The late Steve Jobs made it a point to say that HTML5 will end up replacing Flash. The problem is, Flash has been in the game long enough to have quite an extensive plugin, running their proprietary language. They built this plugin for one major reason: to overcome the ability to access client side system resources. This is the major shortcoming with HTML5. Users have no control over what the browser will let you do, and what you can do is very limited.
“Because…Steve Jobs said so.” Buwahaha, No.
It’s because of the portability of the app. The great thing with DHTML is that it will run on any browser that supports the DOM that you are using. This makes interpolation an almost painless process.
So, you want a super badass HTML5 site, and you want to build it in a way that runs on all the devices known to man. This is quite easy—as long as you don’t care about audio effects, loading times, code security, or any of the sensors/hardware on the given device. I have found that most of the mobile browsers on the market today are extremely limited. On Android (API Level 8 and below), and also on iPhone (all versions), the webkit browsers have only one audio channel, user dialog (that can take up valuable screen space), and an incessant need to run everything its own way. How do we overcome these problems? There are many options out there to make a so-called “webapp” (like PhoneGap, and XNA). These frameworks are a beautiful start to making a library, which is a plug and play solution, to gain access to system resources, from a web page. I have often found that what our clients need, exceed the scope of what they can do— and these systems are far to bloated for what we need.
Having access to the URL allows us to focus the user’s browser where we want them to go, and nowhere else. We can also place URL parameters in a load.url statement, forcing a POST action to happen. Lastly, this means that we can execute callback function, to run anything within our web app.
So, now I’ve come full circle, and have the ability create robust applications that will run on any platform (the way I want them to), without eating up resources, better utilized elsewhere. As time passes, technology will become better and these new standards will be finalized. When this happens, it will (without a doubt) be the way to develop on mobile platforms.
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