This story was written by Keith Dawson for UBM DeusM’s community Web site Develop in the Cloud, sponsored by AT&T. It is archived here for informational purposes only because the Develop in the Cloud site is no more. This material is Copyright 2012 by UBM DeusM.

Flawed Study Shows Broad HTML5 Support

Take that, Mister Zuckerberg.

More than nine in ten developers do not consider their use of HTML5 to be a mistake, as Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook did.

At least that's one conclusion of a developer survey (PDF) that is being widely covered in the tech press. The survey was mounted last September by KendoUI, a subsidiary of Telerik that sells suites of tools for HTML development. Respondents totaled 4,043.

First some rather obvious caveats. This was a Web survey, meaning that those who took it were self-selecting: it wasn't a sample of all developers, let alone a representative sample. KendoUI's business would seem to give the company a vested interest in the outcome. Those invited to take the survey, and those who learned about it during the 3 weeks it was live (September 5 to 26), may well have been biased towards a population of KendoUI users and their friends.

Having said all that, the numbers this survey produced stand in stark contrast to Gartner's assertion that HTML5's position on the "hype cycle" puts its widespread adoption 5 to 10 years out. That opinion came out near the end of August and may have prompted KendoUI to try to gather some contrary evidence.

The company was also interested in finding out the extent to which news stories about the W3C / WHATWG HTML5 schism had affected the attitudes of developers toward the technology. And during the survey's run, on September 12, Mark Zuckerberg made his now-famous declaration that the company's early commitment to HTML5 was "one of the biggest mistakes if not the biggest strategic mistake that we made." Did that pronouncement sway developers? Not much, KendoUI found.

Here are some of the top-level findings from the survey.

Despite the KendoUI survey's methodological shortcomings, it does provide a counterpoint to the voices raising questions of late about HTML5's readiness and suitability for purpose.

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