HTML5 And Flash: Why It’s Not A War, And Why Flash Won’t Die


With all of the buzz going on in our Web community about HTML5 and Flash, I’ve decided to dive into the fray and offer my thoughts as a 10-year veteran of both Web design and Flash development. Let me preface by saying that this article is opinion-based, and that information is certainly out there that I am not aware of, and that none of us truly knows what the future holds.

New: For a German translation of this article – please follow this link1.

Use Of Flash Till Now

When Flash broke on the scene, it was a fairly revolutionary tool… and much simpler to use than it is today. I first started using it in 1999, when it was being produced by Macromedia. The current version then was 4. The simple benefit was that it allowed the average computer user to design graphics and create simple user interactions with almost no skill: quite a feat in the messy and over-complicated world of Netscape and IE4.

People didn’t take long to start using Flash as an engine to create full and complete websites, especially as the versions continued their march upward and ActionScript gained footing. Quite simply, it sped up development time and wow’ed all users with its animations—a far cry from the static-text Geocities websites around them.

But Flash started to be overused soon after. One can compare it to HTML tables, a framework that revolutionized the industry for a time, became overused and then receded to its proper role (which in this case was to structure data points rather than website columns).

Why They Don’t Have to Fight

I’ve read a lot of blog posts lately about HTML5 taking on Flash like a prize fighter and kicking it off the scene in some epic battle of Web standards and pragmatism. But this is a false scenario: HTML5 and Flash are not meant to be fighting in the same ring, or to be fighting at all. Each has its proper place on the Web and in the graphic community.

Flash’s Place

Interestingly enough, Flash’s place is not entirely on the Web at all, and certainly not to take over full website designs (or those dreaded Flash intros either). While bits of Flash will continue to be used in Web design for advertising and gaming, it will truly shine in two primary areas.

The first area is the corporate setting. I work part-time as a Web developer on the multimedia team of a major international telecommunications company. The majority of the team consists of Flash developers, and there is a huge demand for more of them. So, while Flash may be shrinking in the Web industry, it is booming at the corporate level through rich media, training and learning solutions, Intranet applications and the like.

While Flash may be simplistic and annoying for a website, its capabilities for database interaction, PHP integration, XML sourcing, external ActionScript 3, extensible plug-ins and import and export functionality make it an extremely robust tool that far outweighs the competition for certain uses. Flash has a profitable future in corporate settings.

The second area is still budding and turbulent: mobile platforms. Web content aside, if Flash could be used to produce applications and rich interaction on a variety of mobile platforms, it would empower designers and developers everywhere to contribute to a booming mobile industry (and give us the opportunity to make a sweet profit while we’re at it).

Why would Flash do so well in the mobile space compared to Web-based tools and frameworks? First of all, because Flash is a powerful development tool, beyond its graphic and animation capabilities. ActionScript 3 has brought serious improvements to the overall structure and functionality of applications, allowing developers to create powerful apps.

Secondly, Flash being used across multiple platforms brings a much higher probability of consistency and compatibility. Even if comprehensive Web standards were supported across all mobile devices, there is no guarantee that we wouldn’t run into the same cross-browser headaches on the variety of mobile browsers. If Flash were supported on all mobile devices, I could be reasonably certain that my Flash module would run smoothly on each one.

It’s like my parents fighting. I love Adobe. I love Apple. This really sucks.

— Terry Ranson

The Adobe and Apple cat fight disagreement may be discouraging, but consider that Android is releasing a Flash-enabled framework, and Adobe is releasing Flash Player 10.1 for smartphones, and Research in Motion has joined Adobe’s Open Screen Project, essentially committing the BlackBerry to Flash in the near future.

Flash should never have been used to the extent that it was purely for Web design. But it has capabilities beneath the hood that make it an extremely valuable resource for certain uses, particularly in the mobile space.

HTML5’s Place

HTML5’s place, on the other hand, is entirely on the Web. And this is an outstanding development. I remember switching from table-based designs to CSS, a liberating move that gave Web designers a freedom that only we could truly appreciate. Moving forward with standards-based browsers and rich functionality via CSS3 and HTML5 will take our industry to new heights and lead to a flourishing of gorgeous websites and functionality that we’ve never before witnessed.

Plenty of articles and resources outline the capabilities and benefits of HTML5 (I won’t cover them here), but rest assured that it is the future, and a sweet future at that.

The Web In Two Years

Where will the chips fall when the Web design industry reaches its next stage? I may be idealistic, but I would like to see (and I think we will see) the following:

  • HTML5 and CSS3 as the new Web standard;
  • All browsers being compatible and standards-based;
  • Flash being used more limitedly as a tool for multimedia and gaming and interaction, both online and offline;
  • Mobile platforms and mobile content development being the newest and fastest-growing subset of the industry:
    • Sporting Flash capabilities for robust application development across all platforms;
    • And offering HTML5, CSS3 and complex JavaScript capabilities for mobile browsing.


Flash has been misused and overused for the past eight years, spreading its tentacles too far into the fabric of Web design. But rather than getting beaten out of the picture by these practical new Web frameworks, Flash will retreat to its proper place: those niche areas where it belongs and can truly excel. The first niche is multimedia and learning solutions for the corporate space. Only time will tell if Flash finds its second niche on mobile platforms.



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Luke Reimer is a web project manager, designer, and developer currently operating Fluid Media web design group out of Waterloo, Canada.

  1. 1

    I am totally agreed.

  2. 102

    An article in Dutch about this subject can be found here:

  3. 203

    y u need flash in web…….if consume lot of bandwidth.
    JavaScript and Ajax are better for visual effect.

  4. 304

    HTML5 help to die IE6 in coming 2-3 years. But still we will require to fight with IE7/8 bcoz 50% user still use XP & they will continue for next 5-10yrs. In this situation IE9 will help but it is only run on Vista & 7.

    HTML5 vs Flash war helps both for upgrade & come with new technologies.

    In my last 10yrs I saw how we change Table (HTML4) site to Div (XHTML). Now time will come when we convert for HTML5. In this all I am happy bcoz now I can serve HTML5 for all that XHTML client.

  5. 405

    Dude, “All browsers being compatible and standards-based” in two years?? Dream on. Considering the CSS3 specification is still under development, how on earth are all major browsers going to implement css3 standards in two years? And this is to say nothing of getting users to upgrade! Regular users (ie. not us interweb nerds) are reluctant to upgrade or change anything if they think it works. Oh and let’s not forget about browsers at users’ workplaces. In two years, IE6 will probably still be in use in corporate settings, whether the user (or the web development community) likes it or not.
    But hey, credit where it’s due: you hit the nail on its head, the HTML5 vs. Flash argument isn’t an argument at all

  6. 506

    Ryan Bollenbach

    May 19, 2010 6:20 am

    Simply put: It’s time to start researching HTML5 and CSS3 to stay in the web development game!! :D.

  7. 607

    Evan Skuthorpe

    May 19, 2010 6:34 am

    Nice article. Flash will still exist.

  8. 708

    2 years??????????

  9. 809

    I fucking love that quote about Adobe and Apple. That’s all I need to say. Great article, btw. I’m kinda glad Flash is finding other uses besides full flash pages, I’ve gotten bored working with flash websites at this point…

  10. 910

    I’d like to thank you for a couple of reasons. The first is for a good discussion of the roles of flash and HTML5. The second is for being one of the very few people I’ve run across that realizes that none of us have all of the information, we’re all just simply expressing opinions, and discussion is SO much more productive than thinking we’re right and arguing like toddlers. As for me… I have to say (and I’m not a web designer), I’ve seen some artsy portfolio sites done in flash that really took my breath away. I’m not sure if they could be done with HTML5.

  11. 1011

    Thanks for the article, I think that the Apple argument is valid in pointing out HTML5 and CSS3 as the future in delivering web standards content to the masses in both the web and mobile space, however it is frustrating that some of the readers miss the point and side-track immediately into the negative past of Flash design – I believe there is a truly unique offering in Flash – full scalable vector graphics, Actionscript, easing, smooth motion, 3D environments, a comprehensive palette of design tools, database and xml options, desktop AIR, FLEX, I think Flash can be integrated successfully and tastefully alongside HTML into a website and can degrade gracefully in most cases – I think this is really more about the stubborn bunch who want to dictate how there platform plays out instead of being open, Flash has a vibrant future amongst serious designers and who is to say otherwise – there are many improvements in CS5, packager for iPhone (had to say that), new animation capabilities, Actionscript improvements, new video processes, I think we should give credit to how Flash can add positive value to the online experience.

  12. 1112

    One thing people don’t talk about is the ways in which HTML5 features will actually improve what you can do with Flash. Anything done in the browser can be piloted by Flash, namely via Javascript APIs executed directly from within a Flash Player instance (assuming the permissions have been granted.) This means that things like the local storage cache and geolocation will be defacto Flash Player features as well. Nice! Even video implemented by the browser could be piloted by Flash. There’s really a lot of synergy potential here that most people for some reason are overlooking.

    • 1213

      Great! Then browsers could send me Flash banner ads based on my location. I can’t wait!

      • 1314

        They will send you HTML5 Banners as well. What is wrong with you people? Don’t you see that Flash is just a tool, the problem is Advertising, or popups… not flash itself,

      • 1415

        With power comes responsibility, for sure, but in the case of a Flash ad doing something annoying or dubious (which they already do), your issue is with the host site which must grant permission. In fact, at least with Flash Player you have a sandbox which can be locked down very easily (plus you can disable or block the plugin), HTML5 ads would be much harder to control.

  13. 1516

    Because that is what you want? This post is just an opinion, I’m pretty sure, Flash will die. The people who wants Flash alive, is because they invest hours learning how to use it. Why everybody is afraid to future? Nothing is forever, As quick you accept this fact, you gonna be happy.

    • 1617

      Right now, Flash is still way better than HTML5 from an experiential point of view, and that’s all that counts. So until there is some ‘serious’ catchup in matching that performance, there is no point in jumping around with predictions.

  14. 1718

    It’s not about whether Flash will “die” or not; it will live on for awhile like other technologies past their sell-by dates (MS-DOS, Mac OS Classic, Friendster, etc.).

    But Flash’s growth story has been dealt a mortal blow. That makes it good as dead from an investment standpoint. You don’t throw money at a technology whose user-base is eroding unless you can correct the cause of the erosion.

    If the cause of Flash’s erosion were simply bad performance, more money would help. But a critical part of the appeal of Flash is that it is (was) ubiquitous on all the platforms that mattered. When big chunks of the audience you’re trying to reach don’t have Flash, your ubiquity story evaporates. No amount of Adobe’s money is going to get Flash on the iPhone since it would enable the commodification of the mobile platform experience, which is obviously at odds with Apple’s strategy of keeping the iPhone platform experience unique.

  15. 1819

    The fact that IE6 remains an issue translates into all of this being (sadly) premature. All the static about HTML5 and CSS3….and I’m still needing to concern myself with how my designs look in IE6. Trust me–I loathe IE6 and mock those that use it. I’ve yet to find an air-tight PNG hack (and so on and so on) and horrified that I even need to accommodate it.

    • 1920

      I am completely agreeing with Mike. But I think most of the people stopped designing web applications and websites for IE6. I personally think that, new technologies and new thoughts are good but sometimes I feel both Apple and Adobe doing the same thing as Microsoft did in the past (monopoly).

      I have worked with – adobe technologies like, flash, flex, air; apple’s iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch; and now HTML 5 and CSS3. I would like to mention jQuery here coz it is really grabbed a major chunk or animation part for the web from flash and Adobe is now concentrating more on RIA’s with their Flash builder and Air. I think all these tools and applications needs to be support each other. Instead of fighting with each other they have to find a solution that will work for everyone. Otherwise we all need to create apps and websites which will mention (in small fonts… lolz.. not support flash or not support CSS3.. etc..).

  16. 2021

    While I don’t agree completely, this was a decent article, but wow there are a lot of dumb comments. One thing that always makes me facepalm is how people somehow think Flash is all of a sudden going to fade into obscurity due to an incomplete and barely adopted new web standard.

    Flash is still extremely popular and is an extremely powerful platform that can be used to create some really extraordinary web experiences in the right hands. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you just have to take one look at The FWA SOTD winners to understand why Flash still has it’s place in the web world.

    Besides, do people really think Adobe are going to let one of it’s most successfully products simply die? People are so naïve. Adobe are an absolutely huge company and by the time HTML5 and CSS3 have reached even a fraction of the penetration Flash has, who knows what Adobe will have done with it?

    • 2122

      “extraordinary web experiences” are still just web experiences which are often forgotten before the user even gets up to take a leak. The FWA SOTD does indeed have some impressive content, but I’m willing to venture that for 99% of the web audience this impressive content seems trivial.

      Flash, more often than not, hinders the user experience. Adobe, being typical Adobe, let virtually everything in Flash (from IDE to plugin) slide down hill because they were banking on one stronghold feature: video. Now that Adobe is finally having to realize that their stranglehold on closed-source web video is nearing an end they are on the offensive.

      Ultimately, Adobe won’t “let” it’s antiquated plugin die. But those of us who build the web will do what we always do and follow the prevailing currents. Flash has had its day. Let it go.

      • 2223

        Sorry, I can see your point, but I just don’t agree. Flash has it’s place and so does HTML, and I see no reason why they shouldn’t continue to coexist. As a web designer I will always use the tool best suited for the job at hand, and Flash still happens to be one of those tools.

      • 2324

        The day that Flash has “had its day” is the day I will say Flash has had its day; but that’s not today. ;)

  17. 2425

    Marianne Røsvik

    May 20, 2010 1:34 am

    Thank you! I totally agree!!

  18. 2526

    Flash is definitely overused but it does have its place, used rather more sparingly and discerningly. It could be a great tool for ecommerce websites like dubli, for example.

  19. 2627

    Hi all :) Just wanna share with u a video that Lee Brimelow did showing Flash working normally on touch based devices

    He says on his blog: “Several people have been making assertions that most Flash sites will not work properly on touch-based devices because these sites use rollovers or hovers for things like effects and navigation. Well I put together this little video together showing that Flash sites do indeed work the way you would expect since the Flash Player dispatches rollover events even on a touch screen.”

    Peace :)

  20. 2728

    Flash won’t die.

    Ever seen a cartoon show? Yea, Flash is still booming in that area.

    Flash for web might be on the downside, but Flash is still a very profitable and creative outlet.

  21. 2829

    Lammert Postma

    May 21, 2010 3:44 am

    In the discussion between flash and html5/css3 we forget to look at the purpose to use flash or HTML5/CSS3.

    For information and task driven websites/applications I think flash will (and should) lose the battle. But for the immersive non-linear web experience using video/animation/sound flash will stay there. The moment only show html5+css3 sites-of-the-day I will reconsider.

  22. 2930

    Thanx. Very nice.

  23. 3031

    Flash is a great product, but people will continue to create bloated, poorly coded Flash sites. They will aslo use frames rather than CSS, and use 3rd party plugins on the web for many years to come. One of the worst things to happen to the internet, IE 6, still holds roughly a 17% market share…and it’s 9 years old!

  24. 3132

    Gregory Nicholas

    May 21, 2010 9:04 pm

    one point i disagree if the part related to needing it to find it’s way in the mobile space. that’s bunk. it was a billion dollar business in Japan with mobile while Macromedia ran the show. Once Adobe took over though it inevitably failed. Thank you for nothing Adobe. you provide no value add or cogent argument to anything. you fail and suck at life Adobe. and if anyone likes Adobe, they are probably baby racists who are from Arizona!

  25. 3233

    skechers shape ups

    May 21, 2010 11:39 pm

    but people will continue to create bloated, poorly coded Flash sites

  26. 3334

    Aside from mobile platforms, flash also has it’s place on TV. I’m not an expert in brodcast design, but if I’m right a lot of advertisements, screen animations, intros, and intercative TV UI’s are made with flash.
    People forget that flash can do much more than those glitch full-flash sites and annoying intros (and I say this as an HTML-CSS-JS coder :D)

  27. 3435

    estoy de acuerdo pero… yo me quedo con jquery

  28. 3536

    10 Things Flash can do that are important, that HTML5 can’t do:
    1. Complete Codec support for Audio and Video, it is possible to write complete codec support in AS3 so even OGG is supported (yeah how are you going to code in HTML 5 for browsers that don’t support HTML5).
    2. Color Correction – try telling a client who works with photos that this isn’t important.
    3. Manipulate binary data, thus flash is often required in some projects that require certain file types. Yes, the server can do it for you, but not always, and why would you make the server do something when the client is completely capable of doing it?
    4. P2P without a central server. Yes there are HTML5 proposals, but none of them are well implemented and none will be backwards compatible.
    5. Complete and binary socket manipulation (web sockets won’t even work over UDP). And web sockets is only implemented in Google Chrome.
    6. Use of Webcam and microphone. The HTML5 proposal isn’t even DUE until Spring 2011.
    7. Video Streaming. This one gets a lot of people. I’m not talking about calling a file from a server, I’m talking about pure bitrate control from the server, which, up until a year or two ago, only rtmp could do. Yes there are good HTTP solutions being started up, but their communities are brand new, and they are years away from the depth, maturity, and capability of the flash community.
    8. Digitial Rights Management. Yeah, I think it’s evil too, so who cares if it’s supported, right? WRONG! More corporate clients for the flash community. Scratch that, more clients period. Protected content is becoming ubiquitous on the internet, and flash offers cheap solution to clients who want to protect their content.
    9. Listen for metadata from the server. I’m not talking about requesting something from the server, I’m talking about the server sending a trigger to the client, and the client changing as a result (basically livestreaming). HTML5 cannot do this (yes there are other alternatives to flash, but you still need a plugin, why wouldn’t you use flash).
    10. Finally, and most importantly, flash is the most ubiquitous and compatible media solution on the internet. Think about how long it took the web development community to stop supporting IE6 (some people still have to support it). Now flash makes up a whopping 95% of the user base, whereas HTML5 makes up a ridiculous 5% (for complete and up to date browsers).

    I don’t see flash going anywhere. Not only is everything I listed above important, it’s necessary technology as the internet expands and as smaller and smaller companies start tapping into the richness of the internet. If you’re a small time developer, expect to get more and more requests for the above technologies, not LESS!

    • 3637

      Are these 10 things the reasons why use, develope and support Flash ? Do the Internet websites demand and need these features? (o0)

    • 3738

      “why would you make the server do something when the client is completely capable of doing it?”

      Did you actually seriously just say that? Whatever else you typed is irrelevant, you clearly know fuck all.

  29. 3839

    This is a truly awful article.

    If Smashing have completely stopped posting roundups and listicles and are solely offering the un-researched opinions of inexperienced nobodies I think I’ll be unsubscribing.

  30. 3940

    Long live to flash and flash video!

    Sorry MacZombies!

  31. 4041

    Im tired of elitist giving their opinion as fact.

    You mean to tell me flash websites are annoying? Whats annoying is your crap CSS coding that is poorly constructed and does not render correctly on my mobile browser or my home comp for that matter.

    I find myself switching between opera, safari and IE to view different sites depending on their content.

    Thats annoying.

    Flash is a milestone in visual presentation and the authoring environment that allows you to combine code with TIMELINE based animation is remarkable. I get the feeling that you code guys are upset because you are poor at planning via timeline and you lack the graphic design and special effect skills to produce the results you expect to see from flash. CSS and HTML 5 will increase the amount of garbage websites i view daily, with their gimmicky looks and cliche navigation.

    Give me a break.

  32. 4142

    I totally agree. Also, here is an article about why we think that Flash is going to rule the web and the mobile in the next decade:

  33. 4243

    Stuart Thursby

    May 25, 2010 8:46 am

    Stephen Beck, partner and creative director at Vancouver’s Engine Digital, wrote a piece on the Applied Arts site about why the technology used to build an interactive experience shouldn’t matter, so long as the experience is the optimal one for the end user. Worth a read in addition to this piece (and the hundreds of others that have gone out over the past couple months)

  34. 4344

    I’m a professional GUI designer, and here is the quiz:
    1. Can you open a link from a Flash site in a new tab?
    2. Can you save an image from Flash site without using additional apps?
    3. Can you go 1 page back within a site in the majority of Flash sites?
    4. Can you copy/paste a text in the majority of Flash sites?
    5. Can you add to Favorites a specific single page in the majority of Flash sites?
    6. Can you use a “Find” (text in page) feature in the majority of Flash sites?
    7. Can you use an external tools such as Translators in the majority of Flash sites?
    8. Can you start viewing the actual content of a Flash site as quickly as the content of an HTML site, instead of staring at “rotating loading circles”?

    The answer is NO. Flash is a USABILITY DISASTER.

    Fact: the majority of useless annoying content on the web exists in a Flash format.
    Personally I don’t miss it on my iPhone at all. Guess why – without Flash there is no ads.

    Flash could be still useful in Gaming, Gambling, Porno, Presentations. I wish Flash Good Luck fighting there another proprietary technology – SilverLight.

    The sooner Flash vanishes from the mainstream Web the better.

    • 4445

      1-2: Yes, no problem.
      3-5: 2 years ago, I’d agree with you. Today, I’d say you can do this in a majority of flash SITES (not including games, apps and campaigns where this really isn’t relevant).
      6-7: No.
      8: So, the lack of loaders in html sites is a good thing? Hello, psykology 101….

      And regarding ads.. There’re already ad systems implementing html5 ads. And guess what, then you no longer can use flashblock and similar plugins to hide ads! :)

      Good luck, have fun! Oh, no I forgot.. Haters don’t know what fun is…

    • 4546

      “I’m a professional GUI designer, and here is the quiz:”
      Not to be rude – you have a great list of questions – but ‘what you are’ is in fact quite irrelevant to the arguments, as it implies level of authority which in fact this isn’t about. Not being mean; for what it’s worth I’m a professional landscaper. ;)

      “1. Can you open a link from a Flash site in a new tab?”
      The simple answer is yes; Flash Player opens links with the same API as anchor tags and it’s up to the browser to decide what to do with it. However I *think* you’re hinting at a broader and very valid point, and that is that .swf links are not recognized in any current browser as links and consequently the browser does not provide specialized link behaviors (open in new window, open in new tab, save link location, etc) by default. This is indeed frustrating. For what it’s worth, this is actually the fault of browser vendors: link information can be extracted (including dynamic links) as .swf is an openly published specification, and search engines index .swf files; however to my knowledge no modern browser has implemented this feature. Regardless of “who’s to blame” I agree the current behavior is a usability strike against using Flash.

      “2. Can you save an image from Flash site without using additional apps?”
      Yes — if the .swf provides that option to you, or if the image was loaded externally (which is extremely common) and you use a browser which will easily indicate the asset reference. I disagree with what I assume your actual point was in that “not always able to” is a usability issue, as it implies that content should be easily capturable regardless of the content-author’s intentions. This is possibly a philosophical disagreement.

      “3. Can you go 1 page back within a site in the majority of Flash sites?
      4. Can you copy/paste a text in the majority of Flash sites?
      5. Can you add to Favorites a specific single page in the majority of Flash sites?
      6. Can you use a “Find” (text in page) feature in the majority of Flash sites?
      7. Can you use an external tools such as Translators in the majority of Flash sites?”
      The use of the word “majority” in each of these points indicate you are aware as am I that all these things are possible with Flash as a technology. So this is not a point of usability for or against Flash as a technology, except to the extent Flash makes it easier/harder for developers to conform to these standards. To that I would honestly conjecture from my experience that the majority of professional full Flash websites implement these features — especially deep-linking, and the rest as they make sense. Certainly not the case 5 years ago, but today.

      “8. Can you start viewing the actual content of a Flash site as quickly as the content of an HTML site, instead of staring at “rotating loading circles”?”
      In fact, comparing identical content, Flash Player often loads faster due to .swf being a optimized and compressed format and there being fewer server requests. Of course, Flash is often used to deliver much higher bandwidth content, in which case again this has nothing to do with Flash as a technology except that it makes it easy to deliver content. It’s also notable that “rotating loading circles” are not a part of Flash as a technology, but rather a conventional implementation — primarily because it’s easy to implement in an .swf while it’s relatively difficult to implement in HTML.

      Hope that helps!

  35. 4647

    Some More Facts

    May 28, 2010 11:09 am

    “1-2: Yes, no problem.”
    — Yes, no problem you can, or Yes, no problem you can’t?

    “6-7: No.”
    — No, you can, or No, you can’t?

    “And regarding ads.. There’re already ad systems implementing html5 ads. And guess what, then you no longer can use flashblock and similar plugins to hide ads! :)”
    — I won’t need any “special HTML5″ blocker for that. HTML5 is still HTML so the common ad-blocker will suffice.

    “Oh, no I forgot.. Haters don’t know what fun is”
    — I know very well what fun is. For example looking for a people like you who neglected Usability for so long…. And now paying the price by losing the ground together with their beloved technology.

    • 4748

      I’m a professional GUI designer, and here is the quiz:
      Does that mean you lack programming skills and why you are just a designer?

      1. Can you open a link from a Flash site in a new tab?
      This question seems to tell me that you do lack programming skills.

      2. Can you save an image from Flash site without using additional apps?
      same answer as above. I can give you the script for this but it will cost you.

      3. Can you go 1 page back within a site in the majority of Flash sites?
      Page 1 did you mean index.html file?.. I can’t stand designers that lack technical skills.

      4. Can you copy/paste a text in the majority of Flash sites?
      Majority? I like how you use majority. Because this question is quit stupid and the sites you
      must be viewing are made by other weak developers. Maybe there should be 2 web environments. 1 for real developers and 2 for designers and weak programmers who lack programming skills that complain about web technology that they don’t know how to use.

      5. Can you add to Favorites a specific single page in the majority of Flash sites?
      Majority again? Once again you are arguing against developers and not the technology. Your question is irrelevant.

      6. Can you use a “Find” (text in page) feature in the majority of Flash sites?
      how about I build it inside of flash for you. Would you like that? Majority again and again blah blah blah

      7. Can you use an external tools such as Translators in the majority of Flash sites?
      wow you really like that word which still doesn’t say anything about the technology being used. With you simply stating majority that means that their are some pages out there that that can do it which goes back to who? O yes the developer. I can develop something like this for you in flash if you like? I charge 30/hr.

      8. Can you start viewing the actual content of a Flash site as quickly as the content of an HTML site, instead of staring at “rotating loading circles”?
      Are you comparing content for content? Why would someone use flash for all text and image that is static? Bad comparison.

      All your questions really does lead me to think you are not a developer so keep playing with your theories of UX experience and leave developing to real programmers.
      That goes for all the other designers that lack coding experience. If you can’t hang with the complexity of programming then go design restaurant menu’s or travel brochures. It is the lack of skill is why the internet experience can be so horrible not the technology.

      • 4849

        I stand corrected after I re-read your post again.
        1. Can you open a link from a Flash site in a new tab?
        If you’re trying to access a frame from the address bar which is opening another tab and trying to access frame. You are correct. Flash is embeded in the html file which the browser only sees that 1 html file but this argument only works if the person built the whole site in flash and didn’t create each link in a different html so that the tab can read the links created in flash,.

        3. Can you go 1 page back within a site in the majority of Flash sites?
        If you mean the back button. Then the same argument can be made for websites that have javascript that deactivates the back button in the web browser but the majority of the sites I’ve been on I am able to hit the back button if thats what you mean.

        To make things clear I am not a flash lover or html5 for that matter. I enjoy technology for what it can bring. I know there are a lot of flash sites that are horrible but that is what happens when you design an application to be used by people who lack development skills. The truth can be said about other script kiddies that put together bad javascript code. At the end of the day it all comes down to the developer and his/her skill set on whether or not the deliverance of the UX experience will be successful. You can have the most beautiful site in the world but if you code it sloppy it will act sloppy. I don’t mean to knock on designers but a lot of them assume something cannot be done properly with a certain technology when they lack programming skills to make it work properly.

  36. 4950

    “Flash will retreat to its proper place: those niche areas where it belongs and can truly excel.”

    Fail. In other words, if Flash had always been used in it’s “proper” way some of the greatest Web agencies and online advertising ever created would not exist. Also, some of the Web’s greatest interactivity was first seen in Flash. Countless are the sites I see replicating carousels in JS/XHTML/CSS after something that’s been done in Flash for years.

    I’m not a Flash-head by far, but I’m absolutely against pigeon-holing technology and cutting the balls off a progressive Web.

  37. 5051

    As a customer and user,
    I will choose whatever it looks easy to use in a nice design.

  38. 5152

    A lot of people claim HTML5 will kill off plugins like Flash and Silverlight, but that simply isn’t the case.

    Take for instance, this scenario.

    Load a binary file over a url. For the sake of the demo, we’ll use shapefile format (.shp), which contains geographical polygons in a coordinate system.

    Parse the byte contents client side.

    Draw the contents in an efficient manner.


    This is just one example where plugin technology won’t be replace by HTML5.

  39. 5253

    Flash development ist just horrible, expensive and time-consuming. There is no proper IDE and the current products are almost all awful and not very well designed. This contributes much to why traditional programmers shun Flash and Flex although these are powerful tools. Adobe missed a big opportunity here.
    With an alternative like HTML5 video and audio we’ll see much more work being done on the Web with videos and sound just because there is already a myriad of ways and tools to create, test and debug.

  40. 5354

    What Flash got?
    1. Good IDE(Timeline, CS integration and designer friendly interface of Flash Pro and developer friendly Flash Builder/Eclipse based IDE for AS3).
    2. Actionscript 3 is better than Javascript. (Performance, better OO support for complex applicatins and so on)
    3. Wider scope (Not on mercy of several browsers)

    What HTML5,CSS3 and Javascript got?
    1. Adobe Dreamweaver for HTML5,CSS3 and Javascript development, Eclipse too for javascript with plugin. (They are good enough and reliable tools for developing simple or properly engineered web application.)
    2. True open source and web standard.
    3. Wider audiance. (Standard HTML5 features are available on almost all mordern web browser, specifically safari and IE)

  41. 5455
  42. 5556

    It’s not HTML5 that’s killing off flash…no…it’s the oldest scripting language on the web that is….Javascript! or should i say jQuery? I have lost count on how many times i have produced some animation using jQuery that i would have usually done using flash.

    When you can have slideshows, animated menus, hover effects, and the ability to show and hide elements just using JS is a great addition to any site and apart from the time it takes to learn jQuery….it’s free….OPEN SOURCE….Yerrrrrr!

  43. 5657

    obviously, most people that claims Flash SUCKS and html5 WINS never developed in either environment let alone both…

    use whichever tools that are most appropriate for the goal, being a fan boy sock puppet is only good one thing… being a fan boy sock puppet.

  44. 5758

    For me the choice between Flash and HTML5, most notably JavaScript and the canvas tag, is decided by two things. Firstly Flash was born in a time where the web was more or less a delivery tool. A rich web was not yet possible. Flash offered some great resources to developers that really changed what they could do with a web experience.

    That being said Flash is also proprietary. This should be a huge red flag for all of us because it means that Flash is not something that is free, and if Adobe wants to evolve Flash is a direction that is not best for the web, or any medium for that mater, Adobe may do so without the communities approval. Adobe curates flash because it is a product that they can sell, and that they control.

    This is not true for the web stack. The web stack, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, are developed and curated by communities and by standards boards. These groups are not concerned with the profitability of the web stack (at least not directly). Their concerns lie with the refinement and quality of the web stack’s technology, as well as improved accessibility.

    There maybe a number of things that are harder to do with JavaScript and canvas compared to Flash, but that’s why we write libraries like Raphael and Processing, and I would far rather use a open technologies than a proprietary technologies. Its in our best interests to use our evolving open web stack, or HTML5 as some call it today. If we choose to use plugins instead we run the risk of stagnating the development of these technologies.

    Flash is a very powerful tool. It can do some remarkable things, but I would argue that a vast majority of the things flash is used for, including the uses mentioned in this article, can be better accomplished with the tools of the web stack. If we choose the web stack over Flash, then we will have better control over the medium we use to develop better and better applications and documents.

    I want better web standards, not better plugins.

  45. 5859

    Seems to me a lot of people keep hacking at Flash, specifically having to do with the web. Flash is being used for other things off the web. Am I wrong or can HTML5 & CSS3 with Javascript be used to create independent applications other than web apps? Flash is used for a number of things outside of the web. So, even if it was no longer used for the web, it is still used for other things: games, training, animated cartoons. I somehow think that Sponge Bob will not be created in HTML5 anytime soon.

    I personally love to use the visual aspect of Flash. Although I can code as well as anybody, I still love being able to build my artwork and see the timeline in the application. Using code means visual people to have to reduce artwork to 1’s and 0’s. And let’s face it. Visual people are way better at designing user experience than programming geeks. Drawing with code is kind of a pain.

  46. 5960

    Wow, this one still draws more attention than any technical blog entry.
    Here’s my two cents…

    I was following you up until “All browsers being compatible and standards-based;”
    There you have the reason why flash will continue to be widespread on the net. Not all browsers, and underlying codecs etc. will ever be fully compatible with each other, unless there’s only one vendor. This is the loop hole that means Flash will continue on the web, because who has the resources to ensure their “standards based” application/website actually runs on the ever increasing number of platforms/browsers/devices it has to?

    And the other thing, not a new point, but always worth remembering. If you didn’t like Flash ads, you are just gonna hate html5. The difference? You can’t turn off of block HTML5.

  47. 6061

    I started with Flash4 when it was produced by Macromedia. Often people ignore the first and most important rule of flash.


    This rule was true then and it still is now. It kills me when so called “professionals” choose the wrong tool for the job.

    I would also like to point out that the mobile browsing experience is still a relatively new thing and people seem to be acting like the popularity of the iOS devices direct the movement of the “web” industry. This could not be further from the truth.


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