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

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2013-05-30 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Sardo said that when he looks back a few years, he can say Microsoft really put a big bet on HTML5. The company saw the Web was growing and that developers expected more from it—more features, more capabilities, more performance, he said.

"It was like if this was Las Vegas, then we went all in on HTML5," Sardo told eWEEK. "We made a huge investment, starting from the browser with IE9. That included work with W3C and we worked on interoperability. We emphasized performance. And we continued that over time with IE10. And then with Windows we took it to the next level, where we said, if HTML5 is the lingua franca of the Web and Web developers are using HTML and JavaScript, why don't we use it to also build applications?

"And so what we did with Windows 8 is we redesigned our operating system to run HTML5 applications natively in the browser. So we get rid of all the layers in the middle, and we really allow for the first time—this is really groundbreaking—we're allowing HTML5 to power not just Websites, but also native applications on the platform," said Sardo.

"With Windows, when we think about making applications with HTML5, we wanted to be able to take exactly the same code, with exactly the same language and with exactly the same developers, and give them the opportunity to express their new experiences in the form of an app, in the form of something they can distribute through a store and monetize that application," he said. "That's where we re-engineered the Windows runtime to run apps using exactly the same HTML5 as for Websites; now you can use it to build Windows applications."

However, Jason Beres, senior vice president of developer tools at Infragistics, begs to differ, in a certain sense. According to Beres, one of the things holding back broader adoption of HTML5 is a lack of tooling support.

"Microsoft really has nothing for HTML5 development," he said. "They say they do, but basically what they have is IntelliSense. Visual Studio is the best IDE in the world, but not for HTML5 development. The big IDE vendors just don't have a great story here. That's a big issue—the tooling is immature."

Of course, infragistics is willing to help fill in the gap with its own tools, such as Ignite UI, its HTML5 toolset.

EffectiveUI's Franco said he believes Microsoft's HTML5 tools are acceptable in the Microsoft environment, "but half the world is not Microsoft [based]."

Yet this point is somewhat moot to Mozilla's Heilmann, who noted that "the tooling itself is still very much in its infancy for the reason that there is actually no one SDK for the Web. It depends on the use case. A lot of the libraries that we use for desktop development are far too heavy for mobile environments."

While HTML5 has been slower to catch on with consumer apps, it is moving into the enterprise. Beres said he has seen a definite move to support HTML5 in the enterprise. "Last year we had enterprise customers asking us about HTML5, but they just wanted to know what we had; they wanted demos but they weren't building anything," he said.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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