Bringing HTML5 into Nativelandia: A Tale of Caution

Web Performance
Location: Hilton 1-6 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 1 rating)

Facebook was an early adopter of HTML5 as a platform for the number one application on every major mobile computing platform. After more than a year of iteration, testing, metrics, and lesson-learning, we’ve struck a balance between HTML5 and native development. The greatest takeaway from the experience for us is learning the amazing array of hidden costs associated with building for the web as a native application. This talk will delve into:

  • key performance differences of web views and web pages (driven by FB metrics — very data-centric/charty)
  • apples-to-oranges comparison of web views to native rendering
  • the major constraints of HTML5 as a platform for large-scale mobile apps (render perf, caching, offline state, lack of tooling, native-integration point costs, etc.)
  • a laundry list of the lessons learned in the process of building a native/web hybrid application
  • the challenge/opportunity of HTML5 as a platform from the perspective of “move fast” culture
  • a brief discussion of what balance FB has struck going forward
Photo of Jackson Gabbard

Jackson Gabbard


So… uh… yeah, we can fix the leak, but it’s gonna cost ya. Unclogging the pipes of social interaction for hundreds of millions of users don’t come too cheap. I’m Jackson, a Mobile Engineer at Facebook, and I get out of bed everyday to work on stability, reliability, and metrics collection.


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