The development of web 2.0 and its rich Internet applications has created a gap between developers’ needs and the aging web development tools available. Until now, developers had to resort to additional plugins like Flash or tweaked tools like Ajax in order to overcome those deficiencies. Today, the HTML5 standard allows a huge leap forward by bridging this gap. It increases website performances and interactivity, developers can create amazing graphics, animate them or design beautiful frontend interfaces, only using standard APIs and without any plugins. HTML5 also fixes the cross platform problematic by allowing developers to develop only one version of an app for different mobile platforms - iOS, Android - instead of having to develop specific versions for each operating system.
New standards, fresh start for web development
At the HTML5 Developer Conference that took place yesterday in San Francisco, Kaazing’s Peter Lubbers reviewed the main new functionalities of HTML5, emphasizing how easier it makes it to do web development:
- Semantics: search engines can index websites more efficiently and provide a richer browsing user experience, thanks to “microdata” tagging.
- Frontend design: richer layouts, rounded shapes and linear gradients, without using images.
- Multimedia display: websites can display video and sound without external plugins.
- Graphics: developers can insert visual applications and games into their websites.
- Connectivity: HTML5 web apps can access all the device’s sensors including GPS and accelerometer. Users can drag and drop content within web pages or directly from their hard drive.
- Offline browsing: the “app cache” feature enables a web app to store data on the client's side, allowing users to access websites even offline.
HTML5, “this year’s most important topic”
Conference organizer Ann Burkett says “HTML5 is the most important topic this year, as mobile platforms go through explosive growth”. Indeed, these new functionalities make HTML5 the most comprehensive and powerful tool to create mobile cross platform applications with the same capabilities as the existing OS dependent smartphone apps. Today, Apple takes a 30% cut on every app bought on the App Store. What will happen when developers can sell their apps without any intermediate? This first HTML5 developer conference was the symbolic kickoff of a journey that will certainly disrupt the application store model, so stay tuned!