Gaming and Auction Sites' Use of HTML5 Suggests Acceptance

Carl Weinschenk

A good amount of fairly sophisticated technology is mentioned in this Baseline piece on what is happening at Outbid, a real-time auction site. What is worth noting – even without necessarily understanding the details – is that HTML5 is playing a key role in the site’s evolution.

Writer Samuel Greengard makes the point at the beginning of the piece that speed and security requirements make auction sites extremely demanding. That alone makes it noteworthy that the tasks, which used Adobe Flash, are being entrusted to HTML5:

That auction client helped the firm get out of the starting blocks, but as HTML5 emerged and browsers began to support more advanced feature sets, Lee felt there was a need to switch to a lighter-weight and more powerful system. Last December, he began experimenting and prototyping using Kaazing's HTML5 WebSocket.

The person paraphrased in the piece – Outbid Chief Product Officer Bob Lee – said that the new technology supports “instant bidding, rapid transactions, gaming features and live chat” and other functions. That sounds like a great testimonial to the acceptance of the next-generation browser markup language.

Another piece that sings HTML5’s praises was posted at Develop by Michael Walker, the CEO of game developer Aphelio. He offers the pros and cons of developing multiplayer games – another demanding endeavor – using HTML5. He says at the start that the piece looks at the topic from the business, not coding, angle.

The negatives mentioned at the end seem a bit pro forma, as if he needed to add them to create a semblance of balance. He appears to be sold on the flexibility that was one of the original rationales for getting the HTML5 ball rolling. As in the Baseline piece, there is a lot of complex material in the post that a developer is best positioned to understand. The sense, though, is that HTML5 meets some significant challenges developers face when writing multiplayer games for discrete operating systems.

Of course, there always are downsides as techniques become more popular. Eric Limer at Gizmodo reports on a flaw in HTML5 discovered by Feross Aboukhadijeh. Essentially, the way in which cookies are done in HTML5 makes it possible for a cracker to overwhelm Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer with content. Firefox is immune because it is architected a bit differently, Limer wrote. So far, it seems, Aboukhadijeh essentially is warning the industry about the problem and is not acting maliciously.

HTML5 seems to be making great progress. If it wasn’t, two of the most demanding types of online activity – auctions and multiplayer gaming – wouldn’t be fiddling with it. And security folks wouldn’t be poking holes.



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