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Mobile, Web Development

Are You Ready for HTML5?

I recently attended a workshop on HTML5. It has been around for a while now, but I still learned a lot of new stuff. This post gives an overview of the new things I learned during the session and provides some benefits and drawbacks of adopting HTML5 in your web sites right now.

I had some experience with HTML5’s new features when I was creating a mobile application using HTML/Javascript, but this workshop really freshened up my HTML5 knowledge. The workshop was facilitated by Mathias Bynens, most of the topics I touch upon are inspired by his course material.

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Experimenting with mobile application development

One of the key ideas I took with me from Devoxx a while ago was this: mobile app development is hot. I wanted to gain some experience in this field so I decided to create a pet app to mess around with: WhereIsMyCar. It does exactly what the name implies: the app lets you take a picture of your parked car and it stores this picture and your current coordinates so you can easily find it again after a long night of coding. The reason I went for this kind of app is twofold:

  • It’s limited in scope, so I wouldn’t be coding for months on end
  • It uses some of the newer device/HTML5 capabilities (taking pictures, geolocation, localstorage,…) so I could also gain a little experience with those.

After deciding on which app I was going to build, I hit the next bump in the road: should I go all-native, or should I create my app in a non-platform-specific way? Martin Fowler has an excellent infodeck on this topic here. Since I did not want to limit myself to the Android platform right off the bat, I went for the cross-platform option.

Cross-platform app development = HTML5 + javascript + device wrapper framework

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