HTML5: Don’t Believe the Hype Cycle

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Is HTML5 a distant dream or a here-and-now lifeline for the mobile Web? A recent report from research firm Gartner predicted that this collection of next-gen Web technologies is still  five to 10 years from becoming a suitable basis for businesses. But developers are moving forward apace, and HTML5-enabled apps will become ubiquitous within months, not years.

Gartner has been producing its Hype Cycle report since 1995 and it has had a very good track record of predicting how technologies would evolve over time. For instance, its analysis of Near Field Communications this year was spot-on. But it may have missed the mark on HTML5 this time around. The report shows HTML5, an evolving standard that specifies the way Web pages and applications should be rendered by a browser, still ascending the slope the “peak of inflated expectations.” After that, it will need to drop into the “trough of disillusionment” before climbing the “slope of enlightement” in five to 10 years.  HTML5 is a tricky technology to forecast because of its sweeping implications for the developer community. The fact is that developers have embraced the emerging standard and, given the breakneck pace of the tech industry, they have no incentive to wait for it to solidify.

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