HTML5 is the new Web 2.0

Excuse me whilst I blow the dust off my blogging keyboard. It’s a been a while…

Last Friday I couldn’t help noticing many of the people I follow on Twitter having a good old grumble about Apple’s recently published HTML5 showcase page.

Safari HTML5 demo

The main gripe surrounds Apple’s claim that the page is a showcase of modern web standards, yet at the same time uses browser sniffing to detect if you are using Apple’s own browser and, golly-gosh, if found to be using anything other than Safari, blocking you from seeing all the visual delights entirely.

If you can be bothered to open up Safari and have a look, it can’t be denied that the showcase demonstrates some very slick and polished examples of what can be achieved in a modern browser. Although, it has to be said, not an awful lot of HTML5 is on show - it’s mainly webkit specific CSS3 stuff. But slick none the less.

To be honest, I’m not really sure what everyone is getting their knickers in a twist for? Granted, most of the examples should work in Chrome too if it wasn’t for the browser sniffing, and FireFox should be able to do most of those tricks if it wasn’t for the webkit specific CSS. Even Opera should… actually no it shouldn’t…

The point is though, that this page isn’t there to show off what can be achieved with modern web browsers. It’s there to show what can be achieved with Safari. It’s there to show developers like you and me what Safari can do right now, today. It’s there, quite frankly, to make sure that when we build websites and applications, they are best appreciated in Safari. Not in FireFox or Opera, unsurprisingly.

I’m not at all bothered, or surprised, that Apple is telling us that their browser is the most advanced, powerful, bestest-in-the-world browser that there is. All the browser vendors say the same thing, that’s what they do. So lets get over that one, and just enjoy the fact that Safari genuinely is an impressive browser, unlike Microsoft’s questionable claims towards IE9’s supposed modern web standards prowess.

What this shows to me more than anything else, is that the term HTML5 has rapidly become the latest Internet buzzword. Web 2.0 is dead, long live HTML5.

The term HTML5 is already a muddied one that actually encompasses a range of different web technologies. But you can bet your bottom dollar, it won’t be long before clients start demanding their sites are “made with that HTML5 style”.

And if ignorance is what will cause this to happen, then it’s time me and you, the people who build this stuff, stop being ignorant. We need to get to the bottom of this HTML5 lark so we’re armed and ready.