The best tool for the job: HTML5 or native?

HTML5 has spurred a lot of interest from the software development community due in part to functionality that promises to greatly enhance user experience while making the programmer's life a little easier. A survey of developers revealed confirmed continued momentum for HTML5 development tools throughout 2013 when compared with hybrid HTML5-native alternatives, InfoWorld reported. The majority of respondents (70 percent) utilized the former more often than hybrid options, while 75 percent said they would likely rely more heavily on HTML5 in 2014.

However, it is important to remember that the answer of which language is best to use for a given project is not as simple as answering the HTML5 vs. native debate. The value of any software development tool depends on the goals of a project and how those objectives fit into the organization's overall strategy. For instance, Forrester recently conducted a survey to explore the benefits and challenges surrounding responsive web design, which relies on CSS queries. Analysts noted that RWD provides a number of short-term benefits, but the strategy's value diminishes over longer time frames because of the amount of work that must go into the back end - more than 70 percent of the time developers spend on RWD initiatives is taken up by these kinds of tasks.

"Tactical approaches [to mobility] are no longer sustainable, especially as more strategic methodologies like responsive delivery emerge that can underpin a comprehensive enterprise-weight delivery of mobile experiences," stated Jeffrey Hammond, principal analyst for Forrester Research. "There's considerable value in pre-existing business logic from your company's traditional website (and other existing systems). It's already tested and secured, and it can be opened up to the mobile channel."

As InfoWorld noted, programmers in the HTML5 development survey often utilized CSS3 styling and animation tools in conjunction with HTML5 features. This suggests demand for a more robust ecosystem of software tools that enable developers to utilize the best tools for a given project rather than be stuck using solutions that do not align well with what their organizations need.


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