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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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  • lolwut? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @12:43PM (#32433554)

    "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."

    Okay, now you're just trolling.

    • 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: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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Idaho (12907)

          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 sun

      • Re:lolwut? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> 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.

    • by AndGodSed (968378)

      Yep. "Simplest tools" is not exactly true is it...

      • by jopsen (885607)
        Well... Compared to handwritten svg...
        even inkscape... Not saying that inkscape is bad, just not taught to as many designers as flash is...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HHacim (1068726)

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

    • by LWATCDR (28044)

      I have to agree.
      First I have never seen a drop-dead gorgeous Website. Some of the images and videos maybe stunning but the website it's self tend to be just okay.
      Here let me fix that for you.
      As long as Flash remain the simplest tools to slow to load, hard to navigate, and "flashy" websites. Designers with more style than substance will keep using it.

      Flash really does mean style over substance.

    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Toonol (1057698)
        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: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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cjonslashdot (904508)

        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 st

    • 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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gravis777 (123605)

      "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 i

    • Agreed. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MoxFulder (159829)

      "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
  • Until you can get it to work RIGHT on things like my Nokia N800 and my Motorola Droid (or, hey, the iPhone, hm?) it's not going to be write once run everywhere.

    Besides, I thought that was Java's claim to fame and it's definitely not there yet either.

    • Besides, I thought that was Java's claim to fame and it's definitely not there yet either.

      Java applets lost out to SWF because 1. the Java plug-in takes a lot longer to start up than the Flash Player plug-in, and 2. there initially weren't any tools to author and play back vector animations using Java 2D. Are there now?

    • by owlstead (636356)

      Hell, I've had a lot of trouble to get it running on 64 bit Linux. And I still have the strong idea that it crashes my Firefox browser now and then. This is nothing like running it on ARM or anything, this is one of the things that should just work.

    • 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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jpmorgan (517966)

        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 jus

    • 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.

  • 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.
    • I don't think the author was saying that you couldn't replicate features from flash in html 5 so much as saying that it is lazier to just do it all in flash and therefore flash will dominate for quite some time. There's actually a bigger problem and that is that HTML 5 support is quite limited among browsers, especially in IE. So even if it was vastly simpler to do everything in flash, it will take quite some time for the older non-HTML 5 supporting browsers to die off.

      • by Miros (734652)
        True, but HTML5 can attack flash from below and gradually, somewhat inevitably, displace it from each of the applications mentioned. I don't dispute that he was arguing flash has an advantage, but I don't think it is as safe from the new threat as he suggests that it is. How long do you think flash has? Two years? Five? The relevant question that the piece suggests but does not address is not if, but when!
    • by fusiongyro (55524)

      Agreed 100%. This article is basically saying Flash is too big to fail. I don't buy it. The barrier to entry for <canvas> is so much lower. It's just a matter of time before we have excellent—and free—developer tools. Plus, in this industry, new and cool has always won over old and reliable.

      • You claim that it's a matter of time before we have a Free 2D vector animation editor and JavaScript playback library for HTML5 <canvas>. It was also a matter of time before Duke Nukem Forever came out, until it was canceled a decade later.
        • by Miros (734652)
          Only one team could make DNF. In this case however any entrepreneurial firm or individual who sees the pain felt by designers, recognizes the need and thus opportunity to develop these tools, can then attempt to marshal the resources necessary to do so and execute. That is the beauty of a free and open system and that is yet another performance vector that Flash will not be able to fight back on effectively without seriously changing their strategy.
    • How do you add font support to HTML5? TTF would be nice, but I'll settle for OpenType.

    • 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 jopsen (885607)
      Do you know if any Intergrated Development Environments that generates SVG + Javascript... Inkscape is probably what comes closest, and Inkscape is good, but it's not anywhere near as good as the Flash tools for making interactive content...
      Anybody, even knows of serious projects trying to create an HTML5/SVG/javascript IDE ?

      I think this is the real problem... It's all developers, developers, developers...
  • 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.

  • Re-create Badgers [badgerbadgerbadger.com] in Flash. Once you can do that without adding more than 50% to the file size, and you can provide a write-up about the tools you used, only then will HTML5 be ready for prime time. (One comment a couple stories back suggested rendering each frame of the SWF and then encoding that in H.264 or WebM, but that would increase the size far beyond the current 463 KB.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mini me (132455)

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

      • I tried sb45demo in Smokescreen in Firefox 3.6 on Windows. There wasn't any sound, and the frame rate was unusably low.
        • by KTheorem (999253)
          I had the same problem on Linux. The solution, for me, was to turn off adblock for the page and reload. Worked perfectly after that.
    • I see your Badgers and raise my crystal galaxy [effectgames.com]. Warning: addicting. Use both left and right mouse buttons if you don't want to RTFM.
  • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by snookerdoodle (123851)

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

    • A great way to block most advertising that you do not want is to block Flash.

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

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by John Hasler (414242)

        > 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.

    • 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.

  • 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 Chowderbags (847952) on Wednesday June 02, 2010 @02:03PM (#32434864)
      I don't have 3d vision, you insensitive clod (or a girlfriend, but that's a given here).
    • 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 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.
    • 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?

      • 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.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by elrous0 (869638) *
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mveloso (325617)

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

      • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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]

  • Drop Dead (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ismism (947992)
    "Drop dead gorgeous" has nothing to do with the technology being used. That is the weakest argument yet for Flash.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      "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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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/iPh

  • 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.

  • Someone comes up with an IDE that rivals the Flash tool set that uses HTML5 and Javascript and Flash is dead.
    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      I'm sure one is under development, but I'm also sure that it will not compete well until at least version 3. In other words, this war is far from over.

      • by Miros (734652)
        It may not be sufficient to replace flash on day 1 for all applications but it will probably meet the needs of other systems engineers and application developers that flash cannot as easily realign to address. Such a tool could run in circles around flash gathering new applications, locking up small segments of the market, wounding it each time, until even the more general cases have been toppled. My point is, in your "version 3" scenario, by the time "version 3" comes out Adobe will have lost the war.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by jgagnon (1663075)

          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.

  • by HRbnjR (12398)

    We just had an article [slashdot.org] showing how you can pretty much compile Flash to run as HTML5 - so, I think this is just arguing for better (Flash quality) authoring tools for HTML5 technology?

  • 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.
  • Flash being a plugin has one big advantage - it can be filtered. This allows me to avoid the most annoying ads - those with sound and animation. And for those sites that need it, I can turn it on. If/when everything is HTML, separating content and annoying extras will be a lot harder.
    • Flash being a plugin has one big advantage - it can be filtered. This allows me to avoid the most annoying ads - those with sound and animation. And for those sites that need it, I can turn it on.

      NoScript being an addon has one big advantage - script can be filtered. This allows me to avoid the most annoying ads - those with <audio> sound and <video> or <canvas> animation. And for those sites that need it, I can turn it on.

  • 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.
  • Here's my two cases for Flash:

    Homestar Runner [homestarrunner.com]
    MS Paint Adventures [mspaintadventures.com] (the current story, Homestuck, has some amazing timed animation/music segments done in Flash)

    Now, yes, Flash could be replaced with someone else. But, as of right now, the animations are done in Flash, not anything else, and I'm still going to visit them (Well, maybe not H*R if they keep not updating, but the long-awaited End of Act 4 for Homestuck ought to be awesome.) There need to be the tools to do the animation work that are as good (to

  • '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.'

    Well that seems to be the main point right there. It's about the tools, not the tech.

    So let there be tools. Nice ones. I personally find working in Flash a pain, because I don't like the tools that much. But then, I'm working with an Eclipse plugin.

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Twinbee (767046)

      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.

  • Flash isn't going away anytime soon.

    That being said, HTML5 is the future. CLIs for consumer OSes went away for the large part, but they're still around. Batch mode processing went away for the large part, but it's still around. Procedural programming went away for the large part, but it's still around. Java for interactive web interfaces went away for the large part, but Java for the front end is still around.

    All of these things have found niches somewhere. Sometimes due to stubbornness of developers,

  • 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.
  • I really wish flash advocates would stop saying "write once, run anywhere" until Adobe actually releases a Linux flash player with quality on par with the Windows version!

    Truly, if you're a Flash developer/designer/artist who only tests on Windows, and there obviously MANY out there, you have no idea what a completely buggy piece of shit Abobe's Flash is on Linux. On all but the largest of sites, even trying to play video on many sites other than youtube and vimeo, Flash regularly crashes the entire browse

  • Those of you who hate Flash on the internet and are good with HTML5 and JavaScript really need to head on over and help out the team working on Gallery:

    http://gallery.menalto.com/ [menalto.com]

    For the second time now, they've given up trying to do things "right" using Javascript and are throwing in the towel to implement core functionality using Flash instead:

    http://gallery.menalto.com/thanks_adobe_flash_builder [menalto.com]

    They claim they just don't have the skills or manpower to figure out how to make Javascript do what they want,

  • Though much of his reasoning is sound, I'm not sure I agree with the author's conclusion. My reasoning for expecting it to go differently is fairly simple: while Flash blockers are generally the most popular plug-ins for any browser that has the option, you generally don't see many HTML blocking extensions in a web browser. Once the corp. world realizes that, I believe value of increased eye-balls-on-ads will be the dominant factor even though Designers will have to re-tool.
  • 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"?
    • 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 libra

  • 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.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pkphilip (6861)

      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 th

  • 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.

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