The Null Device

The future of HTML

A group of browser vendors has published a preview of HTML 5.0, also known as Web Applications 1.0. Users of browsers in the future can expect a lot of nifty enhancements, including new web form controls (drag and drop, flexible grids, progress meters), more DOM events to facilitate AJAX programming, more intelligent web forms (including support for minimum/maximum values and automatic validation) and a canvas element which can be drawn on using JavaScript (and for which the demos include a pure-JavaScript SVG viewer and a Wolfenstein-style 3D maze game). The HTML 5 features should make AJAX applications more efficient and powerful.

Web Applications 1.0 is a proposal by a group named WHATWG (the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group), which consists of people from various browser developers, from projects such as Opera, Mozilla and Safari. It appears that the elephant in the centre of the room is the conspicuous absence of Microsoft, who own most of the browser market share. Which is hardly surprising, as if AJAX becomes a reality, it could cannibalise Microsoft's OS lock. Perhaps we can expect MS to specify their own, incompatible AJAX-esque technologies that are locked to their browser and technologies?

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