Welcome!

Silverlight Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Greg O'Connor, Trevor Parsons, Sandi Mappic, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: PowerBuilder, .NET, Silverlight

PowerBuilder: Article

Perhaps I Haven’t Made Myself Clear...

I’ve been discussing HTML5 for some time now

I've been discussing HTML5 for some time now. In July of 2010, I mentioned that I wasn't particularly concerned about PowerBuilder supporting HTML5 in the initial PowerBuilder.NET release (12.5) because:

  • "HTML5 is largely still in its infancy, and there appears to be too much opportunity for it to fragment as previous HTML standards have done." [1]

In December of 2010 I devoted an entire editorial to HTML5 [2], noting that:

  • "I have some basic concerns that make me reluctant to recommend using HTML5 as the basis for any line of business application development in the near future."

But also recommending that as far as a future version of PowerBuilder, Sybase should:

  • "Still focus on Silverlight, still work on HTML5 as well, and give us the capability of generating applications that implement both. If the Silverlight player is available, use that, and if not then downgrade to HTML5. That will ensure that we have the capability to deploy apps until such time as HTML5 is mature and capable of being handled by a majority of machines, but also allows the app to work on non-Silverlight enabled devices provided there is a HTML5 browser available to it."

In July of 2011 [3], I again looked at HTML5 and concluded:

  • "I expect to see a significant increase in the market penetration of tablet devices in the near future, and that the majority of application development done for those devices will be the development of native apps, not web [e.d. HTML5] apps."

HTML5 also got a passing reference in my editorial for November of 2011 [4], in which I noted:

  • "I still believe it's an immature technology."

But also that since Windows 8 is supposed to support the use of HTML5 to generate desktop applications that

  • "It's beginning to look like HTML5 may become not only the best long-term bet for web deployment, but for desk-top deployment as well."

Why do I bring all this up? Because in January of 2012 I penned yet another article where I mentioned HTML5 [5], and some people seem to think that last article represented some sort of conversion experience and that I was now a HTML5 fan boy.

So, just to make sure everything is clear, I'd like to review what I said there, compare that to what I said in these earlier articles, and then elaborate a bit further to make sure there's no confusion.

What I said in the January 2012 article, was:

  • "While HTML5 may be the future, the future isn't here yet. [...] Nonetheless, the lesson we might take away is that HTML5 currently isn't suitable for line of business application development, though it may be in a few years."

I've highlighted a couple of terms in that quote as well as from the previous quotes, because I think they're crucial in understanding what I've been saying for some time. I do not believe that HTML5 is currently a mature technology suitable for the generation of enterprise line of business applications. It may be in a few years, it currently isn't. I have to agree with the assessment of Mike James in his iProgrammer article [6] that HTML5 currently is "...another one of those false marketing ideas with very little substance" and that with reference to Microsoft's shift away from Silverlight to HTML5 that it was "...perhaps the most reckless abandonment of a technology in the history of technology." Don't get the wrong idea from those quotes, Mike goes on to explain why the eventual adoption of HTML5 could be a good thing. He's just noting that somebody needs to "work on the underpinnings that we need to turn it into a usable technology."

As Mike mentions in his article, and Richard Holdsworth goes into some detail about in his own piece in TechCruch Europe [7], when you visit an HTML5 website what is really doing the heavy lifting, not HTML5 itself, but JavaScript and CSS [8]. How much of the heavy lifting? Let's take the recently released HTML5 version of Cut the Rope as an example. Of course, Cut the Rope started out as an iPhone application, and it runs quite well on such mobile devices (it was later released for Android and just recently for the Sony Playbook). They recently made it available for HTML5 browsers by porting the OpenGL code over to the HTML5 canvas API and the Objective C code over to JavaScript. How much JavaScript? 15,000 lines running in the browser. [9] And what do I get when I run it in Safari on my iPad? This screenshot shown in Figure 1.

"A little too slow?" You've taken an application that used to run fine on the device, ported it to HTML5, and now it's essentially unusable there. I guess I'm not impressed. I actually get that same message with most other browsers than IE 9 running on a laptop. The primary reason that it even runs well in IE (and only IE 9) is because IE 9 pre-compiles the JavaScript on a background thread.

Don't get me wrong. I do look forward to the day when we can create and run applications that will run on multiple devices in different browsers and will perform adequately on them all and do that without having to use plugins. HTML5 offers the promise of making that happen. However, it hasn't delivered on that promise yet. When it has, I'll endorse it enthusiastically. Until then, I can only recommend it as something to watch and learn for the future, but not to use for production applications today.

References:

  1. http://pbdj.sys-con.com/node/1464997
  2. http://pbdj.sys-con.com/node/1658103
  3. http://pbdj.sys-con.com/node/1884245
  4. http://pbdj.sys-con.com/node/2070202
  5. http://pbdj.sys-con.com/node/2120922
  6. http://www.i-programmer.info/professional-programmer/i-programmer/3539-2011-the-year-html5-won.html
  7. http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/12/30/html5-idiots-are-confusing-meatballs-with-spaghetti/
  8. When most people refer to HMTL5, they are most likely referring to the combination of HTML5, JavaScript, CSS and other web standards (e.g., WebSocket). HTML5 alone would give us very little functionality.
  9. http://www.cuttherope.ie/dev/

More Stories By Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong is a development lead with Integrated Data Services (www.get-integrated.com). A charter member of TeamSybase, he has been using PowerBuilder since version 1.0.B. He was a contributing author to SYS-CON's PowerBuilder 4.0 Secrets of the Masters and the editor of SAMs' PowerBuilder 9: Advanced Client/Server Development.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
bruce.armstrong 05/08/12 02:11:00 PM EDT

Somebody just said it better than I did, and with more chops to say it:

Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg & Facebook Mobile

@ThingsExpo Stories
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Nigeria has the largest economy in Africa, at more than US$500 billion, and ranks 23rd in the world. A recent re-evaluation of Nigeria's true economic size doubled the previous estimate, and brought it well ahead of South Africa, which is a member (unlike Nigeria) of the G20 club for political as well as economic reasons. Nigeria's economy can be said to be quite diverse from one point of view, but heavily dependent on oil and gas at the same time. Oil and natural gas account for about 15% of Nigera's overall economy, but traditionally represent more than 90% of the country's exports and as...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
"At our booth we are showing how to provide trust in the Internet of Things. Trust is where everything starts to become secure and trustworthy. Now with the scaling of the Internet of Things it becomes an interesting question – I've heard numbers from 200 billion devices next year up to a trillion in the next 10 to 15 years," explained Johannes Lintzen, Vice President of Sales at Utimaco, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"For over 25 years we have been working with a lot of enterprise customers and we have seen how companies create applications. And now that we have moved to cloud computing, mobile, social and the Internet of Things, we see that the market needs a new way of creating applications," stated Jesse Shiah, CEO, President and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the industry’s first all flash version of HyperConverged Appliances that include both compute and storag...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Code Halos - aka "digital fingerprints" - are the key organizing principle to understand a) how dumb things become smart and b) how to monetize this dynamic. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant Technology Solutions, outlined research, analysis and recommendations from his recently published book on this phenomena on the way leading edge organizations like GE and Disney are unlocking the Internet of Things opportunity and what steps your organization should be taking to position itself for the next platform of digital competition.
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...