Open ... and Shut Even as Facebook dumps HTML5 to embrace native app development, calling its early enthusiasm for HTML5 its "biggest mistake," Sencha, a leading provider of open-source web application frameworks and tools, has not only demonstrated real-world readiness of HTML5, but has actually built a Facebook app that performs better than Facebook's native apps.

As Sencha explains on its blog, the problems with Facebook’s misadventures with HTML5 have more to do with Facebook than with HTML5:

If a team has problems with HMTL5 then it usually means that they took a website development approach to building an app. Which means that they don’t use the right tools and architectures for application development? It was suspected about HTML5 app, the way the performed with its slow loading and the news feed

 

and choppy user experience exhibited the usual symptoms.

Sench decided that he would build his own version of facebook by creating a HTML5 called Fastbook. Check the video below to see the difference.

In fact, performance is good enough that Sencha is ponying up $20,000 for its HTML5 Is Ready App Contest. Build an HTML5 app and get entered to win lots of money. Not bad.

Sencha is convinced that 2013 is the year that HTML5 comes into its own. Perhaps. As a former executive at Strobe, an HTML5 company that Facebook acquired in 2010, I've seen both the possibilities and the limitations of HTML5. But it's clear that for all the limitations that Facebook may see, enterprises are creating real jobs for HTML5 developers to a surprisingly big degree:

And if you look at relative HTML5 job growth instead of absolute job numbers, HTML5 is blowing both iOS and Android out of the water. Perhaps this coincides with the rise of Android, which is forcing app developers to work with both iOS and Android. This creates a great deal of redundant work, work that HTML5 can help to erase.

No, HTML5 is not perfect. But it's far more mature than Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg insinuated. As Forrester analyst Jeffrey Hammond declares, we are in a "golden age" of application development, and HTML5 frameworks like Sencha and Appcelerator are key parts of this, as well as tools like PhoneGap that bring native functionality to the web. It's a great time, in other words, to be a web developer again. It's not such a great time to bet against the web.

 

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