HTML, which stands for Hyper Text Markup Language, is the primary markup language used worldwide by developers to structure the flow of content on websites. HTML consists of several “tags” with branching attributes to help web browsers better understand how to render web pages. The current standard, HTML 4.01, is managed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and has been around since 1999. As the web has grown exponentially since the inception of HTML 4, the W3C is currently in the process of creating the next version of the standards that govern HTML. The next version, HTML 5, contains many upgrades to help meet the needs of the next generation of media rich websites.
Even though HTML 5 is still in draft, many web browsers are beginning to adopt this new technology, and several websites are taking advantage of this early adoption. Websites such as YouTube, who recently made public a version of their media player that is displayed using HTML 5, rather than the standard Adobe Flash Player. Following YouTube’s move to allow users to opt-in for HTML 5 based features, many people across the Internet are building a case as to why we should immediately trash the Adobe Flash Player and transition over. Sadly though, many of these people simply do not have the understanding of the work involved and the overall limitations from the early adoption of HTML 5 as a media outlet.
Unfortunately, early adoption of HTML 5 into the spectrum of a web browser’s capabilities does not mean a website is obligated or ever will approve of it as the outlet for its content. Many websites will not choose to implement it so hastily because the number of web browsers that currently support it is very low. Thus, they are not gaining anything from spending money to go back and change the systems that they have already in place.
As technology progresses, we may see a significant drop in the number of websites that use the Adobe Flash Player, but for now, HTML is still second in the race to be the leading standard when it comes to how media like videos are presented to the end user.