I love both Silverlight and HTML5. Everybody knows that even a little bit of knowledge of HTML can be immensely useful. HTML or HyperText Markup Language tells your web browser what each part of a website is. However, I’m not too cut up about the emphasis on HTML5. We built agent8ball.com in not more than 4 weeks and dealt with all kinds of browser compatibility issues. I seriously love Silverlight, spending 3 sleepless nights just this week wondering about how I can build more WP7 apps.
HTML a Big Part of the Future
HTML is no doubt a huge part of the future and you just can’t ignore that fact. Nobody can ignore HTML and if you want to take your tech skills to the next level, you need to know more about it. At the PDC I think that Microsoft may well have gotten some of their messaging wrongs.
People are upset because they’re thinking that the investment they’ve made in Silverlight has all been in vain. Microsoft says that you should use HTML5 for some of the browser things you were thinking about Silverlight for. While I don’t want to trivialize it. I’m not too broken up thinking that some web experiences that may well have belonged to Silverlight have gone to HTML5.
It’s better to just accept that the flash/Silverlight war is done and dusted and that HTML5 is the winner. And why not – after all HTML is fun. Frameworks and tools are still emerging and tools and frameworks that make authoring HTML5 will be better.
So let’s then have a look at what is left for Silverlight. Microsoft is clear that Silverlight is the bet they’re making for devices but we can all see that mobile computing is a great bet. Silverlight and WPF are good contenders for desktop apps and desktop apps are still important.
Silverlight and WPF are still the best way to go. I don’t believe that WPF 4 has got the credit it deserves from the community. You can create apps in WPF and Silverlight with the changes to text rendering and LayoutRounding. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in Windows 8.
Microsoft will in all likelihood build an app store for apps for desktop and also have this support for Silverlight-based apps. You and Microsoft may well have invested quite a bit in Silverlight. Microsoft has spent a lot of time telling everyone about how amazing it is as well. Change is always going to be happening but no one wants to discard a good investment.
Software is just as important today as it has ever been. So to summarize, you should care about HTML5 because as a UI technology, it’s a useful tool to know and it means you use lots of jQuery. You need to also be caring about Silverlight as it will matter for the years to come. The devices market where Microsoft is focusing their Silverlight efforts is the future.