The Cluster of Tech

Here is why Facebook ditched HTML5 and went with native code for their app

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Mark Zuckerberg, the creator and head of the biggest global social network Facebook, has recently said that going with HTML5 for its mobile app has been one of the biggest mistakes Facebook has made, and now that Facebook has finally switched native app development to full gear senior developer Tobie Langel explains why so.

Here is why Facebook ditched HTML5 and went with native code for their app

Clearly there are a couple of reasons outlined in his post on W3’s website but most importantly it boiled down to no ways to diagnose and track memory problems and sub-par scrolling performance.

Now, you might think what if Facebook hadn’t designed its app good enough and it’s the company’s fault, not HTML5 itself, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Here are the main reasons why Facebook switched to native code development and why HTML5 proved an inefficient platform for its app:

  • Tooling / Developer APIs. HTML5 simply lacked the tools to track down memory problems with the app.
  • Scrolling performance. Smooth scrolling is quintessential for an app, and even more so for a widely used app like Facebook’s. It wasn’t fast and smooth enough.
  • GPU. HTML5 and graphic makers are basically black boxing the GPU, so developers can’t do any meaningful GPU acceleration on HTML5 apps.
  • Other. Touch tracking support, smoother animations, and improved caching were all mention.

Check out Langel’s full post explaining the reasons why below and take note if you’re a developer. Would you still go for HTML5 or are you convinced that native code just works better?

source: W3 via High Scalability


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