Sunday, June 6, 2010

Apple, HTML5, and Webstandards

Try one of the demos at Apple HTML5. The Website seems to be about Web Standards; and there is the claim: "These web standards are open, reliable, highly secure, and efficient. They allow web designers and developers to create advanced graphics, typography, animations, and transitions. Standards aren’t add-ons to the web. They are the web. And you can start using them today."

If you try to run one of the demos (without Safari), you get the following message:

You’ll need to download Safari to view this demo.

This demo was designed with the latest web standards supported by Safari. If you’d like to experience this demo, simply download Safari. It’s free for Mac and PC, and it only takes a few minutes.

So the standards that "aren't add-ons to the web," but "are the web," need a free browser of a particular sort? Doesn't sound very "open" to me.[1]

One might argue that, strictly speaking, there is no contradiction in saying both: "The standards are open." and "We will allow only restricted access to what we have created in accordance with open standards." It's sort of like saying: "There is universal justice." and "We will allow only restricted access to what we have created in accordance with universal justice." Nothing wrong with that—or is there?

Still, we should remember that this is not about justice. It's just about the Web and a "business model." Microsoft may be said to have tried something like this before. It did not work. This won't work either—I hope.

1. See also Apple's "HTML 5 and Web Standards" Showcase Criticized for Not Being Standard At All

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