HTML5 is the fifth and most recent overhaul of the markup language used to present and structure web content.
It was the most crucial of all the updates, given its release around the time of the mobile boom.
With Adobe Flash proving to be a significant drain on resources and delivering a poor user experience, HTML5 helped fill the void.
That was seven years ago though and a lot has changed since then, which begs the question as to when we can expect HTML6 to rear its head.
The simple answer is that there doesn’t look like being a definitive date for its release.
Instead, HTML6 will be introduced steadily over time, as part of new iterative updates.
WHATWG – the organization that oversees the HTML specification – is passionate about adopting a ‘living document’ that can usher in smaller but more frequent updates to the HTML specification.
Industry success stories for HTML5
The eLearning industry has been one of the biggest successes for HTML5 technology.
With Adobe phasing out support for Flash-based eLearning products, HTML5 was needed to convert training programs into responsive, cross-platform experiences.
Multi-device accessibility has become increasingly popular for eLearning courses.
Individuals are more likely to use smartphones and tablets to consume content-heavy courses on the go.
HTML5 has also made it possible to convert courses that have been historically lengthy in Flash into smaller bite-sized modules to support microlearning.
HTML5 technology has also had a seismic impact on the iGaming sector, which has experienced a tremendous shift towards casual mobile traffic.
The development in graphics, design, and functionality has made it possible that nowadays casino games such as online slots are fully responsive.
Thanks to HTML5, these titles are designed with the sole focus of delivering an engaging and immersive product that players can enjoy regardless of device or screen size – without compromising on the overall feel or theme of a game.
What can we expect from HTML6 in its various guises?
While we have a lot to thank HTML5 for, including support for HD-quality video and audio, offline local storage, and responsive user experience, there are plenty of new and exciting additions expected from HTML6 in the coming months and years.
One of the biggest changes anticipated for web browsers with HTML6 is the arrival of native modals.
In addition, there are reports that suggest HTML6 will enable web browsers to resize imagery to deliver the best possible viewing experience for users.
At the present time, browsers are only programmed to alter image sizes or designs when the page breaks, and so struggle to display the optimal image size based on window size.
A new tag could enable browsers to autonomously select more than one image size to provide the sharpest visuals.
When it comes to the customization of on-page menus, the UI and OL tags are not always fit for purpose in their current format.
It’s possible a new menu tag that’s capable of handling interactive elements of a menu more freely could be part of an HTML6 release.
This would enable menus to cope with list elements activated when users press buttons within a menu.
Anchor elements of a web page could be linked to JSON/XML API endpoints to enable browsers to load essential on-page data, radically overhauling page responsivity and page load speed times.
So, while we should not expect the fanfare of an HTML6 release in one go, this shift to a set of living standards for webpage user experience is increasingly important in the cross-platform world we now live in.
These changes will certainly improve the agility of 21st-century web development, acting as a gamechanger for web layouts whilst optimizing resource performance.