The main topic of discussion on Saturday was the emerging trends in web technologies. Vivek Khurana enlightened us with what all we can expect from HTML 5 and other upcoming web technologies like SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). He started off with an introduction to HTML 5 and how it came into being. Some of the exciting feaures were demonstrated in the form of demos. As soon as the first demo was played out everyone watched the screen with rapt admiration. The new features available in HTML 5 left all of us saying WOW!.
Here’s a brief summary of what I gathered from the discussion:
HTML 5 is being developed as the next major revision of HTML. HTML was initially designed by scientists to build simple text based web sites, not the kind of interactive web applications we see today . The previous versions do not adequately cover the needs of web applications that we see today. There has always been an impedance mismatch between web designers and HTML. In a sense HTML 5 tackles this mismatch which plug-in-based rich Internet application (RIA) technologies such as Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX have tried to fill.
HTML 5 introduces a number of new elements and attributes. These new elements were added to reflect typical usage on modern Web sites. Lets look at some of the exciting aspects of HTML 5:
- Audio and Video tags – the audio and video tags are introduced in HTML 5. They allow us to easily embed a video or an audio clip directly into the browser without the need of any plug-ins.
- The Geolocation – API gives the geographical location information associated with the hosting device. HTML 5 can find your location and use it to tailor things like search results and more. It makes use of Global Positioning System (GPS) and location inferred from network signals such as IP address.
- Contenteditable – any element with the contenteditable attribute set can be edited from within the browser.
- Smarter Forms – HTML 5 provides very useful input types and attributes to build smarter forms. Client side validation is taken care of with meaningful fields like email, tel ,number etc. It also saves us the the load of defining unnecessary classes and ids. The browser will also natively provide a date selection calendar. There are many new attributes such as autofocus, maxlength and required which make our life easy. The huge list of new fields and attributes in HTML 5 can be found on the W3 web site.
HTML 5 WebSockets
Early Internet applications took a step back backwards in terms of interactivity, connectivity and ability to receive realtime data–primarily due to HTTP’s request and response based architecture. Any piece of information that the client needs has to be requested explicitly by the client and the server sends only the requested data.
Web Sockets account for network hazards such as proxies and firewalls, making streaming possible over any connection, and with the ability to support upstream and downstream communications over a single connection.
Features like WebSockets will enable a new paradigm of Web application programming that will revolutionize the way to develop and deploy Web applications.
SVG(Scalable Vector Graphics)
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an open standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). It enables high-quality, interactive, animated and stylable graphics to be delivered over the web using accessible, human-readable XML.
All major web browsers except Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) support and render SVG markup directly.
One of the most exciting demos of the evening was “animated lyrics”. The video had animated lyrics synchronised with the music.
An amazing collection of SVG demos including this one can be found here: SVG wow.
The session was a success considering the fact it was “unorganised” in just two days. It was good to see so many people turn up for the talk inspite of the short notice. Looking forward to more community events such as these in the coming days. Watch this space for upcoming events.