Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

Two days ago I got a suggestion to pass test of HTML 5 (I am looking for a job). I was shocked because modern web browsers don't support some features or support its partially. Other side of situation: I worked for a some company that still using SQL Server 2000 (now is available 2005, 2008) on her production. So my question is: how do you feel about those companies that try to use newest technologies? The newest is evil of good?


We continue using old technology because of it predictability (this applies to critical systems in particular). A lack of productivity, low expansiveness, difficulties of deployment, implementation, testing of old technology are picking us to choice a new one. Even if we know that a new technology can be unsupported and now it is untested, raw and has low documentation, simple human curiosity is pushing us to use it. Any way we should be oriented on our target audience, people which are using our IT solutions. Other important things should be taken into account:

  • time to implement
  • time and cost to learn
  • ease of deployment, implementation, testing
  • faster and easier to use
share|improve this question

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, GlenH7, Giorgio, MichaelT Nov 28 '13 at 2:36

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

new technology is good, but is it always available and suitable? that's the question a team needs to figure out before using it .. –  aggietech Nov 3 '10 at 16:11
You are right about HTML5. It is still in heavy development, and people from W3C said recently that it was stupid to adopt it right now. test.w3.org/html/tests/reporting/report.htm –  user2567 Nov 3 '10 at 18:13
I think you should go ask this in a Silverlight forum. :-) –  GrandmasterB Nov 3 '10 at 18:30
@GrandmasterB I want to stay alive :) –  Zzz Nov 3 '10 at 22:15

9 Answers 9

up vote 8 down vote accepted

About a month ago the W3C released a statement saying the community at large should hold off on HTML5. The reasons they gave boil down to the following:

  • Browser compatibility.
  • Non-standard formats (video especially).

Identifying your target audience and coding to them is more important then if you're using the "latest and greatest" piece of technology.

If you're working on some bleeding edge reporting engine for real time statistics, you can probably afford to use WebSockets (or FlashSockets) and remove IE 6/7, FF <3, Safari < 5, and Opera from your "supported browser" list. Banks and other large commercial entities used to require IE for site use. I remember firing up IE 5.5 (Mac) for certain websites.

If your target market is broad you may have to dig up support for FF 2 and IE 6. It all depends on what you're doing.

share|improve this answer
And theres been a few articles coming out recently about IE9 lacking some HTML5 support facepalm (see here, webmonkey.com/2010/11/… didnt know how to hyperlink (doh!!)) –  cdnicoll Nov 3 '10 at 16:17
+1 so say I. html5 is a raw technology. thanks for additional information. –  Zzz Nov 3 '10 at 16:21
The W3C may not the best source of information on when HTML5 will be ready for prime time. If you wait until their spec is fully approved and released, you will be waiting until the year 2022. The article you linked to rightly points out that it is early adoption that drives standards, not W3C's blessing. –  Robert Harvey Nov 3 '10 at 16:43
@Josh: This one: joshuakehn.com/blog/view/20/W3C-Holding-off-on-HTML5 –  Robert Harvey Nov 3 '10 at 17:02
+1 for coding with the target audience in mind. –  bogeymin Nov 3 '10 at 18:57

Always picking new technologies is an attempt to offset the old technologies used. Sometimes it works to their advantage while other times it backfires, because it ends up not being supported and basically being a dead end technology.

Rather than picking a technology because it's new, that should simply be one of many factors in choosing it. Among other factors include time to learn, time to implement it, and ease of deployment.

share|improve this answer
+1 simple human curiosity picks a new tech. –  Zzz Nov 4 '10 at 9:10

Whether to accept a new technology should be a business question, not a coolness factor question. Some questions I would ask:

  • Does it improve productivity(on the programming side, I'm thinking of databases and IDEs)?
  • Will it make our product easier to use or faster?
  • Will training for it cost less the the savings will be for using it?

You'll probably notice that questions often won't have definate answers for a couple of years. For some companies, most notably web-based or sometimes game developers, can afford to take a risk on a new technology. Others, especially those with privacy obligations, can't. They would need to wait and see if the tech comes out to be reliable and useful.

share|improve this answer
+1 sometimes marketing decides what technologies we will use. it is a strange way in many cases. –  Zzz Nov 3 '10 at 17:28

I've worked for people who want to use the newest technologies simply because they were the newest and the environment tends to be a disaster. After a few years, the infrastructure becomes a mishmash of unsupported technologies that faded from active use and development.

Software needs to be supported. I once counted five Java MVC frameworks in use at one company with 15 developers. Shudder. How could that be supported?

share|improve this answer
so think I. software unsupported "tails" are horror. –  Zzz Nov 3 '10 at 17:35

Learning it could still be valuable and may show employers that you are interested in your own field. It doesn't mean you'll use it in the next project you have.

share|improve this answer
+1 I always ask "new technology" questions in interviews to see if the candidate has been keeping up-to-date with industry blogs and new technology developments. Those who are passionate about their field seem to make better interview candidates... –  realworldcoder Nov 4 '10 at 1:19

This depends largely on what the technology is being used for. For example, I try to use all of the latest commercial GUI control packages I can, because they are sleek and the user immediately sees them and says "Cool!". On the other hand, I am not about to write a huge business application in the Google Go language, because it is largely untested and I don't want my users to be the testers. Not to mention, I have no idea if it will really take off and be supported for the 5 years that my app needs to run.

I would just say that having a robust knowledge base online is probably the largest factor for me. I am currently considering Windows WF 4 for a large app, and although it does everything I need it to, the online knowledge base is practically nonexistent, which could make for some scary bugs down the road which no one has found a fix for yet.

share|improve this answer

So my question is: how do you feel about those companies that try to use newest technologies?

How do I feel? Depends. Usually, and especially in the case of HTML5, I think they are fools. Downright, outright fools. The only thing for sure in a technology that's not even finalized yet is it WILL change. Possibly breaking everything done in the process.

Now it's a different story if it's done for personal use. You wanna redo your own site 5 times because the rules have changed, that's your prerogative.

Having said all that, I certainly wouldn't think any less of you for looking into it... Regardless of how I feel about it, it is most definitely a buzz-word technology. Might even help you get past the HR firewall.

That's my two cents on the topic. Take it how you will.

share|improve this answer

Depends how they're doing it, and largely what type of project they are working on.

If they're developing for internal projects with a fairly low quality bar, and they can contribute back to the technology to help keep it alive (either with testing, development or cold hard cash), and they can back out if it all goes Pete Tong, then great, why shouldn't they use the latest and greatest?

However, if it's a critical system for a client who will eat them alive for every single error, or the project has a chance of dying and leaving them with a lot of work to switch to an alternative, then they are fools.

The latest bleeding-edge techs which always have more issues, they always have a chance of falling flat, and there can always be something else even cooler just round the corner.

share|improve this answer
+1 for "critical system" and for "new technology issues", you are right –  Zzz Nov 3 '10 at 17:30

I Hate Them

I can write better, faster code with textpad than most of those yahoos can write with there fancy programs.

They spend way too much time trying to figure out why the code generated by the machine doesn't do what they wanted it to do.

Code from scratch... that's whay I say.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.