Apple's HTML 5 doesn't seem so open to me

I just picked up on this link to Apple’s HTML 5 demos on Twitter. I browsed to the site in Firefox 3.6.4 and Chrome and was met with the following message when I tried to view one of the demos:

No HTML5 for you without Safari.png

I’m sorry, I thought HTML 5 was supposed to be an open standard accessible to any HTML 5 capable browser? Steve Jobs made a point of saying that Apple is really open because it has embraced HTML 5 recently. Is that only if you use Safari? That doesn’t sound very open to me at all.



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  1. Only Apple can do open standar avatar

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  2. Gary Meyer avatar

    I found that as well… perhaps, not all the browsers support all the HTML5 standards yet? What is pretty cool is that all those demos work flawlessly on an iPhone!

  3. Jonno Cohen avatar

    I'm guessing the demo uses HTML5 features that are only currently supported by Safari. So in principle it is open, it's just that other browsers still have to catch up in their HTML5 support. It's the typical Apple approach of embracing technology before it's quite mainstream, and abandoning other technology in anticipation of its becoming obsolete.

    So yes, open, if and when the world catches up. And open because the world *can* catch up – Apple isn't using proprietary tags, so there's no reason other developers shouldn't build that support into future versions.

    Still, for now, it's more exclusive than inclusive… not really surprising though.

  4. Jonno Cohen avatar

    One more thought: looking at that popup message a second time, the phrasing is a little reminiscent of Microsoft's old Windows + IE double whammy tactics. They could have said “You'll need an advanced, cutting-edge browser” rather than “You'll need Safari”.

    But it's their site, their browser, and maybe (for now) Safari is the only browser that supports these features.

  5. Jonathan Hitchcock avatar

    The site specifically states: “The demos below show how the latest version of Apple’s Safari web browser, new Macs, and new Apple mobile devices all support the capabilities of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.”

    It is a Safari Demo, not an HTML 5 demo. Thus, you need to use Safari to experience the demo. That's pretty fair.

    In addition, even if they didn't do the browser check, and the demos still only worked in Safari but not in Firefox, that would be a problem with Firefox, not with Apple or Safari. They are using open standards (and you can verify this). If other browsers don't support those standards yet, that is not Apple being two-faced.

  6. pauljacobson avatar

    Good grief, what a bunch of Apple apologists! Of course this is about showing how Safari displays the content in these demos but if this HTML 5 Readiness site is accurate, Chrome shouldn't have a problem with virtually any of the demos that Safari can display. The only area where Safari has an edge is 3D transforms (at least, according to that chart).

    Even Firefox seems to be able to do most of what Safari can do at the moment.

    This demo is another Apple “We are way too cool for you” demo. The argument that Apple is being exclusive because Safari is the only browser that supports these tags/technologies/extensions is silly. Why not let other people try the demos out with their own browsers and if those browsers are not up to the task then let them fail on the demos. That seems to me to be a more effective way of saying that Safari is better, if it is.

    This exclusive access nonsense is all about creating an impression that Safari is the only browser that supports HTML 5 and that is false. Sure not every browser handles every aspect of HTML 5 just yet (heck, even the specification is still draft as far as I know) but this is just a stunt and you have bought into it completely.

What do you think?

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