Demystifying HTML5…..

Over the past few months, the web has been agog about the new buzz word…html 5. Some say it’s the gears killer while some say it will send flash player (and other RIA techs …silverlight, javafx etc) packing from our browsers. All these raise one question, what is HTML 5?
HTML 5 is a specification for how the web’s core language, HTML, should be formatted and utilized to deliver text, images, multimedia, web apps and every other thing you see in your browser. It is a set of core standards that web developers need to worry about. In short, it’s a major revision to how the web is put together. Not every web site will use it, but those that will do will have better support across modern desktop and mobile browsers.
Most of the changes in HTML5 have already been made public while the HTML5 working group is till busy at work, we are now to see new tags like.., , , etc while the end has come for tags like , etc. We will now have features like

Offline storage: You can see them like “Smart Cookies” but with much more space to store both one-time data and persistent app databases, which is more like what Google gears is offering at the moment.

Canvas Drawing: Web applications will now be able to make use of interactive charts and graphs, game components and whatever the developer wants can be drawn directly by programming code and user interaction without using Flash or any of the popular RIA technology.

Video and audio streaming: Though it’s still majorly “work in progress” … like we are all aware , YouTube released another version of their site last week…which uses pure html5 to play videos instead of the known flash technology(though you will need html5 compatible browsers to watch the videos). You can find it at http://www.youtube.com/html5

Geolocation: Just what it sounds like, but not limited to a single provider’s API or browser tool. HTML5 can find your location and use it to tailor things like search results, tag your twitter updates, and more. This feature will definitely come in handy in the mobile market.
Without boring you out with all the known features of HTML5, it’s fair to say that HTML5 is aimed at making it easier to build wikis, drag-and-drop tools, discussion boards, real-time chat (Like we have in Google wave) and other modern web elements into an application, and have them work the same across browsers (while we keep praying that the IE team will quickly join the W3C HTML5 working group).

Nexus One…..

There will be a lot of personal views and opinions on the look, feel and features of the Nexus One, I will say it’s the battle for the web. iPhone Vs Android.

The key to the turning point is not how slick the Google phone is – even though (according to reports) it’s thin, fast, bright, and beautiful, with amazing sensor-based capabilities including noise-canceling headphones, automated brightness adjustment based on external light levels, voice activated search, navigation and data-entry. Nor is it the fact that you can buy unlocked phones directly from Google. The real turning point is Google’s commitment to making the Nexus One a web-native device. According to Google’s VP of product management during their press conference, a nexus is a place where multiple world’s meet.”The Nexus One is where the phone meets the web”. It’s a connected device in a way that is more fundamental than any previous.

While Google has a lot to work on to be able to catch up with Apple (majorly with the app store), I think the all round simplicity of the Nexus One and the completeness of the cloud integration is a major advantage. What we see then is a collision of paradigms, perhaps as profound as the transition between the character-based era of computing and the GUI based era of the Mac and Windows. We’re moving from the era in which the device is primary and the web is an add-on, to the era in which a device and its applications are fundamentally dependent on the internet operating systems that provides location, speech recognition and other fundamental data services. I know more manufacturers  are going to tow this line…..welcome to the new world :).