where data needs to be searched and listed with pagination. We need to have this same functionality in JavaScript to skip a full page reload and provide local caching of the results.
  • Animation Library. While script.aculo.us and jQuery have made simple animations and visual effects much easier to do, I believe we can go even farther. Web applications also need to gain that fluidity and soft animations that desktop applications such as Exposé have had for a couple of years.

I also see huge resources being directed towards mobile development because ALL current generation smart phones are built for an incredible web browsing experience. As home users have switched from desktop computers to laptop computers in the last few years, people will slowly start switching to hand-held devices for their primary communication and Internet needs. Most likely this will have one primary effect: web frameworks will have a mobile optimized version of the site done automatically. Little to none developer intervention will be required as only resolution, text sizes, and layouts will be modified for the mobile version.

Lastly I see tools and libraries around 2D and 3D drawing elements. Most likely these libraries would be rendering to a Canvas or a WebGL element but something better could be created. Both of these are young standards right now that show a lot of promise on delivering the ability to draw pixels directly in a native HTML web page. While they will be used first in simple computer games, I am very interested to see what libraries are created to facilitate these elements being used appropriately inside next generation web applications.

What do you think the next 5 years will bring?

Read More

The Cost of Endorsing H.264

Posted by on Jan 23, 2010 in Web | 0 comments

As you’ve probably heard, both YouTube and Vimeo have released beta support to their massively popular websites to play videos using the HTML5 video tag instead of Flash. While I am glad the video sites are finally switching to the native HTML video tag, I am perplexed why they have gone with the non-free option.

Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome, and soon Opera all support the HTML5 video tag with the ability to play Ogg Theora encoded videos (except Safari). On the other hand, H.264 is only supported by Google Chrome and Safari. Both of these formats do the same thing, they specify a compression standard that allows for efficient playback at relatively small file sizes. There are a number of technical differences, but generally, they preform relatively the same. The big difference between the two is that Ogg Theora is royalty free and available for anybody to use, while H.264 is encumbered by patents held by the MPEG LA association. This same organization will charge anybody who uses it a hefty royalty fee starting in 2011.

If you have a personal blog and want to put a video on your website using H.264 this means you need to have to hire a lawyer to create a deal with the MPEG LA to allow you to use their codec. This will either cost you a lot of money, or they will not allow you to do it. They do have the right to simply deny you if they don’t feel like it.

However, if you use the open Ogg Theora format, you are free to simply upload the video to your website to start using it, the same as uploading an image. Ogg Theora is not covered by any patents and is royalty free.

I don’t understand why both YouTube and Vimeo are both going the non-free route. Is it simply because they have the money to pay MPEG LA? Whatever the case, endorsing H.264 encoded videos as the format for video on the web is an option for large companies with money to pay, but it’s completely the wrong choice for blog writers and any small or medium sized organization.

Read More

UpcomingHoliday.com Now with Geolocation

Posted by on Dec 16, 2009 in Web Application | 0 comments

UpcomingHoliday.com has been updated and now includes geolocation support. If your browser supports it your country should automatically find and select your country. If not, it will fall back to IP based country lookup. Geolocation is a HTML 5 feature that is supported by Safari on the iPhone 3.0 OS, Firefox 3.5 and Google Chrome.

UpcomingHoliday.com is an application that tells you what and when your next federal holiday is. Currently it’s available for people in: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, United Kingdom and United States.

Read More

The Importance of the HTML Video Tag

Posted by on Jul 7, 2009 in Web | 0 comments

Since Firefox, Safari, and recently Chrome hit the browser scene, the web has been growing and improving at a much faster pace. The next evolution of the web comes in the form of HTML 5, the latest HTML standard that brings native video playback, offline storage, 2D drawing via the canvas tag among others features. Of those, the video tag is the most important and critical to the continued success of the open web.

Native video playback inside a web browser will now be as simple as embedding an image into a page:

<video src="http://example.com/yourvideo.ogg" controls></video>

The benefits of this are immediately obvious to any software developer. It’s a native tag so it fits in much better to the web platform, it can be controlled through JavaScript, and no more messing around with a black-box flash embed. Side benefits of this are bringing video to all users, not just the platforms that Flash supports (stable 64 bit version + iPhone version).

So far only Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4 have built in support for the video tag; Opera and Chrome support is in the works.

The web has flourished and grown to where it is today because it is based on open standards and because it is not controlled by any one company or organization. Lets continue to keep the web open and successful by using the new video tag.

Read More