html5 vs flash performance
It was fascinating to see that the third most popular news story on the BBC News website this morning concerned the rapid expansion in popularity of the HTML 5 language in web design: Coding the future: HTML 5 takes the internet by storm.
Although surely only a tiny minority of the BBC’s readers will ever deal directly with the intricacies of the language itself, HTML5 promises to have a massive impact on users’ experience of browsing the web. Before the advent of HTML 5, websites that offered sophisticated graphical content (for example, films or animations) had to rely on inconvenient third-party browser plugins such as Adobe Flash or QuickTime.
Although Flash has historically been a very successful technology, it has some major limitations. It does not run in all browsers — most notably Apple products including the iPad and iPhone — and it requires the user to explicitly consent to the installation of the Flash plugin. With HTML5 there will finally be a universal method for drawing sophisticated graphics built into every standards-compliant browser.
But as the BBC article explains, the impact of HTML 5 is not purely technological; it also has strong commercial advantages:
“Put simply it means that there’s now much less chance that customers visiting a website will come across a black hole in the middle of the page, or get endless prompts to ‘download a plug-in’ which may take several minutes to install. By then it is often too late. The consumer has already clicked on a competitor’s website.”
At NetNow we have carefully tracked the progress of HTML 5 and the ever-increasing support for the language in market-leading browsers such as Internet Explorer 9, Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. We believe that the future of graphically-rich web applications such as NetNow lies with HTML5, as it will allow us to make our innovative visualization technology available on the widest range of application platforms from high-spec PCs to phones and tablets.
For these reasons, we designed HTML 5 into our products from day one. We hope you’ll agree that the NetNow Dashboard looks just as great on an iPhone or iPad as it does on a PC!