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HTML5突然走红,公司竞相追捧

JP Mangalindan 2011年09月01日

近来,来自亚马逊、LinkedIn以及Box.net的一批新应用都采用了HTML5,表明这门新生的语言已经获得企业垂青。

    过去一年半, HTML5突然迅速被广泛采用。这或许是因为苹果(Apple)和微软(Microsoft)两大技术巨头异口同声地称其为网络的未来;或许是因为谷歌(Google)在去年12月推出了专注于HTML5的Chrome 网络商店(Chrome Web Store);又或许是因为支持HTML5的iPad大卖特卖。总之,不管什么原因,近来亚马逊(Amazon)、在线存储服务Box.net和商务社交网站LinkedIn发布的一系列面向消费者的网络应用证实,HTML5这门被大肆宣传的语言已经获得企业的垂青。

    HTML5是网页基础标记语言HTML的最新版。但它远不仅代表了这种一般的、缓慢发展的技术标准。HTML5还是一系列特点和功能的简称,这些特点和功能旨在使网站表现得更像传统的桌面应用,融入视频、复杂的互动和数据,并使其更兼容智能手机和平板电脑等新设备。HTML5自21世纪初期以来不断发展,去年4月份迅速成为主流,当时苹果首席执行官史蒂夫•乔布斯发布了一封公开信,嘲笑奥多比(Adobe)的Flash,并对HTML5大加推崇,称之为网络的未来。现在,为了削减同时为苹果iOS和谷歌Android平台开发的成本,并规避不同应用商店带来的麻烦,许多公司正纷纷改用HTML5。

    确实,HTML5正迅速得到普及。视频搜索引擎MeFeedia近来的一份调查显示,现在至少有69%的网络视频可通过HTML5进行播放。而去年12月这一比例为54%。而在2010年1月,即iPad流行前数月,该比例仅为10%。曾在苹果工作过3年的创意设计和网络顾问法鲁克•阿提斯表示:“开发人员越来越善于支持HTML5所有更关键的特点,因此我们看到越来越多的发行商正在利用网络技术打造自己想要的真实体验。”

    几周前,亚马逊发布的云阅读(Cloud Reader)引起市场轰动。虽然其用户界面非常精美并支持离线阅读,但仍有不少缺点,例如仅支持数款浏览器,而且缺乏很多在Kindle电子书用户看来理所应当具备的功能,如文本高亮、注释、全屏阅读等。不过这并不能阻止用户去尝试这款新应用。虽然亚马逊并未透露相关数据,但一位发言人在接受《财富》杂志(Fortune)采访时称,云阅读是迄今为止在发布首周表现最好的Kindle应用程序。亚马逊称将在未来的升级中提供目前缺失的功能。 

    Something in the last 18 months kicked the HTML5 adoption machine into overdrive. Maybe it was tech giants Apple and Microsoft joining hands and dubbing it the future of the web. Maybe it was Google's launch of the Chrome Web Store, with its focus on HTML5, last December. Maybe it was the HTML5-friendly iPad's meteoric sales. Whatever it was, a recent wave of consumer-facing web apps from Amazon, Box.net and LinkedIn confirm that this much-hyped language has business' blessing.

    HTML5 is the latest version of the Web's bedrock markup language, HTML. But it has come to stand for much more than the average, slow-gestating technical standard. HTML5 is also shorthand for a set of features and capabilities intended to make web sites behave more like conventional desktop applications, incorporating video, complex interactions and data as well as greater compatibility with new devices like smartphones and tablets. In development since the early-2000s, HTML5 was rocketed into the mainstream in April last year when Apple (AAPL) boss Steve Jobs issued a public missive deriding Adobe's (ADBE) Flash and anointing HTML5 as the web's future. Now, companies are turning to it to cut down on costs that can soar when developing simultaneously for Apple's iOS and Google's (GOOG) Android as well as to circumvent the headaches of varying app stores.

    Indeed, adoption has soared. A recent survey from video search engine MeFeedia showed that at least 69% of web video is now available for playback via HTML5. Last December, that number was 54%; in January 2010, months before the iPad became a hit, it was 10%. "Developers out there are getting better at supporting all of HTML5's more critical features, which is why we're seeing more publishers building the actual experiences they want using web technologies," says Faruk Ates, a creative design and web consultant who worked at Apple for three years.

    Amazon's (AMZN) Cloud Reader made waves when it was announced a few weeks ago. While it has a polished user interface and offline reading capability, it's still rough around the edges with limited web browser support and a lack of notable features Kindle e-reader users already take for granted, including text highlighting, notes and full-screen reading. Still, that hasn't stopped user from kicking the tires. Amazon would not disclose numbers, but a spokesperson told Fortune that its Cloud Reader had the best first week of any Kindle app to date. The company says missing features will be folded into future updates.  

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