Jen Simmons: HTML5 APIs

04 Apr

Jen Simmons’ HTML5 APIs session was an interesting look into the back-end of HTML5, an area that I’m not as familiar with. Lots of new goodness about how we can make HTML not only create a basic layout but actually devise interactions, storage and flexibility.

Presenters: Jen Simmons (@jensimmons)
Hashtag: #html5apis

Subway as a Competing Standards Metaphor

In NYC, part of issue was that 3 competitors were creating own subway lines – created confusing gridwork of paths

HTML5 API for Communication – Web Socket

  1. Original web needed http, URL and HTML – http wants the web to be a brochure rack
  2. AJAX allowed asynchronous updating
  3. what we want is a open connection = web socket
    • Doesn’t replace http – supplements by sharing an experience between two (or more) windows
    • Ex. Page on mobile acts as control for web page on desktop
  4. What can you do?
    • Real-time updates
    • Multiple people sharing a page
    • One person using multiple web windows on multiple devices at the same time
    • Ex. Multiple people watching a movie together as though it was a shared broadcast, incl. one person pausing for group
    • See “The Web Ahead #5”

HTML5 APIs for Storage

  1. Web Storage
    • Previously would create HTML, images and FTP it up
    • Then we went into separating HTML, CSS and data (style from content from database)
    • Web 2.0 – people could add information to your site
    • Web 3.0 – databases on the servers AND on the client side
    • Local Storage, Session storage, key|value pairs, IndexDb, WebSQL
    • What’s it for?
      • Allowing users to save data without an Internet connection
      • WordPress saving locally as a scratch pad until upload to main server
  2. Application Cache
    • Allows users to continue to use a site even without connection to web
    • Can download the pieces to work offline
    • Great potential for preventing data loss on connection loss
  3. Files
    • Web seems separate from computer – this helps connect them
    • File API, File Reader / Writer / System, Blob URLs / Blob Builder, Drag and Drop -gives a website the chance to understand file concepts
    • See “The Web Ahead #14”

HTML5 APIs for Content

  1. Device APIs
    • Websites are able to directly interact with devices
    • Ex. Vibration API on Webkit
    • Website can also read data FROM device (volume on/off, orientation, battery life)
  2. WebGL
    • Allows complex graphics to be rendered directly in browser – tTop use idea is gaming, but what are other applications?
  3. Vehicle API – to interact with car data so car could send diagnostics or mpg data but could also help people do self-diagnostic

“An innovator isn’t someone who creates something out of nothing. An innovator is someone who wakes up to the constraints caused by false assumptions, and breaks them.”

My Tweets During Session

  • @jensimmons says Web Socketing is a way 2 augment FTP using a bidirectional, always open connection. Think auto-refresh on speed #html5apis
  • Application Cache allows use of a site even without connection to web; great potential for preventing data loss @ connection loss #html5apis


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