"All this is done in HTML5, by the way!" exclaimed Steve Jobs, the mind and face of the
Apple success story, as he walked the audience through the new HTMLs-powered ad
system at the iPhone OS 4.0 Keynote, receiving cheers, laughs, and applause in return.
The recent developments in open, standards-based web technologies are moving the web
forward at an increasing pace, and Apple's embrace of HTML5, including the blocking of
Flash on all iDevices, is just another symbol of the power of this movement. Although
Apple's love for HTML5 might in part be fueled by business motives, it is clear that the
open web is on the move and exciting things are happening on an almost daily basis,
making it an exciting time for web and game developers alike.
The world of web and game development wasn't always this exciting, however. Building
games for the browser could be a frustrating experience and has traditionally meant
having to choose between using feature-rich plugin-based technologies or settling for a
round hole of game development. Disagreeing or downright broken implementations of
various standards have only made the consistent and predictable environment of, for
instance, Flash more appealing.
By opting for plugins like Flash, developers and game designers gain access to
frameworks that are suitable for advanced game development, featuring dynamic
graphics, sounds, and even 3D, but doing so also disconnects the game from the
technologies surrounding it. Although technologies such as Flash, Java, and Silverlight all
have means to communicate with the rest of the page, they remain isolated objects with
limited capabilities for mixing with the surrounding content.