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Oct 07

Don’t “deploy HTML5″? Thanks again W3C

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Philipe of the W3C has been quoted telling the world that HTML5 isn’t ready yet and that you shouldn’t “deploy HTML5″. This is sparked the old debate around when HTML5 is ready, and the haters can come out and talk about how long it takes etc etc etc. Here are his words:

“The problem we’re facing right now is there is already a lot of excitement for HTML5, but it’s a little too early to deploy it because we’re running into interoperability issues. The real problem is can we make HTML5 work across browsers and at the moment, that is not the case.”

In the meantime, great developers are delivering next generation experiences on top of new modern features that many browsers have implemented TODAY.

The Web platform makes it very possible to progressively enhance (or regressively!) your application for the fast growing segment of the population that has a fantastic modern browser.

Thus, I utterly disagree with Philipe, and instead emplore you to think about what your site or app can be in 2010 with the new capabilities. The Ajax revolution was a hack, and with modern “HTML5″ browsers we finally have a fantastic runtime with great graphics performance (hardware accelerated up the wazoo [both CSS3 transitions/transforms/animations and Canvas]), amazing JavaScript runtimes, the ability to get off of the main UI thread (Web Workers), much better offline and caching support (Local Storage, Web Databases, App Cache) and much much more.

Take a look at the demos from the IE9 beta event, Chrome Experiments, and Mozilla Hacks for a glimpse at what is coming. Users expectations of the Web are just about to be changed again. The day that you used Google Maps for the first time was the day that MapQuest seemed AWFUL. As soon as the bar is raised, you can’t go back. What side of the bar do you want to be on?

Disclaimer: There are real tradeoffs with the Web platform being an open standard with multiple implementations. The platform is diverse and not always uniform. It is our job to rally browser vendors to fix things. For example, Microsoft is doing great things with IE9, but they need to add CSS3 transitions/transforms/animations as soon as physically possible. I would like to think that Philipe meant more to highlight the tradeoffs and not discourage developers. But man, the W3C can really drive me nuts.

Remy Sharp has some nice ranty thoughts on the topic, too.

9 Responses to “Don’t “deploy HTML5″? Thanks again W3C”

  1. Brett Slatkin Says:

    This kind of thing underscores the reasons for the WHAT-WG split from the W3C.

  2. James Pearce Says:

    One has to hope he was hopelessly misquoted, or now no longer a spokesman…

    There was mysteriously no mention of mobile browsers – which are leading the charge in a lot of HTML5 respects. This immediately discounts his opinion.

    It also read as though he was defending Flash – which is bizarre (and not only because that doesn’t work on a few notable browsers either ;-) )

  3. John Dowdell Says:

    I read it as less of a criticsm of what you can do today, than of the lay public’s perceptions of what you can do today. (The over-selling of real capablity has influenced many business decision makers.)

    Less anti-HTML than anti-hype…?

    jd/adobe

  4. John C. Welch Says:

    Yes. Because clearly, according to jd/adobe, the only real purpose of html and web browsers should be a thin layer to support plugins. Gee…wonder what all websites SHOULD be built in, if the only purpose of browsers and html are as plugin hosts…

    “It’s smarter to add advanced functionality through a common extension to any browser. Even if Adobe cannot quickly create Players for every possible environment, this would still let more people enjoy more functionality more quickly, while still retaining the basic markup which every browser should be able to read.”

    http://blogs.adobe.com/jd/2010/09/looks-best-in-browser-x.html

    So, really, we should all do nothing unless Adobe Flash allows us to.

  5. jpvincent Says:

    web developers never looked at the recommendation level of a specification.
    Or they wouldnt use CSS2.1 today (it’s still CR) nor the CSS selector they use daily with jQuery (still Draft !)
    W3 can remind us those facts, but really I think we can provide better user XP right now. And that include IE6, if you use the correct librairies to emulate what’s native in half the browsers

  6. Jayesh Says:

    As a developer, I don’t really care if HTML5 as a spec get an official stamp in 2015. All I care is, major browsers (which have > 80% market share combined) implement the HTML5 features – minor variations in implementations are acceptable. All web developers are used to IE workarounds. This is no different.

    As a user, I don’t even care that there exists something called HTML. All I care is, new websites are developed with features that previously were done only in native desktop apps and that they work on my browser.

    So except for browser makers, I guess this is a non-issue for everyone else.

  7. John Dowdell Says:

    re: “Because clearly, according to jd/adobe, the only real purpose of html and web browsers should be a thin layer to support plugins… we should all do nothing unless Adobe Flash allows us to.”

    OT aside to John Welch: It’s not useful to assert things which are not so… cuts into others’ reading time, and the habit affects your own growth. Just wasteful overall… you can do better.

    jd/adobe

  8. Levi Figueira Says:

    The timing of Philipe’s comments, the venue on which he commented and the surrounding defense of his statements by Adobe and its employees makes me vomit. Political? You bet.

    Adobe knows that HTML5 will eventually render Flash useless for *most* of its current applications and will completely lose what I personally think it lost a long time ago: “cool factor”. Flash websites used to be “cool” hence Flash’s popularity and all its misuses. Now, HTML5 is the new “cool” (with just as many misuses, but of name not application this time).

    Farewell Adobe. May the Ballmer be with you.

  9. mario Says:

    Don’t forget to voice your opinion here too:
    http://forums.whatwg.org/viewtopic.php?t=4436

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