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HTML5 Could Mute Browser-Apps Argument

67865829 18e7655583 mWe've written about the browser versus apps argument in this space before and it produced some heated responses from both sides, even in the post Browser Versus Apps is a Non-starter. Apparently it is a hot-button issue for many of you, but Todd Anglin, Chief Technology Evangelist at Telerik, an applications and content management company. says it really doesn't have to be an argument.

That's because Anglin believes that it's really an apples and oranges comparison and that HTML5 technologies can satisfy both groups. "Browsers and apps are [both] good, and HTML/JavaScript can be used for both. If I use HTML5 to build software that will be deployed through a browser, I'll need to work within certain security limits and I'll need to design my software to accommodate the limits of various browsers."

He adds, "If, on the other hand, I use HTML5 to build apps, I can aggressively use the full power of HTML and JavaScript, with the added help of tools like PhoneGap, to virtually build anything that can be done with "native" apps," Anglin explains.

That means you can use the same set of skills to build the app or the browser application and that's going to be valuable moving forward, but Anglin says that you can still use the same base HTML5 and Java Script even if it's a desktop app. In fact, KnoweldgeTree recently announced a cross-platform desktop version of its document management application written in HTML5.

He's see no reason to limit the conversation to apps or browser, although he understand the current limitations some are citing on both delivery platforms. "If we limit the conversation to apps that are delivered via the browser (setting aside "native" HTML runtimes, like Windows 8 and webOS), then I think we're still approaching a time where the technology will meet the needs of most business developers," he said.

He also acknowledges the issue of browser adoption. "Of course, there are many different browsers, all adopting HTML5 at a different pace, so developers must employ various adoption strategies if they need to target many different browsers. But this is easily achievable and the reward is unmatched reach for their software."

Anglin sees a future where HTML 5 can satisfy everyone's requirements, regardless of the device or platform."Looking in to the future, I think most business and information apps, for devices and desktops, will be powered by HTML and JavaScript. Only apps that have an above average need for low-level access to machine resources (like games or medical imaging) will still require "native" SDK development," Anglin says.

So it turns out Anglin believes the answer to apps or browser question is "Yes!" It can be either or both and the desktop too and that has to be music to the ears of development shops forced to learn to develop for multiple device OSs, and with Android, sometimes device-specific versions of the OS.

To be able to develop once and use the same technologies across desktop, browser and devices is going to reap huge benefits enabling you to develop once and use many times.
Photo by Katie Tegtmeyer on Flickr. Used under the Creative Commons License.
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