“it’s dead!” “no it isn’t!” “yes it is!” “is it?” (96)

Back in August of last year (can’t believe I’m saying “last year”) I posted on Wired magazine’s article proclaiming the death of the Web (found here).  At that time I questioned “Could the web really be dead?”  I didn’t think so, and neither did the authors when you got right down to it, but it caught my attention as something worthy of comment.

Well, the folks down at MIT apparently didn’t buy this eulogy either.  In the December issue of Technology Review, Bobbie Johnson’s article “The Web is Reborn” explains how HTML5 creates a web that is more full of vim and vigor than the first day it came into existence.  So why would one group of people declare the death of the web and another declare it’s rebirth, all within a matter of 5 months?

As noted in the other post, some of the folks at Wired declare the death of the web basically due to the birth of smart devices that use Apps.  Why go to the web when one can simply pull up an app on their device to find the information they need.  Take for instance apps like Urban Spoon and Yelp.  Why go to the web to try to find a decent restaurant in an unfamiliar city when I can simply pull up an app on my phone that will let me find exactly what I want?  Well, this is true to a degree, but even the guys at Wired had a hard time seriously declaring the death of the web.  And now Technology Review is saying that the web is enjoying a rebirth.  I am more tempted to believe this than I am the death of something that has become such a huge part of my life.

So what makes HTML5 so much different than what we currently have?  It’s ability to integrate media is one factor.  Johnson states that “the language will also have tags for video and audio, which should dramatically streamline the way the Web handles multimedia: it will be as easy for a Web developer to incorporate a film clip or a song as it is to place text and images” (49).  Apparently drag and drop is going to become common place in web design as well.  So what does this mean?  Well, Johnson believes that one implication is that “the next-generation Web will be more open to artistry” (52).  I think this is a positive move forward for the Web.  If HTML5 will make it easier for everyone to design and be producers on the web, then I look forward to its acceptance by the powers that be.  According to the stats listed in the article, the folks at Internet Explorer have a long way to go in accepting the HTML5 standard.  currently, they only support 27% or the protocol and are only expected to support 77% by 2011 of later (Johnson 52).  The ones who will support he most of HTML5 at 96% in the future are projected to be Firefox and Chrome.

Bottom line?  The web is not dead and is not expected to be anytime soon with the invigorating shot in the arm it is getting with HTML5.

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