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December 8th, 2009

A few technological ages ago, some Web designers purposely made pages that worked best, and sometimes only, with specific browsers. Some still do. The smart ones, though, will rent a PC, a Macintosh or both from CRE, to ensure that all browsers running on both platforms display site pages correctly.

HTML5The standard tool for creating Web pages is HyperTest Markup Language, or HTML, and the version now in the works is HTML5 which will produce Web pages that will look, sound and work the same way on any browser, from desktop to mobile phone.

Splitting up the work

HTML5 does away with plug-ins for handling video, audio and interactivity. HTML5 will require that they these capabilities are on their own, built-in. Users of new Macs, like the Mac Pro rentals that CRE stocks will not be surprised to find out that Apple claims to be “almost there” with its Safari browser (the “next” version, of course). The same jobs will get done to deliver a faster, richer, multimedia Web experience, but they’re split up differently in HTML5.

Companies will be able to create Web sites that look, sound and work the same on any browser, on laptops, desktops, “net appliances” like Sony PSPs, cell phones, netbooks and anything else with a display and WiFi connection. It may take the legal eagles a while to work out licensing for the A/V formats that will be used for “universal support,” but owners of the desired formats have lots of incentive to make a deal.

Compatibility heaven

It is not just the copy on the page, the soundtrack in the background or any other single component that makes for a “user experience.” This term falls into the “greater than the sum of its parts” category, and now Web site designers, Web app developers and content providers can stop mucking around with browser incompatibilities or doing complex workarounds.

This is a particularly noteworthy advance for mobile devices, as today’s cellphones, iPods and PSP browsers offer only limited multimedia support. The iPhone’s version of Apple’s Safari browser has no Adobe Flash capability despite Flash being on just about every other platform, browser and device. This is just one of the many loose ends that need tying up before HTML5 rolls out.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

WebKit, the developer tool behind many desktop and mobile programs, is on track to be HTML5-compliant “soon,” but Microsoft says that Internet Explorer 8 will not support the “whole spec,” risking even lower market share for IE. Adobe says Apple is dragging its corporate feet in making the iPhone Flash-friendly, suggesting the Cupertino firm may have its own agenda with HTML5, too.

“Apple,” an official Adobe statement says, “has not provided the level of support required to deliver the Flash Player to the iPhone.” Chances are we will hear about Apple “coming around” soon, since the World Wide Web Consortium has announced that HTML5 is nearing its final draft. Mac folks, from vintage iBook users to those doing high-end animation work on a G5 with Kona card rental, will expect Apple to come through. Ease of use is not something users are willing to “think different” about.

If you need the latest technology equipment, request a Quick Rental Quote from CRE and they’ll make sure you get what you need.

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