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November 22, 2010


Peter H

Speaking as someone who commented on that earlier post, I guess I have to ask - why the hate? Was just trying to be helpful.

To your question - yes I know what HTML 5 is. And yes, as you astutely point out, people use HTML5 as a shortcut for "the most recent of a large set of alphabet soup standards that all current browser versions should be supporting." It's just a lot easier to say "HTML5".

Where I think you are missing the point is HTML5 is not just about video and drop shadows. The offline features, for example, are much more powerful than you realize - they store both code and data, making fully offline apps possible in the browser. Also, offline data storage allows your app to cache data locally, which you can then access with javascript, making a much faster experience possible than with pre-HTML5 web technologies.

There are also many other niceties - for example the type=email form input element will cause iphone to use its email-address-oriented keyboard when in this field. You might write that off as "drop shadow"-like trivialities but it makes for a nicer app. Web apps are easier to deploy than iphone apps. Etc.

So in your other post you were making the point that you didn't like having to put effort into so many different mobile platforms. Let me try to make my earlier point then without using the term "HTML5":

Why would you create different native platform applications (including all the testing and deployment hassle involved in each), when you can create just as great of an experience with a single coding effort by using the latest browser standards?

Here's a scoble interview that makes some of the same points: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jks-idxVrCs. (Nextstop has since been acquired and integrated into facebook, thus the app is gone, but this video shows the result)

For an app like Cozi, and for an astute cutter like Robbie, I just do not see what would cause you to invest the development effort when you can create the same experience using (sorry) "HTML5". Objective-C, Android Java, and Silverlight do not relieve you of any of the problems that QuickUI solves, either.

Unless you really really need to be in the app store, I was just attempting to suggest you should work through each of your requirements and ask why they cannot be achieved in an application that makes use of recent browser standards. You may save yourself a lot of dev time by doing so. It can solve exactly the cross-platform aggravation problem you were complaining about, today. That's what I meant when I said "HTML5".

Jan Miksovsky

Peter: No hate here. I have received the same suggestion from many, many people now to use build a web app instead of native apps for the various phone platforms.

So far, own experience has been that we *can't* yet achieve the UX we want using the preloaded phone browsers. This isn't a limitation of the underlying technologies; it's a limitation of their current executions. Among other things, we *do* need to be in the app store -- that's where our mainstream consumers look for us. We're still interested in the web app route, but I think it's just too early for us to depend upon it today. So for the time being, we're still building native apps.

And please believe me when I say that I absolutely appreciate the comments.

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