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HTML 5 Takes Aim At Flash and Silverlight

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the crowding-out-the-proprietary dept.

Programming 500

snydeq writes "While Adobe, Microsoft, and Sun duke it out with proprietary technologies for implementing multimedia on the Web, HTML 5 has the potential to eat these vendors' lunches, offering Web experiences based on an industry standard. In fact, one expressed goal of the standard is to move the Web away from proprietary technologies such as Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX. 'It would be a terrible step backward if humanity's major development platform [the Web] was controlled by a single vendor the way that previous platforms such as Windows have been,' says HTML 5 co-editor Ian Hickson, a Google employee. But whether HTML 5 and its Canvas technology will displace proprietary plug-ins 'really depends on what developers do,' says Firefox technical lead Vlad Vukicevic. It also depends on Microsoft, the only company involved in the HTML 5 effort that is both a browser developer and an RIA tool developer. 'That's a big elephant in the room for them because you can imagine the Silverlight team [whose] whole existence is to add [this] functionality in. [But] if Internet Explorer puts it already in there, why do we have Silverlight?' asks Mozilla's Dion Almaer." The RIA guys are quoted as saying they're not worried, because HTML 5 + CSS 3 is 10 years out. Are they just whistling in the dark?

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It's the tools stupid (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354779)

If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

Re:It's the tools stupid (5, Interesting)

CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354893)

If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

I was under the impression that canvas tag was going to allow people to create those kinds of whiz-bang interfaces that are currently done in flash.

Re:It's the tools stupid (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354947)

If by "people" you mean "javascript programmers", yes, it will.

But Flash is popular because artist types can do it.

Re:It's the tools stupid (4, Interesting)

nausea_malvarma (1544887) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355017)

In this day and age, you don't need to know good html in order to make a webpage. We have WYSIWYG editors. So I don't see why we couldn't have an editor for the canvas tag, that would provide artists with a point and click interface like flash does.

Re:It's the tools stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355115)

The irony is that the most popular WYSIWYG editors are produced by Adobe and Microsoft.

Re:It's the tools stupid (2, Interesting)

fatalwall (873645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355223)

but can there editors be used from within the web browser embedded into a site so that it can be modified from any computer the owner is working at?
once this is built into the browsers it could be used to created an editor such as this without the need to reverse engineer or license junk

Re:It's the tools stupid (3, Interesting)

Tronster (25566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354957)

While I don't agree with how the grandparent phrased it; I'd say it's spot on. Canvas tag or not, the editing tool has to allow artists, hobbiest, etc... to easilly create content and publish to the web for others to see.

Flash's biggest win over Silverlight is:
1) Install base
2) Defacto web animation tool

If enough browser pentration occurs for the install base then the editing tool is the last big hurdle.

My predictions (as a C++, Flash developer):
1. Silverlight takes a larger market share than Flash in 3 years (in 2013)
2. HTML5 overtakes both in 5 years (2015) if a "killer app" for editing comes into existance by 2012.

Re:It's the tools stupid (4, Informative)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355103)

You have to be kidding about Silverlight overtaking Flash. Not only has Silverlight failed to take any notable market share to date, many projects that started with Silverlight have switched to Flash (or even Java and JavaScript).

Even Microsoft Popfly itself is so unpopular you can go for months at a time without hearing about it, and I bet you hadn't heard about it for months until just now.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

jasoncar (878883) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355169)

Even Microsoft Popfly itself is so unpopular you can go for months at a time without hearing about it, and I bet you hadn't heard about it for months until just now.

You're right on that one -- hadn't even thought about Popfly for ages until you just mentioned it.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1, Interesting)

Captian Spazzz (1506193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355245)

What is Popfly? O_o .......... No, I'm serious.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

Upsilonish (1250840) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355431)

I haven't ever heard about it.

Re:It's the tools stupid (4, Insightful)

Tronster (25566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355541)

Microsoft wins market share, not by innovating, but by making a product, and quickly iterating up-to and past the leader.

Adobe has more baggage to deal with (e.g., http://blogs.adobe.com/rgalvan/2009/06/feature_feedback.html [adobe.com] ) which hurts the speed they can push ahead with new features. I've tried Silverlight 1 and 2; both show promise but neither seemed as mature as Flash CS3. Now CS4 is out as-is Silverlight 3. Silverlight 3 compared to 2 offers many times newer features than what Flash CS4 offered over CS3.

For example, I'd love an integrated code editor in Flash with decent editing, syntax highlighting, and intellisense capabilities; I've been waiting for this since MX2004. Silverlight 3 now has a built-in code editor, I wonder how well it stacks up to what Adobe offers.

Overall I'm glad Silverlight exists as it will push Adobe to keep making Flash a better technology, but historically Microsoft has come out on top. It took Microsoft 6 years from IE1.0 to make this happen in the browser marked ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org] ) With 3D it took Microsoft until 6 years, from DirectX 1.0 to DirectX 8.1, to overtake OpenGL in the AAA PC gaming market.

Unless there is a shake-up in Microsoft I predict it will happen with this RIA tech too.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355057)

Well, you'd at least need someone to create an editor to make it easy to develop. The company most likely to create such an editor would be Adobe, except that the functionality would compete directly with Flash. Is there any economic motivation for someone else to invest the money in creating a Flash-style editor to compete? Or for Adobe to integrate support for using Flash to create HTML5 interfaces instead of using the Flash format?

Re:It's the tools stupid (2, Insightful)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355139)

The economic motivation is to be able to compete in the new market. If HTML5 is awesome enough to kill Flash, the best Adobe could do is be ready to take part of the new market, even if it's less profitable. If they refuse to do so, and Flash does get killed, they end up with nothing, which is certainly even less profitable.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355495)

The economic motivation is to be able to compete in the new market.

Statements like that are only worth anything if you end them with how much the market is worth. Being able to compete in a market worth nothing is also worth nothing.

Re:It's the tools stupid (3, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355243)

Is there any economic motivation for someone else to invest the money in creating a Flash-style editor to compete?

Sure. Anyone whose determined it is in their interest to support HTML5 + Javascript as an alternative to Flash has an interest in seeing that it gets used, so everyone that has been embracing HTML5 for browsers -- Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera, just to name the browser publishers -- also has an interest in creating tooling to make sure that HTML5 doesn't just sit around unused in favor of Flash and Silverlight.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355591)

He was asking for economic motivations. What financial benefit will Google, Apple, Mozilla, or Opera gain from using HTML5 + Javascript as an alternative to Flash?

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355685)

He was asking for economic motivations.

For-profit, publicly-traded corporations like Google or Apple rarely have any other kinds of motivations. (Mozilla is, of course, a different story; but if they have a motivation to put money behind HTML5, they have a motivation to put money into getting it used, whether or not it is an economic motivation.)

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355377)

Actually, it probably would not be too difficult for Adobe to do that, since the control language behind Flash (ActionScript) is very like JavaScript, and in fact ActionScript very nearly became the next official EcmaScript ("JavaScript")! The committee backed off that decision at nearly the last minute.

Re:It's the tools stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355177)

There are plenty of graphic artists who don't design in Flash. And any decent design company knows doing your whole site in Flash is a joke.

Re:It's the tools stupid (5, Insightful)

ink (4325) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355185)

Amen. I wish more developers would take the time to understand this point. Without an analog to Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash (vector animator/tweening) -- no other technology will succeed. HTML5 is a great _engine_, but that's all it is until we have the tooling to make it actually useful.

Re:It's the tools stupid (4, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355189)

What you're not considering are all the other Flash-based sites that don't trade in pointless crap -- the far more subtle ones where you have to take a peek at the context menu just to be sure they aren't actually using some particularly clever JavaScript.

These are the sites that use but don't abuse Flash, and are the best candidates for HTML 5's more lightweight environment. If the designers and developers of these sites can be convinced it's worth migrating from Flash for the decreased overhead, they just might.

Re:It's the tools stupid (4, Interesting)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355471)

If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

As a professional "graphics artist type" I take a offense at that. What if I were to ask about the computer coders types making the kind of buggy crap they do now with [whatever language you like]?

Don't blame me for the ugly crap made by my less talented brethren and I won't blame you for the unstable, insecure crap made by yours. No-talent assclowns are no-talent assclowns, regardless of profession.

This graphics artist type (full disclosure: I may get paid for design, but my hobby is programming so I'm sort of an odd duck), for one, is very excited at the potential of HTML5. I look forward to a world where I can make animations for the web and embed videos and whatnot without having to muck around with stupid Flash/Silverlight/Java/whatever. I HATE Flash, I HATE Silverlight more, I HATE Java the most, and anything I can't name off the top of my head can go STRAIGHT to hell. I do see where the parent is coming from though. I see a lot of designers building sites in Flash just because they lack the analytical skills to wrap their overdeveloped right hemispheres around using CSS and (X)HTML. To design a website that isn't just pretty, but is actually good takes more than a good creative sense.

These days everyone and their brother and their cat might think they're a web designer, but most of them aren't. They're just some guy with a pirated copy of Photoshop. Rest assured that there are web designers out there who know what they're doing.

Re:It's the tools stupid (1)

fooslacker (961470) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355509)

I once heard it called "Flashturbation" and it is completely true. Flash is a plague. Unfortunately it's a plague that is spread because the creative types learned to use Flash early on. Until the creatives are given a tool that is easier or more powerful to use than Flash you'll have to put up with bad interfaces created by people who only care about forcing an experience on the user. The interesting thing to me is that Flash authors have become like the developers of old, completely uninterested in usability because they can't see past their own concerns (technical for devs and visual for creatives).

Re:It's the tools stupid (1, Flamebait)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355655)

People can debate about politically correct or incorrect use of Flash, but if the sites you don't like were done over in HTML5 by the same designers, you'd still conclude that they suck. Most people getting their panties in a twist over Flash aren't really concerned about design, they just don't like proprietary tools.

Total nonsense (5, Insightful)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354781)

Just because I can embed video and sound doesn't make my HTML pages the equivalent of flash. More importantly, Microsoft has "announced" intension to support HTML 5, but there's exactly zero movement so far from the market leader, and a long history of similar unfulfilled promises. Until Microsoft says HTML 5 is the next big thing, it isn't. Sorry, I know it sucks.

Re:Total nonsense (1)

zoips (576749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354925)

And draw with <canvas>.

What Flash has that the other lacks (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355627)

And draw with <canvas>.

Flash Player comes with the equivalent of a library for tweening Bezier curves over time. And the Flash editor (3 figures USD) comes with an editor for objects made of Bezier curves. The HTML 5 draft's canvas element [whatwg.org] currently has neither, to the best of my knowledge.

Re:Total nonsense (2, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354991)

When they talk about embedding video, they're referring to Flash-based video sites like YouTube. Think a little.

HTML5 will press forward with or without Microsoft. YouTube already has an HTML5 demo, and as a site owned by Google, they will embrace the new technology. In the meantime, Firefox continues to gain in the market, and Apple has a little thing called the iPhone that has a "real" browser.

Re:Total nonsense (1)

sreid (650203) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355257)

don't forget chrome

Re:Total nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355079)

If you'd stop for a second to remove your head from between Ballmer's legs, you'd notice that Microsoft's monopoly on the browser market has long crumbled and they're constantly losing market share. Microsoft's power to blatantly ignore standards and have everyone have to grudgingly follow behind is but a mere shadow of what it once was, and it doesn't look like they'll be regaining such a position any time soon, if ever.

Re:Total nonsense (1)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355689)

Microsoft's so-called monopoly on the browser market may have crumbled, but if you look closely you'll find that the crumbs still have a much bigger market share then any competitor.

Re:Total nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355209)

Hey I prefer the new web technology out there. No coding, no plugins, nothing. Just twist a couple of knobs and you are done! We can call it "etch a sketch".

(and IMHO we might see the end of Flash when HTML6 comes out. I highly doubt this will kill it. True how many times have we heard "this will be the end of Flash" before?)

Re:Total nonsense (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355441)

Microsoft's share in browsers is sagging. Every web developer in the world wants IE6 to die a quick but painful death. IE7 is better. But look at the (literal) acid test: The Acid3 score for Safari 4 is 100/100. The Acid3 score for Internet Explorer 8 is 21/100. Not very impressive.

I believe that just about all Web developers, with the possible exception of those working in .NET, would rather that Microsoft just stopped supplying browsers altogether.

Re:Total nonsense (3, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355551)

Acid 3 is, unfortunately, heavily dependent upon CSS3 functionality, which isn't officially standard yet and could change. So claiming that Acid3 is some kind of test only tests if you're compliant with drafts.

Whistling in the dark (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354797)

I whistled in your mother's dark last night, Trebek!

The most recently "RIA Weekly" podcast... (1, Interesting)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354827)

...which is #52 here [redmonk.com] talked about JavaFX and its prospects for a bit. One of the guys had just gotten back from JavaOne and was talking about the vibe he was getting about JavaFX. Larry Ellison apparently commented favorably about it, so, whatever that means.

RIA Weekly is a good podcast - Michael Cote is a savvy guy and he always has good discussions with his cohosts/interviewees. AAAA+ would buy again.

Re:The most recently "RIA Weekly" podcast... (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355465)

So far, JavaFX is an utter failure.

The language itself is OK (though not quite on par with C#) and execution environment is pretty nice (though startup delay is _still_ noticeable). But there's NO TOOLS FOR DESIGNERS. And that means DOOOOOM!

At the same time, Microsoft Expression Blend is really nice. And Adobe's tools are really great.

Gief moniez plox (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354831)

I am a jew.

Tne answer's simple. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354845)

Microsoft simply won't add HtML 5 audio//video tags to IE.

Re:Tne answer's simple. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355021)

Sooner or later they will.

rotfl 5.0 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354871)

I plugged my fleshlight int my hoo haa and let a CEO go at it for free...but they didn't call this a new platform. I'm cheated-feelzin.

Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (2, Insightful)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354875)

Dump Flash and Silverlight into the dust bin of bit history along with the YouTube master control! Onward!

How about adopting Chromes Native Code Binary API plugins for all the browsers while we're at it? Let's get it so that we can auto download plugins written in languages other than that icky JavaScript gooicky stuff.

Get on with it guys! The web browser is still just so much as a dumb terminal spitting screens to a central server master control program!

Let the independent distributed revolution begin!

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (3, Insightful)

zoips (576749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354933)

What's wrong with Javascript?

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (1, Interesting)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355039)

Ick, you have to ask? For starters it's a round parenthesis language like C, Java, and other icky goo.

Well, it does have prototypes so it's not all totally lost.

Heck, even C is getting blocks now with llvm and clang over at apple - grand central dispatch relies upon lambda blocks like smalltalk has for decades.

If you like javascript that's great, good for you. It's just not for all of us who prefer other languages. That's were the chrome native binary api comes in with the browsers. It let's us download natively compiled components written in OUR FAVORITE language - whatever it happens to be - and we're then not restricted by the goo and ick in the javascript. It also means that our existing code bases can be utilized in the browsers even if it's C, Objective-C, C++, Smalltalk, Perl, LISP, Forth, ERlang, ... ... ... and so on....

It's about FREEDOM of choice for ME the developer rather than icky javascript being FORCED upon me as it has been for the last decade and a half or whatever it's been....

As for youtube they have too much power... decentralize now with the video and audio tags!

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (2, Insightful)

zoips (576749) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355135)

Not a particularly great explanation as to the shortcomings of Javascript other than apparently C-style languages are a no-go with you. Plus it's prototype system is pretty half-assed, so I'm not sure that's even a positive (I'd prefer real prototype setup like in SELF).

I don't recall asking why anyone would want to use another language, though, as that's obvious: language preference. *shrug*

Re:Let's get on with it! Native Client Now!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355233)

I'd also prefer SELF in the browser and with Native Client you'll be able to add SELF to your web pages!!!

Yes, javascript sucks for me. Notice I didn't mention the language that I prefer as I didn't really want to get into a language war. I don't care if someone else prefers another language as I pretty much get their reasons as I've been around a while. If someone wants to use some language, SomeLanguage(tm), then please let them!

Native Client now!

Re:Let's get on with it! Native Client Now!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355615)

From your posts I'm guessing your "other language" is Visual Basic.

Re:Let's get on with it! Native Client Now!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355175)

Here are some articles on the topic of what is wrong with javascript.

Certainly the speed issue is or has been resolved with impressive recent results. Hopefully that trend will continue.

I don't agree with the strong typing but then that's just me.

Here they are, all with the title "What is wrong with Javascript" funny enough!

http://ayende.com/Blog/archive/2006/02/27/WhatIsWrongWithJavaScript.aspx [ayende.com]
http://service.compuskills.co.uk/blog/2007/01/17/what-is-wrong-with-javascript/ [compuskills.co.uk]
http://www.infoworld.com/d/developer-world/getting-smart-about-languages-and-libraries-836 [infoworld.com]

The bottom line for me is that I want MY TOOLS and LANGUAGE(s) that I use for projects rather than having so called "standards" forced on me.

If you like JavaScript all the more power to you.

If you like freedom to choose your own destiny then all the more power to both of us!

Native Clients for POWER USERS in the BROWSER!
http://code.google.com/events/io/sessions/NativeClientUsingNativeCode.html [google.com]

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355543)

IMO, in a way JavaScript is the worst of both worlds: both verbose AND hard to read.

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355315)

Auto-download plugins? Why do I want plugins? Do you mean things like Firefox Addons?

Re:Let's get on with it! HTML 5.0 Now!!! (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355349)

No, shivers, definitely not! I explicitly mean this: Native Client [google.com] .

Need good tools (5, Insightful)

poached (1123673) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354887)

Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX all have major vendor tooling support to help coding, developing, deploying on these platforms easy. I don't know of any tools in existence or in development that can beat the solutions offered by these vendors. Adobe might be willing to do that in the past, but they own Macromedia (flash) so I don't know if they will step up. In short, unless the tools are there, it will not see major adoption.

Re:Need good tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354971)

Don't worry, some programming stud will come by and create a F/OSS toolkit for it.

Re:Need good tools (1)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355099)

The only thing that would get any of the above-mentioned companies on board would be for HTML 5 to take off to such a degree that they feel their authoring environments are threatened enough that they need to adapt.

And as arguably their support would be instrumental in HTML5 taking off in the dynamic browser-based media market, it's pretty much a catch-22.

Unless some new player lands on the scene with a well-designed and powerful authoring environment built from the ground up for HTML 5. Then things could get really interesting.

Re:Need good tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355267)

Actually, I think Adobe would integrate HTML 5 media in Dreamweaver. Some solutions will lend themselves to different media approaches, so all paths being equal you're still using an Adobe product.

And chill on the Flash bash. The fact that there's so much bad content just reveals how accessible the tools are.

It will be a moving target (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354901)

When the browsers support html 5, people can start making content for it. The whole reason for flash and siverlight are the failures of the old html (which still shines despite having all this stuff bolted-on over the years to keep up)

If HTML 5 means just another bunch of tags with another bunch of CSS descripters and a set of scripts in a different language bolted-on to make it do stuff, along with spotty browser support, I suspect the one-stop shops of UI with scripting that flash and sliverlight provide will have a long future.

 

What about the browsers? (2, Insightful)

laughing rabbit (216615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354909)

The RIA guys are quoted as saying they're not worried, because HTML 5 + CSS 3 is 10 years out.

If this is the case, how far behind will the browsers be in supporting the standards?

Re:What about the browsers? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355053)

The 2D Canvas tag already works pretty well in Chrome, and mostly works in Firefox with some notable features missing. The w3c plans on adding a 3D standard at some point, but my guess is that the 2D API isn't going to change much from here.

Re:What about the browsers? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355343)

Both Mozilla and Apple are already working on HTML5 and CSS3 support. I'm not sure about Opera, but I'd guess they're already working on it. Microsoft will probably drag their fee (as always), but you'll see support in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome well before that "10 year" timeframe.

Re:What about the browsers? (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355605)

Both Mozilla and Apple are already working on HTML5 and CSS3 support. I'm not sure about Opera, but I'd guess they're already working on it.

Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari already, in either the current general beta versions, have support for a variety of parts of HTML5 and CSS3, and even IE supports a little bit.

Re:What about the browsers? (3, Interesting)

BZ (40346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355677)

The 10 year timeframe is for going to REC. Which means there are two complete interoperable implementations.

Unlike previous W3C standards, this time they're not going to publish as final it until they have evidence that it can actually be implemented, and by more than one development team. That's been a major issue with CSS2, for example: the long time CSS2.1 has been taking has been largely about fixing things that were underdefined, contradictory, or just wrong (in the sense of not making any sense) in CSS2 and that were discovered when people went to actually implement the spec.

That's nice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28354913)

but it won't work in IE until the point's moot. Remember kids, it's not done until Lotus 1-2-3 won't run!

Re:That's nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355663)

Except that we're in charge now.

It's not done until IE can't display it!

Actually, forget about IE. As long as it works ok in Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome, it's done. If it also works in IE then it's just a bonus.

HTML5 is awesome (3, Interesting)

cthulhuology (746986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354943)

HTML5 is incredibly awesome. I've been building some apps that run only in safari and the things you can do in so very little code make Flash and Silverlight look like anemic. What people don't realize is that HTML5 means tools to author HTML5 in HTML5. I've done a simple Object Oriented Javascript programming interface that currently only runs in Safari4 (only one with sufficient HTML5 support), and it is amazing what you can get done in 500 lines of code. Using the framework at http://www.dloh.org/ [dloh.org] I built a graphing app by adding 2 lines of Javascript. A simple movie player is 5 lines of javascript. It takes stupidly little code to make compelling apps using the right tools and HTML5. Furthermore, more and more phones are supporting the WebKit framework. Qualcomm is recruiting a team to port webkit, so we'll soon see it on Brew phones. Iphone runs it. Android phones run it. And even if you run Opera, once again you're getting decent HTML5 support on your phone. This is game changing technology because it runs on the devices that most of the 6 billion people on the planet actually use.

Re:HTML5 is awesome (3, Informative)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355119)

Why is the site you link to [dloh.org] in your piece show as 100% black in Firefox 3.0.11?

Disclaimer: I am no web developer.

Re:HTML5 is awesome (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355361)

Because 3.0 probably doesn't support the HTML 5 tags it needs. Try it in 3.5.

Re:HTML5 is awesome (0, Redundant)

setagllib (753300) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355173)

I think you have a very unusual definition of "app". If an entire app exists and you just need to embed it with 2 lines, you did not write an app, you used an existing one. If I make my own bash script to launch Firefox, did I write a web browser app?

Re:HTML5 is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355433)

App in 2 lines - yeah it's doable.. I see you have never met perl...

HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (5, Interesting)

Radhruin (875377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354953)

I've recently embarked upon a hobby project where I'm only targeting the latest browsers, excluding IE8.

Not until now have I realized how much we web developers are hampered by IE. Canvas and Javascript are a highly capable platform for interactive graphics, and it works across browsers and operating systems without issue. Chromium on Linux for example, incomplete as it is, works with canvas out of the box (not to mention about 10 times faster than FF in executing Javascript).

The ability to create web pages quickly, using convenient CSS2 and 3 rules, the ability to use piles and piles of Javascript without worry, the ability to have everything just work across my target browsers, it's utterly amazing. If we weren't stuck in this damn backwater due to having to support IE, the web would be a far more compelling platform.

I absolutely cannot wait for the day when HTML5 and CSS3 are widely supported and adopted, but will that day ever come? Surely Microsoft realizes, as I have, how much potential is here, and I don't doubt that some of the higher ups would hold IE back so that developers are forced to use their plugins in order to deliver their content.

For those projects that don't care about IE support, HTML5 canvas/video/audio is a fantastic leap forward for the web. For the rest, business as usual for some time to come I'm afraid.

Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (1)

xlotlu (1395639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355221)

For those projects that don't care about IE support, HTML5 canvas/video/audio is a fantastic leap forward for the web. For the rest, business as usual for some time to come I'm afraid.

No, it's not. You have the option to double your coding efforts, and implement your canvas features in VML as well (see for example OpenLayers [openlayers.org] for nicely abstracted code; it has 3 renderers: canvas, SVG and VML), or use ExCanvas [google.com] , which does all that for you. It's slower compared to a native implementation, but it works.

Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355421)

I have a hard time believing that IE will be able to hold out like this over the long-term. One of the big hold-outs on IE are businesses who have legacy web apps. Sooner or later, they'll be willing to upgrade/replace those, and if you can simplify development and save money, and all you have to do is install a free web browser that works on your existing platform, people will do that.

Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (3, Insightful)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355499)

The assumption that the IE team is motivated to compete with other browsers on the grounds of features and compatibility is naive. MS if pushing Silverlight through every vector they can think of. They like things the way they are: proprietary. This is the same company that makes Visual Studio, along with compilers for a dozen languages. Do you *really* think they'd have a problem developing a JavaScript engine to compete with V8? Or implement a few additional CSS rules? How about Canvas?

As long as the numbers of IE usage remain where they are, they are not compelled to push this route of technology. They like things the way they are now.

Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (1)

obi (118631) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355547)

Now all we need is a webkit plugin for IE8 and below. ... only half serious.

Re:HTML5, with canvas, is fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355631)

I absolutely cannot wait for the day when HTML5 and CSS3 are widely supported and adopted, but will that day ever come? Surely Microsoft realizes, as I have, how much potential is here, and I don't doubt that some of the higher ups would hold IE back so that developers are forced to use their plugins in order to deliver their content.

It doesn't matter if they attempt to hold IE back, all it's going to take is one compelling must have killer app in HTML5 and they'll either have to start coding support, or everyone will just simply download another browser. With HTML5 support and Google Wave coming out I'm starting to understand why Google released Chrome. If people hear about Google Wave everywhere and then try to go to the site and see a "incompatible with your browser, download Google Chrome" message, they'll probably just download and install the damn thing. That gives Google control over the platform it's running on then as well. Firefox has been eroding IE's marketshare simply by being a better browser, imagine what the power of a killer app, marketing and a big name like Google will be able to do. I've already seen Google putting IE specific "download google chrome" advertisements on some google homepages, it's only a matter of time before the browser is swept right out from under them if they don't keep up with the other browsers. More than likely, IE will just become more compliant. And I don't really care either way, as long as we as developers can move forward.

Yeah, but javascript sucks (5, Insightful)

Virus Hunter (1274224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354967)

I'm sorry but I just can't stand developing in Javascript. Javascript is hands down the most arcane language I find myself developing in. At this point being locked into a language like Javascript by the standards community seems much more restrictive than what the proprietary plug-ins are offering. Programming in both Silverlight and Flex has been a liberating experience for me. When using Silverlight or Flex I'm able to focus on creating an application that satisfies my customer's needs; instead of focusing on the black magic tricks that are so often required when using Javascript and HTML. At the end of the day it's so obvious that HTML and Javascript were not intended for serious application development. Not only do Silverlight and Flex offer better programming models they also offer rich support for databinding, and that has simplified so many of my applications. So unless HTML 5 comes packaged with a better programming language and data binding you can count me out.

Re:Yeah, but javascript sucks (1)

Trutane (735208) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355341)

I'm sorry but I just can't stand developing in Javascript.

Why write in Javascript when you can use a library like jQuery [jquery.com] or toolkit like GWT [google.com] that spare you the messy details of working in straight JS and take care of cross-browser compatibility?

I guess one answer would be, "because they don't support HTML5." Anyone know the status of HTML5 support/compatibility in these JS libraries and tools?

Re:Yeah, but javascript sucks (4, Insightful)

acidrainx (806006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355403)

I was ready to jump on you when I read the title of your post, but you're right, mostly. JavaScript is actually a really nice language to develop in (for small projects). With features such as lambdas, closures, and functions as first class objects, you can write some very elegant solutions with very little code.

Even with those features it's still stuck in the dark ages when compared to other modern languages. Prototypal inheritance, while cool, doesn't really offer the power that classical inheritance gives you when you're creating large systems. There's no such thing as super in prototypal inheritance, which gets annoying after a while.

Lately I've been looking into Flex and ActionScript 3. AS3 is basically what EcmaScript 4 was going to be before Microsoft derailed it. It's basically Java with a different syntax, a few extra features (lambdas, closures, namespaces), and no equivalent to abstract. It's really nice.

While I'm all for HTML5 and open standards, I highly doubt that it will ever be able to keep up with proprietary solutions like Flex. There's always going to be that big asshole in the corner who refuses to keep his browser up to date with everyone else. I've written large programs in JavaScript and its just far too stressful trying to keep IE-compliance. Until Microsoft or IE are dead and buried, I'm going to have more fun writing Flex apps that run on all browsers and all platforms without any platform specific code.

RIA? (1, Funny)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28354985)

What's RIA? Is it like the RIAA but without the A at the end? What's next then, MPA? BS?

Re:RIA? (1)

CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355107)

It's too bad that there is no way to look for the answer on the internet [lmgtfy.com]

Re:RIA? (3, Informative)

Virus Hunter (1274224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355133)

RIA stands for Rich Internet Application. It's a term that was coined by Macromedia in order to describe the rich user experiences that can be provided by flash. The term has gained a lot of popularity, and it generally refers to any technology that allows the user to have a rich application experience from within the browser. Currently the major RIA platforms are Flash, Silverlight, and Java FX, and I've also seen this term applied to Ajax before.

Adobe brought this on themselves (3, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355003)

Had Adobe not steadfastly refused to put any end user controls or setting in Flash no one would have bothered to develop alternatives.

But because they wanted to cater to the jumping monkey segment of the web advertising world, they stonewalled every request for end-user controls, such as no looping, no animation, no sound, etc.

Besides the fact that it is bloatware, its just end user un-friendly.

In order to control Flash, you needed to kill Flash and millions of web browsers would like to do exactly that.

Being an open standard HTML5 is open for development of end-user controls, such as animate only while cursor hovers, sound off till I say so, etc.

Bring on HTML5.
This is a market Adobe deserves to lose.

Re:Adobe brought this on themselves (4, Insightful)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355565)

As an aside: Does anyone remember how they pushed SVG before they bought out Macromedia? They even made a decent player, which you can still get here [adobe.com] . Notice the first line on the page: "Please note that Adobe has announced that it will discontinue support for Adobe SVG Viewer on January 1, 2009."... Who needs SVG after you own Flash?

Screw Flash. Screw Acrobat. Screw Silverlight. On the web, the most puritan Free Software advocates are right: If it's proprietary, don't download. Don't install. You've just giving them the power to take away your choices.

well... (4, Insightful)

evil_marty (855218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355005)

this is the beginning of the no-plugins trend and I for one think its about time. Sure some 98% of people have flash installed, silverlight much much less and java (well I tend to steer away from that as much as possible, besides when was the last time anyone ran an applet these days?) but the problem we are seeing is that single vendors take there time to migrate to other platforms, and usually then they lack features and what nots. Look at flash, it isn't even available for the iphone and it's linux support is very limited (alpha still?) not to mention lacking 64bit in windows, fucking windows! If flash was an open platform then more external resources can be used to address these situations but then this is where html5 goes one step further, instead of making it a plugin for everyone to download why not just make it part of the browser and save the hassle.

The problem with HTML is the implementations (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355013)

No browser implements HTML properly. In some instances there is no such thing as "proper" since the spec is ambiguous, contradictory or forgiving, or the content abuses lax enforcement of doctypes leading browsers needing to implement all kinds of the quirks. Even if HTML 5 were rigourously defined and backed up by proper compliance testing, you only have to look at HTML 4 or indeed proper PNG support to realise how long it will take for browsers to properly support it. Even if HTML 5 were properly supported by say, Google Chrome, is it at all likely for the majority of web users to switch to that browser? Of course they won't. They'll stick with whatever they have until they are compelled to upgrade.

So it's no surprise sites turn to Flex, Silverlight or JavaFX. While they are proprietary technologies they do generally work as claimed and even in a cross-browser and cross-platform manner. It's also easy for sites to persuade people to download & install the plugins without the trauma of upgrading or replacing their browser since the browser will help them do it.

Therefore I don't see HTML 5 supplanting RIA plugins for a very long time if ever. It would require decent support by all leading browsers. In some instances such as Internet Explorer, there is even a very major conflict of interest which makes it unlikely to happen. Aside from these hurdles, another major issue are AJAX toolkits and development environments. Frankly developing AJAX stinks for all sorts of reasons, and I don't see that situation changing much either.

Developers, developers ... and authoring tools (5, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355033)

The fundamental issue with the new RIA standards is the lack the of authoring tools. I have got a number of graphically-inclined friends who are never going to write something with HTML5 mainly because there are no tools out there (yet) which come even close what the Adobe authoring tools can do.

Recently, I sat with one of my friends (who's a decent artist [coroflot.com] ) and played around with Processing 1.0 [processing.org] . After several minutes of hard work, it just became abundantly clear that visual thinkers have a lot of trouble expressing what they want algorithmically. The experience was repeated the next time, when he was playing around with chucK [princeton.edu] (yeah, he's a music dude too).

The graphic artist folks will have a lot of trouble using the HTML 5 authoring tools currently available, especially if they're confined to use HTML Canvas programmatically. I've easily gotten upto speed with canvas [dotgnu.info] , but I'm a programmer with no artistic pretensions.

Real adoption of HTML5 - canvas and video & all, will need easy ways to author media ... not write code.

Re:Developers, developers ... and authoring tools (2, Interesting)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355707)

Sometimes it really sucks you can't contribute to a discussion and mod it. I reached your post only after posting my rants. You hit the nail on the head: People are confusing Graphic Designers with Developers. Even if canvas gave you 5 times the capabilities of Flash, it won't do the trick until there's an authoring environment -- an end-user application that's designed to be used by graphic designers. There are only so many polymaths around who can code and do visual design. Programmers write tools for, primarily, programmers. Thus the abundance of IDEs and coding tool stacks. It takes an effort, and a team of people with varied skillsets to create a software program that's meant to do, for example, animation.

I can only hope that the guys that are doing Inkscape [inkscape.org] will consider something along these lines.

Double Standards? (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355035)

What I hear is that "we need an open standard on video that is not controlled by one [proprietary] company."

But when it comes to Linux and where system files are "kept" (read installed), versions and naming conventions for files and all the rest, folks advocate for what is essentially chaos on the Linux platform.

How do they do it? By making lots of noise about choice. Where choice has put us to date is: Being behind on the desktop. We should have a target system configuration and still leave those who want the status quo to pursue their dreams. Folks, we can do better.

Question is: Why the double standard?

Re:Double Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355197)

That's easy. You've mixed up the words "one" and "proprietary". Open source programmers don't care so much that there are only one of everything, and in fact flexibility is good (free market or bazaar there). However proprietary software is as useless to programmers as cars with the hood wielded shut would be to mechanics.

You also don't seem to realize just how irritating to have government representatives tell you that you cannot use code you wrote from scratch yourself without paying some other random people money for their 'ideas'. Especially when you think the solution those other people came up with is a clunky mess and the only reason you did it was for compatibility.

Re:Double Standards? (1)

AceofSpades19 (1107875) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355529)

What I hear is that "we need an open standard on video that is not controlled by one [proprietary] company."

But when it comes to Linux and where system files are "kept" (read installed), versions and naming conventions for files and all the rest, folks advocate for what is essentially chaos on the Linux platform.

How do they do it? By making lots of noise about choice. Where choice has put us to date is: Being behind on the desktop. We should have a target system configuration and still leave those who want the status quo to pursue their dreams. Folks, we can do better.

Question is: Why the double standard?

I don't believe the goal of linux is to be #1 on the desktop.

Re:Double Standards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355611)

There was some sort of effort to standardize the Linux filesystem: LSB http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Standard_Base [wikipedia.org] .

I don't know how it fared, hopefully someone more informed will come along and shed some light.

I thought FreeBSD's layout was pretty much as good as it was going to get for a POSIX filesystem. But alas they have other problems keeping me from using it (unjournaled fs and the fact that you must build security updates from source using ports being the primary ones).

They are slowly supporting ZFS but I doubt that'll be ready for quite a while, if ever, in a form I don't need to babysit; and I think they are pretty much adamantly refusing to remedy the latter problem.

Earth to BSD devs, I don't want to recompile Samba/CUPS/whatever every time it needs an update which pegs my CPU usage at 100% for quite some time. Please offer updates in binary form.

(Also please don't stall the boot process waiting for a DHCP lease acquisition)

RIAs have common runtimes, browsers do not (5, Interesting)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355151)

The big problem with HTML5/JavaScript/CSS is that each browser has quirky behaviours that need to be tested. Even if Internet Explorer no longer existed, developers would have to test against Firefox, Safari, Chrome and maybe Opera. An example of a quirk is Safari not recognizing table element widths in percentages. A Flash developer tests against one Flash runtime, same with a Silverlight developer and a JavaFX developer.

Adobe released a beta of a multiple browser runtime testing tool, but it's apparently very flawed.

So until the above problems are solved, many RIA developers will simply use Flex, Silverlight or JavaFX, instead of coding for a hodge-podge of different browsers.

Quite an imagination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355157)

you can imagine [...] if Internet Explorer puts [HTML5] already in there, why do we have Silverlight?

Sadly I think this question will remain rhetorical for the foreseeable future.

Hope WIN7 catches on (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355319)

With older browsers all that was needed was a plugin. If the user/corporation is required to update the browser, good luck.

How many organizations are still use IE6? Too many.

Native Client Now Please!!! (0, Redundant)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355321)

In addition to the wonderful video, audio and other enhancements of HTML 5 let's also get Native Clients for powerful apps now please!

Native Client: Using Native Code to Build Compute Intensive Web Applications
Client Track - Brad Chen, David Sehr, Nicholas Fullagar Some applications require high-performance client-side computation. Native Client is a technology for running native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps. This talk will give a brief overview of the architecture of Native Client. We'll then look at some specific example applications as well as strategies for how to use native code to handle compute intensive tasks within web applications using SRPC, Shared Memory and NPAPI.
Native Client [google.com] .

Native Client will enable me (or you) to have web pages running MY (or your) OWN choice of programming language including a mix of languages as I (you) see fit. True freedom of choice, power and higher speed. Desktop powered apps can finally come to the desktop no matter what language they are written in!

We independent developers decide that ... (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355325)

if you make it good, and we like it, you'd be surprised how fast proprietary technology gets replaced. look at PHP. many of you who work corporate may not be aware, but PHP dominates the majority of sites that belong to individuals and small businesses now. check elance, rentacoder, etc - you'll find that the demand for php projects at least quadruples anything closest.

how did it happen ?

people liked it. it was adequate (then), it was free, it allows you to do anything (now). period. it took off.

before any of you language nazis come up and start trolling about how you dont like php syntax, how there are more 'elite' languages out there, and how php is 'not a language' etc, i should say - i dont give a flying fuck. neither do millions of people who utilize it and who develop on it. so keep it.

Slashdot users are fucking bastards (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355413)

I hope your penis gets covered in bees.

Re:Slashdot users are fucking bastards (1)

theskipper (461997) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355587)

I think I understand your intent conceptually, but would like more clarification. Are you referring to "penises" or "penis' ", as in collectively owned?

In other words, are we talking about a collection of individual penises all grouped together, then referring to them? Or as a metaphorical single penis that is owned by the slashdot bastards as a single unit?

My concern is that it would certainly be easier on the bees if it was a collection of physical penises, rather than an imaginary metaphorical one. The latter would just be cruel to the bees.

Microsoft? (5, Insightful)

asdfndsagse (1528701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28355415)

Microsoft might be part of the w3 organization, but none of their browsers support any of the HTML5 specs, i dont call that being involved, instead they have specifically decided not to support these standards, and try to slow down, and break apart the web.

Web standards have a horrible past... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28355639)

We're currently in the process of taking our large open source web-based application and re-writing the entire front-end in Flex.

We just got tired of the cross-browser headaches, especially with javascript/layout. As more and more browsers get released into the wild we found ourselves spending a large percentage of time just testing and working around issues with each browser rather then making real progress with the application itself.

Moving to Flex essentially eliminates any cross-browser issues for us, not to mention all the additional goodies it offers.

Browsers haven't implemented the standards that have been out for the last 10 years properly, I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to get it right anytime in the future.

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