There’s a good article by groovecoder called Packaged HTML5 Apps: Are we emulating failure? which argues that “URLs delivered a better experience than native desktop apps; they can do the same for mobile apps”. groovecoder shows the shortcomings of app stores and installation processes, and suggests that a manifest/ packaging format for HTML apps would be a better experience.
And it would, except we’re currently emulating failure here too. Instead of getting together and agreeing on one standard that works across browsers, there are numerous different packaging formats which force developers to choose their platforms and thus stymies interoperability.
Here we are again. Best viewed in Netscape 4 or IE4? Here’s your multimedia, ma’am; would you like it Flash, Real Audio or Windows Media?
If only there were some kind of consortium of vendors, that strove to protect and strengthen the World Wide Web to ensure it can compete against native apps and locked-down platforms. It could serve as a mechanism for agreeing interoperable standards.
This potential “Consortium for the World Wide Web” (or “CW3” for short) could even have a middle-aged, slightly bewildered-looking Englishman as its director. I’d volunteer.