HTML5 tools suck, but are improving. The key issue hindering HTML5 today is the availability of capable tools and skills needed to use this expansive technology effectively. We are far from where deep HTML5 skills or tools are available in the market to the same degree as Java or .NET, and we may not reach this level until the end of the decade. The arrival of the standard will feed the virtuous cycle of increased adoption and skills growth. Improved editors and debuggers are already beginning to make a dent in making developers more productive.
The HTML5 standard is as much a political triumph as it is a technical triumph. HTML5 holds the promise of a unified set of technologies that can provide skills, code and effort sharing across multiple devices and operating systems from all walks of tech-land. Even if the promise of writing once and running everywhere cannot be realized fully (and it is clear that it cannot), HTML5 can provide time and cost savings by sharing aspects of the code or development effort.
Al Hilwa is program director of application development software research at IDC.