Back in 2011, WHATWG announced that they were doing away with numbered versions of the HTML spec after seeing that they had a long way to go before HTML5 was complete. Instead, they switched to a living document model that “defines the technology as it evolves.”
Well, the Spec Formerly Known as HTML5 is finally finished, and developers everywhere can’t help but be curious about what the future holds. It’s no secret that 5 left room for improvement, so what’s in store for HTML6?
What is HTML6?
HTML6 is the next iteration of “Open Web Platform” development, as heralded in by HTML5. Or, rather, it will be. We’re only hearing murmurings of HTML6 at this point since HTML5 just received recognition as an official standard at the end of 2014. Even so, developers have been eager to share their ideas and concerns about what’s coming down the chute next.
Presumably, HTML6 will continue on as a simple web development language, but it will steer the Web in the direction of innovation. Namely, there is a dire need for more security across the Internet, as evidenced by the many cyberattacks against countless sites in the last couple of years. Unfortunately, security wasn’t a major concern while many Web protocols were being designed, so there is work to be done on that front.
We also know that users are getting more and more used to streaming and push notifications, and that’s something that HTML5 addressed and 6 will likely expand on. But what else would we like to see from HTML6?
The current version of HTML handles certain aspects of standard data fairly well: headlines, paragraphs, etc. Those tags are working swimmingly, but you could argue that the spec needlessly neglects many other microformats, such as phone numbers, email addresses, and dates. If we had a standard set of tags, search engines and Web crawlers would be even more efficient at what they do so we can all benefit.
User Photo and Video Capture
You’d be hard pressed to get your hands on a phone that doesn’t have a camera or a microphone, and personal computers with web cams and mics are also incredibly common. Camera integration could bolster the playing field for websites competing against specialized apps by letting users snap pictures, video, or audio right in the browser. W3C reported that they’re already fiddling with media capture, so we’ll sit tight in hopes that they have something special to show for it in the near future.
How many hours of your life do you think you’ve spent loading jQuery? For whatever reason, most websites still use their own copy, despite the availability of cacheable versions of libraries hosted by Google or Yahoo. It wastes energy, time, and bandwidth, and we think HTML can do better, perhaps with a standard library distributed with browsers.
As it stands, HTML <img> tags only point to one image file that may or may not render properly. It depends on the number of pixels and what kind of screen the image will be displayed on (mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.). If the number of pixels and the window’s minimum resolution requirements don’t vibe, the result is a downgraded image, which wastes bandwidth, or an ugly one. It would be nice if HTML could specify desired dimensions and have the server produce the right resolution.
There are other features we’d like to see with the next HTML iteration, which still has more than enough time to take shape into something truly game changing. What kind of changes would you like to see that would make Web development easier, quicker, and less prone to errors?