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There's something about HTML5...

This past October, HTML5 celebrated its official one-year anniversary since the standard was declared “complete” by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Now we can expect HTML5 to power ads and media playback, forcefully kicking Flash right out the door it was already heading towards.

But what is it about HTML that makes developers want to jump on board?

“The traditional languages are still not providing the kind of user experiences that you would want to create,” said Gautam Agrawal, senior director of product management at Sencha, a California-based company that aims to assist organizations with app development. “HTML5 now has become almost ubiquitous in the Web applications world…all the browsers are supporting it.” Agrawal also points out that the fact that HTML5 is client-side provides a plethora of interactive features unattainable with server-side languages.

There is still a debate, though, when it comes to creating mobile apps with HTML5 – notably, whether it’s worth it to build native apps or HTML5 apps for phones and tablets. There are some notable drawbacks to HTML5 when it comes to apps for Android in particular, particularly when it comes to speed, efficiency and usability. However, HTML5 will provide benefits in portability and cost of development even for Android.

And then there is the question of whether HTML5 should be used to deliver remote desktops to employees. While it may seems an obvious choice with the rise of BYOD and other consumerization initiatives, the fact is that HTML5 may not provide the security that all enterprises need. It also doesn’t have the framework to redirect USB devices (if that’s something you care about).

But HTML5 is, nonetheless, part of the world’s movement towards the Web and smart devices, as Agrawal points out.

JavaScript is pretty much everywhere; I’ve seen people using JavaScript on smart watches now,” said Agrawal. “The kind of user experiences that HTML5 and JavaScript can provide on all these devices lends itself for becoming to first-class or the language of choice for Web applications.”

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