What is HTML5, and why use it?

A long while ago I wrote about 'the death of Adobe flash' within the internet, and how browsers are moving away from enabling it. In that blog, I explained how this meant that Archibus, with its flash drawings, were going to move away from it as well. The piece of advice ultimately is that we need to upgrade systems so that drawings, when published, were published in an HTML 5 format to be usable in your browser.

 

We’re now in a post flash world and I realised that we never actually explained what HTML 5 actually is. As such, I intend to use this blog to go over exactly what HTML5 is.

 

The start, I suppose, should be a look as to what HTML is. HTML is an acronym that stands for HyperText Markup Language. This is the core language and standard used in conjunction with CSS and javascript to display and create web pages that can be viewed and interacted in your web browser.

 

Though I could go into it, and I’m sure that some people would be interested in it, I don’t intend in this blog to go into the fine details of the language itself and how it works, but for now accept that it’s useful and not as complex as something like Java.

So HTML is the language the internet, and HTML5 is the 5th iteration of the language used by web designers to create web pages and views for people who use the internet to interact with. This is all well and good, but it doesn’t help explain to us, why exactly is it that we need to switch to it and away from Flash.

 

The simple answer to this question is to blame Steve Jobs. When Steve Jobs, and by extension Apple, created the iPhone and from this iOS, Apple didn’t want to pay the proprietary costs attached to Flash as it’s owned outright by Adobe. This meant that Apple devices stopped allowing Flash to function within them and leant on the non-proprietary HTML5 format instead.

This wouldn’t have been so bad for Adobe, and therefore flash as a format if it weren’t for the fact that Apple ended up with a monopoly on the mobile phone market, and from there the mobile device market, leading to their operating system designing the standards that competing companies had to utilise to be able to complete.

 

This was the start of the format’s downfall, and the resultant rise of HTML5, but the nail in the coffin was in the end, security. As time went on more and more system hackers read the way that Adobe flash worked, they found methods to code into it trojan horses so that people would click on a random advert, and then find themselves in a position where someone external to your PC can connect to it and read files on said PC.


The other issue was that hackers found ways to insert SQL injection clauses into web pages, and flash was one of those methods used to take advantage of potential security issues on your web page.

 

Thus inevitably, between the actions of Apple and then later on the system insecurities within a flash, browsers have moved away from Flash to HTML5. This, of course, filters down to Archibus, and Web Central, but we’ve already covered that and I don’t intend to re-tread already covered ground.

 

Keep your eyes peeled for next weeks Wednesday blog! If you have any questions related to this topic and would like to chat to MASS all about it, we are available on 0118 977 8560 or email us at info@mass-plc.com


Callum Doyle

 


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