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Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the passing-on-the-mega-death-ray-may-have-been-wrong-too dept.

Facebook 290

An anonymous reader writes "Speaking yesterday at TechCrunch Disrupt, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg acknowledged that the company's stock performance was disappointing. He also made an interesting remark about Facebook's development efforts over the past couple of years: 'The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native. It just wasn't ready.' According to Mashable, 'the benefits of cross-platform development weren't enough to outweigh the downsides of HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code, and is much less stable. ... Now, Zuckerberg says, Facebook is focused on continuing to improve the native mobile experience on iOS, as well as bringing a native app to Android.'"

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Whatever (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311069)

Amusement for the lower classes is a difficult business.

Re:Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311095)

Slashdot is the lower class.

Re:Whatever (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311393)

You both have no class.

Re:Whatever (0)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311657)

Why do you think he's here with us?

Correction... (5, Insightful)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311075)

Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
There, fixed that for him.

Re:Correction... (5, Insightful)

Grantbridge (1377621) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311107)

Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price! Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311281)

From that perspective yes, but for the everyday work at facebook it may have been a disaster since the new owners might force the leaders to spend their time on the next quarterly report instead of taking care of operations.

Re:Correction... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311529)

Zuck holds 57% of the "voting" stock and specifically told everyone in the IPO prospectus that he wasn't going to listen to them. Nobody has the ability to oust him and he isn't leaving on his own. The guy knows what he's doing.

I knew what he was doing, too, which is why I didn't buy any shares, and will continue to not buy shares until they're at around $10.

Re:Correction... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311595)

"The guy knows what he's doing".

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!

If he knew what he was doing, he wouldn't still be about a sinking ship.

Re:Correction... (4, Interesting)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311621)

Zuck holds 57% of the "voting" stock and specifically told everyone in the IPO prospectus that he wasn't going to listen to them. Nobody has the ability to oust him and he isn't leaving on his own. The guy knows what he's doing.

He got married.
I wouldn't be surprised if Priscilla divorces him after a few years, and sells the shares she got out of it. Unless he has a iron clad prenup, that will lose him his control.

Re:Correction... (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311481)

Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price!

That doesn't mean it was a success for Facebook, only that it was a success for:

Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.

Don't confuse the share holders with the company. Collect all the share holders and put them together, and they'll produce nothing. The value of the company is its assets (physical and intellectual), employees, customers and in true evolutionary spirit, its ability to adapt.
The money the IPO brought increases assets short term, but long term, the investors want their money back, and more. Unless a company can continuously outgrow the investors' increasing demands, it will, in the end, get the short stick.

Re:Correction... (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311581)

Unless a company can continuously outgrow the investors' increasing demands, it will, in the end, get the short stick.

So far practically everything on the web has been supplanted by something else. What's really and truly long-running, and in the No.1 spot? Has any of it occupied that spot since the beginning? The internet archive is still the first archive, but where is Hotbot? Where is IUMA? Who cares about Myspace? Are people still using Microsoft for email? Etc. (Lycos, Internet Archive, Apparently some musicians still, and only Microsofties, respectively... they're rhetorical questions you bastards.)

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311487)

It was a success as a one-time infusion of cash. The biggest mistake is that they over sold it and will have a hard time 'going back to the well' to get another round of investors to buy in. See the way LinkedIn handled their IPO and were able to go back to investors again and again in the following months to raise capital with a lot more good will.

Re:Correction... (2)

Picardo85 (1408929) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311567)

Hardly, the IPO was an amazing success for facebook. They managed to sell the company for twice the current market price! Anyone who had facebook shares before the IPO (which is who facebook was doing the IPO for) did rather well out of the deal.

Actually they managed to sell the company at ten times the market price. The estimated value of the company according to valuation terms used in finance would have been $10bn and the company sold for over $100bn. The valuation is made on the basis of the profits a company is making and market price is a max of 10 times that so Facebook was a huge bubble when it had its IPO at 100 times the profits of the previous year. That said, the early stakeholders in FB made a great deal when the IPO was done.

Re:Correction... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311109)

Huh, why? Didn't it make him, you know, rather rich?

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311465)

Didn't it make him, you know, rather rich?

Unless he sold his shares at the high mark, no. In fact after the IPO his net worth will have crashed.

Holding shares != rich.

Re:Correction... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311141)

Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
There, fixed that for him.

You meant: The IPO Was Investors Biggest Mistake.
There, fixed that for you.

Re:Correction... (5, Interesting)

dnaumov (453672) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311243)

Zuckerberg meant: The IPO Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake.
There, fixed that for him.

You meant: The IPO Was Investors Biggest Mistake.
There, fixed that for you.

You meant: The IPO Was The Biggest Mistake of Speculators Trying to Get Rich Quick Off an IPO Pop.
The investors who actually SOLD shares on the IPO made out like bandits.

Re:Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311315)

I am your anonymous coward parent... and i stand corrected!

Re:Correction... (5, Funny)

synapse7 (1075571) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311169)

I fully agree with you, making a billion dollars over night is terrible, absolutely terrible, I sure as hell wouldn't have done that.

Re:Correction... (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311677)

I said the IPO was FACEBOOK's biggest mistake, not Mark's. If you don't see the difference, oh well...

Re:Correction... (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311331)

The purpose of stock offerings is to raise money. It was a huge success. If you lost money on it that's because you paid too high a multiple on Facebook sales and profits.

Re:Correction... (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311691)

The IPO debacle hurt Facebook's image as a company. Share prices expect to soar, they fell instead. Company image affected.

too smoke html5. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311079)

probably, it takes too much develop time.

Correction... (3, Interesting)

Huggs (864763) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311103)

"Zuckerberg: Betting On HTML5 Was Facebook's Biggest Mistake For The iOS App". Company-wise, their IPO certainly was a bigger mistake than using HTML5 in iOS.

Re:Correction... (5, Interesting)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311181)

Company-wise, their IPO certainly was a bigger mistake than using HTML5 in iOS.

The IPO was inevitable and unavoidable. It was a bad idea, but it was inevitable and unavoidable.

First, Facebook had already taken more than a billion dollars from investors, including half a billion from Goldman-Sachs alone. So that means that an IPO (aka pump and dump) was inevitable.

Second, Facebook is the new MySpace and everyone knows it. An IPO (aka pump and dump) is the fastest way to cash in on the latest fad before the bubble pops.

Re:Correction... (1)

Conspire (102879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311339)

Wait, no matter how much money from whom.....I thought that one person had control......no? That was the claim

Re:Correction... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311613)

Wait, no matter how much money from whom.....I thought that one person had control......no? That was the claim

He who can destroy a thing controls it.

Re:Correction... (2)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311397)

And the most important thing, the IPO put a LOT of money into facebooks own coffers. Facebooks IPO was a resounding success for the company. they sold out every share they were offering.

The only thing the IPO was a mistake for were the speculators that thought it was a good idea to buy an overhyped stock that current available financial data was absolutely unable to justify the price they were asking.

i could even link some of my past comments, saying how overvalued i thought it was. however i still don't think it has hit bottom. eventually they may be worth what they were asking at their IPO, but they definitely aren't there yet.

the only problem the price drop may pose is a retention issue for some of the exec's who were compensated with too much stock, and now see it just losing value. similar to what Zynga is currently going through.

Re:Correction... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311627)

Apple is a far far far larger bubble than Facebook. Wait for that Mountain to pop. When the most valuable stock in the world belongs to what's basically a toy company, you know you've got a problem.

Re:Correction... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311731)

Sorry Apple has growth, billions in free cash flow, lots of cash on hand, significant IP and real property, and multiple income streams, both hardware, software, services and media/content and a so far very loyal userbase.

Facebook has some cash flow financed by ads and market research, and shrinking usage in their primary markets.

Re:Correction... (1)

canadiannomad (1745008) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311537)

their IPO certainly was a bigger mistake than using HTML5 in iOS.

I don't know... I think their biggest mistake was timeline. I guess I'm a privacy nut for not wanting to so easily share my entire history with everyone who is considered a "friend"(past, present or future) on facebook. I know it has put a damper on a lot of my friends and what they post. I for one have relegated it to a means to monitor those who post photos with me so I can untag myself or request it get taken down.

Re:Correction... (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311541)

The fact is that Facebook's use of HTML5 was distinctly sub-par, thus making their apps incredibly frustrating to use. Losing all the data, no apparent caching, etc, on a platform that you are using on a mobile device that often loses connectivity. Madness.

I don't give a Zuck! (5, Insightful)

Elminster Aumar (2668365) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311125)

I wish that guy would take a hike... As for his comment, well, let's see him come up with a markup language standard that appeases every vendor while supporting every aspect of media delivery for users. That's not an easy task. Say what you want about the consortium, but what they did in the amount of time they did it in is rather impressive... These things are done in baby steps--but their efforts delivered more than this. Just because HTML5 might have wrinkles to iron out doesn't mean that it's a failed endeavor. Rather, it means that the browsers, companies behind said browsers, and the users have created a massive cluster of epic proportions. The consortium is just trying to make everything more accessible while accommodating for everyone. Again, not an easy task at all.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (2, Insightful)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311139)

The problem with html5 apps is javascript. That language is just not designed to delopment of huge applications.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (0)

Sudline (1552111) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311167)

Facebook is not a big application. The problem is rather iOS.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311223)

He thinks it sucks on Android too, per the Article.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311479)

It also utterly sucks on Android.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (1, Funny)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311593)

Good old Slashdot, never let the facts get in the way of an Apple bash.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (5, Insightful)

radio4fan (304271) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311195)

If that were really the problem in this case then the Facebook website would have exactly the same issues, and you'd have to download a Facebook client app for desktop use.

The real problem is that browsers on mobiles still suck.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311231)

The real problem is that browsers on mobiles still suck.

Yes, yes, let's blame it all on mobile browsers (despite using practically the same software as the desktop version) and not on limited resources, limited screen size and limited user interaction. The problem of HTML5 is not that it is bad, it is that it needs a power hungry machine to make it fly.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (2)

R_Dorothy (1096635) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311351)

That's pretty much what PPK made of the comments, and there are few people that understand mobile browsers better than him. http://www.quirksmode.org/blog/archives/2012/09/facebooks_html5.html [quirksmode.org]

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311599)

Thing is, a web thing can have many of the things that we expect from a non-web application these days and usually do it well, things like drag and drop should work smoothly even on most portable platforms if the browser is worth one tenth of one crap.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311313)

The problem is more complex than that: Mobile devices lack CPU grunt to do things which are easier to do on a desktop systems.
Because of this the mobile OS builders concentrate what little CPU they do have to make sure their apps run the best as they can at the cost of anything else you may wish to run on top of that. In fact I think they even cripple Javascript on iOS to make sure the OS keeps ticking nicely, for example native scroll events take precendence over Javascript scroll events. I think the main reason that flash was killed in iOS was because it was a closed source CPU hog that they couldn't cripple.

The only thing that will change this for mobile development is more CPU power, which is difficult if we don't want to have personal hand warmers in our pockets.
I don't have a problem with JS for application GUI development as long as there is enough juice to run it.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (4, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311525)

The problem is more complex than that: Mobile devices lack CPU grunt to do things which are easier to do on a desktop systems.
Because of this the mobile OS builders concentrate what little CPU they do have to make sure their apps run the best as they can at the cost of anything else you may wish to run on top of that. In fact I think they even cripple Javascript on iOS to make sure the OS keeps ticking nicely, for example native scroll events take precendence over Javascript scroll events. I think the main reason that flash was killed in iOS was because it was a closed source CPU hog that they couldn't cripple.

The only thing that will change this for mobile development is more CPU power, which is difficult if we don't want to have personal hand warmers in our pockets.
I don't have a problem with JS for application GUI development as long as there is enough juice to run it.

I suppose that *is* a problem, but really the big thing that Facebook has screwed up in mobile is not having the infrastructure (server side) to push all content as updates to the app. Instead, each time a user wants to browse their wall, they have to download the whole flogging thing again. The absolute biggest threat to mobile experience is the actual content download itself, it requires the user to stand around and wait, and it eats battery like crazy. Twitter got this right, partly because that's the entire model of their service, but if you look at how well their app runs on mobile you kind of get tired of even tolerating Facebook at all.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311559)

Unfortunately, apple loves perception over reality. Sure the app 'pops' up when you click it, but it still takes a few seconds for the app to replace the pictue of the app where clicking on the buttons actually does something. The notes app is the worst. Especially if you have a ton of them. Waiting 5-6 seconds where clicking the note you want to view does absolutely nothing.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (1)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311619)

Mine works instantly.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311563)

Javascript isn't a real problem, it's the developers writing code using it. We're talking about a client application that is mostly doing REST/JSON calls to the main backend servers, and then displaying it in the correct place on the existing page, and persisting it to a HTML5 local DB. Except it didn't do the latter, and all too often lost even the in-memory cache of data, making the app a PITA to use, especially scrolling back in history.

You only need to look at Twitter clients to realise that timeline-based clients can be written effectively, even in HTML5+JS.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (4, Funny)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311277)

Not supporting the type of moble App Facebook were trying to write is a feature of HTML5 not a wrinkle to iron out.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311471)

"As for his comment, well, let's see him come up with a markup language standard that appeases every vendor while supporting every aspect of media delivery for users. That's not an easy task. Say what you want about the consortium, but what they did in the amount of time they did it in is rather impressive..."

By consortium I assume you mean W3C, but the HTML5 spec was written by WHATWG. Part the problem with HTML5 is that it doesn't represent the interests of many vendors because WHATWG is run in a fairly authoritarian manner by a small handful of individuals representing even fewer companies. In contrast, the W3C represents many hundreds of companies from all facets of the tech world and decisions are made much more democratically.

I'm not honestly sure development of HTML5 was done in a small amount of time. Part the complaint about the W3C that led to the formation of WHATWG was that the W3C moved too slowly, yet despite WHATWG's authoritarian power structure which should, like China, allow it to move much more rapidly it's taken just as long as other W3C standards have and is of drastically lower quality than some of them to boot.

"Rather, it means that the browsers, companies behind said browsers, and the users have created a massive cluster of epic proportions."

Which makes no sense, because the whole argument of HTML5 allowing for all sorts of crap, rather than being a neat, clean, spec, was that exactly this wouldn't happen. The fact it has demonstrates how WHATWG was more a power play to hijack web standards by a few vested interests, rather than any altruistic move to improve the web and make things better because HTML5 has not only failed to remove many problems of past standards, but has in fact made them worse in some cases. For example:

"The consortium is just trying to make everything more accessible while accommodating for everyone."

Accessibility is one area where HTML5 has failed miserably. It would've been so easy to add transcript support to varying new forms of content for example, but instead they remain entirely unaccessible blobs of multimedia to anyone who needs such accessibility support.

I agree it's silly to say HTML5 is dead or anything like that, even Zuckerberg is not saying that, he's just saying it's too immature a technology right now for what Facebook tried to do. Whether it will remain so is yet to be seen, but HTML5 is far from something that deserves any specific praise, it just about does the job, but if it were a piece of homework it would probably get a C or a D, certainly it's not an A+, A, or even B grade piece of work. It's mediocre at best and none of the benefits WHATWG promised it would offer from hijacking the standards process have borne through - HTML5 is far less representative of people's needs, a far lower quality spec, and has far more implementation issues than previous HTML standards had. Worse, they have now made it a "living" standard, so it's not even necessarily stable which completely defies the point of a spec.

Re:I don't give a Zuck! (4, Informative)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311683)

Just because HTML5 might have wrinkles to iron out doesn't mean that it's a failed endeavor. Rather, it means that the browsers, companies behind said browsers, and the users have created a massive cluster of epic proportions.

So, basically, blame everyone but the people who wrote the spec? Sounds like the consortium's made up of entire middle-managers.

HTML5 is the poster-child for designed-by-committee, slow-as-molasses processes that are out-paced by everyone else because, in the real world, things actually need to get done this decade, and the rest of us can't wait. HTML5 has been in development for eight years, and their current target is another two years before it becomes a Candidate Recommendation. Bearing in mind that they've already missed all their previous targets, Ian Hickson estimated that they'd have the requisite two, independent working implementations in 2022. That's eighteen years from start of development, 10 years from now.

By the time the spec is completed, devices will have been forced to roll their own solutions, simply because the spec isn't done. Now, they might have some inter-operable features, if that aspect of the spec had been fully codified before they had to implement it, but that's precisely the situation we had in the Netscape v. IE browser wars - each had a somewhat common base, but were independently adding new features to try an improve the browser. The features they added were mutually incompatible because there was no common standard - and we're staring straight down that road again. It's a very clear example of perfect being the enemy of good.

w3What? (2)

thogard (43403) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311129)

The w3c started out describing how web browsers worked and somehow they mistakenly decided they were a standards board. They still get ignored. They will always be ignored fro connivence.

Re:w3What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311259)

Well, they pretty much are being ignored now after the most recent outcry against their idiocy and slowness.

WHATWG have, for all intents and purposes, took over since everyone who is worth their weight in salt only cares what the people who have done more than W3C has done in its entire existence have to say in just a few short years, ratio-wise.
At this rate, we will somehow be on Mars. I don't know how, but WHATWG will make it happen.

And before people come in moaning about it again, CSS and JS are both moving targets already. HTML was completely rewritten to be extendable from a semantically sensible baseline of elements.
Things get deprecated quite easily in CSS and JS with no problems either.
Versionless isn't going to make your life harder. And Microsoft isn't so much a problem anymore either since they have decided to re-enter the browser wars.
Things aren't going to be deprecated unless a very huge change is made. And that is as equally unlikely to ever happen because of the new changes done to it.

I hope for everyone that W3C never get in a position of power again. Finally the slow behemoth has been pushed aside so that people can actually do some work instead of beating around the VRML bush.

For Mobile (5, Insightful)

mlingojones (919531) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311135)

Ooooh. What the article MEANS is "betting on HTML5 as a MOBILE strategy instead of writing native SMARTPHONE applications was a mistake." That's much less broad. Also, as HTML5 is still in its infancy and not yet a finished standard, I think it's kind of early to make this statement.

Re:For Mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311205)

That's pretty much what he's saying: HTML5 isn't ready yet and FB was wrong to try to use it on mobile devices instead of native apps.

Re:For Mobile (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311329)

Given that Facebook.com is, indeed, still a webpage, I don't see how anyone - apart from slashfag - can fail to understand that without separately mentioning mobile.

Re:For Mobile (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311369)

Facebook programmers suck at the "view" part of MVC. Don't blame HTML5 for Facebook not knowing what they want to show. They could do just as much with a good view as a mobile app. The good view would put less work on the mobile phone.

Re:For Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311423)

We need to standardize HTML5 to point where we can build dedicated circuitry to render pages at a fraction of the time and power needed today. That would make it feasible as a multi-platform markup language. Now that I'm dreaming, let me go into hardware accelerated Java.

Re:For Mobile (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311431)

"betting on HTML5 as a mobile strategy INSTEAD of writing native smartphone applications was a mistake."

Surely it wasn't beyond Facebook's resources to write:
*an Android app.
*an iPhone app. ....AND an HTML5 app

You know like ... manage risk ... not put all your eggs in one basket .... ect ..ect

HTML 5 Java (0)

crovira (10242) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311435)

HTML5 is roughly equivalent to Java as far as a multi-platform programming language and development platform.

Java has been dying the death of a thousand cuts since its inception. Its latest suffering through mismanagement at/in the hands of Oracle doesn't hide the fact that the JIT interpiler isn't worth sh*t. (The only successful approach I've ever encountered to using a virtual machine was employed by the Digitalk VM which cached successive VM invocations so that you ran at native 'raw iron" machine speeds after encountering the performance hit the first and only time an pseudo-instruction was executed in a method.)

The lethal performance problems that WordPerfect encountered trying to implement their suite of office products in Java still apply.

HTML5 is doomed to suffer the same fate regardless of how many spare CPU cycles we throw at it because its fundamentally not parsimonious enough with response time.

Re:For Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311589)

Exactly. He makes it sound like HTML5 is the problem. The problem is Zuckerberg. He bet on technology which simply doesn't exist yet when he should have been writing quality mobile applications. The Facebook application on Android is notoriously shitty, bloated, resource intensive, and slow. Even Facebook has recently admitted its a total piece of shit application via he recent "ear out own dog food" announcement.

I completely fail to see how this is a story in the first place.

Re:For Mobile (3, Funny)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311715)

HTML5 is projected to be finished in 2022. By that stage, vendors will have adopted proprietary standards, not because they want to, but because the open standard was simply too damn slow to get done.

There are people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311153)

There are people who would really like to see the end of the open internet. Even the W3C recently got behind the position that RAND patents were OK. I'm sure Zuckerberg's comments on performance are true - who didn't already know that browsers are slower than native apps? - but there are other issues in play here.

HTML5 sucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311207)

IE6 HTML powered by ActiveX technologies is the superior choice.

Re:HTML5 sucks. (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311271)

It's funny how Microsoft periodically releases a "cumulative security update of ActiveX killbits" to play a whack-a-mole of vulnerable apps created with the MS's technology. ;)

Re:HTML5 sucks. (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311377)

I've converted all my websites to WML.

Biggest mistake - HTML5? (4, Funny)

markdowling (448297) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311227)

So not any of FB's many privacy "mistakes" then?

Re:Biggest mistake - HTML5? (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311373)

The privacy mistakes don't cost them much money.

I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (5, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311285)

Zuckerberg isn't dumb. This judgement on the whole HTML 5 craze goes to show. Techwise HTML5/CSS3/Ajax is a huge step backwards compared to other approaches, like, for instance, Flash. Flash is proprietary and invites doing all kinds of non-sense (sic), but it *is* a far better x-platform VM.

Going HTML5 is not to be triffled with and will bog down your systems performance way further than other VM solutions such as Java or Flash/AS. Any web developer worth his salt could have told Zuckerberg that.

The "problem" (lets just call it that for now) here is that geeks, i.e. opinion leaders, are willing to make huge technological concessions if the technology is more open than the alternatives. Some devs would rather chop their right arm off than develop against (semi)prorietary systems like iOS or countless versions of Android. Hence we've got native looking apps, that are web UIs in disguise, slowpoking about at speeds we know from Windows 95 Applikations back in the day. I presume Zuckerberg got himself talked into this by his devleads, who are, just like any respectable geek, probably way more concerned with system openess and anti-lock-in development wise than with business critical performance and end-user experience issues. That's my guess anyway.

You can say and think what you want about Zuckerberg and Facebook - I dislike the whole direction thinks have taken with this FB thing just as much as the next geek - but his conclusion is spot on. He's a developer himself and it's to his credit that he recongnises where his company bet on the wrong technology. You have to give him credit for that.

My 2 cents.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (2)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311443)

Some would say that those who hedged their bets on HTML5 in the first place, especially from so early on, were the dumb ones and not the naysayers.

To be honest - I don't see much advantage as a user (the last time I touched HTML seriously was just after CSS became popular, so I don't really speak as a developer here). Take Facebook for example - what do I get from all the fancy code that adorns those pages and slows down my browser (design decisions like Timeline aside)? I get little buttons to hide posts I don't like (that disappear inline) and some tagging technology that's easily replicated.

Betting the shop on what HTML5 does feature in something like Facebook, and especially on browser compatibility which has been notoriously underwhelming with most HTML/CSS technologies, is quite a dumb technical and business decision. That he recognises this now is sensible, but it's not worthy of much praise.

All native apps do is take away the unknown of what browser the user is using and what it supports. It's not like they've made apps that somehow magically integrate into Facebook, it's just the same code and a known platform to target (and I bet it isn't even as simple as that and they have problems with them all the time because one can do X that the others can't). So they've ended up hiring a native code writer or dozens for each platform to make a "Facebook browser" rather than a native app - same thing, different angle. And saved nothing in the process. The app could have just done all the donkey work itself and just talked to Facebook via a very basic API of any kind.

It's not a case of betting on the wrong technology. It's a case of not seeing that he did so a LOT earlier. "I'm going to assume that everyone has a mostly HTML5 compliant browser and program with that assumption" is quite a ridiculous thing to ever say - even today - and then base a huge business on that complete guess.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311457)

Anybody who ever says that Flash is better than HTML5 needs to be punched in the face.

Especially when the conversation is about mobile offerings. You know, since Flash is no longer supported on mobile platforms. At all.

Techwise, HTML5 is inferior to _NATIVE CODE_. Compared to Flash, trust me, HTML5 is a million times better than Flash. HTML5 will run on mobile devices. Flash won't on a rather large percentage of devices and that percentage is only going to shrink, not grow.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311475)

Two words: section 508.
A lot of blind people are using iphones and ipads because apple has been pushing better support for people with diffrent needs.
If you run a flash website, you lose out on a large population of blind users. Facebook wants as many people as they can to use the site.
HTML5 as part of a good MVC setup lets access to more people with less wasted money on apps for every platform.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (1)

Karlt1 (231423) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311477)

"Zuckerberg isn't dumb. This judgement on the whole HTML 5 craze goes to show. Techwise HTML5/CSS3/Ajax is a huge step backwards compared to other approaches, like, for instance, Flash. Flash is proprietary and invites doing all kinds of non-sense (sic), but it *is* a far better x-platform VM."

So by going Flash for mobile one of two things would have happened....

1) They would develop a Flash web app that didn't work on a platform that garners 65.9% of the mobile web traffic and was abandoned by Adobe for the other 35%

or

2) Been forced to used another runtime (Adobe AIR) that would still not be as performant as a native app.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311491)

Spoken like person who has invested a lot of time in Flash. Sorry dude but Javascript is getting faster and Flash's days are numbered.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (1)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311577)

This is about mobile apps. They don't even HAVE Flash or other VMs on the iPhone. You either use HTML or write a native app.

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (4, Informative)

tgibbs (83782) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311603)

From the actual quote [tobie.me] , it does not sound like Zuckerberg is really down on HTML5 overall. I think, rather, he is saying that the company invested too much time trying to optimize the HTML5 client for mobile clients, when the company was ultimately able to get better performance with less effort by developing native apps.

D'oh, Thick client vs thin client (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311635)

I think you and Zuck are confusing thick versus thin client. The same html5 app on desktop works fine. Smarphones don't have that much power to handle thick javascript app - simple as that. Move some of the stuff off to the server and your app performance improves (at a cost of responsiveness).

If mobile is your main problem - with this amount of cash I would be writing in parallel apps in html5, ios, android and win8.
D'oh!

Re:I'd second that. He's spot on with this. (2)

Stiletto (12066) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311673)

The "HTML5 vs. Native controls" nerd-war is currently being waged where I work, and for whatever reason, emotions really run high on this one. It's much uglier than Windows vs. Linux or whose text editor is best. It's a fight over whose skills are relevant. When half of your developers are HTML/Javascript people and the other half are Obj-C/C/Java (native) people, and a new mobile project is proposed, every tech lead makes passioned arguments that THEIR TEAM should get the project and that those other teams' chosen technology is unsuitable. I don't even want to think about how much time/salary has been wasted arguing over this shit.

BS (-1, Troll)

Conspire (102879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311299)

I call absolute BS. There is no room for FB on the mobile. Why do I need FB on my mobile? If it is the fastest, snappiest and most elegant app on my phone, I won't use it because looking at other people's endless drivel (which is all FB is) is something I don't need to be doing while on the road.

Re:BS (5, Insightful)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311391)

What you're saying is "I don't need it, so nobody needs it". I hope you know how stupid that sounds.

Re:BS (-1, Flamebait)

Conspire (102879) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311539)

I don't need drivel, so nobody needs drivel. No, that does not sound so stupid.

Re:BS (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311569)

What you're saying is "I don't need it, so nobody needs it". I hope you know how stupid that sounds.

While true, you could invalidate his statement by giving just one example of someone who needs it.

I obey gravity, so everybody obeys gravity.

Re:BS (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311725)

Remember, this is Slashdot you are talking about. If a poster on here can't contribute to open source through coding then he or she, in the eyes of the general populace of slashdot, is too stupid to even exist let alone use a computer. You see, most slashdotters don't like anyone or anything that is different which is why most flamebaiting posts containing "M$" is generally modded up while most insightful posts that have anything that is remotely positive for Microsoft or even remotely negative toward open source is modded down. The same goes with Facebook.

Re:BS (0)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311405)

Unlike slashdot, Facebook is all about delivering other people's endless drivel. And phones are one way to deliver it.

Amen!! (1)

willie3204 (444890) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311309)

Definitely not why their stock price has gone down but technology wise a very correct statement.
The sight is slower than slow

So HTML5 is not very optimised (1)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311311)

Maybe I am being dense, but surely there is some way to optimise it. Better machine-specific interpretors, the kind of pre-execution optimisation that compilers do, anything....

HTML5 (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311319)

I can understand why Zuck feels more comfortable on putting effort on the native mobile FB apps. AJAX has always been a hacky, bloated way to create interactive applications. I wish we had something more suited for the purpose.

Re:HTML5 (1)

supremebob (574732) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311503)

I'm just glad that they're finally working on the issue. The Facebook apps for both iOS and Android were complete rubbish, and was often both faster and more reliable just to use the mobile version of the web site.

The new iOS version of the app seems a lot more responsive. I hope that they do something similar for Android soon.

Magic native app networking (2)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311363)

"'the benefits of cross-platform development weren't enough to outweigh the downsides of HTML5, which pulls in data much more slowly than native code," Pulls in data much more slowly?

Is he talking overhead of HTTP headers? Handshaking on websockets?

The worst part of the facebook app has been the fact that when you load it up it wipes out the screen of any data you had last time, then pulls in a full new set over a crappy mobile network connection which very often timed out. Had the app cached (HTML5 localStorage?) postings and displayed what you already had, while trying to get new ones, it would have been much more useful.

He can blame HTML5 all he wants, but poor design decisions could be made for any language and platform.

Whole quote (2)

simplexion (1142447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311403)

“When I’m introspective about the last few years I think the biggest mistake that we made, as a company, is betting too much on HTML5 as opposed to native because it just wasn’t there. And it’s not that HTML5 is bad. I’m actually, on long-term, really excited about it. One of the things that’s interesting is we actually have more people on a daily basis using mobile Web Facebook than we have using our iOS or Android apps combined. So mobile Web is a big thing for us.”

Re:Whole quote (3, Funny)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311505)

Nothing to do with their Android app once wiping out your phone contact's email addresses and replacing them with @facebook.com equivalents?

People use the web version not because it's more convenient but because it's safer and you KNOW what it has access to.

Anything that causes pain for Zuckerberg is fine (5, Funny)

iBod (534920) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311411)

Anything that causes pain for Zuckerberg is fine by me.

Yeah! Go HTML5!

android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311489)

as a user of the Android FB app, I agree with this sentiment. The app is one of the most unresponsive and slow apps I've ever used.

Facebook never bet on HTML5 (3, Informative)

groovepapa (857180) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311509)

Does anyone remember the convoluted rambling of Dave Fetterman at f8 developer conference last year? No? Here it is again:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/mobile/2011/09/how-facebook-mobile-was-design.php [readwriteweb.com]
TL;DR:

"So, how does this work? Project FaceWeb is an extension of this progressive enhancement idea. So, instead of the phone saying I am rendering for a WebKit browser, we send an agent that says you are going to be rendering for a WebKit UI WebKit view inside the iPhone app. So, what you have to do is detect that, style a Web code to make that work, build a bridge between the things that you want to write to interact natively with the Objective-C, say in Javascript, then build HTML pages for Facebook in the iPhone. So, you build much smaller native goop instead of having to build over and over again. ... HTML5 is probably the way that we should have done it."

If you think that's an HTML5 approach, I have some lean agile behavior-driven coaching hours for which I'd like to bill you.

sounds like a faceplant approach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311723)

ROFL

Blame? (5, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311549)

Facebook is a webpage, not a 3D game that pushes the hardware. Is it possible he is blaming the technology for the failure of his coders? After all, we're talking about an app that when you viewed the comments on a photo you had to back out and come back several times in order for it to "refresh". Or sometimes clicking on a friend's name would take you to an entirely unrelated part of the app. And photos would take ages to load. Sometimes entering in a comment would work, sometimes it would say "you can't comment on something that doesn't exist" even though you could open up Facebook on a desktop computer and make a comment in the same place without a problem. I don't know of any other "webpage" app on the iPhone that performed that poorly, and granted I don't know what the Google+ app used but in comparison it blew the doors off of the Facebook app. Was it really the technology to blame?

whats concerning is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311579)

Why is the CEO of an advertising company talking about this stuff? Isn't that his CIO's job?

first (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41311639)

Can No longeR be [goat.cx]

HTML5 (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311721)

So that's it? Snotty but successfull kid declares html5 a toss and that's it? I've noticed a few other people making comments that they're disappointed by html5. Its a bit early to make that determination yet I think.

Well next time (4, Insightful)

Anarchduke (1551707) | more than 2 years ago | (#41311727)

Do your homework and your HTML5 implementation wont suck.
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