10 apps pushing HTML5 to the limit

HTML5 is breathing new life into Web applications, hinting at major shifts in programming to come

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Along the way, PhobosLab also fixed a few other issues with the performance of the audio and the way that multitouch events are handled. The company found, for example, that the linkage between the audio and other parts of the program, such as the animation, wasn't consistent across platforms. Szablewski reports that the behavior of audio tags across the various browsers makes it difficult to synchronize sound with events -- an important element when writing games with bouncing balls. He's able to work with single platforms like the iPhone, but he's still not able to count on consistent performance in the wide range of browsers.

"I hope that this solution of reimplementing canvas and audio won't be needed anymore in a year or two, when the iPhone's browser has fixed all these issues," said Szablewski.

HTML5-optimized app No. 8: Walking Man

If you thought CSS files were just for choosing the size of fonts or the color of the background, take a look at Andrew Hoyer's Walking Man. The HTML is just a collection of DIVs that old pictures of the torso, arms, and legs. The CSS file changes the position of the DIVs, dynamically making the picture walk like a human. This wouldn't be amazing if it were done with JavaScript, but it's an eye-opening way to see the power of the WebKit animations in CSS that most of us never use.

HTML5-optimized apps No. 9 and 10: Google and Yahoo

If this were a truly fair list of extreme HTML5 projects, it's possible that Google and Yahoo would take up 70 to 90 percent of the entries.

From pathbreaking products like Gmail to the Java-to-JavaScript compiler known as Google Web Toolkit to the incomparable Google Maps, Google continues to push the edge of what the browser can do. And it's worth remembering that Yahoo was driving HTML5-like applications while Google was just a search company. Yahoo's User Interface libraries are still great, and there are many people who like Yahoo Mail much more than anything Google delivers.

Both Yahoo and Google engineers are major contributors to the HTML5 committees, and both companies continue to develop tools that help drive the standards. An open, capable Web browser helps both companies, and they devote the resources to nurturing it. This slick presentation from Google is just one example of its plans for expanding the power of the browser to drill down into the file system and work with individual bits. Will anyone dream of programming in C after seeing it? I'm not so sure.

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This article, "10 apps pushing HTML5 to the limit," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest news in software development, languages and standards, and HTML at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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