During the past week, I’ve read a number of small news related to HTML5/JS developments such as the “world’s first HTML5 SIP client“. I’ve also played with a few online HTML5/JS applications that I’ve found rather impressive. And I’ve learned that several software vendors, such as Adobe and Google, were abandonning Linux support for several desktop applications. Earlier, there’s been Google Chrome OS, and more recently a new project announcement: Boot to Gecko (in short: Linux kernel+a web browser as a desktop) has been started by the Mozilla Foundation. All these news may not sound very impressive if you consider them separately, but if you put them together, then you should see something like a big light bubble switching on to say “something is happening”.
But, you’ll have a part of those developers who get the story and massively jump on the HTML5/JS bandwagon, moving the software world to tomorrow, and creating new software stars. Over the years, the small part will grow quickly, because the world is open, because access to IT resources is cheaper and cheaper, because there are 6 billions brains on this planet, and because the number of young people in the world has never been higher.
This is good news in my opinion for at least for two reasons:
- regular software vendors are too big, too old, they are lacking flexibility, so they are going to miss the opportunity (which for them, is indeed more a nightmare than an opportunity). They will try to resist and/or try to port their existing software to HTML5/JS, but this takes time and is quite unlikely to happen massively. This will open the door to new software companies, that are going to start from scratch and write history
- this can be the start of the end of all these iOS/Android applications as they exist today, which I see just like a remembrance of the past software world, that won’t last longer than a few years because it will be easier to write online applications that can run client side, while not maintaining it on too many plateforms, and not being forced to go through smartphone vendor’s facist processes such as the “AppStore nightmare”.
Finally, all the desktop part of operating system is going to move to a web/HTML5/JS component that can display and run applications. This component can run on any OS (that is very likely to be Linux because who wants to pay to maintain that part anymore?). Then you get rid of the traditionnal desktop environment as we know it: no more Windows, MacOS or Linux desktops, but a web-oriented desktop that rely on open standards.
Will HTML5/JS help the future of software to be better than what it used to be? Will it be Open Source?