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Best of TOC 2012 by O'Reilly Radar Team

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Chapter 3. Publishing Tech and Tools

A Sensible Look at HTML5 and Publishing

By Jenn Webb

EPUB 3 and Kindle Format 8 both boast support for HTML5, but what exactly is HTML5 and what is its role in publishing? For insight on these questions — and practical ways HTML5 can be used by publishers — I reached out to Sanders Kleinfeld (@sandersk), author of “HTML5 for Publishers.”

Our interview follows.

Why should publishers care about HTML5?

Sanders Kleinfeld: HTML5 is the future of digital publishing. If you’re a publisher who’s interested in staying competitive in the ebook landscape, it’s quite crucial that you understand what HTML5 is all about.

So what is HTML5, exactly? The term is thrown around a lot, but it seems undefined.

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Sanders Kleinfeld: The term “HTML5” is indeed used very fluidly in tech discourse, and it has really become a signifier for a constellation of different technologies, some only loosely related to actual HTML markup. When people refer to HTML5, they’re usually talking about some combination of the following next-generation web technologies: Canvas, geolocation, native audio/video, local storage, and CSS3.

In your book, you instruct readers on using the <canvas> element. What is that and why is it helpful?

Sanders Kleinfeld: The <canvas> element allows you to embed an interactive sketchpad into your web or ebook content. You can control it with JavaScript. Because the ...

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