Is HTML5 adoption the real deal for developers?

James has a passion for how technologies influence business and has several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Kendo UI spoke to over 4,000 software developers, who reaffirmed that HTML5 was the real deal.

The majority of developers prefer the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) HTML5 spec as opposed to the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) ‘living’ standard.

That’s one of the cornerstone findings from Kendo UI, a division of end-to-end solutions and tools provider Telerik, in a survey entitled ‘HTML5 Adoption: Fact or Fiction’ talking to over 4,000 software developers in September.

Kendo UI, of course, is an HTML5/JavaScript solution provider, so a survey trumpeting the benefits of the open standard isn’t much of a surprise – but the results are still valid, given the survey polled a wide range of the developer ecosystem.

Other key results were:

  • More than four in five developers will see HTML5 as important to their job in the next 12 months
  • Nearly three in four aren’t worried about Facebook’s decision to bin HTML5 for its iOS app in terms of HTML5 adoption
  • Only 6% of developers polled had no plans to use HTML5 in 2012, yet they still see it as “important”

The different approaches to HTML5 by W3C and WHATWG have garnered lots of attention in the preceding months, but this survey focuses on which approach devs prefer – and it appears the majority like the slower, static spec from the W3C.

42% preferred W3C, 17% went for WHATWG, but 41% indicated no preference, so it wasn’t a total majority.

The W3C’s Ian Jacobs, speaking to DeveloperTech in July, spoke of a programmed transition rather than a split with the WHATWG. “We’re hearing there’s a split, but infact what we have is an ongoing partnership”, he said.

Yet in September, the consortium unleashed its plans for HTML5 hitting ‘Candidate Recommendation’ status by 2014 – a complete, finalised standard. The Kendo UI survey notes that it remains to be seen whether the current preference for W3C will shift by 2014.

How do devs see HTML5 shaping up?

Similarly, more than four in five developers will find HTML5 important to their job within the next 12 months. 63% of developers surveyed currently develop with HTML5, and a meagre 1% polled stated that HTML5 would ‘never’ be important to their job.

But what is the big appeal of developing with HTML5? According to the survey, familiarity of languages such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS was the biggest driver, with 72% of those polled citing it. Cross platform support (62%) and heightened performance (34%) made up the top three.

Another intriguing element of the survey was developers’ ambivalence to news of Facebook binning HTML5 for its iOS app, instead going native. 73% believed that it wasn’t going to affect the future performance of the open web standard.

A particularly eye-opening statistic was that 52% of the 4000 devs polled didn’t know Facebook was using the standard for their app, never mind ditching it.

Yet the biggest worry for devs, by a distance, was fragmentation, with 71% of those polled expressing concern with fragmentation in terms of widespread adoption with browsers.

So what is the overall conclusion?

“While there is much hype and controversy surrounding HTML5, it is clear that developers are not taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude,” notes the report, adding: “Rather, adoption and usage is on the rise for both mobile and desktop apps, and few developers doubt HTML5’s importance over the next several years”.

HTML5’s development is clear enough, but does fragmentation worry you?

View Comments
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *