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HTML5 Is the Future for the Internet, but Its Present Is a Struggle

Posted by Jennifer Dragon on December 21, 2015 at 11:04 AM

HTML5Following Steve Jobs' comments in 2010, Apple insisted that its iOS software wouldn't continue to support Flash long into the future. That opened the door for a new coding language designed to build rich digital content for the Internet's consumption. Today, that coding language alternative has a name: HTML5.

Released in October 2014, this new coding solution has inspired a lot of debate over whether it's an actual improvement over Flash, and how, exactly, it's able to elevate the ceiling for online content development. While long-term forecasts for this coding language remain high, many developers think it will ultimately provide a more versatile and agile platform for content creation than Flash. Nonetheless, the release of the new coding language has been met with multiple challenges that impede its present stature and give the language a bad name.

Here's a rundown of what challenges HTML5 developers currently face on the long road to a (hopefully) better coding language solution.

Highly Complex Coding

One advantage of Flash is that content can be generated quickly and in a straightforward manner, while taking up a minimal amount of storage space. Flash also has been around long enough that it's supported by virtually every platform and browser. HTML5 is very different in that regard: Creating content with it can often require using a mix of many different languages, including JavaScript, asset files, HTML and CSS, among others.

That may be useful when you're creating cutting-edge content that tests the limits of development, but for more straightforward, routine content it can be a real chore — and far more time- and space-consuming. Meanwhile, developers have to learn how to work within these limits before they can truly thrive. And, as Alphr points out, the lack of strong developing tools for this language restricts professionals from realizing its full potential.

Shortcomings in Animation

Developers who leaned on animated videos that functioned similar to flip-books in Flash now have to find a new solution in HTML5, which doesn't allow for these videos to be quickly created. As a whole, the ability to efficiently create animations has declined, as has the ability to create effects within those animations. For devoted fans of Flash animations, this is a significant loss.

Navigating a Shaky User Experience

This is a problem that will decline as user technologies catch up but, at present, HTML5 isn't adequately supported by many older browsers, including several versions of Internet Explorer. Graphics rendering and other limitations will restrict the coding language from displaying properly on older browsers, and users are sure to experience frustration during this adjustment period.

Eventually, those older browsers will be retired, and modern browsers will be equipped to handling these features. But that's a solution that will only come with the passing of time. It's important to remember that this new markup language will take time to mature and take root on the Internet. Early on, there will be kinks to iron out. But things will improve over time, particularly as old versions of Internet browsers phase into extinction. Ultimately, given the better support for rich formatting and other content features, HTML5 will prove a gamechanger for creative content on the Web.

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