Nearly Two-Thirds Of Developers Are Actively Using HTML5

html5 adoption

HTML5 adoption is growing, but HTML5 will never fully replace native apps as some advocates hope.Recently, we chatted with Todd Anglin, head of the Kendo UI group at Telerik.

Kendo UI helps clients like GM, Symantec, and PricewaterhouseCoopers build HTML5 or JavaScript websites and mobile apps.

Kendo UI surveyed over 4,000 developers worldwide in September to gut-check the HTML5 hype cycle. 

The survey found high developer adoption of HTML5. A majority of developers, 63 per cent, are actively using HTML5 and another 31 per cent have plans to start using it soon. Overall, 82 per cent of developers surveyed thought HTML5 would be important to their job within the next year.

The results are roughly in line with data from an Appcelerator survey, in which 66 per cent of developers said they were “very interested” in working on HTML5.

Anglin said they did not ask developers how exactly they were deploying HTML5, but Kendo intends to follow up on this question in the future. Other conversations we’ve had indicate that relatively few developers are creating pure HTML5 apps at the moment, and instead are creating hybrid apps that incorporate some HTML5. 

Interestingly, developers were not moved by Facebook’s recent high-profile decision to move away from HTML5.  

Only 13 per cent of developers actively developing with HTML5 expressed reduced confidence due to Facebook’s about-face. More than 50 per cent of those surveyed didn’t even know Facebook was using HTML5 in the first place.

“[Developers] basically shrugged,” says Anglin.

Developers were similarly unfazed by the standards split between W3C and WHATWG, the two main groups defining the HTML5 standard. Only 27 per cent were concerned by the divergence.

However, Anglin said he was surprised to find that developers prefer the slow-moving “snapshot” approach of W3C (42 per cent), to the WHATWG’s constantly evolving “living standard” (17 per cent). 

“Developers want something of a stable foundation to build on,” says Anglin.

Even after they are ratified, standards aren’t a mandate “The most a standard ever can produce is a recommendation. It is still up to browser authors to implement it or not.”

HTML5 browser frag

Right now, Web browser operators are playing nice in terms of conforming to the standards, but an astounding 95 per cent of developers surveyed expressed some concern over browser fragmentation. Browser fragmentation, as we’ve written before, threatens to undercut HTML5’s promise and development.Anglin thinks the major mobile platform operators like Apple and Google won’t sabotage HTML5’s development.

Their main interest is in monetizing app transactions, which can be done in HTML5 too.

Still, he says, “I don’t agree that HTML5 apps will ever fully supplant native mobile apps.”

Native will always be able to do more than standards than run anywhere, like HTML and JavaScript, he adds.

“If you have unlimited time and unlimited money, then build native apps on every platform,” Anglin says. But companies do not count on unlimited resources— and Anglin believes HTML5 offers the most dynamic solution for scaling a presence across an increasingly fragmented ecoystem of platforms.

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