2013-03-07

Will the term “web platform” replace “HTML5”?

When it comes to platforms for implementing applications, the term “web platform” seems to increasingly replace “HTML5” (which itself has largely replaced “Ajax” [1]). In this context, both terms denote the programming platform of web browsers. The former includes JavaScript. The latter doesn’t, strictly speaking, but it includes JavaScript-based APIs.

Why “web platform” is a good choice

This is a positive development, for three reasons. First, “web platform” better describes the actual platform: the “HTML” in “HTML5” suggests “everything in web browsers except JavaScript”, but JavaScript is an integral part of the platform. Second, including a version number unncessarily constrains the lifetime of “HTML5”. Third, people know what the web is and we already talk about “web apps”. So, saying that web apps are based on the web platform is fitting.

Accordingly, when the web community got together to better document web development, the name “web platform” was chosen for what was to be documented. Thanks to that effort, the web platform also has a logo:

The increasing importance of the web platform

More and more operating systems let you use the web platform to write first-class apps. For example: Furthermore, both Google and Mozilla are working on ways to turn web apps into native desktop apps: packaged apps (Google, first step: Chrome app launcher) and Desktop WebRT (Mozilla).

Related blog posts

  1. Branding web technologies and the new HTML5 logo
  2. A few thoughts on Chromebooks and Chrome OS
  3. A Windows 8 keynote review by a JavaScript programmer and Apple user

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