Wednesday, February 2, 2011

HTML 5 Is Dead!

“gasp” what? How can that be? What can this guy be talking about? What can this blogger possibly know and why would he say something so sacrilegious? I’m aghast…

I’m sure that is the kind of response that many of you are having when reading this article but I wanted to make a point, with all the excitement around HTML 5, not so much that its bad but people seem to be in one camp or the other and few are looking at the big picture. Yes HTML 5 is awesome and all but many of the ‘HTML 5 is awesome’ crowd is saying other RIA technologies are dead and it is just not logical to make a whole sale generalization like that and it drives me nuts. I hear things like ‘Flash is dead’ or ‘Silverlight is dead’ (even from some less then razor sharp micrsoftee’s).

HTML fine is the foundation of all our content on the web and all but a technology whose last major version is 10 years old is not making rich immersive technologies like flash out dated? That’s just crazy. Flash and Silverlight both in particular have proven over and over again that they iterate faster and more importantly ‘innovate’ faster than more open technologies like HTML. Both of those technologies do more, better and faster than HTML 5 and are more cross platform, more tool-able and have better dev/workflow stories across the board. But why do people put these technologies up against each other at all? That’s like saying apples are better than oranges? They are just different.

HTML 5 is a cross platform long term foundation for web based content and web based apps and great it now is more richer then before but RIA technologies such as Flash and Silverlight both are not nor have they ever been dubbed as a replacement for HTML (at least not anyone I know). These technologies both live out of the browser and are ways of delivering on all the promises that Java first made when it came out. Rich cross platform immersive UI experiences on so many platforms from droid phones to xbox to browsers and desktop apps.

HTML is for the rich distributed web stuff and Flash and Silverlight is for immersive experiences that may or may not be on the web at all. HTML in the browser or maybe even an HTA sort of app and Flash/Silverlight is for UX that leaps out of the browser. HTML 5 is cool but that doesn’t mean that more powerful RIA technologies are dead. To each his own and to each problem space its technology; there is room enough for it all. Let’s all be a bit less zealous about things and focus on building better apps regardless of the technology you want to use.

Heck if apple had any since they would get flash on the iphone for building cool apps so we don’t have to use that objective C…


  1. I think HTML5 and CSS3 and jQuery altogether go a long way to help produce a good webpage/site. It's free, and relatively easy to learn. From what I've seen of html5 is that it adds a small amount of added functionality to a traditional html platform... it makes it easy to add video and other content, and there's the canvas component... but these things do not an application killer make.

    But if anyone thinks Flash/AS3/Silverlight/etc is 'dead' because of HTML5 is smoking something that is probably outlawed in most if not all states.

    I do however think it's incumbent upon us to embrace html5 and css3, if for no other reason that it will keep us current and might actually save us some time or effort.

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