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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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  • Multiple fronts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:48PM (#32433686) Homepage Journal
    And I've done my own write-up about these multiple fronts [pineight.com]. I've listed three advantages for HTML5 and six for SWF.
  • Counterpoint (Score:4, Interesting)

    by clinko (232501) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:52PM (#32433746) Homepage Journal

    My Counterpoint: The same article, with only 1 flash ad. Otherwise it's 28 Flash ads...

    http://infoworld.com/print/125721 [infoworld.com]

  • by ink (4325) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:03PM (#32433964) Homepage

    Yes, I spit coffee at my screen when I read that quote from Adobe. Apparently their Flash engineers haven't tried to go to Vimeo while running Linux. It's mind-numbingly slow on my 2.8ghz P4 system running Ubuntu 10.04 and Chrome 6 (with integrated Flash 10.1). Contrarily, HTML5 YouTube plays content using 20% of my CPU. Adobe engineers even admit that Flash is not designed to be a video player [adobe.com] -- so perhaps there is room for both technologies going forward.

  • by Twinbee (767046) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @01:27PM (#32434328) Homepage

    As already pointed out in an older story, volume controls/muters are criminally overlooked by browsers too. Each tab should have its own volume control.

  • 2 GB per month (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:19PM (#32435112) Homepage Journal

    omg, it might become a meg!

    That's why I called it a test case. I did the math on a few other, longer memetic SWFs, such as "Hatt-baby" and "Hyakugojyuuichi" and "We Drink Ritalin". It turned out that a 2 MB vector animation rendered to pixels and compressed with H.264 Baseline or WebM would become a 20 MB video. People with monthly transfer caps on the order of 2 GB per month [slashdot.org] might not appreciate that.

  • Re:lolwut? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xero314 (722674) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @03:08PM (#32435858)
    Those designs on The CSS Zen Garden all looked great... Then I resized my browser window.

    Any page design that does not use my full browser window, and without horizontal scrolling, is anything but "gorgeous." I wouldn't even qualify it as usable.
  • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @04:29PM (#32436844) Journal

    Reason No. 1: Flash's sub-pixel resolution and anti-aliasing: Seriously?

    From TFA:

    The spec does allow floating point numbers, but the numbers between the integers tend to be ignored or rounded off in a slightly different way by different browsers.

    The solution, then, would be to improve the way browsers handle this. Besides, why are you doing pixel-based layouts anyway?

    For reason number two, TFA says:

    Some browsers are fast and some are slow. Some operations are quick on one browser and sluggish on another.

    That's being worked out, and again, there's choice. With Flash, some things are quick on one OS/driver combination, and slow on another.

    To make matters more complicated, not every browser implements every feature in exactly the same way, a problem that shouldn't be surprising to JavaScript developers. There are good efforts to simplify this with intermediate libraries like Processing.js, but even these can't handle every combination.

    Not for long. Flash is something which attempts to be cross-platform, as in, works on Windows, Linux, OS X, Android, etc. Browsers are a hell of a lot more similar than OSes. If Flash can do it, JavaScript libraries should have a much easier time of it.

    The author flat-out admits this:

    Flash isn't immune to the complexity brought to us by the proliferation of operating systems and browsers, but it has been dealing with them for much longer. When the Flash plug-in doesn't crash, the results are slicker, smoother, and more consistent.

    And of course, sometimes, the Flash plug-in crashes. And anywhere but Windows, the results are certainly not slicker or smoother. And nobody's mentioned SVG.

    Point #3 I'll give them, but TFA also mentions:

    Adobe is hedging its bets and building HTML5 support into Dreamweaver so that you can continue to use Adobe's tools and enjoy the flexibility.

    And I wouldn't doubt there will be other tools just as good or better.

    Point #4 -- totally agree. I'm always annoyed when I see Flash-ified headers, just to get the fonts right.

    Reason No. 5: Flash is write once, play everywhere: More like write once, play anywhere that runs Flash.

    Whereas HTML is write once, play everywhere that has a decent web browser -- for which you have multiple options.

    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.

    In fact, I'd call it a detriment -- why would I go for a proprietary photo viewer over an open one? It's not like my website is just a photo viewer, is it?

    Reason No. 7: Flash's game engines: I don't get it. Why is he talking about "Born to Run"?

    #7 is a joke. He's just saying if JavaScript wants to be taken seriously, someone should make a JavaScript game "engine" and call it an engine, instead of a library.

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