updated 11:15 pm EDT, Wed October 6, 2010
Flash use expected to "decrease" but not die out
The World Wide Web Consortium, the body that regulates and publishes the specifications of the HTML standard, is warning web content producers that the HTML5 is "not yet ready for production" and that the W3C will likely make further significant changes to the specification to increase interoperability. Philippe Le Hegaret, interaction domain leader responsible for the HTML and SVG spec, added that they expect it to be feature-complete in mid-2011.
While industry sees HTML5 as a game-changer, having full browser interoperability and other concerns for the web as a whole has been a problematic area. Citing these concerns, Le Hegaret advises against full deployment.
As an example, while a tag for audio playback is part of the specification, not all browsers support the same formats. Safari and Chrome support native MP3 playback using this tag; Firefox and Opera do not. In another instance, the HTML5 specification won't feature a native video codec due to patent issues.
Le Hegaret sees the use of Flash on websites decreasing as HTML5 gains in popularity, but argues that proprietary technologies such as Microsoft's Silverlight or Flash will continue to be popular for other reasons, such as embedded ads and DRM controls (HTML5 does not support DRM, though Le Hegaret admitted it could be added in the future). It will take years for all web browsers in use to support all the elements of HTML5, he says.
Another factor slowing adoption despite the excitement around it is the lack of a selection of authoring tools. Adobe does offer one in their Creative Suite.
The HTML5 spec is expected to reach final approval in two or three years. The specification was begun in 2004. [via InfoWorld]