Recently I applauded the decline of Flash and other proprietary RIA (rich internet application) platforms, particularly with HTML5 promising improved support for interactivity and multimedia. Not everyone agreed with me. And like so many tech debates, there is a flip side to the HTML coin, as I was recently reminded when I took on the job of revamping a website for a friend's business. My friend's original web developer had gone missing, leaving him in a lurch. With new products due to arrive and no way for my friend to update the site, it fell to me to pick up where the last developer left off. Like many small websites, my friend's had grown organically, beginning as simple "brochureware" and gaining new features over time: a contact form, photo galleries, a blog. Nothing seemed to work as advertised. If I copied the site to a new server, it broke. If I moved it to a different directory, it broke. Each new feature was bolted onto the last.