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This year, the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) released it’s HTML 5 proposal. HTML 5, is a significant update to the prominent web presentation specification. The changes focus on web application development, ones that might even make proprietary plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun JavaFX irrelevant.

Below are the most significant new features and their current browsers support:

Video and Audio Tags

The long awaited video and audio tags that would standardize how we include these elements in websites. With HTML 5,  including video to your webpage would not require utilizing third-party plug-ins (ie. Flash, Quicktime) or video codecst.  Developers would also be able to manipulate videos and built-in video controls.
Browsers: Firefox 3.5

Canvas

Canvas is used for rendering dynamic bitmap graphics on the fly, such as graphs or games. Invented by Apple, this technology could replace complex charts currently generated by Flash, Silverlight or Java.
Browsers: Safari 4, Chrome, Firefox 3.5, Opera

Web Workers

Separate threads would now be used for processing so to not affect the performance of a webpage. This is very important among the ever increasing number of AJAX based web applications (ie. Gmail).
Browsers: Safari 4, Firefox 3.5

Application Caches

Cache adds the ability to store data locally and access it without having to connect to the internet or install an external application (ie. Google gears).
Browsers: Safari 4, Chrome, Firefox 3.5

Geolocation

Defining location information using a high-level interface (GPS) within the device hosting the browser (ie. Safari on the iPhone). This feature most likely could be turned off in a particular device or browser, but is very useful information when used properly.
Browsers: Firefox 3.5

So, when can we expect to see these features? Some are already supported in current browsers and many are slated to be in the newest versions including Internet Explorer 8. The cog in the wheel may be developers, who will need time to digest these new features and include them in websites they are creating.

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