Monday, Mar. 22, 2010

A Richer Web

The most controversial aspect of the iPad is its lack of support for the Flash plugin, a ubiquitous part of the Internet that powers everything from online games to sites like Hulu. Part of the reason Apple thinks it can leave out Flash is that the next generation of web coding, HTML 5, is already in use on the Web. HTML is the language most websites are created in, and this latest generation of standards includes tools for developers to include video on their site and build rich, full-featured online applications without requiring users to download and install a plugin like Flash.

One obstacle to implementation? People who won't upgrade their browsers. Older versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox are still the most popular browsers in use on the web and aren't capable of displaying HTML 5 content. Developers won't be able to include many HTML 5 features in their websites until the vast majority of users upgrade to one of the latest generation of browsers, like Google Chrome or the upcoming Internet Explorer 9.