Did Mark Zuckerberg lie when he said HTML5 wasn’t ready?

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There are fears in certain quarters that Firefox OS is heading for a big fall because it is HTML5-based. People in those quarters are quick to refer to Facebook’s misadventure with HTML5 and Mark Zuckerberg’s conclusion that HTML5 isn’t ready. Facebook once attempted to deploy HTML5 for their mobile app, but failed and then declared that HTML5 was not ready. The team at Sencha not only took offense at Mark’s statement. They went out to prove that it wasn’t true. Here’s a quote from the Sencha blog:

In any event, we knew HTML5 was, in fact, ready, and we wanted to prove it. So we took it upon ourselves to rebuild the challenging parts of the Facebook mobile application in HTML5 in our spare time. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Sencha Fastbook, a technology proof of concept that shows how fast HTML5 can be, and demonstrates how readily HTML5 can be used to handle the toughest app challenges.

I tried out Fastbook on the mid-range Sony Xperia P that I am currently reviewing, and it lived up to the claims of Sencha. Besides the fact that I could see an address bar at the top of the browser, the app behaved just like the native Facebook app and matched it in performance.


Perhaps, at the end of the day, the problem with Facebook’s HTML5 mobile app wasn’t HTML5, but implementation? That is what the evidence before me suggests.

Read the full account of Sencha’s The Making of Fastbook: An HTML5 Love Story.


  1. Indeed, the emerging web standard, HTML5 is still saddled with full standardization issues. Even W3C has acknowledged that the specifications have not met its standard yet. The latest HTML5 flaw reported by a San Francisco based developer, Feross, as regards HTML5 LocalStorage limit on major browsers which result their crashes is still begging for redress. Firefox OS may as well not be ready until next year, failing to, may eventually mean “a bit late to give Android any serious chase”.

  2. Actually I think Facebook did not merely attempt, but actually deployed html5 as the framework for the initial versions of its iOS app. Users complained of it being too slow, unresponsive and buggy, they had to switch to the native iOS code in the update

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