Thursday, September 29, 2011

Will HTML 5 make calendar sharing even swampier?

With all the attention on HTML 5 as a future software development platform, this critique by SD Times columnist Al Hilwa is cause for concern:

"The limitations of the browser sandbox model make it difficult for HTML5 apps to access device data such as contacts or calendar elements, or participate in inter-application communication."

Any HTML 5 wizards out there reading this? How serious a swamp-filler are these HTML 5 limits? Or are they there for good reason, as many "software sandboxes" are?

1 comment:

Lars Gunther (itpastorn) said...

HTML5 by itself is not the issue. The question is what related technologies that the browser will be able to use through api:s.

But journalists and marketing people tend to call every new web technology "HTML5".

So far Mozilla has not started to work on calendar access. No sign of that among the listed bugs in

One thing we do not want is for a web page to access ones calendar or contacts without a very clear and informed user consent. Implications for security and personal integrity are enormous. And the current "click ok" model is woefully inadequate since users are programmed to say yes without really thinking.

The one technology that HTML5 (in the wide marketing speak sense) will provide is an offline mode, meaning you can access and change "online" calendar and contacts data while disconnected from the net.

Using this model one can envision a phone or slate where locally stored calendar and contacts data is unnecessary, since the web app is always available.

Another issue is that web technologies can now be used to build local apps. Most apps built with Java for Android or Objective C + Cocoa for iOS could quite easily be duplicated using modern web technologies. Thus "HTML5" must not always run inside a traditional browser.