HTML5 - Trickling in
HTML5 is on the way.
For most people on the planet, this statement elicits a blank stare and perhaps a simple, "What's a 'hutml'?" response. For those of us in the business of bringing kickass websites to life, however, it brings a mixture of hope and nervous tension. HTML5 certainly won't solve the myriad of hassles associated with web development and, in the short-term, may actually create more headaches as developers manage the quagmire of legacy browser compatibility.
With HTML4 rapidly approaching its tenth birthday (that's like, 746 in code-years), it's time for change. Think of the Web ten years ago as compared to now. It was a totally different beast and HTML5 is a step in the right direction to unlock even more potential and ease the dissemination of information. As someone once said, "Change is good." From structure to semantics to multimedia control, HTML5 will deliver much-desired functionality to the development community which will improve the overall experience across the board.
There is lots of information out there about the HTML5 roll-out (like this and this and even this) and tools that test your current browser's compatibility. 2012 seems to be the go-to date for initial/'final-draft' phase but even Ian Hickson, the HTML5 spec editor, is putting the time table for complete roll-out in the VERY distant future (well... in internet time, at least). In the meantime, expect to see browser updates that start to work in small portions of the eventual full-release which will result in new and improved web-browsing and functionality.
So please, update your browsers and enjoy the goodness.