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Is HTML5 Ready To Take Over From Flash? 468

The Flash platform has been taking body blows lately. First Apple, then Scribd, publicly abandon it; now ARM's marketing VP is blaming a delay in ARM smartbooks on the continuing unsuitability of Flash for the subnotebook market. But how ready is HTML5 to take over from Flash? Tim Bray offers a cautionary appraisal of the not-yet-a-standard's state of grace. While Flash may be on the way out (or so legions of its detractors hope), it is still important in many corners of the Web. Here a branding expert demonstrates that the sites of 10 out of 10 leading worldwide brands don't display on the iPad — because they're coded in Flash, of course.
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Is HTML5 Ready To Take Over From Flash?

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  • by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:43AM (#32126684)

    You couldn't care less.

  • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:48AM (#32126766)
    I don't care about any of the flash features, so frankly Flash die die die. Flash games usually suck or don't hold my interest for long. Flash ads are not a big loss. Basically the only thing flash was useful for in my use was video sites. So for my simple needs, HTML 5 sites will more than be sufficient.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:58AM (#32126962)

    Just curious, how do you think flatscreens are better than CRTs ?

    The only clear and easy to see advantage over CRTs is the size/weight difference. There's a power usage advantage as well, but that's not obvious to the average person. CRTs had better image quality - you need a fairly recent flatscreen to get close to CRT levels.

    The government didn't force HD broadcast, everyone did do that on their own. I think you mean digital broadcasting.

    I think you've got all your technologies blurred together. You can get an HD CRT TV, and it'll look better than a cheap LCD or a high end one from several years ago. Digital broadcasting has nothing to do with HD. There's plenty of SD being broadcast in digital now.

  • by ChienAndalu ( 1293930 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:58AM (#32126964)

    canvas { display: none }

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @10:58AM (#32126968)

    You can get adapters to convert PS/2 keyboard and mice to USB. You can find them for ~$10 or so easily. I use one on my PC at work where it didn't come with PS/2 ports. That's about the best you're going to get anyways, as Apple never used PS/2. Prior to the adoption of USB input devices, they used ADB ports.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:00AM (#32127012) Homepage Journal
    Agreed. Someone who wants to replace all the Flash on Newgrounds with HTML5 should first try porting Badgers [] and We Drink Ritalin [] to HTML5. Do that and I'll admit that HTML5 is ready to replace Flash.
  • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:01AM (#32127022) Homepage Journal

    hey, I cared enough to bother making a post :P

  • Re:No, at least (Score:4, Informative)

    by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:07AM (#32127166)

    And there are still some things that Flash can do but HTML5 can't. Access to the camera and mic, for instance. (Last I checked, JavaFX can't do that either.)

    Yeah, I'd like to have a non-proprietary alternative to Flash too, but we're not quite there yet.

  • by Gribflex ( 177733 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:09AM (#32127208) Homepage

    The comment about the 'Top 10 brands' in the post is very misleading.

    "...the sites of 10 out of 10 leading worldwide brands don't display on the iPad..."

    What is actually demonstrated is that "...the sites of 10 out of 10 leading [LUXURY] brands don't display on the iPad..."

    The top 10 brands (listed here: []) are:
    Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, GE, Nokia, McDonalds, Google, Toyota, Intel, Disney

    The top 10 luxury brands reviewed in the article are:
    Prada, Fendi, Moet, Cartier, Hennessy, Rolex, Channel, Gucci, Hermes, Louis Vuitton

    Could we get a summary correction to specify that it's actually the Luxury brands that are looked at, not 'normal' brands? I think it's a pretty important distinction, as the luxury brands likely have much less traffic, and have traditionally not been designed for content consumption but are more advertising platforms.

  • by djheru ( 1252580 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @11:41AM (#32127766)
    No, you are incorrect. AS3 is similar to JavaScript, but has many included classes and object oriented programming features that JS lacks
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:14PM (#32128322)

    > "I'm very grateful to Adobe for having Flash way back when"

    I hope you know that Adobe bought Flash in 2005 when they bought out Macromedia. Furthermore, Macromedia acquired Flash when they bought out FutureWave Software in 1996. The lineage goes FutureWave Splash Animator -> Macromedia Flash -> Adobe Flash.

    It drives me up the wall to hear people praising a company for its innovation when all it did is get to be the big fish from eating other fish. Also, Bill Gates did not invent the computer, the Internet, or the web browser.

  • Re:No, at least (Score:3, Informative)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <> on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:18PM (#32128386) Homepage Journal

    Why would I ever want a website to have access to my camera or microphone?

    I've never been on Chatroulette, but it seems popular with the kids these days.

  • by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:47PM (#32128926)

    And by your rationale, every company that produces any product should be forced to provided everything that anyone might want no matter what.

    Why does this tired lined get trotted out time and time again. Nobody is saying Apple should provide a darned thing. Nobody is saying Apple should write a flash plugin. Nobody is saying that Apple should provide a version of strip poker on the iPhone.

    What we're saying is that if someone wants to create such a thing themselves, and then put it on their phone/pad, or wants to give it to other people to do the same, then the manufacturer should butt the hell out.

    There's a big difference between saying that Ford HAS to make their cars be able to run on 100% ethanol vs saying that Ford shouldn't install sensors that disable the car if it detects it, even if the owner has modified their car to run on it.

    Passively not enabling an action is not the same as actively preventing it.

  • Re:No, at least (Score:3, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 ( 188840 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @12:53PM (#32129014) Homepage

    No, most applications don't need this functionality. But for the ones that do, there's absolutely no substitute. If Flash was a new, emerging technology, then this wouldn't be enough - but in fact, it's well-established, stable, and ubiquitous. It might become less popular in the near future, but it ain't dying anytime soon.

    Isn't that what I said? :)

  • by gig ( 78408 ) on Friday May 07, 2010 @09:46PM (#32135178)

    > Why doesn't the iPad support future AND current technologies (HTML5 and Flash).

    The funny thing here is I bet you meant Flash is "current" and HTML5 is "future".

    On mobiles -- like iPad -- HTML5 is 3 years old and universal, while Flash has not yet shipped and is of course therefore completely non-existent. In other words, on mobiles, HTML5 is "current" and Flash is "future".

    Adobe has not yet shipped a FlashPlayer for ARM architecture at all. Here are the system requirements for FlashPlayer according to Adobe, as of today, May, 2010: Intel P4 2GHz or better with 2GB RAM. That's multiple times more power than any mobile will have for years.

    If you read Steve Jobs' "Thoughts on Flash" at you will notice he says that Apple has been asking Adobe to demo FlashPlayer for Mobiles for 3 years now, on any mobile they choose, and Adobe has failed to do that.

    In February 2009, Adobe announced that FlashPlayer for Mobiles would be on half of all smartphones by 2010. It's mid-2010 now and it has yet to ship. It is on 0 smartphones.

    Recently, Adobe announced that FlashPlayer for Mobiles will ship with Android v2.2 "later this year [2010]". Android v2.2 only supports about 25% of existing Android phones. It takes 6 months to upgrade those phones, going by past experience. So we are looking at FlashPlayer for Mobiles being on 25% of Android phones by mid-2011. That's less than 1% of smartphones.


"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe