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back to article Intel backs 'overhyped' HTML5 for cross-platform app dev

HTML5 is overhyped, slow, and insecure, says Intel senior VP of software and services Renée James – but Chipzilla thinks it's the future of software development anyway. During her Wednesday keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum 2012 conference in San Francisco, James said there really is no other technology available that …

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Reality begins to sink in

It's not HTML5 in principle which is the problem so much as the many disparate implementations of it. Most browsers implement a close approximation of the spec and the outlying specs like web workers, WebGL etc. but there are so many browsers, so many JS engines, so many CSS rule engines, so many differences in the way that things like video, canvas and audio are handled that it must be a nightmare to produce all but the most trivial software with HTML.

This would be especially true on phone / tablet devices where the app must look and feel as close to native as possible under the constraints of HTML imposes. An app would probably have to sit under some middleware like phonegap which provides access to other phone features and use a lot of CSS to get itself to layout properly in every form factor.

Tools like GWT or AJAX libs might be able to help abstract away some of the differences but it would still be a horrible amount of work and at the end of the day it might just be easier and produce a better experience to use another kind of framework.

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JDX
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Only one problem?

What about the fact you have to develop in JavaScript? jQuery and so on might be great but all they really do is try and patch what is fundamentally a terrible development platform.

I wish HTML5 had included another/proper development language rather than introducing great technology controlled by a crap language.

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Re: Only one problem?

You can develop for HTML 5 / JS in Java using GWT,. Or any language via Emscripten which turns LLVM bitcode into JS and uses a canvas element as a virtual screen. But the result is obviously not going to be as good as the supported "native" format of the host OS. Whether it's "good enough" probably depends on the app itself.

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JDX
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Re: Only one problem?

That's just another band-aid though (sorry to use the US term). You don't just need to be able to write in a nice language but debug it, etc. And since JS is so heavily optimised it all just gets really messy, surely?

I think something like Google's NaCl is a neat idea - but that also suffers from tools. With C++/Java/.Net the debugging tools you have are simply sensational these days and stepping backwards from that seems, well, backwards.

the ECMAScript used in Flash (AS3) is a lovely little language, why can't we have that at least? Although frankly the whole DOM and CSS mess doesn't fit well with 'proper' apps in my view... web-pages and web-apps don't fit well together.

Are we going to end up everyone writing their graphics inside a Canvas using custom rendering, basically what Flash did?

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Re: Only one problem?

You can debug GWT as if it were Java via JDWP. It's very easy to develop to the point that it's not GWT which is normally the hassle but writing the CSS which works properly everywhere. I have no idea what the story is with Emscripten but I assume that since the original is bitcode that some manner of debugging is possible prior to deployment if not after.

I think the main advantage of Flash was it was a single implementation controlled by a single vendor. It ran, for all intents and purposes, exactly the same regardless of browser or OS. That made it, and still makes it far easier to write apps for than HTML 5. I don't think that will continue as implementations converge but its probably still true as of now. Problem is more and more platforms are dumping it so like it or not Flash is going.

The true test of HTML 5 is when we see websites plastered with Flash like animations done in HTML 5. I think the performance will be far worse than Flash ever was.

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Where's my dictionary?

"According to James, 40 per cent of application developers are using HTML5 today, and another 40 per cent say they plan to use HTML5 and its related standards and APIs in the near future."

For some definitions of "application" and "developer" this could be true. However, I'm not sure the words actually mean what they did 20 (or even 10) years ago. I'm struggling to imagine a definition that includes the 80% implied by the above *and* which also includes the people writing the platform that HTML5 runs on *but* which hasn't cast the net so widely that you might as well use the words "stuff" and "people" instead.

Maybe we just need different words now. You have "developers" writing "applications" on the one hand, and "programmers" writing "platforms" on the other.

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h3
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I think a compiled language should be used.

(Don't get why we cannot have a Lisp Dialect that performs really well and is really nice to code in).

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stone

It would be just as quick to have stone tablets and crafted and delivered by the royal mail

Come on, just think of all the effort the processors are putting into to transmitting and then translating the piles of semi readable crud that eventually reaches your display. I want my computer to work fast not in some way be compatible with something I don't - and never will - own.

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Anonymous Coward

Hyped up for the morons.

Whilst I blame Steve Jobs he actually knew it needed hyping up so he could downgrade the web by stealth.

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