Gartner recently published its annual Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies which identities and evaluates the maturity and future direction of high-impact technologies. While the report focuses on a mix of technologies from Near-Field-Communication to wireless power, it also takes into consideration web and application development trends. The research paper identified trends like public web APIs, web real-time communications, Portal PaaS and HTTP 2.0 as being on the rise. Although technologies like big data, semantic web, context-enriched services and HTML5 are at their peak, they are according to Gartner, still 5 to 10 years away from being fully embraced.
It’s surprising to think that HTML5 may not be widely adopted for such a long time. Even though it is not an approved standard, HTML5 already enjoys great popularity among the development community, whose individuals harness its capabilities to create stunning web and mobile applications. Browser makers are also fast-moving innovators in accommodating HTML5 in their browsers — in fact, today most popular browsers support HTML5 to a great extent.
It is certain that it won’t take longer than 5 years before HTML5 shows its footprint on most websites. And it is totally safe to use it sparingly on your website. Our featured article for this month takes a look some promising HTML5 applications, all of which either work in modern browsers or will gracefully degrade in older browsers.
HTML5 Audio & Video Players
jPlayer is a free jQuery HTML5 Audio and Video library that allows you to rapidly weave cross-platform audio and video into your web pages. It has a comprehensive API that will help you get started and running in minutes. It supports different media types from mp3, mp4, ogg to webm and wav. Finally, jPlayer is totally customizable and skinnable using HTML and CSS.
HTML5 File and Document Handling Applications
wysihtml5 is an open source rich text editor based on HTML5 technology and the progressive-enhancement approach. It uses a sophisticated security concept and aims to generate fully valid HTML5 markup by preventing un-maintainable tag soups and inline styles.
DropArea is a HTML5 drag and drop image/file upload jQuery plug-in with a PHP script on the server-side. It creates a drop area whereby which your site visitors can simply drag and drop files from their desktop to your site for uploading. The most recent version also includes a client-side imagine resizing, data URL option to send file information via AJAX and a client-event for manually browsing and adding files. Unfortunately at the time of writing, this script doesn’t work well with Firefox but works great on Chrome.
pdf.js is an HTML5 technology experiment that explores building a faithful and efficient Portable Document Format (PDF) renderer without native code assistance. Currently, PDF is rendered in the browser via plugins but this experiment renders the PDF without any dependencies.
Sisyphus aims at providing a client-side draft saving mechanism to your forms by leveraging HTML5 local storage. It does so by constantly capturing users input on your form and saving them locally. In the event that of network issues or accidental closure of the browser’s window, your users can also come back to your page without losing any information they’ve filled out already.
HTMl5 Visualization and Graphing Applications
Paper.js is an open source vector graphics scripting framework that runs on top of the HTML5 Canvas. It offers a clean Scene Graph / Document Object Model and a lot of powerful functionality to create and work with vector graphics and bezier curves, all neatly wrapped up in a well designed, consistent and clean programming interface.
Flotr2 is a library for drawing HTML5 charts and graphs. It can generate line graphs, bar charts, pie charts and bubble charts. These graphs and charts are generated using HTML5′s canvas and work across several desktop and mobile browsers. Flotr2 is a fork of the Flotr project without the Prototype library dependency and includes some extra enhancements.