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Hour 24. Planning for the Future of HTML > XML: Unity in Diversity - Pg. 322

Planning for the Future of HTML 322 Meanwhile, HTML support is being included in every major software release so that every program on your computer will soon be able to import and export information in the form of HTML pages. In a nutshell, HTML is the glue that holds together all the diverse types of information on our computers and ensures that it can be presented in a standard way that will look the same to anyone in the world. In a business world that now sees fast, effective communication as the most common and most important task of its workers, the "information glue" of HTML has the power to connect more than different types of media. It is the hidden adhesive that connects a business to its customers and connects individual employees to form an efficient team. Knowing how to apply that glue--the skills you gained from this book--puts you in one of the most valuable roles in any modern organization. The Digital Media Revolution The most important changes in the next few years might not be in HTML itself, but in the audience you can reach with your HTML pages. Many Web site developers hope that Internet-based content will have enough appeal to become the mass-market successor to television and radio. Less opti- mistic observers note that the global communications network has a long way to go before it can even deliver television-quality video to most users, or reach a majority of the world's populace at all. I won't pretend to have a magic mirror that lets me see how and when HTML becomes a mass- market phenomenon, but one thing is certain: All communication industries, from television to tel- ephony, are moving rapidly toward exclusively digital technology. As they do so, the lines between communication networks are blurring. New Internet protocols promise to optimize multimedia trans- missions at the same time new protocols allow wireless broadcasters to support two-way interactive transmissions. The same small satellite dish can give you both Internet access and high-definition TV.