Facebook takes HTML5 test suite Ringmark open source
Looking to eradicate fragmentation
Facebook is to open up its test suite for HTML5 apps Ringmark to developers, taking the tool open source for the first time since launch.
The move is designed to help studios looking to deliver browser-based HTML5 apps avoid fragmentation, with Ringmark allowing titles to be tested on compatible browsers.
By going open source, Facebook will now accept tests from third parties, with any feedback set to be "baked into Ringmark itself".
A mobile move
"This is the beginning of a process, starting with open sourcing the tests," said Facebook engineer Matt Kelly.
"As we continue to build, we'll continue to open source even more of this work. Ultimately, we believe that web technologies are important to the future of mobile and that we can help to make HTML5 a well-supported platform for mobile developers to build upon."
Facebook introduced Ringmark back at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with a total of 400 test available. It's hoped going open source will see that number rise at pace, bringing stability to the platform as a whole.
"For those that are building with the web today, it's a major hurdle to learn native technologies like Objective-C and Java: and we hope that an improved mobile web can unlock a large contingency of developers that could, and will, be developing for mobile."
Setting the standard?
Of course, Facebook will be the major benefactor from any improvements to Ringmark, with the social network looking to up its app roster.
Though the hype leading up to the launch of Facebook's HTML5 platform – dubbed Project Spartan – was immense, the exodus from native app stores many predicted the social network's exploits would trigger has failed to materialise.
Commentators have criticised both the lack of a promo push for the platform, and the way apps are listed, which they claim makes it difficult for users to find games.
Nevertheless, Facebook claims it will soon submit its Ringmark tests to the Core Mobile Web Platform Community Group in the W3C, with the company looking to establish a single set of standards for HTML5 web-based app development.
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