EDGE and HTML5

It's a web standards thing.

We're glad you're reading this page: it means you've noticed the new design of our network and are curious about it. EDGE is (arguably) the most technologically-hip media company for the gay and lesbian community, and we're always excited to talk about our efforts to stay in step with the rapid pace of new developments on the web and mobile devices.

The site you're viewing right now has been entirely coded in HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets 3 (CSS3) and Javascript. It launched in June 2010 after three months of intensive research and development by our coding team, and was one of the web's first entirely HTML5 websites. Being on the bleeding "edge" isn't always easy, but it has advantages.

Advantages

First, you'll notice our network pages load much faster now; that's because we've completely separated the "semantics" of our site from its design: one of the overarching goals of these emerging new web standards. Later this year, you'll also enjoy a newly-redeveloped mobile EDGE, which will restructure the exact same code from our web network for use on your phones, tablets, and other reading devices - but even now, you'll find that surfing the EDGE network requires far less battery life than it did previously.

Second, we've finally made a concerted effort to make EDGE accessible to those blind and hearing-impaired members of our community. New tags, concise layout, and support for alternative browsing software and devices were paramount concerns in our redesign phase.

Third, we're able to deliver new features such as animations and dynamic HTML via web standards for the first time. When you see interactivity on our HTML5 website, you're not experiencing a plug-in, or a Flash movie. You're experiencing some of the latest features available to web designers thanks to CSS3. Our photo albums, hero positions, and other areas yet to be launched take full advantage of new technologies to deliver a better experience for our readers: more content, less page refreshing, happier community.

And finally, we've optimized downloads by limiting our code and graphics to necessary components only. You won't notice this in our design, thanks to a new, hip, smarter interface for our media properties. But we've combed through our front-end design with X-ray vision, ensuring quick access, clear discoverability of user interface, and attractively presented editorial. Our navigation has moved to the top of the page and we've redeveloped just about every other element of our network in a number of ways - but ideally, you shouldn't "feel" as if the new interface is complicated. We've worked to make it feel easy and breezy (just for you Covergirls).

Disadvantages

So what are the drawbacks to using all this hip new technology? Really, there's only one: it requires a modern web browser or mobile device to display our network with all its newest features. We've worked very hard to ensure that our content displays well in *all* browsers - but if you want to experience EDGE as we've designed it to look, you'll want to be using the latest version of your preferred software. We've tested our new network on Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Firefox, among others, on both Mac and PC platforms. Most users have reported issues with Internet Explorer 7 or prior - these issues are completely corrected by upgrading to Internet Explorer 8, which is freely available from the homepage of the Microsoft website.

Adobe Flash

We've also removed virtually all Flash from our network. Flash is a proprietary technology that does not comply with the open standards model of the web; as such, its future is questionable at best. Those web developers among our audiences will notice that some of our content - that coming from third parties - is still delivered in flash format. We're working with those partners to increase compliance with HTML5 as soon as they can. In the interim, some of you (particularly those on Apple devices) will be unable to view this content.

Tell us what you think!

We're always interested in hearing from our readers and community; if you have comments about our new design, or are encountering issues navigating or accessing content on our network, please drop us a line and let us know. We take comments and criticism quite seriously, and make every effort to respond to every email we receive. We'd like to thank those of you who have already sent in wonderful comments about our work, and we'd like to thank all of our readers for visiting our network. You are the reason we are here.

Sincerely,
The EDGE Media Network Team