I’m not sure I have ever thrown this down in writing. I probably have said this 800 or 900 times, but I think that HTML 5 in SharePoint 2010 sucks. The support is terrible in the two most prevalent web browsers at the enterprise level – Internet Explorer and Firefox. If you can’t even get the video tag to work in IE 9 or the latest version of Firefox then that’s a huge fail for the product with HTML 5.
What I think needs to be done in the product to improve HTML 5 support so that we can move towards standards are a few things. Here are a few ideas I have from working with SharePoint and HTML 5 and Silverlight:
- SharePoint vFuture needs to stop pushing back IE support to a specific numbered version in the masterpage. Microsoft I know it sucks and you would have to do massive amounts of legwork, but SharePoint 2010 does not meet web standards. The fact that you are forcing us to use IE 8 compliance mechanisms by embedding it in the masterpage further supports what I am saying. I am sick of having to test various tags and scripts that I wrote outside of SharePoint inside the product and finding subpar results. It makes me feel ashamed of working with the product. I have friends working with Orchard and other tools that fully support the latest web standards. Can you guys please promise to work on this for the next version of SharePoint?
- We need better tooling for HTML 5 why not take Expression Blend and make it work to help write better SharePoint controls that are web compliant. I love Silverlight, but as we know it’s not the best for mobile platforms, such as phones or tablets. The world is heading more into a highly technical age where less people will have a laptop and more people will have a phone or tablet. We need better tooling, because SharePoint Designer sucks monkey chunks. 2010 is no better than 2007 it just doesn’t tell us the error message and instead just closes. It might be 2% better than the last version, but it’s still a wolf in sheeps clothing. Expression Blend is one of the most fantastically written user control products I have ever seen. It is clean and simple and far superior to any Adobe product (well maybe I’m a tad biased). So Microsoft can you please make it so for SharePoint vFuture? Give us some Blend support to create SharePoint controls perhaps? We don’t need a one off solution you can keep designer for workflows or some other small junk where it excels and won’t crash on us.
- This one is for the W3C…Why is HTML 5 in draft mode until 2020? It’s 2012 guys get your act together. HTML 4 was standardized in the 90s that’s over a decade ago. No wonder Microsoft has no idea which side to flip on Silverlight and HTML 5 the web standard committee can’t even get there stuff together to standardize the new format. Why write a product on something that won’t be fully standardized for another 8 years potentially. Btw 8 years is optimistic when they could not even get there stuff together to push out the first version of HTML 5 and some guy from Google had to step in and throw something out there. How sad is that? So W3C please give us some standard in the next year so that Microsoft can write a proper version of SharePoint for the masses. Thanks guys.
So now that I have completely irritated the W3C, Google, and Microsoft I will throw out a conclusion for you guys. I think if we can get the three things above, such as a more web compliant version of SharePoint, better HTML 5 tooling, and an actual standardized version of HTML 5, then I think we will see Silverlight dying. Right now everything is still speculation, but I predict in the future these three things will happen. If they do not happen then you will see me switching from SharePoint Development to something like jQuery or Rails or PHP or some other junk, because my job will no longer exist a decade from now. I do not see Silverlight living through the next 10 years in the same form. It’s possible they will repurpose it for the wp7, but I cannot tell you the future or the expiration date or if this is the last version of Silverlight Microsoft will publish. All I can do is tell you what I think will happen and what needs to be done to get to a more web compliant future. If anyone out there wants to question my ability to write HTML go right ahead, but I have been working with HTML since v3 and I was writing notepad code while you were still writing god knows what C command line script to move files from one folder in Windows 3.1 to another folder. Have a nice night guys and I hope you were all entertained at reading this post as much as I had writing it.