December 29, 2014

2015 Will Be an Important Year for HTML5 Adoption

Fifteen years after the release of its predecessor HTML4, the HTML5 standard was finalized in October 2014. A technological and political triumph, HTML5 is a unified technology for cross-platform machine interactions and the only to evolve from a broad industry-wide consensus.

Although the finalization of a standard is important, it is unrealistic to expect that the industry will immediately react with full adoption of the technology, and that developers are universally prepared with the skills necessary to do so. A recent article in the SD Times outlined several trends that indicate 2015 will be an important year for adoption of HTML, a process expected to be nearly complete by the end of the decade.

Many enterprises and vendors depend on the interoperability guarantees that come with standardization, and thus it serves as a major driver of adoption. In addition, in many cases those implementing the HTML5 standard further benefit from expanded patent protections. Because the technology draws from contributions from numerous parties, a finalized standard allows for compliance without the risk of being sued or screwed over.

Mobile apps are able to function much better with HTML5. The final version brings major improvements, such as implementation of JIT compilers and WebGL, to the embedded WebView component in mobile platforms. Hybrid apps running on mobile devices once were once limited to an inferior WebView, while a Web browser on the same device used JavaScript performing at about a quarter of the speed. Hybrid app developers now have the full array of HTML5 tools at their disposable to create products that run more efficiently than ever.

A new technology creates a void of skilled professionals that must be filled as soon as possible. As an expansive yet relatively new technology, HTML5 does not have as many skilled developers or available tools in the market as Java or .Net. With a finalized standard, however, adoption and skills growth is inevitable as developers gradually adopt the technology.

Many new application development tools, frameworks and middleware tools are being built on HTML5 and the more ingrained JavaScript. As many companies rely on third-party cross-platform application development tools with client-side or end-to-end abstraction models, these tools' increasing reliance on internal Web technologies make them a driving force in spreading HTML5 adoption.

Adrive towards finalizing ECMAScript 6 by mid-2015 will solidify JavaScript as the perfect companion for HTML5, offering expansive functionality and improved performance. Most notably, the ECMA is focusing on including built-in dependency management systems and modularity constructs, as well as revamping the code typing for easier reading and debugging.

2015 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for HTML5 as companies find more reasons to adopt it and developers become more comfortable with the technology. As the Web continues to expand and improve, HTML5 will surely find its place among the technologies responsible for bringing people together in new and exciting ways.

Edited by Maurice Nagle


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