Apple's launch of Safari 5 made it final: the marketing people have snatched the term "HTML5" away from the developers.
HTML5 is the next version of the Hypertext Markup Language standard for creating Web pages. The standard has lain fallow for a decade, but passionate, persistent developers resuscitated it with new features ranging from built-in video to 2D graphics.
But there's a reason a minority of the population knows how to program: it's complicated. So it's no surprise that when it comes time to pitch a product, the marketing folks step in with the tasteful packaging to make it all comprehensible.
In Apple's case, it was an HTML5 demo page. There have been plenty of such pages before, and there will be plenty more to come, but few in the tech world are up to the caliber of Apple's marketing staff. Apple's HTML5 demos offer swirling iPods, tasteful typographic technology, elaborately transforming photos, and other eye candy.
Hackles raised Apple lending its marketing might sounds like a dream come true for developers who'd spent years struggling to make the case for HTML5, right? Umm, not so much.
Apple's programmers with the WebKit browser engine project that underlies Safari have been among the HTML5 allies, but Apple's marketing staff evidently are less collegial. Apple's site blocked other browsers, with the following message:
You'll need to download Safari to view this demo.
This demo was designed with the latest Web standards supported by Safari. If you'd like to experience this demo, simply download Safari. It's free for Mac and PC, and it only takes a few minutes.
It doesn't quite say that other browsers don't support HTML5, but it most definitely is a marketing pitch for Safari.
It should come as no surprise to see Apple touting its products, but the way it did so raised hackles. … Read more