The Long, Slow Ramp of the HTML5 Standard
I was just reviewing some analysis on Developers’ platform preferences—and again for at least the third year in a row, developers have expressed plans to develop more on HTML5—but most current development is still native. Now, as we have observed at hackathons, developers are using HTML, JS, and CSS—but then just wrapping them for native environments using Phonegap or similar tool.
Now, some developers have become disillusioned—but that is a good thing. Hopefully, most are familiar with the technology hype cycle—where technologies go through the phases like Peak of Inflated Expectations, the Trough of Disillusionment, the Slope of Enlightenment, and then the Plateau of Productivity. It has been my experience most technologies need to go through this—with some making in and some failing.
I think back to my time at Intel for some examples of both. At the time, our focus was to help software and hardware developers build apps to make PCs a more viable gaming environment—and our workstations a better development platform compared to the Unix-based systems that were popular at the time. Some of the failed standards included WTX—this was a chassis standard that supported nine fans and giant amounts of memory. It is kind of crazy thinking back on this time. There were some workstations created that used this, but needless to say it was big and loud. Another failed technology at the time was AGP Pro, which provided standards for these giant graphics cards that were needed at the time. In both these cases, the advances in silicon superceded the need for technologies.
However, a couple others did proliferate. One was Khronos—which standardized a set of graphics APIs like Open GL. This is a good example of a standard that many recognized was needed, but took years to develop before being accepted like it has today. (As a matter of fact, we named it Khronos because the first focus was a set of libraries call OpenML that was help standardize the timing in video—but then shifted to graphics focus). Some technologies take time and key standards can take a very long time.
I have little doubt that HTML5 is going to be a standard that will proliferate—but it was one of those that will take time and prolonged, focused effort. AT&T remains committed to this both via our participation in standards bodies and from a device stack perspective. Our restful APIs include sample code for HTML5 and we have a plug-in for Sencha. We strongly encourage developers to work in HTML—and hopefully we will hit that Plateau of Productivity sooner than later.
On a more random note, the Library of Congress recently made their announcements on new recordings that will be added to the National Recording Registry. They typically announce a few songs and albums every few years like Born to Run and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band—along with odd recordings like whale songs and presidential speeches. When I saw this, I kind of wondered why they are not savings thousands of songs every year—haven’t they heard of cloud storage? I get the feeling they have a group slaving over eight track tape machines and there is this big work effort to save in original medium—but shouldn’t some be archiving all the music being created? One song I was really glad was saved Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colors’. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1zJzr-kWsI I had not heard it in awhile (my parents made us listen to Country music all of the time–but I do not ride in the backseat with them driving much any more). As long as we are saving songs, this is definitely one worth saving “I didn’t have much money, but I was happy as could be, with my coat of many colors, my momma made for me.” Terrific.