Thursday, November 28, 2013

Is HTML5 a 'no brainer'?

In a recent article on, the article's author Andrey Kovalishin speaks of the benefits of HTML5. It's true that from some practical perspectives, HTML5 (and effectively, its Canvas and media elements programmed in Javascript) appears to be a good choice: it is a cross-platform solution that works 'out of the box' on many devices and which has now reached maturity in various ways (not least performance in addition to degree of support).

A couple of issues I do see still with HTML5:

  • From a serious developer's perspective, let's face it: JavaScript is truly truly dreadful. By rights, it really should have been allowed to die its death in peace. Many developers, including myself, reluctantly put up with it for some tasks because it has gathered such industry momentum as a cross-platform solution. It 'runs in the right places' but from a developer's perspective, it's really not very apt for remotely complex applications and, were there a choice, not really what you'd like to be using in most cases.
  • HTML5 doesn't solve the problem that native apps still have a privileged position on many devices in terms of App Store discovery and access to some native functionality. The latter may not be huge issue for many apps such as simple games, but the former may be. (It's probably true that raw performance isn't the issue it used to be, on the other hand.)

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