HTML5 represents a substantial leap forward in web design, layout, and usability. It provides a simple way to manipulate graphics in a web browser without resorting to plug-ins such as Flash, offers methods to insert audio and video into web pages (again without plug-ins), and irons out several annoying inconsistencies that crept into HTML during its evolution.
In addition, HTML5 includes numerous other enhancements such as geolocation handling, web workers to manage background tasks, improved form handling, access to bundles of local storage (far in excess of the limited capabilities of cookies), and even the facility to turn web pages into web applications for mobile browsers.
What’s curious about HTML5, though, is that it has been an ongoing evolution, in which different browsers have adopted different features at different times. Fortunately, all the biggest and most popular HTML5 additions are finally now supported by all major browsers (those with more than 1% or so of the market, such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Opera, and the Android and iOS browsers).
But with HTML5 having only been officially submitted to the W3C in early 2013, there remain a number of features outstanding in several browsers, which I outline later in the book so you will be prepared when they are adopted.
Nevertheless, we are now fully into the second big surge toward dynamic web interactivity (the first being the adoption of what became known as Web ...