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The HTML5 Juggernaut

In case you missed it, 2010 was the year when HTML5 hit the big time.

It started back last January with Steve Jobs coming clean about why Apple would never support Flash (and by implication Silverlight) on its mobile devices, and throwing all of Apple's weight behind HTML5.

It continued with the rapid decline in the use of Internet Explorer (now less than 50% of the market), with Microsoft doing all it can to drive users away from IE6  and on to the HTML5-compliant IE9. Growing acceptance of Chrome Frame as a way of fixing the "legacy IE" problem helped, too.

But the real turning point was on 21 October, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted in public for the first time that HTML5 was unstoppable ("....the world is going HMTL5... and so are we") -- a move widely interpreted as deprecating Silverlight.

Over the last two or three years ago a handful of banks have built single-dealer platform front-ends in Flash, and at least one major bank has built a Silverlight offering, despite the limited installed base. But over the last six months most of the financial firms I talk to seem to have settled decisively on HTML5 as their strategic Web app technology.

But can you achieve the same development productivity in HTML/JavaScript/CSS that you can from the best traditional environments? Well, there are some great general-purpose toolkits around now: ExtJSjQuery and Dojo, for example, all provide widgets ranging from grids to email suites. Better still, finance-specific offerings are emerging that offer complete MVVM-style design frameworks that compare favourably with many of the more mature technologies.

Given the current pace of progress in this area, it's likely that HTML5 development tools will start to rival the best of the alternatives during the course of this year.

And now it even has a logo.


HTML5 Logo

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