Forrester report proposes continued HTML5 adoption

Industry at ‘inflection point’ as HTML5 ‘fast becoming de facto standard’

A report from market researchers Forrester has implored companies to embrace the current Web standards – in other words, bring HTML5 in and leave the likes of Flash to go.

The report by Peter Sheldon, entitled ‘The coming of HTML5’, notes that “the tide is turning”, citing companies such as Apple, Best Buy and Rue La La who are beginning to embrace HTML5.

Apple’s adoption perhaps isn’t surprising, given that Steve Jobs ‘trashed’ Flash in an open letter back in April 2010.

Jobs had predicted: “New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices. The mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short”.

This recent infographic published by developers Wix showed a list of companies who weren’t currently embracing the standard, such as Wikipedia, eBay and Craigslist, although in each case the companies are looking at a solution.

“We are at an inflection point”, says report author Sheldon in a blog post, who adds: “With consumer adoption of HTML5-‘capable’ desktop browsers widespread and web developer understanding of the technology rapidly maturing, HTML5 is no longer an emerging toolset for mobile and tablet development.

“Instead, it is fast becoming the de facto standard for web experience innovation across touchpoints,” Sheldon continues.

Sheldon notes that for a lot of companies, adopting HTML5 shouldn’t take much effort.

“Instead, eBusiness teams can simply enhance the user experience of existing sites by incrementally using the new features of HTML5.

“HTML5 puts more tools in the box, but it doesn’t change the fundamentals of how to build the website,” said Sheldon.

In terms of current web browsers, Google Chrome is the most compatible for HTML5 according to the HTML5 test, which tests for HTML5 operability on a variety of browsers and machines.

Google scored 437 out of 500, with Maxthon close to it in second on 422 and Opera (385), Safari (376) and Firefox (345) rounding off the top five.

The current iteration of Explorer, Internet Explorer 9, lags far behind on a score of 138, but the upcoming 10 is expected to score 319.

There has been plenty of debate over the future of HTML5.

Lots of column inches were devoted to the reported “split” between the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG), but as W3C’s Ian Jacobs told DeveloperTech,  it was more a ‘programmed transition’.

“The big story that we’re hearing is there’s a split,” Jacobs noted, “but infact what we have is an ongoing partnership”.

Given an analyst as hefty as Forrester has essentially told people to move to the open Web standard, doesn’t this give HTML5 so much more momentum?

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