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Intouch Team

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This is not an article about a new boy band. Instead, it’s about some other “new kids on the block” making noise in and around the Web: HTML5 and CSS3.

What is HTML?

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language — it’s the primary programming language to write content for websites.

What is CSS?

CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. It defines and controls the visual aspects of a website.

Why the current buzz?

HTML had not been updated since 2000 — so last year the Web started buzzing when the update came out to the coding language. And, at roughly the same time, CSS got an update as well. Now the two are being offered up as the alternative to Flash — or even as the future of the Web.

HTML5 features

In a nutshell, HTML5 introduces new elements into browsers that previously weren’t available. These features include:

  • Canvas, a tool which — in conjunction with JavaScript — gives the ability to create interactive Flash-like animations and applications
  • Abilities to play video and audio content without Flash
  • Semantic improvements that help search engines find the relevant data
  • New form elements for creating common form components like spin boxes, sliders, date and color pickers
  • And much more

CSS3 features

CSS3 introduces new style properties to produce visuals that weren’t previously possible, or required more time to implement. Some of these features include:

  • Animations — perform tasks like fading, rotating and scaling (without any JavaScript or Flash)
  • New selectors — more options in selecting and manipulating elements on an HTML page
  • Media queries to target specific devices (like mobile phones, or a tablet device such as the iPad)
  • Text and box shadows, rounded corners, gradients, multiple backgrounds and more

What does this new technology offer?

At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be a need to start coding all websites in HTML5 and CSS3 because not all browsers support these new technologies. Just as viewing new high-definition movies and TV shows requires an HDTV, viewing new HTML5 content requires users to have some of the latest browsers. Some browsers don’t support it at all or have inconsistent support. It’s a good idea to periodically check your website analytics to understand which browsers your visitors are most often using.

Marketers might think that HTML5 and CSS3 are the new �it’ items that they have to have—but limiting the message might not seem like the best business practice when trying to reach wider audiences.

However, since the health care industry, and more specifically pharma companies, is increasingly relying on modern PC tablets and iPads to drive sales and product information, so will be the need to start implementing HTML5 and CSS3 since those products don’t support Flash.

Is the future spelled HTML5 and CSS3? Only time will tell.

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