Posted by: Mathu Nganga
Browsers, chrome, firefox, Html 5, IE 8, IE 9, Mozilla, Opera
I have many at times met various business partners and acquaintances and they’ve asked me a number of questions from what is XML?, What is HTML? to Which browser should we standardize on Chrome, Mozilla 3.5.x, Opera, IE 7, IE8. This has lead to many interesting conversations and many call backs with many of my not so young friends still labouring to understand, all this acronyms and the speed of new developments in the ICT Industry. With some conversations like trying to explain what is web 2.0 ending in total confusion, and all together ending up in lack of interest and moving on to other topics(bad for business if your trying to sell something on the internet).
I have severally found it hard to get started with various concepts and the latest one I’ve decided I have to read wide and understand is the new HTML 5, which even Wikipedia does not do a very good job of explaining- guess the contribution was done by some developer. But you can’t explain HTML 5 without going back to the advent of the internet in the year AD1990 and the invention of HTTP , by one Tim Berners-Lee who developed the concept of machines communicating with each other over the internet and being able to link pages together, by simple clicks. That must have been was the advent of HTML 1, which was a simple markup language that could be transmitted over the internet via a procal HTTP(standard) to various computer and read using the browser and the idea of the Wide World Web was born and the world has never been the same again.
Now 20 years later and true to the ICT tradition of constant evolution, super rate of development and the ever greater push for more to be done on the internet and browsers, have now lead to the growth of the young infant HTML 1 to early adulthood and hence HTML 5. Of course you cannot have such an invention as the internet and browser and through them it into the melting pot that is the world that would definitely have a billion or so different players(e.g. soccer) in the field and not have a governing body(e.g. FIFA) to ensure fair protection of the players, spectators and the game. Hence the creation of a consortium W3C, who would be charged with keeping the standards on the world wide web.
And as a definite you will always find a few hands of god(Maradona’s famous Goal using his hand) on the pitch who will ensure that their products score the winning goal and hence the advent of the browser business and wars to win more players(i.e.developers) and Spectators(i.e. you and I) first was netscape with java scripting, followed by Microsoft with HTTPXML and Google with AJAX, all doing the same thing i.e. reading HTML, but with a special flavor to push their own Agenda.
The upside is innovation and the spectators having rich media i.e, videos and flash images and super developed products such as Google Apps and Microsoft BPOS, the players getting various development platforms and languages to learn and hack, now that’s about as far as the honey moon goes. Now the downside is several Browsers to make a decision on chrome, mozilla, 8 IE flavours, opera, safari, you can call it options but I call it a waste of time as you have to download at least 3 to work on the internet smoothly and switch between them(a headache for corporates with various web apps), keep downloading a never ending barrage of plugins and installations for your to view different websites. I can only imagine the poor players(i.e. developers) who have to constantly redevelop their websites to be viewed on all this different stadiums(i.e. browsers), and pray that their viewers are educated enough to be able to download the plugin and buy what they are selling.
Now this is where HTML 5 comes in its supposed to bring some sanity to the field and ensure that all gets fair treatment as we enjoy the innovative ideas, by way of developing standards and you better believe it W3C is pushing it and the ever growing number of browsers are trying to adhere to this standards with Microsoft Internet Explore 9(next release of IE) being the first to comply and the rest catching up. Lets hope this will come to pass and we will all reap the benefits some day of watching a world cup of the internet without so much suffering to much.