HTML5 for Skeptics

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If you build sites with Silverlight and have been watching all the HTML5 hype with bemused skepticism, this session is tailored for you. I'll show you how Vertigo approaches modern web development, and more importantly, how we talk to our customers about it. I'll cover how we balance HTML and Silverlight, the tradeoffs of going HTML over native for mobile apps, and strategies for ideal compatibility across many browsers. We'll analyze the latest browser statistics, review the state of the spec, and discuss how to answer clients who want rich sites, but want it "HTML5 compatible". With all the buzz around this topic, you have a good reason to be skeptical; I want to help you be more informed about where to invest your energy and grow your practice.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Scott Stanfield

      I'm working on getting my slides posted ahead of the talk, so you can get a sense of what I'm going to talk about. If you have any questions or would like to see something covered, drop a comment here.

    • User profile image

      <-- Here's what I look like, in case you're serving me papers at MIX.

    • User profile image
      Rui Marinho

      Html5 for touch enable devices :)

    • User profile image

      Rui: covered! In fact, it's one of the key tenents of HTML and "flexible grids". Your site should at least be functional on mobile, and work well with touch-enabled devices. And buttons need to be 40x40 for fat fingers, like mine.

    • User profile image

      Sounds like you're already planning to cover it, but since HTML5 is only a buzz-term for me; I've done none of it, the question comes, in 2011 just how much HTML5 is really safe to use... I don't (yet) see how if you use some brand-new never-before-seen tag, how it gracesfully degrades on non-HTML5 browsers. Looking forward to enlightenment.

    • User profile image

      I can care about XTML5 if it looks like XAML.

    • User profile image

      Nice presentation. I think the Q/A part at the end is quite telling. My take from this is that if you've got some development to do for a real customer now, do it in Silverlight. If you can't do it in Silverlight, maybe only then use HTML5. Even so, since HTML5 is not supported by most browsers, it seems there will be a huge testing effort, together with the usual browser hack code to support older browsers. In the end, why not just use Silverlight? I'm still an HTML5 skeptic

    • User profile image

      Nice talk, its just what is needed without all the hype. 

      All I can say is that I'll stick to Silverlight as your talk has made me more of skeptic of HTML5.  I just hope your comment at the end about Windows 8 doesn't mean that microsoft has taken resources away from xaml and focused them on HTML5 instead.

      I think I'd switch profession before going down the HTML5 path.  If I imagine myself doing HTML5 all day for a living, and pulling my hair out testing all the variances on 10 versions, having to look at a matrix on the web for which simple little feature works in which versions of each browser, I think it would be a dream to just think 'please give me an environment with 1 spec and 1 implementor that moves fast and works the same even with IE6 on NT', we do have that today with Silverlight.

      Clearly apps on mobile are winning against web, I think once the hype moves from HTML5 the focus will be back to apps.

    • User profile image

      @Zwolf: The decision to use a pure plug-in approach, like Silverlight, vs. straight HTML5, is really dependent on your particular situation with your customer. If IP obfuscation is important, then Silverlight is great. Simple testing path? Silverlight. SEO and text-based content or forms? HTML5. 

      There's always a hybrid approach too. Think of it as <silverlight>. Check for it, and have a fall-back plan. Or beg the user to install Silverlight. It's there about 65% of the time.

    • User profile image

      @chrisnz: No comment, on my vague comment, as I don't speak for Microsoft. Plus I don't really know what's going on either. Mobile is doubling every 12 months, but desktop browsing is going away (still 95%). Hedge your bets and do both, with mobile-first design. And add incremental features when you "detect" desktop browsers.

    • User profile image

      The presentation is good but it had an opposite effect on me. It is not that I was and HTML fan before. But all of my fears have been confirmed - multiplatform nightmare (different browsers supporting different features), lack of tools, terrible language.

      The only argument in favor of HTML 5 was that it almost caught up with SL in terms of its features. From my point of view, even if true, it is not enough - it has to catch up with SL in terms of the ease of team development and testing and I do not envision it happening any time soon.

    • User profile image

      As for the number of jobs increased - no wonder it did - due to all the artificial hype.

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