Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia created a modern Ethiopia during the 19th century using the sheer force of his considerable will. He set out to modernize and unify Ethiopia, as Google, Red Hat, Mozilla, Microsoft, and other companies seek to unify the Web today. Tewodros had no idea back in 1860 that his vision would translate very well into our modern world of fiber optic networks, and persistent wifi connections. In The Linux Week in Review 41, I will discuss how HTML5 will transform technology in the Internet Age, following Emperor Tewodros’ amazing example.
What We can Learn From Emperor Tewodros’ Rise
Emperor Tewodros II was born Kassa Haile Giorgis in 1818. He was born at a time when his native Ethiopia was being ripped apart by ferocious civil wars. From a young age, Kassa was determined to unite his war torn nation. He was relentless in his rise to power. Kassa destroyed his rival warlords, and systematically rose to become emperor. The point is this: unifying people often takes a forceful and strong will. The chaos that defined pre-Tewodros Ethiopia looked very similar to today: the Ethiopian warlords battling for supremacy looked a lot like Apple, Google, Microsoft and other modern corporations who are fighting for supremacy in the mobile regime. I argue that HTML5 will be the Emperor Tewodros II of applications development.
HTML5: Write Once, Run Anywhere
James Gosling’s creation, Java, once held a great deal of promise as a great unifier. In the 1990s, the vision for Java was that of a language that would allow you to write an application once, and run it everywhere. What went wrong? There will NEVER be a universal language or protocol controlled by one company. Sun’s control of Java (and later Oracle’s control) doomed the Java vision. HTML5 appears to have corrected this mistake. I am not a proficient Java programmer yet. For me to write a calculator application in Java, I would have to do some research, and it would probably take me a few hours to write the app. I was able to sit down with HTML5 , study it for a few minutes, and write a calculator app in about 30 minutes! It is truly a beautiful language. This ease of application creation will make HTML5 a universal language for writing applications.
The Future of Applications Development
Here is what I envision: in 5 years, applications developers will be writing their apps almost exclusively in HTML5. HTML5 apps will automatically run on GNU/Linux, Mac, Windows, FreeBSD etc. All that it will need is a compatible browser. Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer all support HTML5. Developers will flock to the programming language that makes their job the easiest. To me, it looks as though this will clearly be HTML5.
A lot of people are betting on HTML5 to succeed. From my personal experience, this is a very good bet. When compared to HTML4, HTML5 is simplified, yet more powerful. C++ is still my primary programming language, but HTML5 will be my close number 2. Thank you for reading TLWIR 41. I look forward to seeing you next time!