Companies thinking of diving into HTML5 for their site will want to carefully consider all the advantages and pitfalls beforehand. Deutsche Welle, Germany’s national broadcaster, did. In a presentation to the recent Streaming Media Europe conference in London, Jan Petzold, a Deutsche Welle multimedia developer, gave the attendees plenty of room for though. For example, HTML5 is a big advantage to the visually impaired.
“Accessibility is a very important point. Visually impaired people, for example, might want to access your content and this has always been a problem for Flash, for example. Because if you put a Flash object on your website, it’s basically an alien object to the browser,” said Petzold, noting that HTML5 also helps search engines recognize media content. “Compared to Flash and Silverlight, either for search engines and for visually impaired people, HTML5 is a far better option.”
One member of the audience asked if different browsers would render HTML5 sites differently, as has been a problem with previous versions of HTML. While there would be differences, Petzold noted, they wouldn’t be as pronounced because all the browser makers — especially Microsoft — are committed to this standard.
“Firefox sometimes handles things different than Internet Explorer. The major things that changed, in my opinion is, as I said, we now have a consistent browser support, so Microsoft really made a clear commitment — ‘We want to support HTML5.’ They even — some people say they dropped Sliverlight. I wouldn’t say this. Silverlight is still existing, of course. I think it will always have some kind of market share, but in my opinion they favor HTML5,” suggested Petzold. “They are offering tutorials; they are creating tools for this; they are having a developer area around it. In the past, I think the problem has always been a bit like Microsoft not supporting standards, and this is no longer the case.”
To view the entire presentation, watch the video below.