Archive for January 2012 | Monthly archive page
Evans Data’s latest Global Development Survey found that 43 percent of North American developers currently rely on HTML5. Use is even higher in the Asian Pacific regions, where 58 percent of developers have moved to the language. Programmers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) have been slower to migrate to HTML5.
Even more astonishing, Evans Data researchers found that a whopping 75 percent of the 1,200 global respondents plan to move to HTML5 if they haven’t already.
“There isn’t any question about the adoption of HTML5, it’s already the de facto standard,” Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, noted in a statement. “There is especial strength in HTML5 for mobile and cross-platform mobile apps, which is the direction the industry is moving for client devices, and that has made it extremely attractive to developers everywhere in the world. We see the most strength in Asia, a region that is generally quick to adopt new technologies.”
One of the reasons for strong HTML5 adoption numbers is its short development cycle, which programmers across all regions prefer to Flash and Silverlight by a 20 percent clip.
HTML5 even made it into the keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced that users who make the leap to Internet Explorer 9 now have free access to the highly-popular iOS game Cut the Rope.
Microsoft partnered with the game’s developer, ZeptoLab, to create a free HTML5-based version of the highly addictive game, which has been downloaded more than 60 million times as an iOS app. The move is meant to give users a bit more incentive to ditch older IE versions.
While HTML5 may offer many advantages, it is not yet ready to take on native apps which are growing rapidly in their respective App Stores. However, market watchers say give web-based HTML5 some time before it can give native apps a run for its money.
According to a recent study by Business Insider, HTML5 will replace majority of native apps over the next three to five years. Currently, in the post-PC era, platform (Android, iOS, webOS and others) based native apps are flourishing. And will continue to serve consumers for a very long time.
Because HTML5 will enable online software and content to be much more interactive and richer, it will proliferate across lot of applications, thereby diminishing the power of native app gatekeepers like Apple, reports Business Insider. As a result, the BI study indicates that it will change the distribution scenario from app stores to web, as well as the business model.
Because in the future, HTML5 will enable developers to build rich web-based apps that run on any device via a standard web browser, it will start capturing more market. But that will take a few more years as the technology is still evolving, say analysts. Hence, according to the BI study, the process of HTML5 based apps replacing native apps will take longer than HTML5 backers think.
The study also shows that low cost of development will be another factor driving HTML5 apps in the future. Because HTML5 apps can run cross-platform, you have to build it only once, say the experts. Native apps must be built from scratch for every platform.
For this report, BI researchers interviewed key apps developers in the industry. These include Stéphane de Luca, CTO of LeKiosque.fr, the top-grossing app on the iTunes App Store in France, Romain Goyet, co-founder and CTO of Applidium, an app development company, and Thomas Sarlandie, co-founder and VP Software of Backelite, a mobile software company. Steven Pinches, head of Emerging Technologies at the Financial Times was also interviewed.
Besides HTML5 versus native apps debate, the BI study focuses on the pluses and minuses of HTML5 versus native apps, as well as what the HTML5 future looks like. It also provides a basic tutorial on HTM5, and what are some of the challenges it faces to capture this market.
The report also presents the views of media publisher Financial Times, who was one of the early adopter of HTML5 for iPad apps.
Since its inception in 1990, the World Wide Web’s core language has been HTML. In view of the ever-changing requirements, in 2004, Apple, Mozilla and Opera jointly started a new venture called WHATWG. The core principles were that technologies need to be backward-compatible, that specifications and implementations need to match at the cost of changing the specification rather than the implementations, and those specifications need to be detailed enough that implementations can achieve complete interoperability without reverse-engineering each other. Since 2006, the participation of W3C in this venture has resulted in the on-going development of the 5th major revision of HTML, called HTML5.
Technically, the HTML5 specification encompasses what had previously been specified in three separate documents: HTML4, XHTML1, and DOM2 HTML. It defines a single language, HTML5, which can be written in both HTML and XML syntax. It improves the mark-up of documents compared to what was previously available. And most importantly, it attempts to rectify the fact that previously HTML was inadequate to handle Web applications. HTML5 introduces mark-up and APIs for Web applications.
HTML5 is quickly becoming a full-blown application framework. Using it as a foundation for upcoming products is the keystone for overcoming cross-platform development issues. Especially for mobile platforms, the approach till now has been to use a different language and framework for each phone platform. HTML5 changes all that by implementing “write-once, view anywhere”.
A traditional Web browser is not always what the user is at due to recent technological advances. While other user agents and content types were supported, they were given secondary priority. The cross-platform support that HTML5 enjoys brings more parity between non-browser, non-desktop-size-screen users (like screen readers and mobile phones) and traditional Web browsers.
A popular way of describing HTML5 is that it’s a Flash and Silverlight-killer. Multimedia on mobile devices is being made possible by it. This does not mean Flash and Silverlight are going extinct in a matter of few months. But it does give developers options to render similar effects without using them. As of now, Flash and Silverlight still have capabilities that HTML5 does not have, but HTML5’s new capabilitiesare increasingly narrowing down the gap.
For instance, the previous method of having to depend on Flash or Silverlight to provide a media player on the site is made redundant by the <video> and <audio> tags of HTML5. This, however, is presently theoretical, since patent issues are preventing browsers from deciding which formats to support.
One other major addition by HTML5 is the ability to store offline data for Web apps. One of the major problems faced in replacing traditional desktop apps has been that the Web-based ones are useless without an Internet connection. HTML5’s offline capabilities can be used to overcome this. This will mean being able to create files in Google Docs or draft e-mails when away from an Internet connection, which would be automatically synced the next time the user goes online.
So if you are a developer or an user, HTML5 brings you the best of the read-write-execute web and promises a much richer web experience in the coming days.