Tuesday, May 25, 2010

HTML5 - its support in Dreamweaver CS5, Internet Explorer 9 and elsewhere

With HTML5, an open Web standard, the browser becomes a first class RIA citizen.

HTML5 is being developed as the next major revision of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the core markup language of the World Wide Web. HTML5 is the proposed next standard for HTML 4.01, XHTML 1.0 and DOM Level 2 HTML. It aims to reduce the need for proprietary plug-in-based rich internet application (RIA) technologies such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

The HTML5 video tag is a markup language tag, introduced in the HTML5 draft specification, that adds support for embedding video in an HTML page.

The Adobe Flash Player has been and continues to be widely used to embed video on web sites such as YouTube, since the majority of web browsers have Adobe's Flash Player installed (with controversial exceptions such as the browser on the Apple iPhone and iPad). Now, however, HTML5 video is intended by its creators to become the new standard way to show video online, but has been hampered by lack of agreement as to which video formats should be supported in the video tag.

Rather than relying on the browser plug-in Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices now ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards.

Not to be left out, Adobe has recently added HTML5 support to Dreamweaver CS5. This move should not be viewed only in light of the company's war of words with Apple regarding Flash, but in the other reality that HTML5 is reaching critical mass as evidenced by long-time holdout Microsoft adding HTML5 support to Internet Explorer 9 and a slew of HTML5 books being published by leading houses this summer. I've pictured the covers of a few of them at the end of this post.

These developments come despite the fact that HTML5 is still a work in progress. Even so, HTML5 in Dreamweaver CS5 makes for a mighty application development tool, as shown in the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEXrd8CR5AY

The HTML5 compatibility pack for Dreamweaver CS5 lets you author CSS3 and HTML5 compatible Web pages for modern browsers. And, of course, it supports the audio and video tags.

Note: The HTML5 extension will work only with Dreamweaver CS5 and not with any of the previous versions.

For more on this new Dreamweaver HTML5 support, check out labs.adobe.com and the following videos:

HTML5 Fundamentals with Dreamweaver CS5 - Semantic Structural Tags - Part 1

HTML5 Fundamentals with Dreamweaver CS5 - Semantic Structural Tags - Part 2

Readers of this blog who are interested in the Semantic Web may find the Part 2 video of particular interest.

HTML5 Fundamentals with Dreamweaver CS5 - Using the Video Tag

Finally, Microsoft will support HTML5 and CSS3 in Internet Explorer 9.0. A developer preview of their next browser can be downloaded from


and click here for a discussion of I.E. 9's
support for video content.

Note: There has been a lot of interest and debate about HTML5 and its support for video tags. This release of Internet Explorer provides such support, with tags available for H.264/MPEG4 and MP3/AAC codecs, leaving out support for the open source Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora video codecs.

A final note: HTML5 is not likely to displace Adobe Flash videos any time soon. As evidence of this, consider the latest news from Dell: Dell Inc. yesterday unveiled plans for a computer tablet based on Google Inc.’s Android operating system.

Called Streak, the tablet will have a 5-inch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and work on a 3G network. Users can download music; interact with social-networking sites; send e-mail, text and instant messages; and make phone calls. It has turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps, a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and a removable battery.

Streak will have 2 gigabytes of internal storage. Memory can be expanded up to 32 gigabytes allowing it to store as many as 42 movies or 16,000 songs.

Later in the year, the tablet will support Adobe Flash 10.1 — something Apple Inc.’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices do not. Flash is widely used for online video.

The Streak is designed to be larger than a smartphone but more portable than a laptop. It is 6 inches wide, nearly 3 inches high, and half an inch thick.