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HTML5 vs. Flash — the Case For Flash 510

Posted by timothy
from the here-and-now-has-an-advantage dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner offers seven reasons why web designers will remain loyal to Flash for rich web content, despite 'seductive' new capabilities offered by HTML5. Sure, HTML5 aims to duplicate many of the features that were once the sole province of plugins (local disk storage, video display, better rendering, algorithmic drawing, and more) and has high-profile backers in Google and Apple, but as Wayner sees it, this fight is more about designers than it is about technocrats and programmers. And from its sub-pixel resolution, to its developer tools, to its 'write once, play everywhere' functionality, Flash has too much going for it to fall by the wayside. 'The designers will make the final determination. As long as Flash and its cousins Flex and Shockwave remain the simplest tools for producing drop-dead gorgeous websites, they'll keep their place on the Internet.'"
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HTML5 vs. Flash — the Case For Flash

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  • Nonsense (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScienceMan (636648) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:46PM (#32433618)

    I already block Flash automatically, as it drags down performance and rarely adds any content.

    There are a few cases in which useful content has been designed in Flash, but most of the time it is useless eye candy - and more often than not, just pure advertising. A great way to block most advertising that you do not want is to block Flash. Why would you not want to do that?

  • Re:A test case (Score:3, Informative)

    by mini me (132455) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:51PM (#32433740)

    Why recreate when you can just play it in HTML5 natively? http://apple.slashdot.org/story/10/06/01/1748200 [slashdot.org]

  • Re:maybe but,, (Score:4, Informative)

    by AndGodSed (968378) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:09PM (#32434068) Homepage Journal

    To wit, you can watch youtube in HTML5 for those who don't know already.

    Linky: http://www.youtube.com/html5 [youtube.com]

    I would like to see someone run a comparative benchmark on that puppy...

  • Point by point (Score:5, Informative)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:59PM (#32434800) Homepage
    • Reason No. 1: Flash's sub-pixel resolution and anti-aliasing: Seriously?
    • Reason No. 2: Flash beats Canvas: Ok, I bet there are still some things that Flash does better/faster. But complaining that HTML5 sometimes has bad performance isn't too compelling for me, since Flash constantly crashes on me. Further, the idea that HTML5 is bad because some browser might work a little different doesn't quite work for me since: (A) HTML5 is new and not complete, and it will take a little while to work things out. (B) At least I have the option of different browsers; if Adobe Flash Player isn't working for me, there's not really too much I can do.
    • Reason No. 3: Flash's good developer tools: Fair enough.
    • Reason No. 4: Flash's supercool fonts: Better support for custom fonts is being built into HTML5/CSS3. Flash shouldn't really be used for rendering text on websites anyway, since it interferes with searching and linking and indexing.
    • Reason No. 5: Flash is write once, play everywhere: More like write once, play anywhere that runs Flash. That means play anywhere on Windows desktops, kind of play on Mac and Linux but not well, and then barely play on some mobile devices.
    • Reason No. 6: The Flash commercial ecosystem: Ok. I don't know if this is an actual benefit, or if you lose more support through being semi-closed than you gain by having some commercial support.
    • Reason No. 7: Flash's game engines: I don't get it. Why is he talking about "Born to Run"?
  • Re:lolwut? (Score:2, Informative)

    by MagicM (85041) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:27PM (#32435230)

    Given that it's just an infinitely-looping video, I'm guessing that the VIDEO element in HTML 5 would actually make this a pretty trivial website to make.

    Something more interactive (and equally "wtf?") like Boohbah Zone [boohbah.com] would be less easy to make.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gravis777 (123605) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:50PM (#32435594)

    "As long as Flash and its cousins Flex and Shockwave remain the simplest tools for producing drop-dead gorgeous Websites, they'll keep their place on the Internet."

    People still design content for Real Player, and here at the office, we got thousands of users who ({full body shudder} still use Frontpage 2000.

    When I took over the church website, the company that they had paid to design the old one did it completely in Flash. One single Flash file, 1.8 meg. Ugh! I was originally going to break it up into a dozen or so smaller flash files, of about 50k or so each, but they had animated text - which they stupidly converted to a graphic, animated menus by frame, making it impossible to add anything to the menu.... In the end, I found another church's website I liked, stole their CSS, and customized the heck out of it, and having it looking WAY better than the Flash ever was, and MUCH faster.

    Flash should NEVER be used for a site, or, if it is, have the option of an HTML page. Many sites should also consider mobil versions (been debating on one for the church, but at around a couple of hundred hits a week, seems like overkill at this time). Let me take that back - it shouldn't be used for any site that you get information from. If I am going to go to http://www.harrypotter.com/ [harrypotter.com] or some kid site like http://www.bratz.com/ [bratz.com] or something like that, where I am expecting to play games or something, Flash is a pretty good tool. These sites are not something I am going to be pulling up on an iPhone. I'm sorry, iPhone owners, but do you REALLY want to play Farmville on your phone (truthfully, I can't see playing Farmville anywhere, but that's me).

    However, if I am going to a movie theater's webstie, I don't want to be swamped in that information. Go try to pull up http://www.ravemotionpictures.com/ [ravemotionpictures.com] on your touchscreen phone on Edge or 3G, and try to see how long it takes you to get showtimes on it. go ahead, I'll wait.

    The point is, you need to understand your audience, what kind of information they are looking for, and where they are likely to be trying to access that information from. Microsoft's security bulliten websites may not look that nice on my iPhone, but seriously, why am I accessing that information on my phone for anyways?

    Flash certainly has its place, as does Shockwave, on and off the web. And if you are programing your site in Flash or Shockwave, you really shouldn't be trying to present material that someone on a smartphone would want to look at anyways. And if you are programming in Flash, dont go making your flash files over 50k-100k if the majority of your visitors are not on broadband. In my case, as I am in a fairly low to lower-middle class area, the idea that the design company designed a 1.8 meg Flash file for a CHURCH website, without any HTML backup, assuming that most users are on broadband (That's what the person who designed the site told me) was stupidity in my opinion.While many are on DSL in my area, still tons of people on NetZero.

    But, I am sad to say, I have actually employed a little bit of Flash on the site. When you pull up a photoalbum, it is in Flash. Used JAlbum to produce it. Yes, I could have produced it without Flash, but it made it much easier to incorporate a photo album when people could right-click and see Flash options rather than Save Image As options. (No, I did not tell them about the Print Scrn button, otherwise there would never be a single picture on our site). The flash file is actually about 5k and loads a set of pictures in another directory.

    So, Flash rich site with games and multimedia where the majority (that is, all) of your users are on broadband - Good use of Flash. Trying to use Flash on a restaraunt, store, or informational site that needs to be constantly updated or accessed from a SmartPhone - BAD use of Flash.

    Where was I going with this? Eh, who cares, I said enough.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Informative)

    by cjonslashdot (904508) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:15PM (#32435934)

    I agree. When I encounter Flash on a website, I generally leave.

    One of the reasons is that I use NoScript (a Firefox add-on). I have it configured to prevent Flash by default. The reason I do this is because of all of the security risks associated with Flash. I also don't like the fact that Flash maintains its own cookies - and I never can remember where they are or how to get rid of them, so I just avoid Flash.

    Flash - and plugins in general - operate outside of the security model of the browser. From my standpoint, the risk is not worth the advantage unless the website has a very compelling application. If it is merely an informational site then I am not going to enable Flash just to see it - unless something very compelling took me there to begin with.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:45PM (#32436276)

    Perhaps you missed it before, but Microsoft is very much interested in backing HTML5 [about.com]

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