Sencha enthuses about HTML5 and CSS progress

On the Sencha blog, Michael Mullany has written about the current state of HTML5 and CSS3, and enthused about the progress that's been made since the introduction of the technologies. "It's been almost three years since HTML5 entered the mainstream," he said, citing January 2010 as "month zero for the HTML5 boom". Today, he reckoned "HTML5 and CSS3 implementations across all major browsers on desktop and mobile have become increasingly convergent," with charts showing particularly noticeable catch-up by Microsoft during the past year: "The feature implementation ramp from IE8 in 2010 to IE9 in 2011 to IE10 this year has been very steep."

Mullany noted that HTML5 progress has not been without its hiccups, singling out Android 3 and its "embarrassingly bad browser implementation," along with issues relating to device APIs and the performance and correctness of CSS 3D transforms. However, he praised the manner in which standards groups and browser makers have navigated disagreements, such as how "the CSS Working Group worked through the issues over gradient syntax and functionality". There, WebKit's syntax originally merged linear and radial gradients into a single property, which Mullany said hadn't worked well for flexible layouts. Mozilla's alternative implementation boasted superior syntax and is now the standard.

Mullany also noted that HTML5 has shown how "standards status is often only loosely related to dependability or usability". HTML5-bashers often claim the technology is not ready, he explained, and yet plenty of major HTML5 technologies have now reached advanced stages of standardisation, and frameworks like Sencha's own can "abstract away differences in implementations" while further standards work progresses. "We now have five modern HTML5 browsers to choose from, all with very complete HTML5 implementations," he concluded, stating that there's plenty more to look forward to in 2013.

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