08:13 AM
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia
Connect Directly

Zuckerberg Pans HTML5 for Mobile Development: Is He Right?

The Facebook impresario recently classified the social network's use of an HTML5-based mobile app as "the biggest mistake we've made." Is he right?

Founder Mark Zuckerberg made waves recently in calling Facebook's HTML5-driven app "one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistake that we made."

"The biggest mistake we've made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native," he said at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, according to I&T sister publication Byte.

The Byte article goes on to note that Zuckerberg didn't completely abandon the platform, saying he's "long term, really excited" about it. But the damage was done, with executives at competing events even feeling the need to weigh in on whether or not Zuckerberg was right.

In the insurance industry, the occasional opinions I've heard of HTML5 have been good. John Elcock of Kemper Direct said a few months ago that the technology is "appealing for its cross-platform support for things like drawing, audio or video without using Silverlight or Flash, and drag-and-drop, in a browser." Vendors such as Kony include it with their packaged mobile development services. An infrastructure has already built around it and it's unlikely that one comment from one tech exec could kill it.

Still, user experience is everything — and as Byte's reporter Serdar Yegulalp noted, the HTML5 experience Facebook was going for was "about as snappy as an uphill winter molasses race." Will this dissuade insurers from using it for their mobile apps, or will the technology further mature as handsets, mobile browsers and cellular networks do?

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Stephane Beladaci
Stephane Beladaci,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/12/2013 | 8:08:30 PM
re: Zuckerberg Pans HTML5 for Mobile Development: Is He Right?
He knew exactly what he was saying but it is not politically correct to tell 63% of world's developers: you got screwed, just as we did. This is why:

Getting the Record Straight

Facebook, Linked, Google, Goko, Wooga are just a few company who dumped HTML and / or Javascript (the programming language on which it is based), calling it a "failure", "biggest mistake" that "cannot be fixed". And those are just the few who had either the courage, honesty, corporate duty toward shareholders, or business duty toward developers to be honest and public about it. Thousands fail silently every day, too ashamed to admit it publicly, and too small to avoid the attack of Apple's or HTML5 opportunistic vendors' water carriers, when not plain simple fake personas on payroll, flooding the web with lies and misleading truth.

Facebook dumped HTML5 saying it is the "biggest mistake" in the company's history. #FAIL

LinkedIn dumped HTML5 saying it was a mistake to adopt it: #FAIL

GokoG«÷s HTML5 game portal went back to beta after failed launch, blowing up on first day. #FAIL

Wooga, second largest game developer on Facebook, dumped HTML5 after adopting Facebook's failed HTML5 platform codename "Spartan". #FAIL

Leaked internal Google email shows Javascript, the language used for HTML, has flaws that cannot be fixed. #FAIL

Technical facts

HTML5 is based on a bogus programming language that's not even one, but an interpreted script. It takes rocket scientists to hack HTML5 and make it work, rocket scientists most companies cannot afford and most of the time cannot find even when they can afford them. #FAIL

HTML5 consists in putting band-aid on a chicken dead in the egg, to make it work across browsers on life support. Forget mobile, desktop, TV. Each new destination is more hacking, discrepancies & failures. #FAIL

HTML5 is a failure because of its nature: implementation left to the browser, with vendors free to implement it how, when & if they want. Features might work in 1 browser but not the other, or not work & look the same, or not at all. #FAIL

That is when vendors don't cripple it on purpose, such as Apple executives marking HTML5 bugs not to be fixed by executive order. That is Apple execs ordering Safari mobile engineers not to fix bugs that refrain HTML5 from competing with AppStore & iTunes. #FAIL

As a result, we see mind blowing facts such as iOS7 plagued with HTML5 bugs, don't tell me Apple does not have the money & talents to avoid that. #FAIL

Corporate Bullying

HTML5 is the biggest corporate bullying scam in the entire history of the Internet & is costing enterprises hundreds of millions. Most HTML5 web "developers" are costing enterprises 2x to 5x more money than Flash/Flex/AIR experts because they spend more time, by multiple folds, to develop apps that mostly fail at the end. Compare that with Flash/AIR apps that work the same everywhere from 1 single code base, with 1 team instead of 2 to 4, & all based on a rock solid enterprise class object oriented programming called AS3, not to be confused with AS2 which is as bad as JavaScript.

Antitrust Scam

It is because Flash / Flex and AIR are too good that Jobs banned Flash as part of its vendetta on Adobe, which pushed for a "develop once, deploy everywhere" business model which is a threat to Jobs' monomaniac and megalomaniac close business model. Flash was banned to protect artificial supremacy of AppStore and iTunes. It is because HTML5 / JS are a failure that Jobs, smarter than anyone else, pushed it to serve as a decoy to distract the attention from the vendetta on Adobe and attempt, I repeat "attempt", to assassinate Flash. Fortunately, it triggered a preliminary joint antitrust preliminary investigation of Apple by FTC and EU Commission, and the regulators constrained Apple to support Flash. Adobe also learned the lesson and put its money back where its mouth is, making develop once, deploy everywhere a reality again with performance at parity with native apps and 10 fold performance improvment in the browser:

The mobile browser is the only 1 destination where HTML5 makes sense, not because it is good, but because it is a failure, that is how Jobs wanted it. Jobs wanted everyone to fail with it in the browser, left with no alternative since Apple banned not just Flash but also Silverlight & Java, every single serious app technology allowing to compete with native apps from the browser, making everyone fall back to native app & self enroll for a racketeering 30% tax. He was a genius, I give you that much & he is laughing & finger pointing at HTML5 developers & adopters from the other side all the way to Hell Bank.

Did not I say so three years ago?

In 2010 I told Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook that they will fail by adopting HTML5. A few years later Zuckerberg went on the record to apologize to his shareholders & called it "the biggest mistake" in the company's history, after spending millions in a project codename "Spartan", an HTML5 platform with which they try to take on the AppStore, which failed miserably, failed the company's entry to the mobile market, therefore failing their IPO. They should have read my blog more attentively instead of listening to a bunch of developer kids straight from school.
Register for Insurance & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Insurance & Technology Digital Issue
Innovation? Check. Core modernization? Check. Security? Check. Today's insurance IT challenges don't stump this year's Elite 8.