A few weeks ago I watched a saddening interview that a Google guy conducted in NYC; What is a Browser? It was sad because effectively no-one even knows what a browser is. The neat thing about that fact though is that the browser is so ubiquitous that people don't even know it exists.
The other day a co-worker and I were talking about whether or not HTML5 stuff matters anymore. Did Flash get enough market coverage to own "rich" client-side-software forevermore? Will content developers use HTML5 stuff? Are content developers relevant anymore? These are the kinds of questions that came up in the conversation. Here's my perspective.
It's done a lot for us (thanks Macromedia), but it's still too proprietary and takes too much tooling to do anything interesting with it. Furthermore, video quality (at least what the industry has adopted) is pathetic, and in a world wherein video is becoming more and more relevant (thanks to ease of production of HD content, as well as increasing bandwidth), it's not going to cut it much longer. There's a quarter-ton of Flash content out there though (e.g. YouTube), so, in some capacity, it's here to stay for a long time.
HTML5 exposes some incredible functionality at the JS/HTML/DOM levels. However, while the erosion of the plugin API walls allows for a more fluid/native/stable browsing experience, today's Content Developers aren't going to be able to leverage most of the features directly. Relatively complex programming concepts are making their way up the stack which is great (un-chain the beast!), but the Content Developer brains out there aren't going to map 1-to-1 with the skill-set it takes to harness the beast's strength. New tool chains (ala Macromedia/Adobe app suites) will have to emerge in order to allow today's Content Devs/shops to build using most of the new features.
Put another way, the folks I know leveraging