Cross browser is so noughties

Hello, have you met HTML5 yet? You haven’t? How’s that possible? HTML5 has already been strutting its stuff around town. With all browser vendors onboard it might as well be the only game worth playing. Get dressed folks, the show is coming to a theater near you!

There are a number of things that stand out.

  1. Browsers will no longer need a plug in structure, so now they have the opportunity to tighten up that leaky faucet. Flash will need to become embedded into the main application in some other way. Adobe risks losing yet more of its control of the web.
  2. CANVAS and SVG. These two distinct technologies will have a major impact on web applications. The web stack, with the upcoming release of IE9, will overnight become a key player in the application arena. Sproutcore‘s Charles Jolley is betting the farm on it.
  3. Woff fonts are now upfront and center stage.
  4. High performance JavaScript on every browser

It’s hard to describe but after 10 years of web standards this is the first time I’ve felt that a tremendous change is coming. When IE6 came out is was simply the best browser out there, it also signaled a fragmented web for the foreseeable future. I’ve made a nice little living out of creating cross browser web sites.

IE8 is basically the last remnants of the nougthies, the web’s coming of age. Microsofts third platform preview of IE9 is already here. Cross browser issues will remain but only in the periphery.

Cross browser websites are dead. Now fragmentation runs along types of clients. Desktop clients, mobile clients, email clients, text editors even TV’s. The emergence and popularity of media queries underlines this.

One might say that authoring HTML will become easier, it won’t. It will get harder because more is expected. Higher quality, shorter production runs. If you don’t understand content you’re already handicapped due to increased semantics inherent in HTML5 and CSS3 doing some heavy lifting making your HTML even less bloated.

HTML5 heralds in the next decade where browser can enable very lean HTML. The question is whether or not you’re up to it. DIV’s are the new TABLE’s! Use with care!

Next entry: Design & Front-end
Previous entry: Magic Marketing