The future of web apps



One of the main purposes of the next generation of web technologies such as HTML5 is to get all those multimedia and interactive elements, which today can be achieved only by using plugins and make them part of the standard HTML DOM (also accessible by the JavaScript/CSS/etc).

For example, to embed a video today, most of the web sites use Flash, which requires a plugin and the embeded flash movie is not controllable. In HTML5, a video is inserted, similar to the way images are inserted in the previous versions: today, we insert an image, using something like <img src=”file.jpg”>, video will be inserted in HTML5, using the markup similar to <video src=”video.ogg”>.

We will be able to manipulate the video with JavaScript/CSS/etc just like every other element of the DOM. More about the html5’s <video> tag here.

But the technology, which I am personally most excited about is WebGL. As you can tell, it will be a web standard for 3d graphics. It is currently in early development stage but the idea is to get full 3D games and graphics, over the web, without having to install anything.

Today, if you want to play a high-quality 3D game, you have to install it on your computer and run it from there. The idea of WebGL is to get everything you need to play the game with one click, over the web, as part of a website. Technically speaking, WebGL itself will be a JavaScript API. It will be working together with the new features of HTML5, such as the new client-side storage API, the <canvas> element and the new websockets interface.

Here is a demonstration of the popular Quake game, running in a web browser with no plugins:

As you can see the technology world is moving slowly to the cloud computing concept which means that web applicaitons will be becomming better and better untill, one day the desktop software is gone…