While at Paris Web 2010 we were all impressed by the presentation and demos by Paul Rouget on HTML5 (tech evangelist must be a hard job!). Here is my take and a few URLs on the things that were presented.

http://hacks.mozilla.org/wp-content/themes/Hacks2010/img/mozilla.png
  • Websockets with persistent connections between the server and the browser. That way you can avoid pulling information every 5 seconds, the server can tell the web page a new info is available. The immediate uses we have for this are :
    • realtime feed display
    • jabber web chat rooms
    • in cubicweb's forge : new comment indication on a ticket
    • in cubicweb in general : notification that the edited element has been openned by another user (instead of a lock mechanism)
    • real time collaborative editing (etherpad style functionality)
  • File upload demo : http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/uploadingFiles/
  • File EXIF extraction, client side resize or geolocalisation http://demos.hacks.mozilla.org/openweb/FileAPI/ . That could be very cool for things such as resizing an image before it is sent to the server (you know, for your mother who doesn't know how to resize that 2 Mbytes photo before sending it to the site). Reference : https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Using_files_from_web_applications
  • Using File IO, you can do some heavy Drag'n'drop from your computer to your browser directly in the browser (yes, you can get rid of that nasty java applet). Apparently Google implemented in Chromium a non-standard drag'n'drop the other way around : from the web app to your desktop, which could be cool as well.
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/5085028912_173337f0ba.jpg
  • XHR - XMLHttpRequest. Usually this type of requests is not possible cross-domain. Now they will be (with an authorization mechanism). That way, you will be able to post and control websites from the page in your browser.
  • Audio Data API : you can now access & modify audio files directly in your browser (before uploading them server side). This makes me think of the first time I realized people where implementing traditionally "heavy" applications (photo editing, music editing, even movie edition) in web applications. I was (and still am) very surprised and skeptic, but this kind of evolution makes me believe that there can be a day when you don't even need to send massive files to the server to edit them.
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/191/513636061_98d07f7966_t.jpg

Admittedly, you probably need to see the thrilling presentation and demos to be tempted to go and dip into these technologies. Reading the documentation will probably not encourage you to go and code some cool new features.

One of the things that the audience commented about at the end of the presentation is that there was still a huge lack of "authoring tools" for HTML5. For some coders that never leave vim or emacs, this is heresy, but we have to admit that the adoption of flash and silverlight (apparently) is very much driven by simple click'n'program tools.

http://www.mozilla.org/images/minefield_168.png

During the presentation, I used a Chrome 6 that I had lying around on my Ubuntu, but by the end of the presentation I had installed Firefox4 using the mozilla PPA

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-mozilla-daily/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -uVf install firefox-4.0

The PPA version keeps config files separate so you can easily switch between your "standard" Firefox3 profile and the cutting edge Firefox4 (obviously the big downside is not having all your cool extensions).

The only thing missing from the presentation was the code... a request I hope Paul will grant to the community (a bunch of tweets about that followed the presentation).

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