In my last blog post, I made the sug­ges­tion that Sug­ar inte­grate HTML5 more close­ly to allow for the cre­ation of activ­i­ties in stan­dard Web tech­nolo­gies. The Kar­ma Project has since been point­ed out to me, and the demos look impres­sive. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, its progress looks to have stalled. There is now con­sid­er­a­tion hap­pen­ing in the com­mu­ni­ty about mov­ing Browse to a WebKit-based alter­na­tive, pos­si­bly Surf.

It seems like now is the time to revis­it the notion of inte­grat­ing HTML5 into Sug­ar itself. I feel that this can achieve a far more pow­er­ful out­come than just swap­ping Browse with Surf. The pri­ma­ry weak­ness­es of HTML5, its imma­tu­ri­ty and dearth of good devel­op­ment tools, are being addressed. Microsoft and Adobe are con­tin­ue to move towards HTML5, which can only be a good thing.

We have the chance to tap into the cur­rent rush of devel­op­ers cre­at­ing Web appli­ca­tions. We don’t need to (and can’t afford to) go to the extreme always-online lev­el of Chrome OS, but I think the devel­op­ments in that space are real­ly show­ing what HTML5 can do in terms of appli­ca­tions devel­op­ment. Take the Chrome ver­sion of Angry Birds, for exam­ple. Writ­ten (almost) entire­ly in HTML5/JS (I think the “almost” part could have been imple­ment­ed in HTML5 as well), it’s a fan­tas­tic exam­ple of what can be achieved. More than a mind­less game, the physics engine is real­is­tic enough to become a fun edu­ca­tion­al tool. It’s so much fun that most kids won’t even realise that they’re learn­ing.

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