SXSW 2012: HTML5 APIs Will Change the Web: And Your Designs

Jen Simmons (@jensimmons)
Designer & Consultant,


Presentation Description

HTML5. It’s more than paving the cowpaths. It’s more than markup. There’s a lot of stuff in the spec about databases and communication protocols and blahdiblah backend juju. Some of that stuff is pretty radical. And it will change how you design websites. Why? Because for the last twenty years, web designers have been creating inside of a certain set of constraints. We’ve been limited in what’s possible by the technology that runs the web. We became so used to those limits, we stopped thinking about them. They became invisible. They Just Are. Of course the web works this certain way. Of course a user clicks and waits, the page loads, like this… but guess what? That’s not what the web will look like in the future. The constrains have changed. Come hear a non-nerd explanation of the new possibilities created by HTML5’s APIs. Don’t just wait around to see how other people implement these technologies. Learn about HTML APIs yourself, so you can design for and create the web of the future.

Presentation Notes

Web Sockets

The current web is set up to make requests (polling) back and forth from the web server. However, this is an issue when you want to constantly update data from the server. There are new technologies to get around this, such as WebSockets using Comet, Kaazing, Jetty, or CometD.

What to do?

  • Real-time updates of content on a single web page
  • Multiple people using single page, seeing each others activity immediately
  • One person using multiple web windows on multiple devices at the same time

See The Web Ahead episode 5, a pod cast by the presenter.

Web Storage

WebSQL is a way to store a local copy of a database on the client. There are also local storage, session storage, and key-value pairs. This allows you to let the user save data locally without the need for server communication. Imagine being able to temporarily save data on the client, but not push it to the website until you’re done making edits. See The Web Ahead episode 1.


File API, File Reader/Writer/System, Bob URLs (Blob Builder), and Drag & Drop are now available. Browsers, even before the data goes to the server, can now open the file and see it. This will allow for editing before ever submitting it (such as a simple version of photoshop with image brightness/saturation).


Samples on Google

Posted in SXSW 2012.

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