The Mostly Pros…and a few Cons of HTML5

25 01 2011

First off, HTML5 is the next major revision of HTML.  It is also an attempt to define a single markup language that can be written in either HTML or XHTML syntax.  That said it has the potential to be amazing and simplify cross browser and plug-in compatibility issues.  Some other aspects to note:


  • You don’t need any plug-ins to use it as you would with Flash.
  • It works on iPhones and most mobile browsers.  As the iPhones impending market share on the verge of exploding with their recent Verizon expansion, mobile video compatibility will be at the forefront of issues to consider for most developers.
  • You can CSS everything within the browser.  You now have easy access to behaviors within the browser without using JavaScript.  You also have a Canvas tag.
  • You are going to have cleaner code.  Instead of multiple lines of JavaScript for some standard behaviors on a website, you can replace that with 1 word which will deliver that same desired effect.
  • Built in API’s that allow you features such as geo-location and client-side databases which will make customization of websites much better.
  • The native video controls are keyboard accessible.
  • With videos, you can include a textual transcript, which can be scripted into synchronized video captions, which is a tremendous leap forward in terms of video and search engine optimization.


  • HTML5 videos use double encoding which requires extra processing power and storage.
  • Changing from Flash to HTML5 like any other site update could be expensive and timely depending on your site.
  • It’s not entirely backwards compatible, for those archaic browser users. (not that anything really is!)
  • Double encoding is time, extra process and more storage
  • Flash “works” – change is expensive

The advantages to using open HTML5 video are

  • It’s (ultimately) a better user experience, as user doesn’t have to worry about plugins (a major source of worry for non-techy users)
  • It works on iPhones and (eventually) other mobile browsers
  • As a web designer, you can do fancy stuff with CSS etc as it’s native in the browser (this may not matter to business; depends what they want to do with the video)
  • The native video controls are keyboard accessible (in Opera; in Firefox, only when JavaScript is on; in Chrome and Safari, not at all)
  • You can have a textual transcript, which can be scripted into synchronised video captions: great for “Search Engine Optimisation” and “DDA compliance”



One response

24 02 2011
Crap that excites me…HTML5! «

[…] terms of coding, I can’t believe how far HTML has really…high time now:S Finally there are codes that can separate the elements on the page into their respective categories like <video> <audio>, a <header> tag which is different from the <head> tag […]

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