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Sencha provides tools for buildings Web applications to run on a variety of devices, including tablets, mobile phones, and laptops with touchscreens. Focused on HTML5, Sencha's products include its Sencha Touch mobile application development framework. InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill recently met with Sencha CEO Michael Mullany to discuss the mobile application landscape, sizing up native versus Web development, and emerging platforms, including Tizen and Firefox OS.
InfoWorld: Has the HTML5 application caught up to native, or is that never going to happen?
Mullany: We did a pretty cool promotion and proof-of-concept last year, after [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg said HTML5 was a big mistake for the company. We took exception because we knew it could be just as fast as native. We looked through its app -- we've seen this in other companies -- and when you build an HTML5 app, you can't build it like you build a Web page. If you treat it like a Web page, you're going to have slow performance. You have to treat it like a programming platform.
InfoWorld: What's next for mobile application development?
Mullany: What everyone is trying to do is get to a single code base that can be easily adapted for different device types. Today that basically means for enterprise users. It's really the iPad as the tablet device; on phones, it's BlackBerry phones, a little bit of Windows Phone, and iOS and Android. That's the trend for everything we've been focused on for the last couple of years, which is allowing developers to create one application that can adjust to the different devices they find themselves on.
InfoWorld: Any thoughts on new platforms, such as Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, or BlackBerry 10?
Mullany: The [BlackBerry] Z10 is a very nice phone. It's a great HTML5 platform. It actually has the most HTML5 features of anything in the market. The browser team at BlackBerry was an acquisition from a company called Torch Mobile, and they had been working on WebKit for several years before they were acquired. The Staikos brothers were the guys there, and they've done a really nice job on the browser. For people looking to deploy HTML5 apps, the Z10 is a pretty good platform.