July 08, 2013

HTML5 Browsers Offer Advantages for Developers and Users

HTML5 is offering plenty of new advantages, not only for users but also for developers. Recently, Maximiliano Firtman — a mobile Web developer since 1995 with several significant titles to his credit, like Adobe Community Champion and BlackBerry (News Alert) Elite Developer — put together a huge presentation showing off some of those benefits for the Q Con event, and what Firtman had to say about HTML5 browser capability is sure to make many take notice as this new technology impacts large portions of the Web.

For the most part, Firtman’s presentation focused on mobile devices—that wasn’t to say there weren’t plenty of exciting possibilities afoot for desktop browsers capable of HTML5 use—and offered up an entire slate of new practical benefits to the technology. While most think of HTML5 as little more than websites or apps, Firtman showed off just how much it could really do.

Indeed, HTML5 was offering a lot of help for websites and apps, but there were several significant benefits related to the mere idea of using these websites and apps. One of the biggest that Firtman noted was one of interoperability, describing experiences across both iOS andMicrosoft Surface platforms. Plus, Firtman pointed out key differences between different types of apps that can use HTML5, like Web apps and native Web apps, as well as some of the difficulties inherent in developing for mobile thanks to the sheer number of mobile browsers out there.

A set of new tools, like remote debugging, also made an appearance in HTML5. With remote debugging, developers can repair code remotely and improve Web apps, Also available are emulators and simulators to improve reliability before release and responsive Web design, which can bring in some extra solutions in critical situations—Firtman emphasized, however, that it isn’t the solution to every problem, but simply one more in the toolbox..

Firtman offered a set of demonstrations as well, showing off just what the HTML5 experience was really capable of, and even included a few problematic points involved in developing for HTML5, like a lack of clear definitions when it came to deciding just what was what in terms of mobile apps, native apps, and other similar issues. HTML5 is not boolean, according to Firtman, and the fact that many of the features of HTML5 are still in draft—and thus subject to change–also makes for some significant problems.

Firtman provided a lot of information during his talk, but at the same time, it was clear that HTML5 was offering quite a bit of value for developers. Those eager to take advantage of as many different platforms as possible—and having too many mobile browsers was a point that Firtman dealt with several times in his talk—as well as the various versions and scenarios associated with those platforms would likely find that HTML5 went a long way toward unifying the highly fractured experience that is mobile.

Making the move to HTML5 brings quite a bit with it. While there are extra benefits to consider, there is also a clear set of best practices involved in the equation, as well as several less-than-optimal considerations involved. Firtman’s warts-and-all talk put the lot on display, and showed how HTML5 is likely to be a major part of the development landscape before too much longer has passed.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey


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