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

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


"In the past when we would have embarked on a new tool, we typically would have built that natively in C++ using one of our UI libraries for Adobe tools and deployed that across Mac and Windows," Shorten said.

 "A number of the new Edge tools we've been working on—including Edge code, which is a coding environment for HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, and also Edge Reflow, which is a tool that helps designers with communicating responsive design layout—we've actually built from the ground up using HTML, JavaScript and CSS," he said.

Shorten also noted that Adobe has delivered products like Muse, where the target audience is a print designer or graphic designer who does not have a lot of knowledge about coding but still wants to take advantage of the Web platform—to take their design skills and target the Web. Muse leverages HTML5 and CSS.

Meanwhile, there is a vast array of HTML5 frameworks—as well as JavaScript frameworks—available for developers, many of which are open source. Among the commercially available frameworks are those from Sencha and Appcelerator. Sencha's tools support HTML5 development for desktop and mobile applications.

"Sencha gives us a massive step forward in developing rich Web applications by delivering one of the best HTML5 frameworks on the market," said Craig Walker, CTO of Xero, an online accounting software maker and Sencha customer. "We use the modern UI components, layouts and core framework to save time and keep our developers focused on writing app code."

However, Nolan Wright, CTO and co-founder of Appcelerator, said the challenge with HTML5 as it relates to mobile is that it has not been able to meet the user experience bar set by native applications. The other issue with HTML5 is that the existing mobile Web browsers do not uniformly implement the standard, so developers still have to deal with differences between browser vendors and versions much like they do with the desktop Web browsers.

"Our approach is slightly different," he said. "We are enabling developers to use Web technologies like JavaScript to deliver native mobile applications. We believe this approach offers the best of both worlds: leverage Web technologies and Web developers without sacrificing anything on the user experience front.

"We are also seeing that user experience matters for B2B [business-to-business] and B2E [business-to-employee] apps just as much as it does for B2C [business-to-consumer] apps. Trends like BYOD [bring your own device] and BYOA [bring your own applications] are impacting the ability of the enterprise to mandate mobile application adoption. The result is that enterprises realize they must deliver great user experience for all mobile applications, but it's not really feasible for them to staff teams of native developers," Wright said.

StackMob's Amell agrees that the downside to HTML5 is that it doesn't match the expectations of consumers as compared with native apps. But he says he believes "HTML5 will eventually win. We're not there yet; we're probably a couple of years out. We can't meet all the consumer apps the way people want them. But you just won't continue to see people building the same app over and over for all these different platforms."



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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