Corporate web designers were well aware that most of their customers had slow connections and would not tolerate much of a wait.
Even a simple black and white image could irritate a user, as it gradually appeared on the screen revealing itself one painful line at a time.
That began to change as modem speeds gradually crept up and content makers used more sophisticated methods to encode their multimedia content.
But since its invention in the early 1990s HTML has not supported video natively.
That is why HTML5 is being received so enthusiastically by businesses in particular. The latest version can perform all kinds of dynamic tasks and visual tricks. The web is progressing faster now than it has in a long time.
Application developers, like Kevin Sweeney who works at Vimeo, a video-sharing website based in New York, have already embraced the new tools that are built in to HTML5.
The iPod Touch, iPhone and lately the iPad have been especially good at leaving black holes on the screen, because the former boss of Apple, Steve Jobs, would not allow Flash to run on any of his iOS devices from the start.
The success of these products globally means many companies cannot ignore the need to re-code their entire websites in HTML5, especially the multimedia content.
Aaron Gustafson, author of the book Adaptive Web Design, says the versatility and dynamic nature of HTML5 means it can be used in new ways in different environments including the office and kitchen.
Google is pushing HTML5 hard, not surprising since the greater impact that web pages and apps have, the more advertising it can sell.
Its search homepage is traditionally sparse but many of the doodles, including the Jules Verne-inspired interactive submarine, are now being designed to take advantage of the newest code.
Jeff Harris, product manager for Google Docs, says HTML5 will change the way its services operate from the ground up.
HTML5 is partly responsible for the browser wars in the past few years.
Today desktop and mobile browsers update frequently as new HTML5 functions get incorporated.
Companies favour HTML5 because it can also replicate experiences previously only available inside an app, on the web. This is especially true for the mobile environment.
This is a trend that is likely to snowball within months.
Danny Winokur, the general manager of the Interactive Development Business at Adobe, says the future of Flash is not in doubt, especially since protecting high quality assets with DRM (Digital Rights Management) is not yet possible in HTML5.
Ideally of course the end user will not notice, or even care, that the web is being powered by a new updated set of code.
If HTML5 does its job properly, no-one outside the web development community will ever know about it!
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