In this video, Managing Editor Julie Campagna interviews Paul Gubbay, VP of engineering at Adobe, to get some perspective on HTML5: Is it ready for prime time? Who's using it and why? And how is the Dreamweaver(R) team supporting users who are eager to explore HTML5 today? Transcript.
Julie: Hi, I'm Julie Campagna. I manage the Edge newsletter. There's been a lot of talk about HTML5 lately. We thought it was time to get a reality check. So today, we're in Southern California and we'd thought we'd swing by and visit with Paul Gubbay. Paul is a Dreamweaver champion. He's been working with the Dreamweaver team for years now, most recently focusing on HTML5. Let's go chat with Paul.
Julie: Well, first I want to say thanks for letting us come over and interrupt your busy day so that you can set the record straight about HTML5. First, what is HTML5?
Paul: Wow. Well, I guess, in its simplest form, it's the evolution of HTML. What I think it means for most people is a new set of functionality that you're going to be able to take advantage of - ehspecially for a web professional. It's going to feel incremental to you in terms of how you take advantage of it. But it's going to open up a whole new world of interesting things that you're going to be able to do.
Julie: What do you think is the biggest gating factor for wide‑spread HTML5 adoption?
Paul: Oh, it's the vendors. It's the browser vendors themselves. You've got two things. You've got the spec, which is very important, obviously. And it takes time, right? It takes time to develop a really good spec that people can agree on. And we're years and years out from getting there.
Julie: I hear rumors, and I'm sure you have as well, that HTML5 is a Flash killer. How do you respond to that?
Paul: I understand why people do think that. There's a lot of fud out there and there's a lot of other background behind why companies are saying the things they do. The reality is three things. One, you certainly can't do all the things you can do in Flash with HTML today. There's certainly differences in what you van do in the level of richness and depth, and things like that. Two, it's just not consistent. And it's gong to take a while until it's consistent. It's going to limit people a lot, in terms of just how far they can go, if they care about more than one device. Then the third thing is that you'd also have to assume that the Flash team's not going to do anything for the next five or six years. That's just not the DNA. The DNA is always been to push the envelope and be the blueprint for where we need to go. Nothing going to change, that's going to continue on.
I do not see it at all as a Flash killer. I get why people think that, or ask those questions. But I think it will play out. People will see that's just not the case at all.
Julie: What is the Dreamweaver team doing to prepare for HTML5? Or to prepare customers for HTML5?
Julie: So the Dreamweaver team just released an extension that brings HTML5 to Dreamweaver. Can you tell me a little bit about that?
Paul: Yes. It's called the HTML5 update pack. Free extension, download it, install it with CS 5, get a chance to play around with it. You get some starter templates. You get the built in code hinting. The live view updates to show all the stuff that you can do. And then of course, all this media query multi-screen stuff that we've put in there, which I got lots of great feedback from customers. They're pretty excited about playing around with that.
Julie: I'm a Dreamweaver user. Am I behind the curve?
Paul: The good news is, you're not behind the curve, at all. There's a lot of hype and excitement about HTML5. And really cool thing that you can see, that you can do. There's very few people who actually know how to do some of those things. And they work on only a certain set of devices. So you're not behind the curve. But now is a great time to really start understanding more about what it is. I think tools like Dreamweaver are going to go a long way to help you being able to do that. So one of the things you can do now is you can create classes with the same name. So you can use header, you can use footer. You can structure your page semantically, even today, with classes attached to divs. So that you're ready for an understand and thinking that way, as those elements become available and supported in the browsers that you're going after.
You can use HTML form elements. So there's a whole bunch of new things you can do with forms with HTML5. What's nice about that, and why you can use that now is that if you're using a modern browser that supports that stuff, great, you're going to have kick ass forms in your page. If you're using a browser that doesn't support it, it's just going to ignore that stuff.
So I think that's also a safer way that you can take advantage of that stuff. But at the same time, not really pay a penalty if it's not supported.
Other than that, I'd say it's all about just getting yourself familiar with it. It's learning what's out there. And most importantly, trying to figure out where it's available, based on what it is that you're trying to target. So don't make the mistake of going, "That's sexy and great. I'm going to go and do that." Then find out it just doesn't work at all in a browser that actually matters to your customers. So make sure you do that.
There's a good site called html5readiness.com that has a nice graphical way of showing you what types of HTML elements are available across different browsers. That can help.
The big take away for me is these are exciting times. These are exciting times for our customers. These are exiting times for us, because we get to do really interesting things for the customers. So look forward to a lot of compelling stuff I think you're going to see coming out of the Dreamweaver weaver team, and Adobe in general, around all or this.
Julie: Well there you have it. HTML5 is on the horizon, and it's a really great time to start preparing for it. If you're a Dreamweaver users, definitely visit Adobe Labs and download the Dreamweaver HTML5 extension pack and start exploring the ways that you can start using HTML5 now. If you want to learn more about Dreamweaver and HTML5, you can also visit the Adode Developer Connection. I hope you enjoy the edition of The Edge.