Last month, Sencha revealed its HTML5-based take on Facebook. Fastbook was a response to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg referring to the social network's bet on HTML5 as "one of the biggest mistakes, if not the biggest strategic mistake that we've made". Sencha VP of Marketing Paul Kopacki countered, telling .net: "We think we proved with Fastbook that there is nothing required that can't be built with HTML5."
Ty Amell, CEO and Co-Founder of StackMob, a "cloud-based mobile platform that makes it easy for developers to build, deploy, and grow network-connected mobile apps", thinks the argument remains more nuanced. Speaking to .net, he said that "Sencha proved HTML apps can be great", notably for the "plenty of developers who are creating real business apps that need to be able to support multiple platforms from the same code base".
But rather than solely banging the HTML5 drum, Amell told .net Facebook "made the right decision in supporting native apps in addition to HTML5 – after all, m.facebook.com is still up and running and available for other mobile devices to use that aren't iOS or Android". He said that although HTML5 must improve to match the functionality of native applications, it will "continue to improve to where more mobile developers will be able to leverage both HTML5 and native functionality for cross-platform hybrid applications". In his mind, more powerful devices will soon "enable better user experiences whether HTML5 or native".
Because of the sheer number of devices in use, Amell reckoned the real concern for developers won't be native versus web apps but ensuring business logic lives in the cloud: "Running your advanced business logic on every device will not be sustainable. Leveraging a central location in the cloud to execute business logic and process complex data, then pushing that data to all the connected devices, will be the best practice."