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Mindmapping site creates native app feel with HTML5

Subtask is a web application for structuring and organising projects using mind maps. Developer Michael Partheil chose HTML5 because he wanted the web app to feel native, run across multiple platforms and rule out Flash, Silverlight and so on.

But, as he points out, this is easier said than done "because support for several HTML5 features isn’t that good on mobile devices". Subtask includes a host of HTML5 - including XHR2 for file uploads, localStorage and application cache for offline support, SVG, new structural elements and Server-Sent Events.

Partheil found most technologies were easy to get to grips with – except for App Cache and WebSockets, because "App Cache, although in principle rather simple, is problematic because for us it does not work reliably and it's nearly impossible to debug.

"WebSockets are cool in development environment but can be hard to set up in a production system because they use an entirely new protocol (in other words not HTTP).Thus, you get problems with firewalls, load balancers and everything." Where possible Partheil suggests using Server-Sent Events over WebSockets.

This showcase was originally featured in .net magazine issue 241.

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