HTML is the language of the web. It is now becoming the language of everything you do online – from email to news to e-books and more. And, although most of us never “touch” the actual code, it’s behind many of the things you see and do online.
Right now we’re watching an HTML revolution in the making. But, like many revolutions, things can get a little messy at times. The online world is in the process of moving to an updated version of HTML called HTML5. It offers a lot of great things for those of us who create content and we are excited about these new opportunities. BUT! We’re not all there yet. And, it will be a while before we do get there. In the meantime, here are some things you can do to insure you enjoy the best browsing experience you can.
- Make sure you’re using the latest version of your web browser. In order to take advantage of these new HTML capabilities, you need to use a browser that supports them. Older browsers don’t. Even some of the newer browsers don’t support all of the new capabilities – yet. Opera [Win & Mac] and Chrome [Win & Mac] have the best support with Firefox [Win & Mac] and Safari [Mac] close behind. The latest version of Internet Explorer [Win] supports a majority of HTML5 capabilities, but still lags far behind the rest of the field.
- Remember that you and your browser are in charge. You can override font style and sizes shown on a site by changing settings in your browser. Press CTRL/+ (CMD/+ for Mac) to increase the font size and CTRL/- (CMD/-) to decrease. To change the font style, look in your browser’s options panel. If things look really weird, you might check your “text encoding” settings. The “default” setting is probably the best, but you might also try the Western or Unicode options. This setting defines which alphabet is used to present content.
- HTML5 makes its biggest impact with media, simplifying the way audio and video are added to a web page. Most sites can identify the browser you are using to visit their site and then display their media using a method supported by your browser. If you visit a site displaying media only in HTML5 and your browser doesn’t support it, you won’t be able to view that media. You might try using another browser that does support HTML5.
Most web developers are doing everything they can to insure you enjoy the best experience possible when you visit their site. At the same time, they are working hard to learn HTML5 while building sites that cover all these constantly changing possibilities. It means an awful lot of work for them and sometimes it doesn’t always work just right. It’s a challenge but one that’s well worth the effort.
Every day we’re seeing new and amazing views of our world thanks to HTML and these hard-working developers, designers, writers, photographers and artists that bring it to us.
Scribd content on their site has already been converted to HTML5. Now, when you embed a document onto your blog, it will also appear in HTML5. Why is this important? The old, Flash-based reader doesn’t work on iOS devices. As this roll-out progresses, that content will be visible on any desktop or device.
From their press release:
Scribd, the world’s largest social reading and publishing company, today announced the roll-out of HTML5 code for all websites currently displaying Scribd content in Flash. The update comes less than a year after the conversion of more than a billion pages of content on Scribd.com. The company’s patent-pending technology turns offline material, including books, magazines and PowerPoint presentations into easy-to-read web pages.
Starting today, all new material uploaded to Scribd and embedded on third-party websites will display in HTML5, the web language supported by most mobile devices such as iPhones, iPads and Android smartphones. In addition, all content previously embedded using the Flash-based reader will convert to HTML5 in the coming weeks.
I love fonts! My collection is huge and continues to grow. Unfortunately, the only way you can get font crazy on the web is with graphics. Web pages could only use fonts already installed on the visitor’s computer – and there’s a very limited number of fonts we know will be found on most computers. Fortunately, things are beginning to change. The latest version of HTML – the language used to build web pages – includes the ability to make a font file available so viewing browsers can display it. In addition, Google recently released several gorgeous fonts and a simple API (application programming interface) so anyone with basic web skills can include those fonts on their sites/blogs. So now you can include text like this . . .
Welcome to Moultrie Creek
. . . as part of your text rather than a graphic image that looks like text.
Unfortunately, not everyone will see the Fabulous 50s font styled above. Not all current browsers fully support HTML5 yet. Internet Explorer doesn’t and some of the mobile browsers have limited support. Even Apple’s Safari has limited support, but as a result of their little spat with Adobe regarding Flash, they’re working fast and furious to remedy that. Your best bet right now for viewing the latest and greatest in web design is either the Chrome or Firefox browser. And, if you haven’t upgraded your favorite browser to the most current version, here’s another good reason why you should!
A lot of wonderful things are happening online – take a look at what Sports Illustrated is up to – and you don’t want a little thing like an old browser to keep you from experiencing it.
I’ll be experimenting with fonts here at the Creek (I did mention I was a font junkie, didn’t I?) and I’m sure it won’t be long before Google has their new fonts incorporated into Blogger. This is just one piece of HTML5 goodness beginning to show up online. There’s more to come and, like fonts, much of it is surprisingly easy to use.
One of the many advantages of an online platform for maintaining your personal archive is changes in technology. It is in the online service’s best interests to insure their catalog is updated as new technology is implemented. As a result, your content is updated for you. Continue reading