Feeds

Intel backs 'overhyped' HTML5 for cross-platform app dev

Resistance is futile

High performance access to file storage

IDF 2012 HTML5 is overhyped, slow, and insecure, says Intel senior VP of software and services Renée James – but Chipzilla thinks it's the future of software development anyway.

During her Wednesday keynote speech at the Intel Developer Forum 2012 conference in San Francisco, James said there really is no other technology available that offers developers as many opportunities across as many different platforms and operating systems as HTML5 does.

"HTML5 is designed to be a cross-platform technology," James said, "and while I know there are a lot of differing opinions, we all agree it's been very overhyped, and like most technologies early on it had some troubles."

Nonetheless, she said, HTML5 is the only modern development platform that can enable what Intel calls "transparent computing," which James said is about allowing user experiences to seamlessly traverse architecture and operating system boundaries.

"Transparent computing is the core of how users view the experiences in compute today," James said. "It's about enabling what they want to do. They don't care about the operating system. And sadly, as much as [Intel] would like it not to be the case, they often don't care about the hardware architecture, either."

HTML5 makes transparent computing possible, James said, mainly because of its sheer ubiquity. It allows developers to offer similar user experiences across a wide range of devices, ranging from desktop PCs to smartphones and other mobile devices.

What's more, developers are jumping onboard at a rapid rate. According to James, 40 per cent of application developers are using HTML5 today, and another 40 per cent say they plan to use HTML5 and its related standards and APIs in the near future.

That just leaves all of the problems with HTML5, which James says Intel is working on.

Intel has already done "substantial work" to improve the performance of HTML5 and its related technologies, she said, such as helping to build GPU acceleration for 2D and 3D graphics into web browsers.

She also gave a nod to the "River Trail" parallel extensions for JavaScript, which Intel collaborated on with Mozilla. River Trail is available as a Firefox plug-in today, she said, but eventually the technology will be built into browsers.

To address security concerns, James was joined onstage by Michael DeCesare, co-president of McAfee, the security outfit Intel acquired in 2010. DeCesare reminded the crowd that McAfee has 240 dedicated engineers working on hardware-assisted security, which he said was a bigger headcount than the entire R&D organizations of most security companies.

DeCesare then had an assistant demo a McAfee app that allowed Facebook users greater control over who could download photos posted to the social network. "It's kind of like a condom for your digital life," she quipped.

This was all well and good, but your Reg hack notes that none of it is particularly new. The River Trail stuff debuted in 2011 and doesn't seem to have moved very far since then, and McAfee announced the beta of its Facebook app – which is hardly revolutionary – in August.

As for Intel's grand vision of cross-platform development, how well HTML5 apps span platform and architecture boundaries is also in dispute. James's comments came following an earlier IDF tech session by Intel director of content planning Kim Pallister, who said actual HTML5 standards compliance varied widely between devices, especially when it comes to emerging categories like Smart TVs.

James acknowledged these problems, at least in part, by noting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's comments from the TechCrunch Disrupt event on Tuesday, where he described the social network's focus on HTML5 as "the biggest mistake we made as a company."

"We have a little bit of work to do on that front, as well," James said.

But for all her hand-waving about how many developers will be using HTML5 to build transparent computing systems in the future, James's speech contained few details about just what Intel plans to do to help them do it.

She did say that Chipzilla was readying "a specific program on HTML5" that would "help you write applications across multiple enviroments," but that it wouldn't launch until Q4.

"Transparent computing seems pretty far away from where we stand today," James said in closing, "but we have always believed that the future of computing is what we make it." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.