Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) Blog

A Multi-Tool Mashup for Accelerating HTML5 Development

kinvey-html5In today’s Kinvey eBook, titled “A Multi-Tool Mashup for Accelerating HTML5 Development,” our CTO Morgan Bickle explains how he cobbled together a few existing tools created by influential web and mobile developers to create his own HTML5 project builder that enables quick website development. Below is an excerpt from the eBook, giving a background on the role HTML5 plays in modern development. If you want to get right to the meat, click here to download the book.

As of recently, the W3C standards body considers HTML5 feature-complete.  We expect to see HTML5 adoption rise in the coming years.

The markup language was originally developed as a major revision of HTML. It aims to improve on major issues (like HTML syntax issues and adding multimedia support) found in previous iterations and attempts to define a single markup language that can be written in HTML. HTML5 provides cutting edge features that allow web developers to build apps that feel and perform more like desktop applications. HTML5 is a big step in delivering power, robustness, interactivity, and multi-media richness to the web.  Let’s break it down into the most basic of formulas:  HTML5 is the approximate equivalent of HTML + CSS + JavaScript.

Is HTML5 Ready for Mobile?

The question has been asked by many in the tech and development communities: Is HTML5 truly ready for mobile? It has sparked heated debates. Even experts disagree, some vehemently. Critics complain that not all browsers support HTML5. They dislike that mobile apps built on it can be slow and unreliable. (Remember when Facebook’s mobile app was pure HTML5? Complaints from users about extremely slow load times and frequent crashes are the main reasons for Facebook’s switch to hybrid.) An inability to access a mobile device’s hardware functionalities, such as the camera or speakers, and limitations on certain mobile features have been additional complaints of HTML5 critics. Web RTC aims to solve these issues by giving direct access to the hardware on the device, which is slated to launch early 2013 (and is already out in Chrome 22). But, in the eyes of opponents, HTML5 still has a ways to go before it becomes standard. Every well designed user experience built with HTML5 technology needs to be designed specifically for the platform it will be run on.

Proponents, however, argue that the web is evolving and catching up with mobile, paving a clear path for HTML5. Advocates prefer HTML5 versus native when it comes to building content-rich apps and games, and when targeting multiple platforms. Using app development tools, HTML5 apps can run on almost any device, dramatically reducing development time and costs compared to native apps. Research shows that HTML5 adoption is on the rise: according to Forrester, the penetration of HTML5-compatible browsers grew from 57 percent to 75 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012. Research firm Strategy Analytics forecasts that sales of HTML5 compatible phones will top 1 billion this year. And, a survey by Kendo UI notes that 51% of app developers say that HTML5 is important to their job right now, with 31% saying so within the next 12 months.

Even if all apps aren’t built on HTML5, an increasing number are today and will continue to be in the near future. We believe that HTML5 is here to stay, and advocate for its continued growth and adoption.  While the HTML5 project builder uses tools designed for website development, it can be used to help build mobile apps as well.

Read more about HTML5 and learn how to accelerate website development with Morgan’s HTML5 project builder here.

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