HTML5: Winning Developer Hearts and Minds--but With Some Holdouts
OmniTI, which focuses on Web applications and Internet architectures, does a lot of HTML5 development for enterprise clients. Robert Treat, chief operating officer at OmniTI, said the company is typically called in for one of two situations when it comes to HTML5.
Ty Amell, CEO of StackMob, which provides a hosted HTML5 development environment, also said he is seeing a surge of enterprise interest in HTML5. "We've seen a nice uptick, especially in the enterprise," Amell said. "We have a multi-tenant environment, and we have a custom install where we go in with a system integrator and enterprises want to get their legacy systems into the hands of their mobile workforce. … HTML5 is great for responsive design and the ability to reuse code across devices."
Despite its many positives, among the problems with HTML5 right now is that "a lot of the platforms don't allow you to get access to the hardware," Mozilla's Heilmann said. So for example in the Firefox OS device, developers can access the camera, can access the accelerometer and can have a full database where they can store content.
But if they want to roll their Firefox OS app out to all the other platforms, in iOS they don't get access to the accelerometer and the camera from an HTML5 application; they have to create a native application for that, he said. And there are different specifications for different platforms. For example, iOS uses Web SQL for databases, whereas Chrome, IE and Firefox use IndexedDB, he added.
"So the shock that a lot of native developers have is that there are differences between the different browsers and the platforms that you have to work around," Heilmann said. "But that's why you have abstraction layers like libraries and APIs to take these differences away from the developer."
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