A couple of weeks ago I hosted an online webinar for JISC OER Rapid Innovation projects. Here I will attempt to summarise what was said about HTML5.
One of the projects that had the strongest dependency on HTML5 was XENITH (Xerte Experience Now Improved: Targeting HTML5) which was predicated on converting the Xerte online toolkit (a popular wizard-based approach to creating OERs) from Flash output to HTML5. This seems even more important now than it did when the project started, as we have seen an accelerating shift away from Flash to HTML5 on mobile platforms. Tellingly, we were told that once busy Flash mailing lists now have very little traffic, a sign that developers are deserting Flash tools.
One advantage that HTML5 has over Flash, highlighted by EA Draffan of the Synote Mobile project, is that in principle it should help make resources accessible to all. XERTE has a good record for supporting access, for example it will work through the JAWS screen reader, and Julian pointed to a disadvantage of HTML5: that the accessibility was left to the browser, and not as in the case of Flash under the control of the developer. This sentiment that was echoed by Josef Baker who has been working on displaying maths in HTML5 compared to pdf for the Maxtract project, who had found that neither accessible pdf nor HTML 5 worked as well for blind and visually impaired users as plain text.