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Nimoy’s BallDroppings game also uses a new feature that is a part of the draft of HTML 5–a proposed upgrade that should make browsers work better with Web applications. Nimoy says that his game uses the “canvas” tag to speed up the rate at which graphics can be drawn. He adds that when he tested the program on a variety of browsers, it was faster and smoother in Chrome than in any other. The canvas tag, he says, brings the browser a few steps closer to the capabilities of desktop applications.

Reas adds that “Chrome and its fast JavaScript capability offers a glimpse of a Web without proprietary plug-ins.” Since the code used runs directly in the browser, he says, programs don’t need outside plug-ins such as Flash or Java to work. “This is how the Web and innovation on the Web happened back in the mid-1990s,” Reas points out. “Everyone was always looking at how people did things by looking at their HTML code. It made innovation happen quickly. With Flash and Java programs, you don’t have access to the code.”

Chrome and competing browsers are rapidly moving toward supporting more multimedia through HTML and JavaScript. But some JavaScript experts are skeptical of the long-term benefits and warn of the importance of improving browser standardization.

Douglas Crockford, a senior JavaScript architect at Yahoo, says that he’s concerned about browser makers taking on too much with HTML 5, without enough focus on security. “It’s much easier to get people excited about dancing hamsters,” he says, “but we have real security problems that are hurting users and hurting our businesses.” Crockford adds that, no matter what Chrome is capable of, developers cannot reach large numbers of users by building applications for just one browser.

“I’m not seeing any benefit to doing complex animation with JavaScript,” adds Cameron Adams, a Web technologist and JavaScript expert. “It’s too slow, the build tools just aren’t there, and the standardization across browsers takes too long.” He notes that Flash can easily introduce new features because it is controlled solely by Adobe.

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Credit: Casey Reas

Tagged: Business, Web, Design, Flash, Chrome, browser, javascript, Google Chrome, HTML

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