Thursday, June 24th, 2010
Editor’s note: Dan Kantor is the CEO behind the awesome ExtensionFM project. It really pushes the boundaries on what the Web can do, so I asked Dan to give us a mini case study on the project. What follows is his words on the matter. Thanks for taking the time Dan!
Dion recently posted about the march to a more client-centric web. The post hit home with me as the founder of a web-based application that is as much ‘app-like’ as it is ‘web-like’. The promise of the web, and HTML5 in particular, is that we will finally reach the write-once, run-anywhere dream we have all been in search of that neither Java nor Flash could fully deliver. Dion poses this question (and answer) towards the end of the post – ‘As a developer, do you want to port experiences between incredibly varied platforms such as Web, iPhone, Android, WinPho 7, RIM, Kindle SDK, [insert many others!]? No.’. I don’t think many developers would argue with Dion’s answer. The real question is – ‘Are we there yet?’
Coming back to Dion’s original post, it seems like we are closer to write-once, run-anywhere using client-centric web-based applications than we have ever been. With a few modifications, we can basically re-use 80% of our code to deploy on the desktop and mobile. Unfortunately, not all browsers are there yet though. The issues I listed above seem like minor ones that can be fixed easily however. It would not surprise me if in the second half of 2010, Mobile Safari fixes the refreshing issue and Android adds support for HTML5 Audio/Video. As more frameworks are released that deal with the fixed positioning problem, I expect more developers to look seriously at the web as their platform of choice for deploying mobile applications. As for the desktop, Firefox 4 and IE9 should finally add the HTML5 and CSS3 feature support that Chrome and Safari have had for a while now. Of course, not all users will have the latest and greatest browser. Progressive enhancement will be the only way to support those users. But by pushing the envelope of what’s possible, we will hopefully push those users towards upgrading to a modern browser.
For a 60 second run through of ExtensionFM, check out the video below:
Posted by Dion Almaer at 6:07 am