February 02, 2012

HTML5 - Standardizing the Development Platform

The Consumer Electronics Show in January introduced the market to a number of new products and demonstrated that while smartphones and tablets may be gaining market share, PCs and ultrabooks are not going down without a fight. To get closer to the action in the market, TMC (News - Alert) wanted to talk with those in the heart of HTML5. As the HTML5 event is an important part of ITEXPO East 2012, taking place this week in Miami Beach, the timing was perfect for Rich Tehrani to sit down with Carl Bergenhem of KendoUI.

Bergenhem shared that the continued diversity of hardware feeds the need to have a platform that is developed only once, but offers the necessary reach to cover all devices. Asked his common ways of developing for HTML5, Bergenhem noted that he tries to mix it up as much as possible, identifying what works best for a particular task. As for the HTML5 sites he would recommend, Bergenhem shared that a lot of information can be found and a lot of people are working closely with HTML5, unfortunately not all valuable information is in one place. He did point to Twitter as a valuable source for keeping up with everything.

As for recommended tools, he uses Sublime Text as his editor when developing pure HTML5 pages. Bergenhem was also asked about the impact millennials will have in the workplace today. He believes they will help drive the user experience to a new place. Asked if there are ways for HTML to further evolve as it continues as the defacto development standard, Bergenhem noted that HTML is already being pushed further on a daily basis today. He was also asked to share why HTML5 is a must-attend event, Bergenhem noted that with so many mobile devices and OS existing today, it makes sense to think of the Web and HTML5 as a way to bridge the gap between the various platforms.

Their entire conversation follows:

1.      CES showed us that PCs and ultrabooks are not going to go down without a fight.  How do you see the device wars impacting your development efforts? 

I believe that the continued diversity of hardware, including PCs, ultrabooks and mobile devices, feeds the need to have a platform which can be developed for only once but have the broad reach necessary to cover all devices. Sure, native applications using the native code will always have an advantage, but if your application doesn’t need to take use of native code why not develop a single application that can be viewed on all devices? This is where the web and development with KendoUI comes into place. We have already committed to having both desktop and mobile device support with our HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript library, and will continue to do so going forward. 

2.      We have lots of wrappers now becoming pretty standard. What are your common ways of developing for HTML5?

Personally, I try to mix it up as much as possible to find what works best for a particular task. Sometimes I can easily work with just Notepad, or any other plain text editor, and utilize all the semantic tag (News - Alert) goodness that comes from HTML5 without the involvement of JavaScript. Other times, I need more advanced features so I use client-side libraries such as jQuery. With all of the new standards being implemented too quickly across all the major browsers, a lot can be accomplished with just HTML and CSS (News - Alert) though.

3.       What HTML5 sites do you recommend? 

Honestly, a lot of information can be found in blog posts here and there by individuals working closely with HTML5 and pushing the limits of what the new standards can do. Unfortunately they’re not all in one place, but I’ve found Twitter to be extremely useful for keeping up with everything. Aside from that though, HTML5 Rocks, HTML5 Doctor, and HTMLUI are good sites to keep bookmarked.

4.       What tools do you recommend? 

Usually I just use Sublime Text as my editor when developing these “pure” HTML5 websites. Out of the box it provides you with some handy things like code completion and syntax highlighting which is always nice to have. I always use the developer tools built into Google (News - Alert) Chrome as well as FireBug for Firefox when debugging any of the code that I’ve written; they are essentials in any web developer’s toolbox.

5.      Often our lessons are generational based on our kids and the millennials now entering the workforce.  What is the impact of these new users and what is their relevance to HTML5? 

I think they will help drive the user experience to a new place. Previously, we have been so used to web application designs that were essentially in the hands of the developer, which had us looking at very data-structured and not so interactive web sites. Now the current and next generations coming into the workforce have started to already shift the user interfaces, providing us with new ways of presenting our information to our users. We’ve already seen a push towards this with the simple interfaces of applications such as Twitter, FourSquare, and GitHub, all services with complicated structures that display information in an intuitive way to their users.

6.      HTML5 is already being used by more than half of developers according to most research. Are there ways for HTML to further evolve as it continues as the defacto development standard?

I believe that HTML is already being pushed further on a daily basis as is. Desktop browsers are rapidly churning out versions that implement new standards every eight to ten weeks, and mobile browsers are becoming more and more powerful as well.  We’ve also already seen large companies starting to take use of HTML5 even though it is not a finished standard. Historically, many companies have waited until a standard, such as CSS 2.1 for example, reaches the recommended stage. Now, however, we are seeing companies ranging from startups to enterprises embracing these “incomplete” standards. Additionally, with the introduction of WinRT on the Windows platform HTML developers now have a chance to create native desktop applications on Windows machines, which can be seen as yet another push in the right direction.


7.      Why is HTML5 a must-attend event in this evolving mobile world? 

With so many mobile devices and operating systems existing today, it makes a lot of sense to think of the web, and HTML5, as a way to bridge the gap between the various platforms. If an application can look native on these devices even though it is an HTML application then there is no need to invest time and money into native development for each individual platform. Now a single application can provide all mobile device users with a unified interface.

Want to learn more about HTML5? Then be sure to attend HTML5 Summit, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East 2012, happening NOW in Miami, FL. HTML5 has the potential to revolutionize user interfaces, challenge the status quo and change the future of both desktop and mobile web experiences. Join fellow web developers, designers, and architects, as well as technology leaders and business strategists who will gather in Miami to learn strategies and tactics to implement and execute HTML5. For more information on registering for the HTML5 Summit click here.

Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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