I just read today that support for the HTML canvas element has been checked in to the Mozilla source tree. As far as I know, this makes Mozilla the first browser to implement any part of the Web Applications 1.0 specification (still in working draft form at the moment).

For the uninitiated, the WHATWG is a loose collaboration of parties interested in extending current Web behavior to more appropriately support Web applications. This group, which has no relation to the W3C, has published several specifications relating to the extending of HTML. The one that has garnered the most interest to this point is Web Forms 2.0, which calls for extensions to the normal form components for use with Web applications.

The canvas element, part of Web Applications 1.0, allows developers to draw to a section of a Web page by using JavaScript. This could effectively be used for any number of things, including making custom controls and eliminating the need for downloadable graphics. Thanks to Mozilla for once again paving the way for Web advancement!

Update: Jose correctly pointed out that Safari 2.0 will also support the canvas element. Looks like Internet Explorer may really be left in the dust sometime soon.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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