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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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  • maybe but,, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phrostie (121428) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:44PM (#32433580)

    i understand the arguement, but don't forget about performance and stability.

    wait and see how smooth, fast, and stable the HTML5 sites are to the flash counterparts.

    give it time.

  • Misses the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miros (734652) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:44PM (#32433582)
    None of the flash benefits described by the article are impossible to replicate in HTML5/browser/javascript, and it's naive to assume that the new ecosystem wont continue to evolve over time just as flash has.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:44PM (#32433592)

    The real battle is in the hearts and eyes of the artists who are paid to create incredibly beautiful objects in the span of just a few hours.

    They are right that the development environment matters. That is not a reason to tell out right lies.

    How come the folks at Adobe cannot just change it so that the output is javascript and html rather than actionscript? Does html 5 just not do vector graphics?

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:44PM (#32433596)

    This one has multiple fronts. Don't let anyone kid you, this isn't A vs. B, it is at least ABC vs. XYZ where each factor is independently weighed and measured.

  • by McNihil (612243) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:46PM (#32433626)

    No website on this planet is "drop-dead gorgeous"... a woman (or man if you prefer) in real 3D right in front of you and that you can touch and communicate with is infinitely much more "drop-dead gorgeous" even if they are butt ugly.

  • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:46PM (#32433630)
    The whole point of flash was that the standards were so ignored that designers were glomping onto something, anything, that would show consistently across the browsers. But at this point with Firefox having the market share that it does and the other minor browsers taking on as many installs as they do by being more or less standards compliant, I fail to see why any designer in their right mind would be using Flash where alternatives exist.

    As long as it isn't a real standard you're going to be giving up a portion of the potential market by using a proprietary plug in that isn't universally supported. Not to mention the people that block it because of the problems it causes and the abuses of technology over the years.
  • Re:A test case (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:50PM (#32433732)

    The fact that garbage like Badgers exists on the web at all is strong evidence that we need to leave Flash behind.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:53PM (#32433764) Homepage Journal

    But at this point with Firefox having the market share that it does and the other minor browsers taking on as many installs as they do by being more or less standards compliant, I fail to see why any designer in their right mind would be using Flash where alternatives exist.

    Because Firefox itself is a minor browser. More than half of web users (and likely more than half of your site's customers) use Internet Explorer 8 or earlier, whose DOM doesn't support all features needed to replace SWF. For example, where's SVG? Where's the 2D canvas? Where's procedural audio?

  • Drop Dead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ismism (947992) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:54PM (#32433786) Homepage
    "Drop dead gorgeous" has nothing to do with the technology being used. That is the weakest argument yet for Flash.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:55PM (#32433798) Homepage

    I think the number one reason for not going to HTML5 is MSIE. Microsoft has no intention of creating a fully standards compliant browser. If they did that, they would likely also need to make their web based applications standards compliant and that would end their lock-in for Windows on the desktop and server where web applications are concerned. And MSIE is still the major browser out there.

    Web developers don't like creating sites for MSIE and sites for others. It's lots of work. Just doing it in flash will assure that the flashy parts of the page will display well on all devices where HTML5 will not.

    Now if by some miracle, Microsoft decides to change its selfish ways and gets compliant, that would be another thing entirely. But before anyone moves forward, something has to be done about the Microsoft problem.

  • by sonciwind (970454) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:57PM (#32433844)
    Someone comes up with an IDE that rivals the Flash tool set that uses HTML5 and Javascript and Flash is dead.
  • Re:Nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snookerdoodle (123851) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:58PM (#32433864)

    Between you, me (Flashblock myself), and 2 million iPad owners, "its 'write once, play everywhere' functionality" seems to have lost its luster...

  • Form over Function (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Miros (734652) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:00PM (#32433890)
    The biggest advantage that the new technologies have that flash has been trying very hard to get into is the ease with which interactive applications that integrate well with the browser and backend services can be developed without having to pay huge scaling licensing fees to anyone. The designers are certainly critical in making applications look good, but they don't get to decide what technologies the system is built on, they have to work with what they are given. If the requirements are that the webapp does X, Y and Z which flash cannot do, then it doesn't really matter what the designer would prefer to work with. They will be forced to work with what they are told to work with. If the need for good tools is great enough than the development of said tools will inevitably follow.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:01PM (#32433912)

    Why? That's easy to answer. Its because its easier. WAY WAY easier, especially for designers who know nothing about programming, or for that matter designers who can do some basic scripting but don't want to have to pay someone for something more advanced if they can fashion it using flash.

    I don't doubt that html5 will eventually replace flash, but only because flash will become the average designer's html5 authoring program.

  • by kenaaker (774785) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:03PM (#32433952)
    I started to pray that Flash would die as soon as they took away the user controls that let me stop the idiotic flickering, bouncing, annoying ads.
  • Re:Counterpoint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wtmoose (639328) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:03PM (#32433960)
    Don't think for a minute that all these Flash ads won't be replaced by equivalent HTML5 ads.
  • by mveloso (325617) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:04PM (#32433974)

    It's also about tools, and apparently flash has a pretty good toolset.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord Ender (156273) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:04PM (#32433982) Homepage

    Yeah, Flash and Flex (nobody uses Shockwave) should not be used for websites. The goal of a site is to get people information as quickly and easily as possible. These technologies should be used for moderately-complex web applications (where HTML controls are too limiting).

  • Re:Drop Dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PeanutButterBreath (1224570) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:06PM (#32434020)

    "Drop dead gorgeous" has nothing to do with the technology being used.

    The key is the ease of creating "drop dead gorgeous". An entrenched technology typically has the edge there unless its capabilities are surpassed, not merely matched.

  • by Miros (734652) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:07PM (#32434026)
    Users will switch to other browsers if the use case is compelling enough. If enough innovative applications are developed that don't run in I.E., particularly applications with good business use cases, than the numbers will fall even further. The critical fact here is that FF/Chrome/Safari are starting to have enough combined market share to make the development of such applications an economically viable thing to do. It's entirely possible that this has already tipped against I.E.'s favor. Flash and Internet Explorer are strange bedfellows.
  • by Fujisawa Sensei (207127) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:10PM (#32434074) Journal

    How about flash sucks because it doesn't include a volume controls by default?

    That's all it takes to trump that idiotic article.

    Don't get me wrong, there are many other reasons to hate flash, (Including some of the reasons identified in the article as reasons to use flash: Flash's sub-pixel resolution and anti-aliasing and Flash's supercool fonts ) and that's not even the biggest one. But its more than adequate to just beg for that POS to die.

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:11PM (#32434086)
    Reason No. 5: Flash is write once, play everywhere. Flash 10 support on Wii? Nope. Flash support on Nintendo DS? Nope? Flash 10 support on Android 1.6? Nope. Flash support on iPhone/iPad? Nope. There's everything from Flash 7 to Flash 10 out there in the field; saying you can write something for Flash ten and have it "play everywhere" is blatant bullshit. Plus, some devices simply don't have enough memory to run bloated Flash apps! Flash apps takes a long time to load because they are BIG. Sure, embedding fonts in the app is a great idea -- if you don't care how big the app is.
  • Why I hate flash (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:11PM (#32434090)

    is because it's only as good as Adobe implementation on your platform, and they and they alone decide whether your platform is worth sticking money/time into to make a better flash player. It's not a standard. Unlike a browser, no one else can go out and decide to make a better flash player (gnash ignored).

    My 1.67Ghz G4 Powerbook to this day can only play flash videos extremely choppy and games hardly at all. It can play downloaded video or DVDs just fine.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HHacim (1068726) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:11PM (#32434092) Journal

    Please point me to one website that is "drop-dead gorgeous" and not full of superfluous animations that slow down my browser.

  • by Chatterton (228704) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:13PM (#32434114) Homepage

    But it is not so much about HTML5 capabilities, but the tools to leverage these capabilities. You can make 'easily' gorgeous flash website with the tools of the adobe suite. But there is no equivalent suite of tools for HTML5. And HTML5 will have a very hard time to take off as long as a website designer will not be able to do what they do with flash without the need to know jack about CSS, Javascript and HTML. Now I could see that adobe will buy out any company that will try to make these tools to compete against them.

  • by jgagnon (1663075) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:17PM (#32434162)

    That's assuming Adobe stands still while the other tools are progressing. I'm not rooting for Adobe, mind you, but I'm pretty sure they're not going down without a fight.

    Besides, if Adobe retools their development applications to support multiple "back ends" such as SWF and HTML5/Javascript then it will be a win/win for them. People familiar with their tools will still buy them, which is, ultimately, what Adobe wants.

  • Re:Drop Dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Yuckinator (898499) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:21PM (#32434232)

    But "Drop Dead Gorgeous" is what the Web designer's customers want. They don't care what technology you use, they want "Hollywood". Currently, Flash is what can deliver that to most of the customers' customers. See 2Advanced Studios [2advanced.com] for examples of what "Customers" want. It truly doesn't matter what the developer wants. It REALLY doesn't matter what a few end-users with an obscure operating system want (from the customer's point of view). It's possible that the lack of Flash abilities on the iPad/iPhone could begin to change this attitude. It might even happen quickly.

    It's important to remember that the customers pay the bills which let them dictate the terms of the work. If you offer them the same Flash-based site in HTML5, then tell them that all of their clients browsing with IE won't be able to see it the same as say, their clients browsing with FF, I'd say it's a safe bet that some of those bills aren't going to get paid.

  • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:22PM (#32434242) Homepage

    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

    I don't know about gorgeous, but I've seen lots of drop-dead websites. As in websites that cause my browser to "drop dead" and my CPU fan to whir like it is about to fly away.

  • Re:Counterpoint (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:24PM (#32434280)

    Which brings to mind my favorite thing about Flash - it's so easy to block.

  • by nyctopterus (717502) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:33PM (#32434400) Homepage

    It isn't (Flash the content creator is nasty), but it's better than nothing at all which is the case for Javascript and HTMLx/SVG/Canvas. If designers are going to get on board completely with HTML5 as a Flash replacement, someone needs to write a nice tool for animating and writing games to the HTML5 spec.

    I'm an artist, and I do a bit of motion graphics, animation and basic programming. I hate flash enough, and like standards enough, that I am working hard to produce interactive animated content in javascript/HTML. It's a freakin' pain in the arse, and takes a LOT more programming know-how than the vast majority of designers or artists out there.

    And I have to ask myself why I bother, because what I create often wont run on IE6 (or IE7), sometimes wont run well on a standards-based browser, and costs me about as much time debugging as it does writing. "This is not flash" is not a huge selling point outside the nerd world.

  • by Roxton (73137) <roxton@gmai l . com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:34PM (#32434424) Homepage Journal

    The Flash ecosystem has a couple things going for it that aren't widely known.

    Adobe Illustrator now exports to FXG. FXG is an XML format which is a declarative refactoring of Flex graphics objects and controls.

    In this workflow, the Flex developer still has to do a bit of work to turn the FXG objects into useful controls, but Adobe has gone a step further and created tools that allow the designer to designate the basic operation of controls, even to the point of creating fully functional mockups.

    It's a great way to design sites and web applications, and it takes a lot of the fundamentals out of the hands of developers and into the hands of designers, without screwing over the developers in the process.

    I wish Adobe had pushed this out four years ago. If FXG and the scripting thereof cannot be brought into the standards process, then I at least hope similar tools with be available for HTML5 and Canvas soon. Adobe's probably the best contender for making such tools. It's hard to love GWT when there are so many good things about Flex development.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Telek (410366) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:35PM (#32434434) Homepage

    Yeah, I'd like to introduce the OP to this little thing out here that we have called "the internet".

    You see on "the internet" the VAST MAJORITY of websites that use flash would not (by any sane or right-minded person) be classified as "drop-dead gorgeous". In fact many of them are aberrations of nature.

    Flash has become a way for ignorant web designers lead by even more ignorant managers to design glittery and flashy (no pun intended) websites that focus on dazzling the user instead of usable and content-filled designs. Poor Jakob Nielsen probably cries himself to sleep every night.

    Yes there are a few solitary websites out there that do use flash productively and do things that genuinely can be justified as a valued-added usage of flash that could not have been provided in plain HTML, but those are far and few between.

    So what this sensationalist article is really spouting is that there are yet no good development tools for HTML5. Wow Really? So a product that just came out (relatively speaking) doesn't have as good or as many design tools yet as a product that has been around for a 14 years. Good thing you pointed that out!

    Once the HTML5 tools are available and it's as easy to develop "drop-dead gorgeous" (for better or worse) websites for HTML5 as it is for Flash I think that Adobe is going to have trouble justifying Flash's existence ESPECIALLY because some of those utilities are going to be open-source and free.

  • by mini me (132455) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:36PM (#32434454)

    Flash consistently tells users that their version of Flash is out of date. Please upgrade. Why can't HTML5 sites do the same?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:38PM (#32434492)

    Now I could see that adobe will buy out any company that will try to make these tools to compete against them.

    That doesn't mean they'll kill HTML5, Adobe will just add HTML5 support to the next version of Dreamweaver.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon (7048) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:42PM (#32434550) Homepage

    I think he's perhaps missing the point that their place in the internet is that they're the sites that take forever to load, and that we often surf away from because we think they're broken, and on which we can't find anything we need because they're usually not usefully indexed by Google. Not an enviable place, but certainly a place.

    The most common place where I encounter flash in this context is restaurant web sites when I'm going to look at the menu. If I'm on an iPhone, I just don't go to that restaurant, or I go despite the web site, not because of it. I think restauranteurs don't realize that if I'm at their web site, it's because I already am interested in going to their restaurant, and what I need is information, not a glossy brochure.

    Sigh.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:56PM (#32434742) Journal
    The goal of a website changes depending on the website. I have no idea really what the point of badger badger [badgerbadgerbadger.com] is, but who are you to say it's an invalid goal? As someone else mentioned, that website would not be easy to make in HTML 5.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:59PM (#32434802)

    "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."

    You want to know the most basic reason I despise Flash? It breaks the back button.

    The fundamental problem with Flash, is that end user-experience and preferences are totally ignored. Yeah, maybe it's nice for developers, maybe it's nice for content providers -- but it totally sucks for users. Why should I bother to choose a browser and customize it, if Flash is just going to come along and ignore the buttons and menus bars, play me music I don't want to hear, autoplay video when I'm trying to read another part of a page?

    The problem with developers who choose Flash, is that they don't give a damn about the people who use the sites they create. They are so caught up in being clever with action script that they've forgotten the most basic principles of design.

    There are plenty of ways to create "drop-dead gorgeous" sites that also abide by browser conventions, don't crash a Mac, and don't fuck with the preferences and minds of the end-user. Anyone who thinks they need Flash to do that, is a piss-poor designer, or an arrogant dick.

    I may not agree with all of Apple's reasoning in banishing Flash, but the user-experience one is very valid. I welcome their decision to punch Flash in the face with this. I will rejoice when the Internet is a Flash-free zone.

    We do NOT NEED Flash. Just as Real Player was once the best and easiest way of getting audio and video on the net, Flash can die just as fast as they did -- and for exactly the same reasons. Real did not give a fuck about their users, and neither do most people working in Flash.

    Flashbock is the best piece of software development in the past 15 years. Nothing of value is lost by using it. Nothing of value is lost by using an iPad.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:01PM (#32434834) Homepage Journal

    How anti-internet.

    The internet is a communication medium, and it's not up to you to dictate what message people want to spread, or how they wish to present it.

    Good form says simple is better, but the web is a lot more then a bunch of bullet pointed lists.

  • Re:Nonsense (Score:3, Insightful)

    by John Hasler (414242) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:03PM (#32434856) Homepage

    > Unfortunately that will all fall by the wayside if/when advertisers start
    > using HTML5.

    And that may be the opening wedge for HTML5. Advertisers may insist that their designers learn to use it because it gets past adblockers.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:06PM (#32434912)

    HTML5 faces the same problems as HTML & CSS & javascript currently have - namely that the webpage code looks completely different depending on which of the sixteen million different web browsers it's being viewed in. Until such time as ALL browsers render the code exactly the same way (and we all know that will never happen) there will always be a need for a specialized technology (whether it's Flash or whatever) that actually does display the content the way the designer meant for it to look no matter what browser it's running in. And of course Flash content that was created specifically for a full-size, full-screen webpage (at 1024x768 or 1600x1200 resolutions, as examples) doesn't 'work' on a tiny 300-pixel cellphone browser - so stop whining about it and use a real computer to surf those sites. You use a Wii or Xbox to play games specifically created for those platforms, not a dipshit cell phone.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rinoid (451982) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:18PM (#32435098)

    Same quote I picked out to comment on ... I took the bait but had a meeting so couldn't post until hundreds of others.

    I need someone to show me "drop-dead gorgeous Websites" that are actually usable, engaging, and used more than 30 seconds by the visitor. Anything? Beuler?

    Most sites I see are designer conceits with text that is too small to read, unnecessary animation, ill conceived interaction, and serving little purpose beyond a billboard.
    I won't advocate to throw out the Flash platform because 90% of the produced works are garbage but will call them out.

  • Re:Drop Dead (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Yuckinator (898499) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:19PM (#32435104)

    Is it what the customers should want?

    That is an interesting question, and one I've asked of my customer (and potential) customers quite often. One of my most often-repeated phrases is "Your Website isn't for you it's for your customers." Unfortunately, time and time again, most Website upgrades I've helped manage and develop (I don't design, and I don't know ActionScript/Flash, but my designers do) almost always are born on the boardroom table when Carbon-Based-Lifeform #1 says to CBL #2, "Their website is so much cooler/snappier/flashier/more popular than ours".

    You've definitely hit the nail on the head, and if the goal of the site is to drive people to the "Buy Now" button, but has flying toasters, etc all over the site getting in their way then we've found ourselves in a classic case of feature-creep. The Oatmeal [theoatmeal.com] has a great one pager that illustrates this situation nicely. This happens all too often, regardless of contracts, plans, step-by-step processes, or what have you. You can plan the site 'til the cows come home but ultimately if the boss wants the flying toasters live on the site before you get paid, then it's flying toasters all around.

    Then there are the sites that are there so the CEO/Principal/Boss can take to his buddy and brag about how great his site is. There truly is no other benefit to the project, their customers all come via word-of-mouth, and they have no Web traffic to speak of. They just want to be able to whip out the laptop at CEO Happy Hour and e-stroke for the guy beside him.

    I refer to this as the Internet equivalent of buying the Maserati instead of the Mercedes.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:22PM (#32435140) Homepage

    Yes, and this has absolutely nothing to do with you running pre-release, debug mode software, or that you're comparing low-def YouTube videos to high-def Vimeo.

    I replicated your experiment, except with Chrome 5 (the release version) in Ubuntu: Vimeo and YouTube in flash (standalone plugin), at the same time. With the CNN ROV stream from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill on my other monitor. So that's three video streams, and according to top npviewer.bin (the flash plugin) is taking around 70% CPU time. With just the CNN live stream it's around 8%.

    So yeah, PEBKAC.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by repka (1102731) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:22PM (#32435142)

    Like everyone else I hate the security issues of Flash and think that for simple things like web forms, pull-down menus and video players designers should switch to HTML5. However there's no good alternative for web games.

    Though there's clearly some progress, I have yet to see playable games in HTML5. All we have right now are few conceptual proofs. Google's pacman doesn't count: it lags and I'm pretty sure took 20 times more time to develop than its Flash alternative.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mldi (1598123) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:31PM (#32435282)

    The goal of a site is to get people information as quickly and easily as possible.

    That's arguable.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:37PM (#32435388) Homepage

    Flash itself is really very clever. The player packs an incredible amount of functionality into a very tiny executable. It's only 1.83MB. There's an animation engine, a JIT compiler, a video player, an audio system, and a multichannel download manager.

    The problem is what people use it for. Which is mostly either ads or lame web sites.

    Nobody really bothers doing Flash animations as entertainment much. If you've never seen one, check out Thugs on Film [mondominishows.com]. Flash games remain popular, although Shockwave, which has full 3D capability, is a far better game platform. Many console games use Flash for 2D interface elements, typically using Adobe's authoring tools but a non-Adobe player. (Yes, there are non-Adobe Flash players.)

    But it's not Adobe's fault that the content sucks.

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:40PM (#32435438) Journal

    This won't happen very quickly, but if HTML5 is basically capable of doing about everything Flash can, then I expect that Adobe will eventually just phase out the Flash player? Why? They don't make a nickel off the player - only the tools. Adobe has always been about the tools. While it will probably take some work to convert them, their developer tools should, it would seem like, be able to be modified to output HTML5+JS instead of Flash.

    They can keep making money on having the best developer tools, while not having the costs of maintaining Flash.

    There is one counter-argument, though, which might be persuasive to Adobe's management - they might not like being in a position of being 'just another vendor' in a level playing field where any company can develop HTML5 development tools. The control they have over Flash player does mean that they can kind of lock developers into their tools, instead of using someone else's tools.

    Anyhow, it'll be interesting to see how this unfolds.

  • by Draek (916851) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:40PM (#32435440)

    That's idiotic, sorry. Unlike the majority of Slashdot's population I *do* have a girlfriend, and yet (as a programmer) I'm able to find elegant designs and code "beautiful". It is not unthinkable, therefore, that there are designers out there that are able to find elegant websites similarly so, though I'd dispute the fact that they can be both beautiful and made in Flash ;)

    Programming and web design are art, much like photography, music and dance. Art can be beautiful, therefore, art can potentially be considered "drop-dead gorgeous" even if you're not a shut-in nerd virgin stuck in their mother's basement.

  • by 7Prime (871679) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:44PM (#32435504) Homepage Journal

    Designers HATE Flash. HTML stems from traditional typography layout languages. Designers have been used to and comfortable with that format for over 5 decades. Flash is NOT a designer-friendly environment. It's a motion graphics and video editing-friendly environment... if it's friendly at all. Flash was made popular by the geek teen crowd for making crude animations, and has been picked up by some websites, which more-often-than-not, use it in garashly over-elaborate ways. It's a hack. That's all there is to it. It's buggy, it has compatability issues, and often slows down or prevents users from accessing content that they could have just as easilly gotten with HTML.

    As long as I've been a designer and a user, I've hated Flash. I've crossed my fingers from over 5 years ago and hoped that it wouldn't catch on. Thankfully, most of the big sites stay away from it, and that is a credit to their sense of simplicity in design. Flash is just too unstructured.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:50PM (#32435592)
    Putting the burden on the user to use a specific browser (especially if it's not the market dominant IE), is a great way to piss off just about any real-world client you work for. A lot of /.er's forget that not everyone is running a personal website for their own amusement. Try designing a professional website for a company that only works in a specific version of Opera or Firefox (or even only the latest version of IE) and watch how quickly they hand you your walking papers.
  • Re:Until... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jedidiah (1196) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:50PM (#32435598) Homepage

    Since Apple makes software, perhaps they should actually make some relevant software here.

    They could turn all of the web developer's heads and make them forget all about Flash.

    That's assuming they've actually got the chops for it and don't have complete contempt for developers.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:54PM (#32435660)
    You see on "the internet" the VAST MAJORITY of websites that use flash would not (by any sane or right-minded person) be classified as "drop-dead gorgeous". In fact many of them are aberrations of nature.

    And would be just as bad if written purely in HTML5.
  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Idaho (12907) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:40PM (#32436994)

    I see your badger badger badger mushroom, and up you one rathergood.com [rathergood.com]

    Of course, such sites and similar could just be produced as a movie (using HTML5) but (1) that would probably take quite a bit more bandwidth, and (2) I'm not sure it would be easier to produce, because using Flash you can indeed easily do simple animations, duplicate and scale objects, do worse-than-Southpark style animations etc. I'm sure there is software to do this for movies, but it might be more involved/complex than some rainy sunday afternoon Flash hackery.

    Btw. I detest Flash, but well...after a couple of beers such websites can make me suspend my hatred for a while.

  • Agreed. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoxFulder (159829) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:51PM (#32437142) Homepage

    "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."

    Who cares about "drop-dead gorgeous"? Can someone show me a site using Flash for its major content, that isn't totally f@#($ing God-awful?

    Major uses of Flash today, as I see them:

    • Ads: Flash adds tend to be annoying and distracting, but I block them with AdBlock, so I don't really care.
    • Splash screens: I hate these, as do just about everyone else. Apparently even Adobe's own Flash guidelines recommend against them.
    • Games: Some of them are pretty clever, some are lame. This is about the most legit use of Flash that I can think of.
    • "Artsy" sites: I hate movie/music/photography/art sites that rely on Flash. They tend to use Flash to cram textual content into a tiny column. Usability is all wrong. AJAX could do a much better job.
    • Replacing HTML deficiencies:
      • Video: Flash does this well, where it's supported, but HTML5 will do it with less overhead and better native codec integration, once fully supported by sites and browsers.
      • Multi-file upload: As far as I know, Flash and Java applets are the only satisfactory ways to do this currently, and they are often buggy. HTML should support some standard mechanism for this. Photo sharing and printing websites are major users of these. I wish all of them supported zip file uploads as a stop-gap measure...

    Anything else? As soon as HTML5 is well-supported, I can't see any good use of Flash besides games, and even there I imagine that HTML5 will make inroads.

  • by pkphilip (6861) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:37AM (#32441446)

    HTML5 does not have the capability to access the webcam and the microphone on the desktop. That is a pretty serious problem considering the number of people who use this feature regularly.

    The other MAJOR "feature" that Flash has is that it can be installed as a plugin in pretty much *any* browser - so if you are stuck with using IE6 because of some enterprise app which doesn't run on anything else, it will still be possible to install the flash plugin on the browser - that makes Flash far more ubiquitous that HTML5 can ever hope to be in the next 5 years.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Acaeris (1427489) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @07:10AM (#32442650) Homepage
    In fact, they'd be worse. You can block Flash by either not installing the plugin or using one of the many Flashblock plugins. You wont find it so easy with HTML5.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis

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