Application development for the future…

I am not taking any sides on the state of application development technologies out there. I wanted to get that out of the way straight off. What I do see is a broadening of the landscape for designs and developers to consider.

Not long ago we had traditional desktop applications and the possible technologies that support those developments (Java, C#, C++, Objective-C, etcetera). Along came mobile devices and we have web applications (HTML, HTML 5, iOS, Android (Java), AIR, Silverlight, etcetera). Adobe is on the friendly bandwagon of HTML 5 support with some Labs tools and has an iOS compiler from it’s Flash tool (because iOS does not support Flash).

HTML has been around for ages (in internet time) and it’s not going anywhere. I have iPad applications that basically take legacy HTML content and re-format it around, or present it in a UIWebView for ease of implementation. I don’t think those days are going away any time soon. We’ve got web services all over the place brining smiles to Twitters, Facebookers, GMailers, WordPressers, etc.

So we’ve got many avenues to present applications to users by the mentioned technologies above… but it seems like nothing is going to tear applications away from their HTML roots, namely in the way of HTML 5, javascript, and CSS3. It’s still pretty fresh and has a ways to go, but already some are hitching their wagons on the technologies. Games are a special case and will probably remain in the iOS/Silverlight/Flash/AIR realm, as they require specialized interactivity that is quite different than straight-up data-driven applications. I’d love to see a HTML 5 version of Google Maps someday, just to see it in action.

Most of us deal with Android, iOS and Flash. It’s smart to get some HTML 5, JQuery, etc. chops in addition to PHP, CSS, etc. Some Flash developer’s limit in HTML-land is markup for embedding the plugin into web pages. There is no guarantee that Flash plunked into a web page in a mobile application is going to be supported or asked for (by clients) forever. I’m just thinking to myself and you might agree that broadening your development chops even further may be a prudent idea.

The more technologies you can offer your work or clients the better… especially with application targets currently and potentially adding up underneath you. It would be good to know a good bit about different technologies in order to make an informed and a best decision on which platform to develop for on a project by project basis.

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