HTML5 Live in NYC
On Tuesday, November 9th, Krish Mandal, Eric Fitchett, Paul Hurlock and I attended an event in New York called HTML5 Live. My intentions going into this were to get a better understanding of HTML5, where it is now, and where it’s going.
I actually got more out of the conference than I had anticipated. I was pleasantly surprised with some of the tools that were demonstrated, and some of the HTML5 features that were shown, particularly native validation and the enhancements to Adobe’s Creative Suite. As I expected, the general sentiment was that HTML5 is going to be big, but it is only practical to develop it right now in a controlled browsing environment. Progressive enhancement is certainly possible, but with all the uncertainty around video and audio codecs, and how other native features will be handled in a standardized way across all browsers, it seems like it’s more trouble than it’s worth to employ that strategy at the present time.
For my purposes, the presentation by James Ward from Adobe and the talk given by Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, founders of Ajaxian.com, on “Web vs Apps?” were the most compelling and useful. Here is a breakdown of what we saw:
Keynote: HTML5: Welcome to the Revolution
The keynote address, by Jeff Hammond of Forrester, gave a pretty good overview of the landscape of HTML5, along with some realistic expectations for the future. I was pleased that he wasn’t blindly touting HTML5 as the end-all-be-all in web and mobile spaces for the foreseeable future.
HTML5 Forms and Constraint Validation
Mike Taylor from Opera gave an entertaining talk and demo, too. Mike covered some of the new native validation that can be employed in HTML5, and gave live examples as to how different browsers currently support and render validation elements. He also showed pictures of his kitchen renovations.
HTML5 Communication: A New World of Limitless and Live Web Applications
The presentation given by John Fallows and Jonas Jacobi Kaazing wasn’t very useful to me, but that’s because I’m a front-end guy. They spoke about WebSockets in technical detail, which completely went over my head. From the parts that I did understand, it sounds pretty cool, but I have doubts about the feasibility and timeliness of widespread adoption of the WebSocket protocol on a mainstream commercial scale. Though, I have been wrong before. Once.
Development Tools for Building HTML5 Content & Applications
HTML5 Jumpstart w/Visual Studio
Rachel Appel from Microsoft brought the powerhouse’s take on HTML5 to the table. I have to say was disappointed in the presentation, as Rachel touched on a lot of points that other speakers spoke about. I was expecting a larger focus on Visual Studio’s features relevant to HTML5, but only got a treatise on how “Microsoft loves HTML5” (which she said 3 separate times throughout the talk) and how “Silverlight is not dead.” She spoke a lot of IE9 and how great it is with HTML5 and GPU acceleration on canvas. The Visual Studio portion of the talk didn’t last very long, and only seemed to graze the surface.
HTML5 vs. Apps?
With Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith (co-founders of Ajaxian.com, and both formerly of hp/Palm), it was obvious that this wasn’t their first rodeo. Their presentation was engaging, entertaining, funny, compelling, informative and the feel good movie of the year. It was a shame it ran a little late because I would’ve liked to have heard more. Their take on the technology landscape, as it relates to the web and mobile devices, was a very interesting. Their suggestions on how the landscape could be improved in the future were even more interesting. The challenge with their ideas was, as with HTML5, the
Overall, I would call the event a success. I don’t know about Krish, Eric and Paul, but I have a lot more insight into HTML5, its capabilities, how they can be used today, and what I can expect (or at least hope for) in the future. If they held the event again next year, I would definitely want to attend.