The Humane Society of the United States

"11 Hard truths about HTML5"
by Peter Wayner, InfoWorld August 15, 2011

Commentary by Robert C. Watson

"What a horrible article. Most of the points have nothing to do with HTML5, and apply every bit as much to native apps. It's just a generic list of issues to be aware of when writing any kind of software."
Martijn Vos, comment of August 15, 2011 05:50am

Mr. Vos, I salute you! You've summarized this article perfectly.

I set out to take issue with each of Mr. Wayner's points, but soon realized my response would have to be longer than his article.

Initially, I was incensed by the many blatant absurdities like...
"When it's offline, changes aren't always stored in the cloud."

When something is "offline", it is not in communication with the rest of the system (i.e. "the cloud") and thus changes can NEVER be stored in the cloud by ANY software until it goes back online.

"Merging the various GIT repositories can take time."

As I understand it, the most compelling feature of 'git' (not 'GIT') is its speed. But perhaps the author didn't expect anyone in his target audience (Managers that make decisions based on articles like this?) to know that.

Then I came across this paragraph...
"It's not really fair to blame HTML5 for all of the structural problems with storing your data in the cloud, but the cloud is an essential part of the vision, which leverages the cloud to fix all of the headaches for installing software and backing up data."

Huh? Not only does the sentence make no gramatical sense, it is another of those statements (I think?) that have nothing to do with HTML5 but are clearly intended to be a critique of it. At this point, any credibility the article may have had is gone for me and I'm actually beginning to feel sorry for the poor, confused author.

Finally comes...
"Given the limitations of HTML5 local data storage, the bulk of Web app data storage will remain in the hands of servers, and there are moments when this approach can be devastating. Just recently Facebook decided it didn't like one Linux-based plug-in for uploading photos. With a wave of the caliph's hand, the plug-in was gone, along with all of the photos that were uploaded using it."

The Local Storage advances in HTML5 provide some desperately needed tools to fashion systems that are not totally dependant on a central server such as Facebook. Until HTML5, the only game in town was to store all data on the server. This gave the server software makers (i.e. web designers) complete ownership of all data. HTML5 makes it possible to design software that lets the user keep control of their data.

In summation, HTML5 provides much-needed tools for designing systems that are LESS dependant upon central servers.