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HTML 5 As a Viable Alternative To Flash? 541

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the frameworks-should-be-open dept.
superglaze writes "Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, has claimed that the open standards in HTML 5 will make it unnecessary to deliver rich media content using the proprietary Flash. '"You can do most things with web standards today," von Tetzchner said. "In some ways, you may say you don't need Flash." Von Tetzchner added that his comments were not about "killing" Flash. "I like Adobe — they're a nice company," he said. "I think Flash will be around for a very, very long time, but I think it's natural that web standards also evolve to be richer. You can then choose whether you'd like [to deliver rich media content] through web standards or whether you'd like to use Flash."'"
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HTML 5 As a Viable Alternative To Flash?

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:35PM (#28058191) Journal
    Yeah, video and sound are two biggies that HTML 5 needs to get correct. No doubt about that.

    But as someone who's thrown together more than a few web applications in my time, I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about--the datagrid element [w3.org].

    Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is <table>. Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down!

    When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page? Hell, it's almost always the next thing to follow <body> on my pages. And you know the code I write to interact dynamically with that table is a bitch. An unmaintainable mess. Yeah, there's probably some library out there I could use to simplify that pain but it always comes down to me messing around with advanced Javascript code trying to squeeze some more functionality into the user's interaction with that table. "Oh, I want this box to highlight red when this happens!" a user might say. Everyone wants a "simple table" with Google Spreadsheets functionality.

    So we switched a whole project to Flex once. Yeah, Flex. Free [slashdot.org] right? Not if you want the datagrid [adobe.com]!

    Advanced DataGrid component -- The Advanced DataGrid is a new component that adds commonly requested features to the DataGrid such as support for hierarchical data, and basic pivot table functionality. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

    Need to fork over cash for that gem. Oh, you can drone on and on about "vendor lock in" and "hidden costs" with Flash. Don't matter. Customer is king.

    My only hope is that HTML 5 presents a competitive datagrid with pivot table functionality. From their specs:

    The datagrid element represents an interactive representation of tree, list, or tabular data.

    HTML 5, I await you with open arms, hope and understanding. Improve the table element (if possible) and create a solid datagrid element. Deliver me from Flash.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:44PM (#28058293)

      Datagrid or not, if your site requires flash for anything other than playing sound or video files, then it is more than likely I will not spend much time there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hairyfeet (841228)

        Glad to see I'm not the only one. If I click on your site and the ONLY thing I see is a blank page with the plugin symbol(I don't allow flash to run by default) i just close the tab I have found that sites that have built the entire damned thing in flash have gotten about as irritating as those stupid "shoot the monkey and win an iPod!" ads. it is all bling bling and a royal PITA to get to the content. No thanks.

        If you can't design your site to where it can be navigated without having to deal with your b

      • by JOrgePeixoto (853808) on Friday May 22, 2009 @08:34PM (#28061863) Journal

        Datagrid or not, if your site requires flash for anything other than playing sound or video files, then it is more than likely I will not spend much time there

        Absolutely. And it is not just for being unavailable to disabled people, slow, insecure, buggy, destroyer of the control a user has about the navigation (top-of-the-head example: if a menu is implemented in flash, how do you choose whether to open a menu entry in a new tab or new window?), bandwidth-wasting, proprietary, restricted and not class-platform; it is also about the content.

        There is a very strong negative correlation between the usefulness of a site and the amount of bling in it.

        https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook [cia.gov] : no Flash; javascript unnecessary
        http://www.c-faq.com/ [c-faq.com] : no Flash; no javascript
        http://news.google.com/ [google.com] : no Flash ; javascript not necessary
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/ [bbc.co.uk] : Fash restricted to the videos ; javascript unnecessary

        Now compare this to a typical teenager-oriented website: even menus are Flash. They choose Flash both
        for things that make 0 sense being flash (like menus) and for things that may be easier with Flash, but are almost always a big waste of time. They think a website needs to animate every other element.

        The one positive aspect in Flash is that it its use warns you against the quality of the content before you waste your time loading and reading it.

    • by koala_dude (1104777) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:45PM (#28058299)
      "Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is . Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down!...When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?" Whoa, I haven't done than since IE4 / Netscape 4.7 days. I use tables for tabular data, very rarely for layout. I'm quite positive I'm not alone in this. While there are a number of Javascript-based datagrid controls available, it would be good to have some sort of standardized control as part of the standard definition.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phantomfive (622387)
        How do you handle centering objects vertically inside divs?
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by omnichad (1198475)
          vertical-align: middle;

          Or how about:
          margin-top: auto;
          margin-bottom: auto;

          Should I go on?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by asdf7890 (1518587)

        Whoa, I haven't done than since IE4 / Netscape 4.7 days. I use tables for tabular data, very rarely for layout. I'm quite positive I'm not alone in this.

        More-or-less. I try to keep everything pure these days (tables only for purely tabular data) but I will often hit things that I want to do but can't do any "proper way" that works well in all the browsers I try to support (at least IE6/7/8 and FF3 sometimes with the addition of Chrome, FF2 and others if I have time to test in them).

        I use this technique in such cases: http://giveupandusetables.com/ [giveupandusetables.com] - try to do things "right" for a while, but avoid spending hours banging my head against it when I could be usi

    • by Mordac (1009) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:46PM (#28058311)

      When was the last time I didn't use a table tag on a page? Uh, today... the day before that, and before that.

      I use tables rarely and only for displaying data, never for formatting a page. I stopped using tables for design years ago, that's why we have CSS.

      I think its time for you to stop using tables for design. Tables lock your user into your content via your specific design. Flexibility and accessibility requires properly formatted CSS with divs and spans, knowing how to use floats and relative positioning.

      But yes, datagrid element will be great.

      • by hesiod (111176) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:55PM (#28058431)

        CSS has some nasty cross-browser problems that tables do not, making them far easier than CSS for many things, assuming you can do them in CSS at all.

        • by ericlondaits (32714) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:07PM (#28058577) Homepage

          TABLES have nasty cross-browser issues when combined with CSS, and it's ridiculous to program without CSS for formatting. I recently had to return to my old table-layout ways for an HTML newsletter (HTML mails have to be done the old fashioned way because CSS support in mail programs and webmails is 'less than stellar') and experienced long lost pain and anguish from it.

          I used to do real complex layouts with tables, graph paper and a simple text editor (even before Photoshop sliced images for table layouts) and I'm glad I have CSS now. The only exception would be using a table with a single cell for vertical alignment now and then, but that's just a small hack. Everything else can be done simpler with CSS.

          As for the main topic, I say: not yet... I'm all for replacing Flash with DHTML and do so every chance I get... but it's still to slow and jerky compared with flash animation for smooth scrolling and fx.

      • by MisterSquid (231834) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:21PM (#28058751)
        I'm with you on the WTF about the "tables everywhere" rant. Just because eldavojohn is stuck in 1996 doesn't mean everyone else is. Some of us read and understood Chapter 10, "Floating and Positioning," of Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets, The Definitive Guide [amazon.com].
    • When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

      I haven't made a website with a table-based layout in seven years. The only thing I use tables for nowadays is presenting tabular data.

      In fact, just thinking about table-based layouts made me feel a little sick.

      Of course, I've also been incredibly lucky in that I don't have to support IE, so the stuff I do in CSS actually works. (Just thinking about supporting IE made me feel a little sicker...)

      -:sigma.SB

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by DeafZombie (1144079)

      But as someone who's thrown together more than a few web applications in my time, I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about-- the datagrid element [w3.org]. Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is <table>. Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down! When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page? Hell, it's almost always the next thing to follow <body> on my pages. And you know the code I write to interact dynamically with that table is a bitch. An unmaintainable mess. Yeah, there's probably some library out there I could use to simplify that pain but it always comes down to me messing around with advanced Javascript code trying to squeeze some more functionality into the user's interaction with that table. "Oh, I want this box to highlight red when this happens!" a user might say. Everyone wants a "simple table" with Google Spreadsheets functionality.

      Well, although I am not one of the people who thinks people who use tables for layout should all go to hell, I do prefer to NOT use them. I can say that I've written a few web apps myself (and still do) and use tables only for data representation. And I am comfortable to say I am not alone... take a look at, for instance, /.'s source. Another beautiful example of tableless layout can be found at Zen Garden [csszengarden.com]

      • by OakDragon (885217)

        Well, although I am not one of the people who thinks people who use tables for layout should all go to hell, I do prefer to NOT use them. I can say that I've written a few web apps myself (and still do) and use tables only for data representation.

        For layouts, CSS is nice, and you can avoid tables for the most part. What I'm curious about - and it's not a rhetorical question, I would love to hear techniques - what do you use for complex forms? Myself, I still compartmentalize everything in tables. Using CS

    • I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about--the datagrid element.

      I'm disappointed. I read that as the datagirl element, and I figured the link would take me to some lady's web design howto page, filled with examples, essays, rants, etc.
    • by Yvan256 (722131)

      When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

      About 6 years ago, if not more?

      The table element is to display tabular data, not for the layout of websites.

    • When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

      I do that all the time. What decade are you living in?

    • When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

      Dude, I hardly ever use tables for layout. I'm not religious about it: now and then it's the practical choice. But such cases are few and far between. My blog, my development pages, my research - table free. Why? As you said, they add complexity: with all those tags they're a pain to implement and maintain.

      If you learn enough CSS, most tables just melt away. Sometimes CSS is the pits and I wonder at the twisted minds t

    • Why, oh why, can I not mod parent higher than 5?

    • by Rob Y. (110975)

      You're right. A real data grid that supports data entry and some basic formatting is essential for building any data-intensive application.

      I built and still use a 'smart terminal' browser-like front end for the applications my company writes. It's main 'flashy' component is a nice data grid that allows us to build apps using a web-like, thin client architecture but with a desktop-like look and feel.

      At various points over the years, I've considered rewriting the front-end to host the functionality in a sta

    • HTML 5, I await you with open arms, hope and understanding. Improve the table element (if possible) and create a solid datagrid element. Deliver me from Flash.

      That all looks good on paper. My concern however is that any element that's sufficiently complex and insufficiently spec'ed will have subtle differences between render engines.

      That, and a certain market dominant browser vendor's track record of arbitrarily interpreting w3c standards.

    • by cbreaker (561297)
      Although a bunch of people here are touting the use of CSS to replace tables, you just can't replace all table formatting with CSS. Somewhere on almost any site is an unavoidable pile of tables that are a bitch to work with, because they're better supported than advanced formatting via CSS.

      A better, more in-line solution is sorely needed. And hopefully all of the browsers will support it properly from the start, so we don't have to deal with a million different redundant "border=0" type entries.

      Plus, CSS
    • I'd rather they create a tag to help ensure that stuff is off between the enclosing tags. This will help a lot for security.

      The way HTML is currently is like a car with hundreds of "Go" buttons, but not a single "Stop" button. To stop, you have to make sure all the "Go" buttons are not pressed. Worse, once you figured out how to disable/escape all the "Go" buttons, the W3C or some browser maker creates a new bunch of "Go" tags...

      Example of how the tag could work:

      <guard sig="randomhardtoguessstringhere" a
  • I'll say it, then. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gary W. Longsine (124661) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:35PM (#28058195) Homepage Journal
    Kill flash. Kill it stone cold dead.
    • And replace it with Silverlight.

      Hehe, seriously, how would you make all those fancy movie websites, e.g. http://www.everybodypays.com/ [everybodypays.com]

      There is no way around flash (certainly not with CSS/HTML/JS) for certain forms of representation.

    • by qortra (591818) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:38PM (#28058985)
      Mods: Flamebait, really? I resonate so much with this sentiment. Some mortal sins of flash:
      • Proprietary
      • *Extremely* poor client support from Adobe. Example: still no stable version of native 64-bit flash for all platforms. Seriously, it's 2009 people.
      • Often, the lack copy/paste using the browser
      • Often, the lack of the ability to save presented media (images,videos) using the browser
      • The difficulty of crawling/indexing sites with flash content

      One might argue that Adobe should just solve these problems. However, Flash has been around for quite a while - if they haven't fixed these things by now, are they really ever going to? I think not. So, I agree with Gary: can we please start killing it now?

  • Options (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aero2600-5 (797736) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:35PM (#28058197)
    More options is always a good thing.

    But I can't imagine HTML 5 being capable of something like this [nin.com].

    Aero
    • Nor should it be.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wowbagger (69688)

      "But I can't imagine HTML 5 being capable of something like this [nin.com]"

      Nor should it be. That's like saying my car should be able to traverse water too. There are tools for crossing water and tools for crossing land - and they are usually different.

      But for simple "Here's a video of my cat yodeling" or "here's a sample of the music file you are about to download" you SHOULDN'T need a plug-in any more than you need a plug-in to view a picture (with apologies to the Lynx users among us).

      However: there is no way HTML

    • Re:Options (Score:5, Informative)

      by hesiod (111176) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:59PM (#28058485)

      Except for the music controls, just about everything on that page can be done with current HTML/CSS/JS now.

      • by nog_lorp (896553)

        I was just thinking that. I went and made a mix account just to check if there were some kind of cool flash based audio tools in there somewhere.

        Nope. HTML absolutely should be able to do that. It probably could be done (in extremely crappie fashion) right now using a frame with an embedded background mp3.

    • by Shikaku (1129753)

      All you need is the audio tag. Which HTML 5 should support.

      Everything else can be done in AJAX/CSS/Javascript

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Randle_Revar (229304)

      That is nothing. Like everyone else said, you can do everything except the music control without HTML5 (though 5 might make it easier).

      If you want to see what HTML5 can do, look at this:
      http://www.w3.org/2009/03/web-demo.xhtml [w3.org]

      and this:
      http://standblog.org/blog/post/2009/04/15/Making-video-a-first-class-citizen-of-the-Web [standblog.org]

      Admittedly, these are not exactly real-world use cases, but they do show the potential.

  • "A nice company"? (Score:4, Informative)

    by twidarkling (1537077) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:37PM (#28058209)

    "I like Adobe â" they're a nice company,"

    Has he actually used any of their stuff? Apparently not. Also, according to my friend who works in a Flash coding shop, they can real pricks occassionally.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by afidel (530433)
      Adobe gave us PostScipt, PDF, and SWF formats as open standards, that alone gives them the nice company seal from me =)
    • by nog_lorp (896553)

      I think Adobe is a pretty cool guy. eh makes proprietary formats and vulnerability-ridden software to read those formats and doesn't afraid of anything.

  • by Jorkapp (684095) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .ppakroj.> on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:38PM (#28058221)

    <first post />

  • Someday maybe. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:38PM (#28058229) Homepage Journal

    How long until HTML 5 is supported in every browser?
    The "good" thing about Flash is that it is a plug in. Flash can be added to just about every browser by downloading a plug in.
    HTML 5 will take a lot longer to get into every browser.
    I really don't like Flash or plug-ins but in this case it is an advantage and will be for a long time to come.
    Oh and NOBODY except Slashdot will write to a standard that IE doesn't support.

    • With IE down to 65% or so, 20% of that being IE 6 users, and dropping at 5%/year the days of IE support being a necessity may be numbered.

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Dream on.
        Even if IE is only 20% Support will still be mandatory at least of good web designers/programmers. You don't lock 1 out of five people out of your site. It doesn't matter if that 1 is on IE or FireFox.
        But I don't really think that IE is down to 65% I could be wrong but that sounds very low for a world wide number. If it is true then great but IE support will be an evil we have to live with for a very long time.

    • Flashblock to the rescue right now.

      If they make aggravating crap out of of standard HTML, then it will likely be harder to shut down.

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      The "good" thing about Flash is that it is a plug in.
      Why can't HTML5 be implemented as a plug in?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      Flash can be added to just about every browser by downloading a plug in.

      Really? Please send me instructions for adding Flash 9 to the Opera browser running on my Wii, or the browser running in my Android G1 phone. I think you mean "Flash can be added to just about every browser running in Windows or MacOS on an X86," which is a considerably smaller set of supported devices. The PC has peaked; the future is internet appliances. When will people stop assuming browser = PC?
  • The article doesn't say html 5 will have some sort of mechanism in place to manipulate and display vector art. Until that happens, Flash will be king for the sort of content that relies on vectors as opposed to rasters/bitmaps.
  • by Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:43PM (#28058283)
    We were just thinking that, if you were to hold off on implementation of HTML 5 in MSIE, we might, uh, contribute to your re-election campaign.

    Sincerely,
    Adobe
  • Flash uses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Parker Lewis (999165) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:46PM (#28058315)

    In current days, Flash is only used to:

    - Casual games;
    - Boring add banners, like "hit the monkey";
    - Video players;
    - Webpages menus, when the designer has no know-how to use CSS/Javascript.

    Excluding games, all uses can be replaced by web-standards (even videos, in next-generation browsers).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "- Webpages menus, when the designer has no know-how to use CSS/Javascript."

      I disagree.

      Flash is a wonderful tool for designers. They can create web sites exactly like they want.

      Converting their initial design to HTML/CSS means a considerable waste of time, plus they always have to make tradeoffs because that feature isn't cross-browser and that other one requires high javascript skills.

      Or they have to work with someone else. A guy that spends days trying to convert a design made with Photoshop into HTML/CSS

  • Opera preaches standards left and right, but the real problem is nobody follows then except Opera. Therefore Opera doesn't work like all the other browsers. I love Opera for the most part and I use two browsers all the time. I would only use Opera, except for the fact that so many websites don't function properly in Opera. (Mostly javascript and css are the issue)

    Once Opera functions like all other browsers, I will listen to what Jon has to say.

  • JavaFX (Score:5, Informative)

    by javacowboy (222023) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:48PM (#28058349)

    JavaFX may be trailing Flash and Silverlight, but it's the only RIA framework that has a snowball's chance in hell of being open sourced.

    It supports charting, animations, and rich media. Version 1.5 is rumoured to have support for complex form controls, just like Flex.

    What's more, it's totally integrated into the Java Virtual Machine, meaning it can use all of the Java class libraries. It even has a mobile component, meaning it's possible to port applications between the desktop and supporting mobile platforms.

    To me, this single runtime sounds like a much better alternative that the kludge that is HTML/CSS/JavaScript/AJAX support a multitude of IE6/IE7/IE8/Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera browser runtimes, especially if there's no framework behind them.

  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:50PM (#28058367) Homepage Journal
    "In some ways, you may say you don't need Flash."

    I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture. Not a stream of pictures. Not a mosaic of pictures. Not a slideshow of pictures. One picture.

    WTF? You're telling me it's easier to code a Flash object to display that one picture than it is to throw in a link to the picture? Seriously?

    Then you have those sites which insist on having their front page as Flash-only. Brilliant. Just brilliant. How the hell am I supposed to find anything on your site if there is no way to save that link for future reference?

    Flash is ugly, slow and just plain annoying. Almost as annoying as punch the monkey. Web designers who rely on Flash to do their work should have their knuckles pounded with a five pound cast-iron doorstop dropped from a height of ten feet then made to punch a punching bag.

    Hopefully HTML 5 will cure the web of this illness.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture.

      Most of the time I've seen this done it's to prevent casual downloading of the picture. If you put the image up in straight HTML, anyone can Right Click->Save Image As. If you embed it in a Flash object, it's much harder to grab the image.

      Unless HTML 5 has a way to prevent casual copying, that usage is not going away.

    • by Miffe (592354) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:11PM (#28058621)
      The reason people do this is is to stop you from right clicking on the image and saving it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jollyreaper (513215)

        The reason people do this is is to stop you from right clicking on the image and saving it.

        Printscreen > paste into gimp > crop and save, mofo's! Feels good every time I do it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by grassy_knoll (412409)

        And that works because screenshots are hard? o_O

    • by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:16PM (#28058673)

      Flash is ugly, slow and just plain annoying.

      That's stupid. Flash is great. Flash is the magic that makes youtube possible. I'm all for replacing it with HTML5, but it still is one of the most important pieces of the web.

    • by vertinox (846076)

      I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture. Not a stream of pictures. Not a mosaic of pictures. Not a slideshow of pictures. One picture.

      I've heard some people say they do this to prevent picture stealing because people were turning java script off on their browser and could right click on their site.

      I explained they could just hit print screen, but I think it was lost on them.

      • by Locke2005 (849178)
        I explained they could just hit print screen, but I think it was lost on them. Sure, but then if the image is smaller than their display resolution, they need to crop it. If it is larger than their display resolution, then they don't have the whole image. The people that really want to make it hard for you to copy their images are the ones publishing in much higher resolution than your display. My argument was that Flash is often used to let people stream videos but not save them, but ultimately anything ca
  • by Tronster (25566) on Friday May 22, 2009 @02:55PM (#28058425) Homepage

    HTML5 has a lot of potential, but adoption above and beyond Flash (or Silverlight, etc...) will depend on 2 factors:
    1. Implementation Penetration
    2. Authoring Tools

    Flash's strength is in the tools more than the language(s), Actionscript and MXML. For every 1 Flash "programmer" I meet, I know about 10 people who know Flash well enough to make graphics and simple script work on the time line.

    If a majority of the browser users have HTML5 support, and a killer app exists for editing content; I would then put weight towards the possibility of HTML5 trumping Flash.

  • by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:03PM (#28058537)
    I kiid, kiid. I like Adobe -- they're a nice company... for me to poop on!

    </triumph>
  • already available (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Danny Rathjens (8471) <slashdot2.rathjens@org> on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:04PM (#28058545)
    We've always been able to embed videos in web pages. The reason places started embedding them in flash was to make it more difficult to save/view the videos without loading up the whole page and/or to let them force ads before or after the video. And partly just because flash web "design" people only have one hammer so every problem looks like a nail.
    • by Tyler Eaves (344284) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:14PM (#28058647)

      Don't twist history. The reason flash took over web video is because vistors tired of WMV/QT codec hell.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by iluvcapra (782887)

        The reason flash took over web video is because vistors tired of WMV/QT codec hell.

        I have quicktime movies from 1993 that still play just fine now, and MP4s have been playable on just about any system for the past 3-4 years... Are you sure the popularity of embedded flash players had more to do with the fact that they forbid the user from downloading, thus providing highly effective copy protection?

        You can circumvent it to an extent, but it's just difficult enough that it prevents casual copying.

  • Really? (Score:2, Funny)

    Why not just get in line over there, behind Silverlight, GoLive, and the rest of the systems that were going to 'kill flash'.
  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:25PM (#28058807)

    It's unlikely Internet Explorer will die any time soon. So unless the Microsoft developers somehow magically start putting together a browser that is current in support of web standards, Flash and its brethren will never die. It doesn't matter how great the HTML5 support is in Gecko (Firefox) and Webkit (Chrome, Safari) - as long as IE continues to lag, we're stuck ("we" meaning those of us who code pages for the real world).

  • SMIL? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cxreg (44671) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:28PM (#28058859) Homepage Journal

    Isn't this was SMIL was supposed to deliver? Is that dead now?

  • by Trerro (711448) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:36PM (#28058965)

    Flash is Flash. Period. If your Flash file works in IE, it works in FF, Opera, Safari, etc. It requires a plugin sure, but it's one that's almost universally adopted.

    By comparison just about everything else is developed in 2 phases:
    1. Write standards-compliant code that's well-formatted and works properly.
    2. Fix about 37,000 IE-only bugs, knowing that ~70% of your users are going to be viewing your site with that piece of crap. Additional time is required because IE6 and 7 aren't even consistent with each other in terms of how they piss on the standards. This is especially true with CSS, which IE is absolutely terrible with.

    I welcome HTML 5, as I think it has a lot of nice improvements, as well as a lot of stuff that should've been there years ago. We just have to pray that browser support - especially from MS - actually allows us to USE the new features on a regular basis.

    Also, one side note: Even assuming Flash is no longer used AT ALL for layouts or content delivery (and I hope it isn't), Flash movies and games will of course continue to exist... so Flash isn't going to die as some are saying, it'll simply be used for what it was actually designed for - creating animations and games.

  • It has already begun (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abhi_beckert (785219) on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:38PM (#28058995)

    I work at a web development company, and we are already starting to move away from flash and relying more and more heavily on javascript. The motivation is mostly because:

      a) the flash development tools are inferior to javascript ones
      b) every web programmer knows at least basic javascript, many don't know any flash. Easier to build on basic js than train someone in flash from scratch
      c) the flash development tools cost a fortune, the javascript ones are either free or very afordable

    In fact, just yesterday I wrote a javascript replacement for a flash script which we use on many of our websites. (a general purpose loop of photos, with animated transitions). The javascript alternative is smaller, faster to load, *smoother animated in most browsers*, and easier to maintain or improve on in future.

    We're also planning to do the same for other flash scripts in our code library.

    Even when we do still use flash, it's in smaller ways. We will virtually never build an entire page (let alone website) with flash, instead we'll do the website in html and then embed a tiny piece of flash.

    For example, a photo gallery will be pure html/javascript right up until the point where you click the "full screen" button. And even then, the flash doesn't exist in the page until you click that button, it is injected into the page and configured using javascript.

    There are still some places where we need flash: video, full screen, and proper file uploads. Video will be the next to drop off the list, pretty soon we'll be doing video in javascript/html, with flash loaded in as a fallback in browsers that can't do video in html.

  • xhtml to die? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pizzach (1011925) <pizzach@nosPAm.gmail.com> on Friday May 22, 2009 @03:47PM (#28059113) Homepage

    Sigh. I really hope that HTML5 is somewhat similar to xhtml. I really do believe it went in the right direction in general. Even with xhtml strict pages not displaying at all if they had some unclosed tags. It all in general was working toward having authors writing better, more interpolatable pages.

    Is xhtml dead? Will the applicable changes in html5 make it back to xhtml? I get the feeling that MS never implemented xhtml strict because they didn't want to drop the ability to extend it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)

      XHTML was nothing but a giant waste of time. Microsoft never supported it in IE, and when you think about it: why should they have? XHTML gives you absolutely nothing you didn't already have in HTML 4, it was just a bigger pain-in-the-ass to implement.

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Friday May 22, 2009 @04:11PM (#28059349) Homepage

    Come on folks, let's be a bit realistic here. It's been what, nigh a decade, and we still do not have browsers properly rendering stuff as simple as tables and positioning using CSS, DOM, etc.

    And while granted that HTML5 may provide a nice alternative for embedding video and audio. If that's all you think Flash is for, than you've never done more than scratch the surface.

    Check out Flex, AIR, and some of the 3D libraries for Flash. Experiment with remoting. See what you can REALLY do in Flash.

    Check out Sliderocket for an example, or Aviary.

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