Sep 20 2012

Facebook & HTML5 – What is all the fuss over?

Published by at 9:58 am under Cordova,HTML5,PhoneGap,Rant

fb_html_notSo in my new job I work with HTML5 on mobile platforms all day, with a product that I still can’t talk about (I will be able to soon). So when Mark Zuckerberg made is comments about HTML5 (read full statement) and the press jumped all over it proclaiming HTML5 on mobile was dead I was a upset by how much damage control I and anyone involved with Apache Cordova and other HTML5 mobile platforms are going to be doing for the next year.

So lets take a look at HTML5 on mobile platforms and see what it’s good for and what it’s not.

If you have not looked at Cordova (formally PhoneGap) or other such cross-platform solutions they enable you to create a single code base and have it run on multiple operating systems and devices. Like any cross-platform solution the cross-platform mobile solutions can’t take advantage of every feature of the platforms they target. Is this a problem? Yes and no! For the vast majority of applications that is not a issue, if you look at the applications I have on my Android device all of them could be written with Cordova. The advantage of using the cross-platform is that I can create an application and have it up and running on many devices without having to rewrite my application for each of the devices.

I in no way am saying that Facebooks decision to create a native iOS application was wrong but I think it was more of evolution. I will not go in to why there JavaScript was likely the issue but they did have some valid reasons to move to a native application. I think that like the last time we were using cross-platform tools once you prove a market you can then justify going native but for the developer who dose not have the resources Facebook has Cordova [with the yet to be released product] enables a single code base that can handle at least the 80% scenario for mobile applications.

I can’t wait to start sharing more information with the world!

Some more reading on the Facebook app:
Under the hood: Rebuilding Facebook for iOS
Perf Feedback – What’s slowing down Mobile Facebook
Not Everyone Is Facebook: HTML5 Will Still Thrive
A really geeky wonky message thread

No responses yet

Comments are closed.