HTML5: Sencha’s Wishlist for 2011


Sencha are the people behind the EXTjs JavaScript framework with great database connections
, Sencha Touch JavaScript for Mobile applications with full Webkit multi-touch capabilities [read works on Apple iOS4, BlackberryOS6 and Qnx, Google Android and ChromeOS], EXTGWT for Java to JavaScript UI development. So these gals and guys are on the frontline of  Web 2.0, mobile and tablet development. So theier opinions on HTML5 has to be leavened with a great deal of practical experieince. Here are their top 3 HTML in 2011 Wishlist items:

1. A Reboot for WebSQL standardization

WebSQL standardization came to a grinding halt this year after Mozilla took issue with reverse engineering a spec for SQL in the browser from the SQLite implementation that Safari, Chrome and Opera is now shipping. IndexedDB now seems to be receiving the most attention as the next generation in-browser database, with both Microsoft and Mozilla backing IndexedDB as the storage mechanism of choice for large amounts of data. Mozilla says that IndexedDB is what web developers want. However, I doubt they talked to any Enterprise developers when making the decision to champion a non-relational data model as the ONLY standard for the browser. The fact is that Enterprise data-sets have lots of inter-relationships and Enterprise web apps want to work with relational data, not hierarchical b-trees. So, our last wish for HTML5 in 2011 is for a major database player (IBM? Oracle?) to collaborate with Google to develop a spec and a clean-room reimplementation of the SQL-92 subset that SQLite supports; and for WebKit to fork SQLite to provide a stable, standards-driven, open source code-base for relational data in the browser.

Ye Keep an Open Eye editor could not agree more wholeheartedly with one addition. Let IndexDB and SQLite as Web SQL co-exist as two separate web database standards. For example PHP supports several relational DBMS including MySQL, Oracle, SQLite, Btree,  etc  with RDO as one common API.Do the same for Web standardization and let the developers decide, not the browser vendors, which database methods they prefer  to use. This would also allow for the really different use-case settings for the 2 database methods to be served by the best database approach.

2. A HTML5 codec armistice

HTML5 video — awesome. But the devil is in the details. Right now developers are looking at generating three encodings: a H.264, an Ogg Theora and a WebM version to support all the codec camps. We know there are royalty, technology and strategic issues here, but seriously, isn’t it time for one high-quality, royalty free codec that everyone can ship and rely on.

As ChiefDreamer reveals here, WebM/VP8 is a superior open video codec standard and Adobe with Flash  did the right thing – support for both H264 and WebM/VP8 standards along with the promise to move away away from their own  FLV. Why can’t the browser vendors do the same [notably Apple and Microsoft  the laggards here].

3. IE9 With Complete CSS3 Support

Internet Explorer 9 made a huge jump into HTML5 this year (particularly with Microsoft’s own Bob Muglia saying that Silverlight would essentially be deprecated in favor of HTML5 for desktop development). Our major quibble with IE9 is that it has resolutely avoided implementing the CSS3 effects that Apple has pioneered within WebKit, including animations and transitions. We’d really like to see these in the final IE9 – please don’t make us wait for IE10!

Sencha gets partially at the real problem here – that both CSS3 and multi-touch support are split along the Webkit{Apple, Googl, HP/Palm, and RIM Blackberry] versus “proprietary” Microsoft IE, Mozilla Firefox and Opera implementations. This is Keep an Open Eye’s number one concern for the the Balkanization of HTML5 and its devaluation as an open standard. See the full Sencha wishlist here for confirmation on how

yet there are other serious problems with HTML5 , but  some reason large business organizations just turn belly up on forcing  the IT software vendors  to offer better. So isolated islands of information, incompatible database silos and  highly proprietary Cloud/SaaS-Software as a Service offerings are foisted on CIOs and CEOs. Government and Business along with developers should demand better – a lot better.  HTML5 as the one cross platform development tool for smartphones and tablets will absolutely need some spine and resolution for better standards ; this should be the chief mission for  business CIOs and software developers alike.