Good News and Bad News for HTML5

I am at the HTML5 Developers' Conference in San Francisco. One of my friends said "it must feel like Christmas for you over there" and it actually does feel that way, not in the sense of "everything is easy now" but more in the sense of "our path forward is clear." Like Christmas before a year-long war we know we will win.

The 2012 HTML5 Developer Conference in San Francisco

Paul Irish spoke this morning about the various tools he's using these days, or as of 10/16/12 (one gets the impression he'll be adding a new one tomorrow), so certainly things are more mature in terms of the "tool chain" (in the old days we were waiting for "tools" to simply get plural, as text editors reigned supreme). Now we can say there are ToolS for HTML5. Cool.

Even more interesting to me than Paul's talk was the talk by James Pearce on "Keeping the Dream Alive" - he had the good news and bad news about HTML5, which can be summarized by two parts of a single quote from Mark Zuckerberg...

The bad news for HTML5

"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."

Mark Zuckerberg on HTML5 vs. Native

When Facebook moved from HTML5 to iOS, they had stunning gains almost overnight.
Results of Facebook moving to iOS from HTML5 for iPhone

The good (but quiet) HTML5 news

"It's not that HTML5 is bad. I'm actually, 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..."

The way mobile users access Facebook as of 10/16/12

Yes it is like Christmas for HTML5 geeks, finally our work is getting somewhere. It will be very interesting to see what happens over the next year. It is not easy to reconcile the formats required of modern devices, yet the range of required approaches is getting more clearly known and the tools keep evolving to make things easier.