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Gartner Hype Cycle Report Predicts HTML5 Still Years Away


The most recent Gartner Hype Cycle report was not terribly optimistic about the future of widespread HTML5 adoption. In fact, according to the chart below, HTML5 is in Gartner's terms near the peak of "Inflated Expectations" and is 5-10 years away from being a legitimate business tool.

Gartner Hype Cycle Graphic
Gartner Hype Cycle Graphic - Courtesy of Gartner.

I think that is probably news to the many developers who are developing applications and web sites using HTML5 technologies today, and the browser developers who are building support into the major browsers. Either there are a lot of cutting edge developers out there or Gartner's not quite right on this one.

According to Todd Anglin, vice president for HTML5 Web and Mobile Tools at Telerik, a provider of productivity tools for software developers, HTML5 is actually developing at what he called "breakneck speed" and he seemed surprised by Gartner's prediction.

"The evolution of HTML5 is happening at breakneck speed and is being done with unprecedented collaboration amongst the biggest tech players," Anglin said. These include Microsoft, Google, Apple, Adobe, Amazon, SAP, and Facebook. Any time you can get those large companies all pointed in the same direction on any technology, that's going to be a major boost and with that kind of clout, it seems unlikely it will take as long at the Gartner graphic suggests it would.

As Anglin says, "This agreement on a single platform has never been seen before in software development, and as a result, it is possible that Gartner's hype calculations are poorly calibrated for HTML5."

As an example, Anglin points to Facebook, which has begun developing in HTML5 because of the flexibility it gives them.

"Even as Facebook announces a transition to native iOS apps, developers should note that the new "native" Facebook apps still include HTML5 in sections where Facebook wants the ability to change things more quickly. In other words, even in native app development, HTML5 is used to afford more flexibility and speed to the development process. And this is for a company that has the time, money, and talent to justify building native apps for all platforms," Anglin explained

What's more, Anglin points that in some ways Gartner appears to be contradicting other HTML5 predictions it has made in the past. "The 2012 Gartner Mobile Magic Quadrant report plainly states that 80% of all mobile apps will use HTML5 by 2015, a mere three years from now. Gartner is sending mixed messages with these reports, further underscoring the the challenge of properly estimating the success of HTML5," he said.

It seems clear that when Gartner's data is contradicting itself, and our own eyeballs tell us HTML5 is much more than hype, that perhaps the Hype Cycle just got it wrong this time. Rather than being 5-10 years from business using this on a regular basis, or even 3 years away as Gartner's other report suggested, it seems when just about every major technology company on the planet is getting behind HTML5, it is far more popular today than this graphic would suggest. 

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