Somewhere between HTML and native apps (like Windows 8 apps or Android/iPhone apps), there has to be something better.
This isn't entirely a question of language. It's a question of a thin-client application architecture that has the openness of the web. (Sorry EvilDictator ) But here, I'm talking about a different openness, the kind that capitalizes on open content.
This made the web great. I couldn't imagine the Internet becoming what it is if we didn't have search engines and aggregators and hyperlinks. Wait... I can. It's the mobile apps we have today.
App stores increase exposure of apps compared to desktop applications, but they don't come close to the openness of the web in general.
I can't really create a link to another app like I can to a website. Well, I can sort-of, but the user may not have the app and the link would fail. Best case, the user needs to download it in its entirety (which could be huge if it represents a major portal which, as a website, would contain hundreds of pages). This brings me over to the app store, where I click on the details to see what it is I'm downloading. Then I find the button to install the app, and I click it and perhaps have to enter account details (like a password). Finally, it's on its way to downloading, and minutes later, I have it on my computer. Wait, what was I doing? It didn't preserve the link, so I have to go back to the original app and... well, I'm bored by this point and go start watching Channel 9 videos.
Apple might be quick to point out how many hundred thousand apps they provide on their store, but how does that compare with the many millions of web sites?
The point is, I like the way the web works. But mobile apps exist for a reason. Otherwise, Apple's original idea of web-only apps would have flourished. The mobile versions of websites have mostly been inadequate. Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook's biggest(!) mistake was coding their mobile app in HTML5. Converting it to native made it 3 times faster, made it pull down less data, and now allows the company to focus resources on implementing new features instead of optimizing old ones.
HTML is inadequate. The evidence exists in substantial amounts. Despite its many issues, HTML has been forced into the job of supplying the world's thin client applications. But it doesn't fit the bill for mobile applications, so we need something else. What I want is something else that works mostly the same, but without the issues of the HTML stack.