Will HTML5 Take Over The World?


There have been a number of postings recently on the whole HTML5 vs Flex/Silverlight. I imagine there are a number of software engineers who see the Apple roadmap of no Flash player and only HTML5 richness as a possible reason to hedge their skillset. Adobe among others are adding HTML5 tools in readiness of the HTML5 RIA wave :)

Laurent Bugnion offers some answers based on where we are today from a Silverlight vs JavaScript perspective.

What is clear is that over the next year or so the JavaScript landscape will begin to change, and improve. Just take a look at DataTables – even a sample using WCF services :)

In my view Silverlight/Flex still win when building large enterprise applications. .NET offers a nice language, a rich framework, and with the latest release of Visual Studio, a great development environment. Don’t get me wrong, the JavaScript frameworks have improved massively over the last few years, and they will only get better, as will the IDE support – but we are not there yet when compared to the productivity of being in a .NET world.

With the iPad wave I think an equally relevant question to ask is: Should I go HTML5 or Objective-C? At least with HTML5 I can still use Rx :) Objective-C although of interest to learn many years ago just looks like it will never keep pace with .NET – Oracle Java can’t event achieve this. Most software engineers have already used JavaScript in their careers, and have either Java or .NET skills as well. Thus maybe HTML5 will win in the “i” world?

At least however this HTML5 wave is causing the browser vendors to enter into JavaScript performance race :)

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6 Responses to “Will HTML5 Take Over The World?”

  1. I’m a long term reader of your blog and work in FS. Your blind focus on Silverlight as the platform for delivery of FS applications is really hard to watch. Exec use of iPads is soaring on Wall Street and any of your Silverlight stuff or Flex stuff like Morgan Matrix is a non starter.

    • Not sure I agree with the “blind” focus. I oversee development of numerous applications with lots of different technologies. Hence all I am saying is that the HTML5 toolset needs to improve – I suspect most people would agree.

      Sencha Touch is impressive. HTML will take over the world, but not today. In a year, maybe.

  2. Zero-touch/low-impact deployment is often see as a core requirement in the FS world. Sure Silverlight/Flex require plugins, but rightly or wrongly the deployment of these plugins is commonly seen by infrastructure depts as a lower risk than upgrading their web browser to support HTML5.

    I know a number of banks that are still using IE6 (with Flex and Silverlight plugins) with no obvious plans to upgrade to a browser that supports HTML5.

    Perhaps this point alone will be the biggest barrier to entry for HTML5 in our game.

  3. Whether it is now, in a year, or even longer, it is clear that HTML5 is definitely going to become very compelling for developers. When it does happen it will be a fantastic addition to the available development options.

    From a streaming/middleware perspective, HTML5 WebSocket will be a very useful solution in the browser. Just look at its simplicity when compared to the Comet ‘techniques’ required to stream to JavaScript today. There is, however, a lot of debate about how WebSocket is going to evolve, so it is not clear where it will end up as a technology. There are concerns that it will not work as promised through existing network infrastructure. The most recent release, for example, has introduced new problems over reverse proxy infrastructure. Clearly there is a need to insulate developers from these kinds of problems by using a streaming technology that works in each user’s runtime environment. WebSocket has made a promising start, but at this point, notwithstanding browser adoption, additional streaming techniques are still required for when it does not work.

    Re: iPad – perhaps HTML5 will have quicker adoption in this environment for the reasons you mentioned: lack of developer familiarity with Objective-C and a blossoming of JavaScript development frameworks. Another plus for HTML5 is that it bypasses the need to get involved with the Apple application deployment process. Developers have complained that this can be a real hassle – particularly when trying to deploy prototypes / POCs. On the flip side, mobile apps operate in a high latency and bandwidth constrained world, and native languages will generally maximise performance. Native apps will also provide far better support for disconnected use as well as supporting direct interaction with other features of the device (storage access, camera, mic, etc).

    Clearly there will be accelerated growth in both Objective-C and HTML5 apps within FS because of the continued popularity of iPhone/iPad. One side effect of this will be that the HTML5 apps will be trivially portable to desktop browsers – putting additional pressure on the plugin based solutions in the longer term. It will be interesting to see how plugin technologies respond to this pressure.

  4. hello blogger, i was reading your posts on Will HTML5 Take Over The World? Tales from a Trading Desk and i definitely liked them. one issue that i observed while browsing throughout your blog that some of the hyperlinks are not working and giving error. this makes the reading experience a bit sour. you’ve got a good blog and i will request you to revise the hyperlinks so that interested folks can get all of the details they intend to have. Btw are you on twitter?? i would genuinely like to follow you and also get updates in your blog.

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