Apple’s new “HTML5 Showcase” doesn’t show much HTML5, and is browser-specific

Background: Apple's new "HTML5 Showcase" is raising a few questions from Opera users (and others), so I thought I'd address them here.

Apple claim to promote HTML5 and an open Web, but the page uses browser sniffing to block other browsers, vendor prefixes for the CSS3 stuff they are using (even if other browsers support border-radius it won't work because it's coded using -webkit-border-radius), and the patent-encumbered H.264 for video.

In fact, it seems that the only things that are HTML5 on that page are HTML5 audio and video. …

So when the page doesn't work in Opera or other browsers it isn't because these browsers don't support HTML5. It's because Apple uses browser sniffing and vendor prefixes, and in addition to that they aren't really testing a lot of HTML5 at all. Most of their demos seem to have got nothing to do with HTML5, as a matter of fact.

One almost gets the impression that "HTML5" is just a buzzword to Apple.

In related news, Microsoft's misleading standards support table is still being promoted. Bruce has an amusing take on that.

The similarity between Apple and Microsoft's marketing is remarkable…

Edit: For HTML5 info and demos, check out the Opera Developer Network blog.

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141 thoughts on “Apple’s new “HTML5 Showcase” doesn’t show much HTML5, and is browser-specific

  1. Originally posted by newRyszard:

    You're original point, the one I tried to clarify for you, was that standards have to be patent free ("Patent-encumbered crap"), which is just incorrect.

    No. Again you are trying to deceive others. The context here is web standards. That's what this is about. H264 is patent-encumbered crap, and can never be an open web standard.

  2. Originally posted by dioskouroi:

    They didn't lie. They do support open standards

    And yet they do browser sniffing, browser blocking, promote patent-encumbered codecs, threaten the W3C with patent lawsuits, etc.Originally posted by dioskouroi:

    Of course you can blame Apple here for dishonesty. But so what? It's just a typical Apple -style propaganda.

    Sure. And it's still dishonest.Originally posted by dioskouroi:

    Opera could provide cooler features in their own "HTML5 Showcase".

    This red herring is getting old. Opera already has multiple HTML5 demos, but that's irrelevant. This is about how Apple is dishonest about it.

  3. Setting up a page claiming to show HTML5 technology can do all Flash can do and not letting other HTML5 supporting browsers in, requiring cURL hacks to get the page and text replacement to show a little bit of features? What does Adobe say? HTML5 isn't mature enough to replace Flash yet. What Apple did is, perfectly validate their claims.

  4. Indeed. Adobe are laughing their asses off at Apple right now. Apple just basically told the rest of the world that HTML5 is not ready for primetime.Apple, without knowing it, boosted Flash as a cross browser content platform. Apparently HTML5 doesn't work across browsers (says Apple, indirectly)!Never mind the fact that the page doesn't really use HTML5 to any great extent…

  5. I don't think parts of the audio and video are HTML5.The Url of movie is "http://movies.apple.com/media/us/html5/showcase/2010/demos/apple-html5-demo-tron_legacy-us-20100601_r848-2cie.mov".I knew H.264 is the standard (as apple's claim), but is *.mov file format HTML5 standard? Most of H.264 HTML5 movie file format is *.mp4, like Youtube H.264 mode.Also, when to use Safari Windows version without Quicktime, it requires Quicktime.In the first page of Apple's HTML5 sample page, it says "Standards aren't add-ons th the web" But Apple uses add-ons in their (So-called) HTML5 sample pages. Only in apple's platform(OSX, iphone, ipad), it doesn't need to install add-ons because it was pre-installed, also it seems to be browser basic elements.I think this apple's HTML5 sample is just cheat or hoax.

  6. Sounds about right. Apple could have stood to show that they can push a web2.0 experience to any modern browser. They could have demoed a new set of iTunes web services like video on demand. Instead we see a poor cousin of the Adobe AIR demo. And who even uses AIR?

  7. @Dong Cil: The MP4 container was based off the MOV format, so they're probably okay on that front. Chrome supports the same thing and doesn't need Quicktime installed.Can one person here — anyone defending Apple, or indeed anyone reading this — give one good reason for the browser sniffing?Or failing that a reason for not paring -webkit-border-radius with an identical border-radius; a reason that is not 'incompetence'?

  8. Here is a simple HTML 4, cross-browser rewrite of Apple's 360° demo: http://www.warpdesign.fr/html4/showcase/threesixty/This demo uses browser sniffing for what it was intented to: allow to use browser's enhanced features while degrading beautifully in other browsers. Not by blocking other browsers…Seems like Apple didn't learn the Microsoft/Netscape lesson.And yes, it works in Opera, but also IE,…

  9. Wow, Apple Defense Force, on my.opera.com? It's more likely than you think.@those who think h264 will become part of HTLML5: not as long as it's patent encumbered. Read up on the GIF fiasco, as well as the attempted royalty collection on JPEG.

  10. Originally posted by leo42:

    Here is a simple HTML 4, cross-browser rewrite of Apple's 360° demo:

    Especially that demo works fine on the Apple page itself if you use a little UserJS to fake the UA string for their sniffer :DBTW: I think it is possible to write a similar demo with pure HTML4.01 STRICT and some excessive use of CSS2 without any JS 😀

  11. Here's something interesting about the 360° "demo"… it uses 72 .jpg images to create the illusion that it is interactive when all what you're doing is using some creative JavaScript to change image displayed from 01 – 72 and everything in between those two numbers as you drag the mouse along the image.How did I do this? Google Chrome 6.0.422.0 dev with the Chrome UA Spoofer set to Windows Safari 4 and the dev tools included with Chrome. We've already confirmed that just the and tags are being used, so shall we dig deeper into this falsetto HTML5 Showcase?

  12. It's about FLASH. And plugins. Not Opera. Not web standards. The demo appears to be PR justifying why Flash isn't on the iPhone. 'Open standards are the present and the future. Here is the future. Just like with Flash, but without Flash.'Saying it doesn't work in other browsers misses the point. Saying it's not a good demo of HTML5 or web standards misses the point. Safari is a highly standards-compliant browser, as is Firefox and Opera. There's nothing to prove in this regard, and no reason to prove it. Rather, Apple appear to be trying to prove we don't need Flash. And that is a big, very important thing (for them) to try to prove, or at least reassure people about. It is likely also about the Eolas patent on plugins which we all lost. 'Plugins' are now so patent-encumbered that one must wonder if they have much future. Flash is pretty much nothing BUT a plugin. Apple is pushing HTML5 because HTML5 is partly about ending our reliance on plugins for essential media like audio and video. Perhaps they should have been less subtle and changed the headline to "We – and by 'we' we mean everyone except Adobe and Eolas – don't need no stinkin' plugins."

  13. Originally posted by BradBell:

    It's about FLASH. And plugins. Not Opera. Not web standards.

    You got that right. It's about Apple's private walled garden. They are trying to turn open standards into "Apple's back yard". Embrace and extend, boys!

    The demo appears to be PR justifying why Flash isn't on the iPhone.

    And failed miserably because it basically MADE THE CASE FOR FLASH STRONGER!

    Saying it doesn't work in other browsers misses the point. Saying it's not a good demo of HTML5 or web standards misses the point.

    Nope. YOU are missing the point.

    Rather, Apple appear to be trying to prove we don't need Flash.

    Apparently we DO need Flash because, according to Apple, HTML5 sucks and doesn't have a lot of browser support. So according to Apple, if you want cross platform sites, use Flash!

  14. Originally posted by prd3:

    if you want cross platform sites, use Flash!

    I would still prefer HTML 4 + over flash as flash can use a lot of cpu power and for phone users that means a lot shorter battery life

  15. Brad, you lost your anti-plugin argument somewhere around "this site requires the Quicktime plugin". If you don't also have Quicktime, you can't view the video. Honestly plugins can be great, assuming you keep your version current. The complaint against Flash is a bit artificial, given how lean and useful it is. Most of the HTML5 battle is a struggle to introduce more flexible HTML which can elegantly function on – or off – line. Another way to put it, is that this is a fight against the java plugin moreso than the flash plugin.Chas, A few phones are getting accelerated Flash, and it is more responsive/uses less battery compared to HTML/JS.

  16. Originally posted by hellspork:

    A few phones are getting accelerated Flash

    What makes it accelerated?Flashs seems to be only stable on Windows, Mac it is crashy (Apple has my 200 to 300 some crash reports from flash crashing any browser) I have also herd that flash is crashy on Linux (not sure tho)Also flash has become an easy target for hackers as very few people know how to even update flash and the updater is really bad

  17. Originally posted by Robin Zalek:

    Can one person here — anyone defending Apple, or indeed anyone reading this — give one good reason for the browser sniffing?

    No? How odd.

  18. Well, at least we don't need to have any plugins for Google's HTML5 port of Quake II. You need Safari or Chrome for that, though, AND you need to build it from source.

  19. Chas: Opera Mobile is partially accelerated on many devices, this is part of why it mostly came preinstalled. Mobile Flash uses the same generic acceleration hardware to make those little animations much smoother. A fair number of smartphones have a graphics system not entirely unlike a PC graphics card.Quadunit: Why would anything HTML need to be compiled from source? And if you say 3D graphics I will break this keyboard over my own head.

  20. @Cutting Spoon: You build a dedicated server for it to play. And yes, it's in 3D, it uses WebGL graphics.Also, Apple released Safari 5 today, even though they only updated Safari 4 about five times: http://www.apple.com/safari/And once again, they make it seem as if their browser is magical and did everything first. Do note that on the new features page it STILL says it doesn't support HTML5 and , something the competition had for a while.

  21. They support Quicktime. Which they will try to install when Safari checks for updates. Same with iTunes. Jerks.I looked at the edited pages for Safari 5. Honestly, a few of the things they've done look fascinating (graph of time used by different parts of the browser engine, or supporting some hardware acceleration, for example). Only small problem is that Safari has some ridiculous ideas about how to do things, the Reader cuts out important information, their new supported standards are incomplete and/or non-spec, well the list goes on. Stealing other people's features and calling them "firsts".But hey, they did represent Opera 10.53 in their comparison of benchmarks (i-bench and sunspider, biased much?) It looks like 10.60 will erase/reverse the narrow gap, so they'll probably pull the comparison when 10.60 goes final.

  22. Originally posted by hellspork:

    Brad, you lost your anti-plugin argument somewhere around "this site requires the Quicktime plugin". If you don't also have Quicktime, you can't view the video.

    I see what you mean, Cutting Spoon. I didn't notice that because I happened to be using the right combination of browser/plugin. I tried Safari spoofing iPhone for the movie (works), but Firefox spoofing iPhone doesn't. Yet I can (with effort) download the movie and drag and drop it into Firefox or Opera without problem. This demo is understandably very frustrating, annoying, inexplicable, WTF. I really commented originally because I thought someone might know something about HTML5 and the plugin patent problem. There's been lots of talk about potential problems with video codec patents, but absolutely nothing about the plugin patent, which covers more stuff and is already an issue. Everyone seems to have quietly, maybe, temporarily settled the plugin suit, while acknowledging the door is still open – yet there is so little interest that one wonders if non-disclosure is part of the deal. But after a week of looking – perhaps getting rid of plugins for video is just a happy coincidence. (I won't even ask what's wrong with Java.)For the record, I was a fan of Flash before there were web standards. With the arrival of web standards the web became more informationally dynamic instead of visually dynamic. The only Flash I really appreciate now is video publishing services, which solve problems caused by a lack of standards for web video. (Try downloading Apple's demo movie too. It's a PITA. I hope that's not the future, either.)

  23. One area where web standards are a good thing, would be 3D. There are many 3D/VR plugins for browsers, but they mostly suck and have a very low rate of adoption. A single 3D API would be mana-from-heaven for game developers.The matter of supposed plugin patents is messy and low-profile. I do not grant it much credence. The problem with full java is that it's large and messy, and modern java-SCRIPT + HTML5 + CSS3 can do so much without needing to load the java plugin.

  24. Originally posted by Cutting Spoon:

    One area where web standards are a good thing, would be 3D. There are many 3D/VR plugins for browsers, but they mostly suck and have a very low rate of adoption. A single 3D API would be mana-from-heaven for game developers.

    Say hello to WebGL. It's basically an open, extensible API that allows for rich 3D graphics to be displayed and run in a browser without the need for a plugin (a la OpenGL only slightly different). Unfortunately, only Google Chrome/Chromium/<insert another Chromium derivative here> and Safari support it so far.Update: Never mind, I didn't read the WebGL Public Wiki – Opera and Firefox have their own WebGL implementation as well. However, out of those two, only Firefox has publicly available WebGL-enabled builds.

  25. From what I've seen, Opera has many extra modifications coming to Core. A staff comment regarding WebM indicated that Opera's GStreamer plugins would be hardware-accelerated. Vega was built with the intention of adding hardware acceleration in the future. WebGL requires hardware acceleration to deliver reasonable 3D performance. Disregarding anything else, methinks I smell a major version number in the works.PS: http://www.opera.com/business/solutions/devices/tablets/

  26. I have a nVIDIA graphics card, and nVIDIA supports hardware acceleration of WebM video, so I should be able to get accelerated WebM video, when I decide to install the Labs WebM release (as that's currently the only way to get WebM decoding in Gstreamer under Ubuntu) and then go back to the most recent 10.60 build a few minutes later./brb having fun with Compiz

  27. i love html5 and webkit but such actions of apple are against the principle of open web. i tried safari for a while but i think apple's too arrogant to say they own webkit. i also love konqueror and that makes me happy to think webkit originated from it (arrogant apple tsk tsk). i've been using opera since the late nineties (when opera is still laced with unobtrusive ads). i really commend this great software. the way opera value efficiency and speed is really praiseworthy o/ more so, opera's integration with the major social networking sites is yet another cut above the rest.Thank you for the speed!

  28. What I know is Safari supports flash even after blabbering done by Jobs … if he is so much hooked to HTML 5, why flash is even supported … in safari

  29. html5 is not a standard yet. youtube is not keen of follow supporting it. and youtube's sparse support for html5 is even worst because it's "browser specific". yet, those specific browsers to support html5 in youtube falls short in supporting it.

  30. wow! nice to see that happening… just tried it and it's fast even on older machines! thanks for the info. 🙂

  31. Point is, upto IE and Netscape, common standard was issue, both will have there own version of same tool. And if it works on one it won't on other.Now, I feel all browsers are at par in terms of speed. And they have left 'Netscape Specific code' and are more or less on same platform.Point is which browser supports:- Synchronizing – not safari- Save password as default option- Do not crashNow if a person has customized one browser and if they want to switch to other browser, they can carry all optimizations to other browser.Many browsers lack interoperability

  32. "Safari is the first — and only — web browser to pass Acid 3"Disgusting, lying peeps! Opera was the first browser to pass Acid3! :bomb:

  33. "Safari 4 executes JavaScript up to 6 times faster than Internet Explorer 8 "We are 4 times faster than safari :happy:I guess they didn't dare compare themselves to DA BIG FISH :D(Safari has 1.5 times slower JS than Chrome)"Safari is the first web browser to automatically recognize websites that use custom fonts, downloading them as they’re needed." Is this true?

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