Happy Birthday, “HTML5”

Five years ago today I first blogged about Ian Hickson’s use of the term: “‘HTML5’ is the name we’ve been using as the catch-all term for our various proposals.”

Odd trivia: this label was invented only three months after Jesse James Garrett coined “AJAX”. The difference in momentum is explained by Ajax using abilities already available in deployed browsers — Internet Explorer was the first to support asynchronous XML requests, and “Ajax” became popular only after Firefox started supporting it too. “HTML5” is the other way around… marketing occurs on features to be found in current and future versions of minority browsers, and there’s little provision for reaching the masses. “HTML5” definitely has bigger buzz than “Ajax” here in 2010, though.

JavaScript was added the same time as third-party plugins, in 1995’s Netscape 2. Dreamweaver arrived with “DHTML” in 1998, when browsers could first do sprite animation and handle user events. Flash developers use HTML as part of their own work. Most of the “‘HTML5’ vs Flash” stuff comes from people who don’t use both… sort of like debating whether the knife is better than the fork when slicing and eating birthday cake.

Happy birthday, little marketing label, you’re now five years old. Grow up and do good things.

4 Responses to Happy Birthday, “HTML5”

  1. Greg Gavutis says:

    HTML5, may you survive the pressures & perils of being an unwitting child actor.
    Nobody wants to read that you had to sell your VIDEO element out of desperation in some tabloid 5 years down the line.
    Take it slow, ok?

  2. Collin says:

    The child actor statement is right on, but “take it slow?” I think HTML5 has taken itself slow enough.
    We’re ready, just don’t develop an addiction to coke and prostitutes (I’m looking at you Chrome).

  3. Chris Thomas says:

    HTML 5 does wonders even in old PC’s especially in watching Youtube…
    Flash is a RAM/CPU hungry behemoth….
    [Chris, you’re crazy, man. 😉 (Seriously, why bother to post unsubstantiated assertions, especially when the current weight of public evidence points the other way? If you can raise new evidence, that’s great. But religious slurs tend to suck.) –jd]

  4. Mark Donnelly says:

    Hi John,
    Though you might enjoy this …
    “I suspect that my son and other children of his generation will demand a seismic shift in programming — from static, passive video to immersive, interactive and intertwined content available on-demand and on any device. Seamlessly shifting between entertainment, information, competition and e-commerce mindsets, ”
    [ Thanks, that’s interesting… people three generations from now are going to be so much different from us…. 😉 –jd ]