HTML5: Winning Developer Hearts and Minds--but With Some Holdouts

By Darryl K. Taft


Desktop-as-a-Service Designed for Any Cloud ? Nutanix Frame

"So the main problem that HTML5 still has is that the native platforms like Android and iOS don't give us full access to the hardware and don't treat HTML5 applications with the same rights that they treat native applications," said Heilmann. "That is partly a security thing, and it is partly a thing that they want to maintain a native environment because both platforms make a lot of money with native applications and by saying, 'Hey if you want this, then you have to buy an iPhone because it will not be out for Android'—which I consider unfair to the end user," Heilmann said.

"These are the main stumbling blocks that people not coming from the Web see for the first time. But changing it for the different platforms is rather trivial compared to building your application in six different formats and rolling it out to six different distribution platforms," he said.

For his part, Franco said with HTML5, "It's easier to code errors and much harder to find errors when you code them."

Franco attributes the growth in HTML5 usage directly to the decline of Adobe's Flash, and he says the decline of Flash stems directly from Apple's decision not to support it on iOS. Indeed, there is the famous Steve Jobs post from 2010, where he says:

"Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript—all open standards. Apple's mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new Web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets Web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member."

Franco said he knew Flash was definitely on the decline when, at the unveiling of the Apple iPad in 2010, Jobs displayed a slide with the word "Flash" and a question mark on it. "Apple was putting a stake in the ground with HTML5, so Flash has been on a decline for a few years now," he said.

"Two years ago, 90 percent of our work was in Flash; now a majority of what we do is HTML5 and JavaScript," Franco said. "Flash was a great Web application environment, and in my mind the world took a step backward when we started to back away from Flash. It's really a good development environment, but because of the trend of not supporting Flash apps, we really had no choice."

Meanwhile, Adobe itself is embracing HTML5 and is helping to advance the standard. Andrew Shorten, product manager of the Web segment products for Adobe Creative Cloud, said Adobe's been supporting HTML5 since 2010 in its Creative Suite 5 and has continued support it since, based on customer demand.

"We're seeing the use cases of when you can use HTML5 growing significantly," Shorten told eWEEK. With a "number of the new tools Adobe is working on, we're making that jump and building tools using HTML5 ourselves," he said.

Originally published on .

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