The advent of HTML5 has revolutionized the traditional web scene (and sense). In particular, HTML5’s mandatory support for incorporating the ever-increasing number of APIs* into browsers has enable web pages to function more and more like desktop applications. This empowerment has brought about new possibilities and opportunities for the next generation of web applications that are more autonomous and can work offline, on multi-platforms, free of third party plug-ins and less reliant on server-side scripting. In the foreseeable future, it is not unimaginable that the web browser will replace our traditional metaphor of desktops on our computers, that of a web-based desktop.
Wow, the future of web landscape looks excitingly promising. However, reaching this stage is not without its challenges. For one thing, the supports of the current browsers must be improved and streamlined. For another, the awareness and education on HTML5 APIs among the web communities must be stepped up. Some would have argued about “the chicken or the egg” causality dilemma. I would argue that both can proceed in parallel.
Over the years, HTML5 specification has added a bag full of APIs that cover a wide spectra of functionality and features that power the future web browsers and mobile devices. In this article, we will dip into the HTML5 API grab bag and draw out one of them for discussion and exploration – Geolocation.