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What I’m missing in HTML5 today

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HTML5 i.e. HTML is a markup language. As such, without JavaScript, developers would be reduced to hand-rolling HTML or creating it dynamically server side – page view by page view. Being constrained by page views is something I fundamentally refuse to accept since I am not in the printing industry. I’m in the computer interface industry. I demand programable interfaces.

What comes to your mind when you think about a computer interface? No, really, let your imagination run wild. I think of Minority Report gestures and the latest Tron. It was made as a geeks wet dream. Now fly back down to page views. That’s a hard landing.

And for whatever reason, “the Internet” comes with Javascript today. How we got here is for historians. It is here now and it provides programatic control at client runtime. That’s the card that trumps them all.

To make a digression, my beloved ActionScript used to look a lot like JavaScript before we got all fancy with AS3 and haven’t looked back. And people created amazing things with it. Just like today people create mind-blowing things with JavaScript. For a decade I was basing arguments for Flash on Internet penetration percentages. Now we have rediscovered JavaScript that was here all the time.

What I’m missing in HTML5 today is developers time. The ones that are spending their time whining about JavaScript shortcomings. I miss you here and now building great things in JavaScript together with me. I miss you in making the Internet better.

Let me give you an example. SVG is supposed to be an Internet standard. Well, it really is but Microsoft didn’t find that important until recently, so we really don’t have complete browser compatibility. So what is a gal to do?

Should she:
a) Drop SVG altogether because IE doesn’t support it.
b) Create a fantastic JavaScript library and jump through a number of hoops and make SVG available for all browsers, popularizing it in that way in hope that one day it becomes a fully supported standard.

Dmitry Baranovskiy did the latter when he created RaphaelJS. You could start noting the shortcomings of his solution or you can simply recognize that Dmitry made it happen.

Go make something happen!

  1. Andrew Reply

    If you like HTML5, consider instead of SVG… there’s even Google’s ExplorerCanvas JS library to make it backwards-compatible with older versions of IE :)

  2. Andrew Reply

    Er, that should have said consider canvas.

  3. Sasha Dzeletovic Reply

    Understood Andrew. I tend to consider the canvas element for Photoshop type tasks and SVG for Illustrator type tasks. They both have their up and down sides but they both have solutions for full browser compatibility, like you said.

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