HTML5 on the Desktop — Finally!

As tidbits start to come out about Windows 8, it appears that we’ll see a significant shift in the Windows UI in the next version.  In itself, there’s a whole lot of significance as it’s a paradigm shift in terms of UI design.  But from a technology perspective, I find it more interesting.

Related to this issue is the question of how new-style applications will be written. Microsoft said that they will be HTML5 plus JavaScript, but again this precludes the possibility of migrating existing applications to the new interface. I’m told by insiders that HTML5 and JavaScript won’t be the only option, and that existing applications (native, Silverlight, and WPF) will be migratable in some way, but specifics are still lacking at this time.

For a while now, I’ve been advocating against technologies like Flash and Silverlight for the web.

My stance has always been that aside from a few use cases (streaming media, 3D-graphics, complex animations, games), there are very few use cases that call for Flash or Silverlight.

WPF on the other hand, is a much more interesting and useful piece of technology, but even with WPF, I find that the development cycle is still slow and there are some idiosyncrasies with HTML that are hard to overcome for me (case in point is WPF Grid layout and HTML table layout).

Maybe because I come from a web background and because I’ve been writing web applications and building web interfaces since I was a teenager, I’ve always been able to build richer, more compelling, more interesting user interfaces in HTML — faster — than I’ve ever been able to do with WinForms or WPF.

So this is good news to me.  Time to get cracking on those HTML5 books!

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1 Response

  1. June 13, 2011

    […] of the teeth-gnashing that many Windows platform developers are going through, I — for one — could not be happier that we'll finally see HTML5 on the desktop.  I think it's a beautiful thing  Finally: the richness and variety that we've seen in web based […]