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HTML5: Current progress and adoption rates

Ryan Boudreaux takes a snapshot view of where HTML5 adoption is headed and the progress of the specification becoming finalized.

Internet browsers, content providers, vendors, and developers continue progress toward learning, adopting, and implementing the HTML5 specification, however, many on the road to transition continue to be met with potholes and a few bumps, as well as successes and some achievements in the process. This post will highlight the current trends and progress with the HTML5 specification - its adoption and implementation across various disciplines.

A moving, living standard

The debate that the HTML5 standard is actually finished, but not yet fully adopted seems to have left many confused as to the actual status of the specification. According to an article in TechWorld, the W3C now states that the specification will be completed by July 2014, and not 2020 as previously announced. In an article from InfoWorld, it seems that representatives from Apple, Google, and Microsoft are ready to use HTML5 in their rich media Internet and mobile content delivery. But at the same time, we have an Adobe executive doubting that the specification will ever be implemented due to the slow development rate, and questioning what HTML5 means, saying it is being held back by progress on the standards.

In a recent "Help Digest" email from the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) on the topic of Meta Descriptions and proper validation, one reader reminded people that: "In general, "HTML5" (or "the living HTML standard") is a moving target...."

Multimedia content delivery

Here's the latest progress from some of the major players:

Fox Networks and Adobe announced in a press release from the IBC 2011 Conference and Exhibition that it is utilizing Adobe Pass for television access to premium content across many online sources and mobile devices utilizing HTML5 and leveraging it with Adobe Flash when available. ActiveVideo announced on September 6, 2011 that it will be displaying and demonstrating at their IBC exhibit many open Web standards, which can be delivered seamlessly from the cloud to traditional set-top boxes and Ethernet-connected and Wi-Fi CI+ Conditional Access Modules (CAM). And Ronald Brockmann stated, "As the power behind compelling user interfaces on Google Chrome and Apple Safari, HTML5 is quickly becoming a dominant authoring tool for the entire content and distribution community. Our IBC exhibit is designed to show ActiveVideo's leadership in seamlessly bringing to any STB, CI Plus or connected television apps that have been created in HTML5 for other platforms." The Motorola Droid Bionic is Verizon's first dual-core, LTE phone, and according to their news center press release, it races through loading of complex web pages and media that take advantage of Adobe Flash Player and HTML5, rendering graphics faster than previous generation single-core devices.

Adoption rates

Syncplicity, the file synchronization and file backup software company, announced in a September 6, 2011 article in Read Write Cloud that native apps will continue to be written and supported for their software because it needs direct access to the entire file system, and not a portion set aside for HTML5 Web app use. In their explanation of this move, Syncplicity said that HTML5 is still evolving and that their users want an experience that melds with the platform they are using, likening the problem to trying to get PC apps to work on an iPad.

Microsoft's MSDN Blogs predicts the end of plugins for browsers, including Flash, in its August 31, 2011 post, stating that with HTML5, modern browsers and sites can deliver a great consumer experience even without plug-ins. The post demonstrates several examples of plug-in free browsing when viewing sites such as Hotmail Inbox, YouTube, and MSNBC.com.

Finally, Facebook recently hired on Teck Chia, founder and CEO of OpenAppMkt.com to further their work on the "Spartan" project to bring applications to the mobile web with HTML5. Incidentally, OpenAppMkt provides an HTML5 job board to fill many positions looking for HTML5 experienced developers.

What is your take on the rate of HTML5 adoption? Considering that the specification is not yet finalized, do you think progress is on track or headed for a long delay?

About

Ryan has performed in a broad range of technology support roles for electric-generation utilities, including nuclear power plants, and for the telecommunications industry. He has worked in web development for the restaurant industry and the Federal g...

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