HTML5 by Default
Google has announced that it will phase out Flash support in its Chrome browser as default. A Google Group, “Intent to implement: HTML5 by Default” have plans to implement a new feature in Chrome. It will disable the playback of Flash content by default and use HTML5 content instead, if available. This started in September of 2016, which is when Chrome stopped advertising support for the Flash player. Chrome will not just be blocking Flash, it will be pretending as Flash isn’t even installed.
What is HTML5?
HTML is a standardized system for tagging text files to achieve font, color, graphic, and hyperlink effects on web pages and mobile devices. When HTML4 was introduced in 1997, most people didn’t have email and mobile phones were still carried in a bag since they were so big. So, a new updated programming language needed to accommodate the advances in technology. HTML5 was adopted in October 2014 to replace HTML4.
HTML5 provides users the means to get information anywhere, anytime, at speeds to which they are accustomed. This means no matter the device or platform, HTML5 supports and interacts with it all.
“More than 90% of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down,” said Google in August. The move to lock out Flash started in 2010 with Steve Jobs defending Apple’s decision not to allow Flash technology on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. There were many reasons cited as to why this was a bad idea including battery life and user experience.
Google isn’t the first Web company to take an issue with Flash ads on sites. Mozilla locked out Flash in July of 2015 followed by Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge is now giving their users a choice of loading Flash or not, but their next update will default to HTML5 content if available.
According to Google, the new default feature will disable all Flash content on a website unless the visitor specifies otherwise. Basically, Flash content is requiring the user’s permission to play on sites they are visiting for the first time. There are a few exceptions to this rule, sites such as Facebook, Amazon, and Twitch that rely on this plug-in. A list of the top 10 domains will, by default, have flash enabled the list will be reviewed regularly and expire after 12 months.
Adobe can ignore it no longer. They make a lot of great products and now must retire Flash. The successor Animate CC is based in HTML5 and shows that Adobe has moved to the versatile and powerful platform for animation and interactive web elements.
HTML5 Can Do It All
Earlier versions of HTML required third party plug-ins like Java and Adobe Flash to get things accomplished. That meant if you wanted to have animation, geolocation, or user-interaction you would have to rely on programs that could cause conflicts or create problems. With HTML5 there is no need for plug-ins. Native elements now include video, audio, and support for scalable vector graphics (SVG) and mathematical formulas (MathML).
If the above wasn’t enough, let’s add user experience. HTML5 has come leaps and bounds in visual styling. It is mobile friendly and therefore you can go from desktop to tablet to phone and continue to stay connected to the world. With reduced code and overall size of the website, the sites load faster, look better and can be more interactive than before.
HTML5 is taking over and will soon be the only option available for quite some time. Will you update or continue to allow the browser to “run this time?” Digital media is pushing the boundaries of what is possible. I find it is easier to stay current rather than continue to be stuck in the past.