In the recent past, Apple has been vilified for acting like a big brother. Regular Techie Buzz readers are probably familiar with Apple’s battle against Flash and their stance against open technologies like Theora and WebM. Perhaps stung by the criticism, Apple has launched a new HTML5 showcase demonstrating what’s possible with Safari.
The message is loud and clear – Flash isn’t the only way to deliver rich web applications. If developers don’t want to write Apple product-specific code, they can always opt for open web standards.
The HTML5 Technology demo gallery has some spectacular samples, which showcase video, audio, typography, transitions and more. Each and every one of these demos have Apple’s hallmark. They are simple, yet stunning enough to wow you.
Unfortunately, they also bear Apple’s other signature – a lot of half-truths. According to Opera developer, Haavard K. Moen, “The only things that are HTML5 on that page are HTML5 <audio> and <video>”.
Worse still, Apple is using browser sniffing to artificially block other browsers. So, although Chrome – another WebKit based browser, does significantly better than Safari in HTML5Test.com, it stumbles while rendering Apple’s HTML5 showcase. Opera is another browser with an impressive HTML5 support that is not allowed to render Safari’s technology demos.
It is obviously well within Apple’s rights to create stunning demos showcasing its browser’s capabilities. However, dubbing its technology demos as HTML5 and Web Standards showcase, when they are clearly not, is despicable.
Apple deserves credit for encouraging and promoting HTML5. In fact, their focus on HTML5 will probably lead to an overall faster rate of adoption among both browser makers and developers. However, as Haavard points out, Apple is also trying to use HTML5 and open, as a buzzword, to its advantage.
And yeah, if you thought Microsoft fares better, here is a hilarious take on Internet Explorer’s HTML5 Testing Center.
Update: As pointed out by Sathya, Mozilla’s Robert Sayre has responded to Apple’s HTML5 Demos in his own eloquent manner.