The Impacts of HTML5 On Real-Time Synchronous Groupware Applications

  • Asif Hussain

Student thesis: Master of Philosophy


HTML5 is helping to improve the everyday web sites and applications we use by enabling richer user interfaces, increased interactivity and reduced dependence on external plug-ins like Java and Flash. An area that we are yet to see HTML5 make an impact is real-time synchronous groupware applications.A series of studies were carried out to assess what impacts HTML5 is having on synchronous groupware applications. Investigations included how facilitation and coordination can be better supported by HTML5-based video conferencing, whether an integrated video conferencing solution can provide an experience as good as current solutions and how HTML5-based social media web applications compare with native mobile applications.A draft paper was written in which a study was carried out comparing an integrated video conferencing approach using HTML5 against an existing Skype based solution. Findings showed that the integrated solution provided a capable alternative to the Skype solution and was more convenient for users.A second draft paper focused on the mobile aspects of HTML5. A new HTML5-based mobile application was developed with social media features such as audio, video and image sharing. The new mobile web application was compared against popular native mobile applications. The study revealed that the HTML5-based mobile application provided a simple and effective way for group tasks to be completed away from the desk, however the experience was not rated as well as current native mobile applications due to the limitation of HTML5 for mobile devices.A final journal style draft paper focused on a study that was carried out to determine whether integrated HTML5-based video conferencing could offer better facilitation and coordination support in synchronous groupware applications. The findings showed that integrating HTML5 video conferencing into a groupware application can successfully support facilitation and coordination during the decision making process. The journal style draft paper also covered the studies from the first two draft papers.Overall, the findings showed that HTML5 can offer capable solutions to existing plug-in or external application based solutions although there is still more refinement required until it can offer solutions that offer higher quality and stability to existing applications.
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorWeigang Wang (Supervisor) & Dong Xu (Supervisor)


  • P2P
  • Groupware
  • HTML5
  • WebRTC
  • Real-time
  • Social Computing
  • Video conferencing
  • Synchronous

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