Menu Search
Jump to the content X X
Smashing Conf Barcelona

You know, we use ad-blockers as well. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. our upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.

The Gradual Disappearance Of Flash Websites

If you want to “go big” visually with a website, delivering complex interaction and a rich experience across a wide range of browsers, Flash is the only way to go. Right? Nope. Given the widespread adoption and advancements of modern browsers and JavaScript libraries, using Flash makes little sense. But it does have its place on the Web, considering the need for progressive enhancement.

In the current landscape of technology and accessing the Internet through devices such as picture frames, netbooks, cell phones and televisions, the benefits of Web standards outweigh those of Flash, especially when delivering content to a broad audience on various devices.

Please consider reading our related articles:

Flash is a proprietary product that sits on top of the browser to extend functionality. While Flash may have provided missing functionality for some time, it brings little value to modern browsers. As more and more designers and developers realize the benefits of Web standards and start using some of the features of HTML5 and CSS3, we’ll see fewer Flash-driven websites.

The Great Flash vs. Web Standards Debate Link

Advocates have evangelized Web standards for over 10 years. The debate among developers and designers often gets as heated as the discussion on same-sex marriage, causing uncomfortable divisions among some of the smartest people in the field.

Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford Debating

With the recent announcement of iPad’s lack of Flash support and the continued lack of it on the iPhone, the debate has reached beyond the development community to include Adobe and Apple themselves. With Apple’s anti-Flash stance, it has become too hard to argue for a completely Flash-based website when it would leave out a potentially large audience.

Eventually, Flash will make it to mobile devices (250 million devices are expected to have full support by the end of 20124), but that’s really only a small part of the debate and one of the better arguments that Web standards advocates have.

At the heart of the matter is how to deliver a great experience to users no matter the technology or platform.

“HTML5 vs. Flash” is the wrong discussion. “Accessible rich media” is the right one.

— Jeffrey Zeldman (via Twitter5)

In the end, we’re all just trying to create websites that can be accessed and used, regardless of the tools we use to deliver them.

Healthy Competition Link

In the early days of the Web, Flash was pretty much the only way to deliver a rich experience across different browsers and platforms. CSS and JavaScript were inconsistently supported across browsers, and relying on them was hardly worth the trouble.

Two Girls in a Pie Eating Contest
(Image: Erik Charlton6)

Flash saw great success early on and pushed forward quickly. The small app that once mainly made animations quickly became a worthy development environment in its own right. Developers and designers alike chose to concentrate their efforts in that area, often segregating themselves from the open Web and backing the proprietary technology. Flash websites took over the Web, and Web standards didn’t allow developers to create the experiences that users were starting to expect.

Web standards may have fallen behind once, but they continued to be pushed forward by practitioners and those willing to embrace the idea of an open Web.

Web Standards: Benefits And Reasons For Adoption Link

Users expect rich experiences, and in many cases these great experiences are now being delivered with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, which are the basics of Web standards.

Soldier Giving a Thumbs Up
(Image: The US Army7)

The line between websites developed with Flash and Web standards has become blurred. At first glance, even the savviest developer would have a hard time discerning which technology was used for a website without peeking at the source.

The list of websites that are ditching Flash in favor of Web standards is growing every day. Even if these decisions are driven by the iPad and iPhone’s lack of Flash, they’ll soon reap the other benefits that Web standards bring.

What once could be done almost exclusively in Flash is now easily accomplished with JavaScript and a bit of ingenuity. Lightboxing, scrolling news stories, rich navigation and image slideshows were once solely the domain of Flash. Widespread adoption of standards is easily attributable to the ease of using JavaScript libraries for enhanced interaction and current support of CSS among browsers.

Video has been an important step in moving Web standards forward. Video is one of the few things that could once only be delivered in Flash. The biggest leap so far has been YouTube8‘s adoption of the HTML5 video element (albeit in beta), allowing modern browsers to bypass the Flash plug-in and use video native to the browser’s player.

HTML5 video has encountered controversy (thanks to the current codec debacle9) and reports of unimpressive performance, but these issues will be worked out. Website developers will implement HTML5 video and choose an appropriate codec. When the biggest websites make this decision, we’ll end up with a de facto standard that gives browsers improved performance.

Modern Browser Adoption Link

HTML5 and CSS3 represent a great effort to advance native browser performance, and many browser providers are already implementing their specifications, even through they haven’t been set in stone. We have a lot to look forward to with CSS animation, canvas, local storage, geo-location and other specifications that will bring Web standards into a new era.

Although it will be many years before we see 100% of the emerging specifications implemented in browsers and see a large majority of users upgrade to those browsers, if we embrace the progressive enhancement of content, we’re well on our way to pushing adoption among developers.

Progressive Enhancement Link

Learning to produce progressively enhanced content, giving up pixel-perfect rendering in every browser, and embracing graceful degradation in older browsers can free up time to concentrate on other areas of development, such as accessibility and platform-delivery agnosticism.

A site in three states of enhancement
(Image: Unobtrusify.com10)

If users of your website don’t have JavaScript or CSS enabled, they can still access and enjoy your content in a more limited way, unlike Flash websites, which typically don’t deliver content in the absence of Flash or JavaScript.

Designing with progressive enhancement in mind and building from the ground up require designers and developers to think more about the infrastructure of a website, and this typically exposes the kinds of issues that arise when working from the top down (i.e. designing a website and then considering the fall-back).

Smart Phone Browsers and Context Delivery Link

The mobile Web is still in its infancy and usually an afterthought in the design process, but standard-based designs can degrade as nicely on phones as they do on older desktop browsers. In the absence of the Flash plug-in, a website can still deliver an exceptional experience without much extra effort (which would be cumbersome with a Flash website).

Mobile Web browsing is increasing exponentially, and ignoring these users is unwise. Web standards are the only option to deliver richer interactions in mobile browsers.

Content Management Link

Giving website owners and editors the ability to edit interactive content inside a content management system means not having to coordinate with Flash developers to create and maintain content outside of the system. Many agencies have ditched Flash for WordPress-powered websites that use JavaScript to enhance the experience, allowing for quick and easy updates to portfolios and content.

Openness Link

Web standards being what they are (i.e. standard agreement on the way code is constructed and served), user agents and scripts from outside a website can be written to access data directly from the HTML. Search engines, microformats, feeds, translation and bookmarklets all work because of the open nature and consistency between the data.

A Neon Open Sign
(Image: Monica’s Dad11)

If we want the Web to be truly scalable and interconnected, then microformats and microdata and APIs for content might be just the answer. Otherwise, we’ll remain in the same position we were years ago when websites erected walls around their content.

Freedom Link

Many people believe that the technology behind the Internet should be open and not competitive as it has been in the past. People should be free to consume and create information, without being tied down to the kind licensing restrictions and legalities seen with the likes of Flash, Silverlight and other corporately owned technologies.

Creating and delivering content with Web standards not only is the best technological solution but supports the freedom of an open Web.

Flash Does, And Will Continue To Do, Many Things Well Link

Just because Flash-driven websites are gradually disappearing doesn’t mean that Flash will disappear altogether. Too much content and infrastructure have been set up to magically vanish. Without vast restructuring or realigning of organizations and processes, plenty of Flash developers will continue to be employed, and plenty of Flash advertising will be directed at those ready to ignore it.

We owe a lot to Flash for making the Web what it is today, and it deserves that credit. Even though it showed less potential compared to the other plug-in technologies, such as Java applets, that emerged early on, it had a nice balance between seamless delivery to users and ease of development and deployment. Many other Web technologies, such as VRML and SVG, have tried to overcome Flash’s hold on the Web but have continually fallen short.

Where would the Internet be without Flash and the innovations it brought?

Ease of Use Link

Out of the gate, Flash was intuitive and easy-to-use application for both designers and developers, delivering the simplest of animations, yet able to scale to serve complex applications.

Two kids at computers
(Image: *ejk*12)

Because of its ease of use, Flash posed a lower barrier to entry for budding designers and developers. And combined with the suite of applications from Adobe, Flash fits well in the designer’s workflow.

Consistency Link

You can’t argue with the fact that for many years Flash has been the only way to deliver rich interaction in a consistent way across a wide range of platforms and browsers. It’s still the only way to deliver video and audio to older browsers, and it will retain its throne for several more years.

If you’re a stickler for fonts and demand special ones for your website, then you’ll be saddened by the current state of font support in the browser. This shortcoming will have to be compensated by Flash and swfObject13 until @font-face and various font formats become more widely supported.

Standards Not Quite There Link

As much as Web standards have advanced, we’re often stuck having to support older browsers in which Flash may be the only way to deliver audio, video and complex data-heavy interfaces. Thanks to early adopting Web browser providers, we can start using the HTML5 audio and video tag today. But we still have to plan for a Flash fall-back to deliver media in older browsers.

The same could be said for the canvas element for delivering complex visualization, 3-D animation and games. If a browser like IE6 needs to be supported, providing a decent fall-back for the canvas element can be complicated. Flash might just be the best choice for development in such cases. As always, your current and potential audience should determine your direction.

Progressively Enhanced Flash and Flash Injection Link

The best Flash developers take the same approach as the Web standards crowd, using Flash as a layer to enhance their websites and applications. If that continues, Flash will continue to have a place in delivering a great experience, serving mobile devices and reaching search engines and other user agent technologies. The Flash injection technique14 is the easiest way to meld the best of both worlds.

The Future of Flash Link

Adobe has never been the type of company to let a product stagnate. You can be sure it will keep pushing to get Flash on as many mobile devices as possible.

Laser Show Lights
(Image: Robert Weißenberg15)

With Creative Suite 5, developers will be able to output Flash projects as native iPhone applications using the iPhone Packager16. And Flash could soon evolve from its early roots as an animation application to a full-fledged desktop and mobile application development environment with the help of AIR17 and related advancements (AIR might reach the mobile space pretty quickly).

Flash developers will likely be in even greater demand, as the demand to deliver applications consistently between desktop and mobile devices increase—even if they aren’t asked to create run-of-the-mill websites.

Flash, HTML, CSS And JavaScript Are Just Tools Link

Web standards and Flash (and other plug-in technologies) are simply tools to create content for the Web. Even if Flash is on the decline for websites, Flash developers have no reason to worry about becoming obsolete.

Everything that is true for creating rich Internet applications holds true for whatever other tool you use, and transitioning to Web standards development may be easier than you think.

Tools in a Toolbox
(Image: kansas_city_royalty)

Flash and Web standards developers have more in common than they don’t. Interface and interaction design, typography, layout, graphic design and object-oriented programming are all still valid and important for both technologies.

Developers on both sides of the spectrum struggle with many of the same issues. They both set out to create a great user experience, to design intuitive interactions and to make websites easy for users. All of this is done not by the technology itself but by the people behind it.

Standards-Based Websites That Shine Link

Here are some examples of websites that have embraced Web standards and offer rich interaction. If you want to keep up with current trends, many great standards-based websites are featured on showcase websites such as NotCoffee and jQuery Style.

Pigeon and Pigeonette18
This website has a single page that transitions during navigation. Other than being informational, it offers a couple of Flash games.

Pigeon and Pigeonette Website19

Good Works Media20
An agency website with an accordion home page and lightbox for the portfolio.

Good Works Media Website21

Made by Elephant22
A minimalist portfolio website with a horizontal accordion.

Made by Elephant Website23

Euna (English translation24)
A single-page website with very “elastic” transitions.

Euna Website

Artopod25 (English translation26)
A retro design with a fixed-height “window” onto the content.

Artopod Website27

Bold, colorful, full-screen imagery on a single page, with a lightbox portfolio.

DreamerLines Website29

Serial Cut30
Mainly full-screen imagery for a portfolio that includes 3-D, graphic design and photography.

Serial Cut Website31

Alfa-Bank: U2 (English translation32)
The main layout and background imagery changes during navigation.

Alfa-Bank: U2 Website

A more traditional website but with subtle navigation effects and transitions for imagery and content.

Kobe Website34

Unowhy35 (English translation36)
Another accordion website, with smooth content transitions and a lot of “hover” effects.

Unowhy Website37

Creative People38
Very creative imagery, heavy on the AJAX, with many examples of the studio’s work.

Creative People Website39

World of Merix40
A full-screen draggable map of the agency’s clients, with a smooth lightbox for the content.

World of Merix Website41

The Sixty One42
Very much an application, this streaming music service lets you browse artists and related info. As you listen, information pops up on the band.

The Sixty One Website43

Banadies Architech44
A website highlighting the work of an architecture firm. With each click on the navigation, the page elegantly shifts around.

Banadies Architech Website45

Paul J. Noble
A dark portfolio website, with an interesting approach to navigation.

Paul J. Noble Website

Adult Swim Shows46
A recent relaunch, with full-screen images for navigation.

Adult Swim Shows Website47

A marketplace website with a simple interface, carousel navigation for products and lightboxes for detailed descriptions.

Glyde Website49

Alex Arts
Personal portfolio of Alex Abramov, with full-screen imagery and pop-up content.

Alex Arts Website

Personal portfolio of Adam Rix. Full-screen imagery and subtle navigation.

Rix Website51

Eric Johansson52
A personal portfolio, with a fun design and scrollable interface.

Eric Johansson Website53

Websites From The (Near) Future Link

Here are some “experimental” websites that demonstrate what’s becoming possible with Web standards. Be warned: these might work only in the most modern of browsers. To keep up with emerging standards-based websites, check out CanvasDemos54 and Chrome Experiments55.

An online code editor from Mozilla.

Bespin Website57

A simple painting program.

Sketchpad Drawing Application

JavaScript Wolfenstein 3D, from Nihilogic
The classic game created with Web standards.

Wolfenstein 3d Game

Leaf Transform, from Disegno Cetell58
A simple falling leaf using the canvas element.

Leaf Animation

Canvas Animation Demo
A cartoon animation using the canvas element

Cartoon Animation using Canvas

Canvas Experiment59, from 9elements60
An audio visualization that reacts to your mouse.

Bubbles Visualization61

Ball Pool62
A physics-based demo that lets you drag and push around multi-colored circles.

Ball Pool Website63

Dynamic Content Injection64, from Paul Rouget65 of Mozilla
An “almost” augmented reality demo that inject images into a video.

Example of Injecting images into other images66

Canopy Animation67
A visualization of a tree that mutates and blooms.

Tree Canopy Animation68

Images falling on the screen.

Random Falling Images

3-D Cube Demo69
A draggable, zoomable 3-D cube of colors.

3d Cube70

JavaScript Bike71
A game in which you navigate your motorcycle across a terrain.

A Bike Game72

Comments Visualization73
A visualization of comments over time by Matt Ryall74 using Processing.js75.

Comment Visualization76

HTML vs. Flash Resources Link

Here are a few fairly recent articles. Make sure to check out their comments.


Footnotes Link

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44
  45. 45
  46. 46
  47. 47
  48. 48
  49. 49
  50. 50
  51. 51
  52. 52
  53. 53
  54. 54
  55. 55
  56. 56
  57. 57
  58. 58
  59. 59
  60. 60
  61. 61
  62. 62
  63. 63
  64. 64
  65. 65
  66. 66
  67. 67
  68. 68
  69. 69
  70. 70
  71. 71
  72. 72
  73. 73
  74. 74
  75. 75
  76. 76
  77. 77
  78. 78
  79. 79
  80. 80
  81. 81
  82. 82
  83. 83
  84. 84
  85. 85
  86. 86

↑ Back to top Tweet itShare on Facebook

Brad Cooper is an interface and interaction designer and an advocate of open source & web standards. He's been creating and designing websites for the last 14 years. You can usually find him at, or twitter.

  1. 1

    Good article. First!

    • 2

      Not really, it omits some pretty obvious issues. But I guess since you decided to add ‘First’ you probably don’t have much to contribute anyway.

      It hasn’t made any mentions that Adobe are making some serious inroads into opening up the Flash platform. What about the fact that they are ditching the ‘.fla’ format for a more open ‘.xfl’ format which will be exchangeable throughout the whole CS. Even Mozilla is looking to run flash natively without a plug-in ( By the time HTML5 has a remotely similar penetration to Flash, Flash will probably be just as open as HTML5 by then. Which brings me to another point.

      Web standards take a good decade to mature and become widely adopted. Flash is proactively developed and improved by a corporation who pretty much have the entire creative market covered. Flash will move too quick for web standards to keep up.

      As antpaw has mentioned, up until now, it’s being used for very basic effects which would no doubt be accomplished in flash in half the time.

      SEO is being mentioned less and less as RIA all inhereit the same problem of content being generated dynamically and reliant on user input. HTML5 will encounter the same issues.

      Plus I’m sick of the ‘future’ of HTML5 being compared to the current state of Flash. Flash will no doubt evolve even further in the years to come. So stop comparing what it is capable/incapable of now to the ‘future of HTML5’ and compare it to the current state of HTML5 sites, or if you wish to discuss the future, try and include the possibility that Flash won’t be the exact same platform in 5 years time.

      Lets be honest, posts like this have flared up Apple tightened it’s vice grip on their own mobile platform (yes, believe it or not, Steve Jobs isn’t the only decision maker there, so stop saying you hate him in particular). That’s a whole other debate on its own.

      Flash won’t be the only option for Websites/RIAs in the future, and yes, it will lose market share to competing platforms such as Silverlight. But it will be a very long time before it ‘disappears’. Flash has plenty of room for improvement, but it isn’t going away anytime soon.

      PS ‘With Creative Suite 5, developers will be able to output Flash projects as native iPhone applications using the iPhone Packager.’ – Google “Adobe Apple” and do some research before you post such an article…

      • 3

        < You might also want to do a search for “Apple+Adobe+terms” to get up to speed on Apple’s ban last week of dev apps that translate code into the iPhone’s language. That provides the context for this author’s article.

        • 4

          Jeremy Carlson

          April 12, 2010 11:10 am

          As soon as I read his last paragraph, I new a reply like this was coming.

      • 5

        Pierre Bertet

        April 13, 2010 1:49 am

        “ Even Mozilla is looking to run flash natively without a plug-in ( ”

        Just a correction : Mozilla is absolutely not looking to run Flash natively on Firefox. Tamarin is an ActionScript / EcmaScript Virtual Machine (not a Flash Player), used by Flash (ActionScript) and Firefox (JavaScript).

    • 6

      For real? Are you guys on Apples payroll or something….why so much IPad/No Flash posts? Are you guys a bunch of sell outs?

      Also if you are going to write about Flash at least know what you are talking about. The last couple of articles i saw here (including this one) are just fanning the flames of idiocy.

      I can develop in both Javascript and ActionScript so it does not matter to me what technology wins in the end….but god….some of your writers are so clueless its embarrassing really. I am embarrassed for you guys.

      Flash will be around a lot longer than most will keep your jobs at SM because one basic thing you guys seem not to be able to grasp is that its not how fast new technology comes out…its how long it takes for it to get adopted. For christs sake most ad networks currently only run ActionScript 2…how long has ActionScript 3 been around?

      The real reason Flash runs poorly on Apple is because Apple wants to cut out a 3rd party for delivery of content. Flash runs fine on a lot less powerful devises…..hmmm that should tell you something…but I wouldn’t expect that much from you.

  2. 7

    Rene Schmidt

    April 12, 2010 1:06 am

    Thumbs up

  3. 8

    i think the flash will have his important place in web and on future. just maybe will be no more such overused for things what have nothing to do with the flash basic purpose.

  4. 9

    I miss a list of “Flash Websites That Shine”. One look at some of the websites on the FWA and you will see a lot of things not yet feasable with HTML5, JS and CSS. A lot of people seem to forget what can be done with Flash. Just look at all the stuff 2Advanced has made. HTML5 isn’t going to replace that soon.

    I believe Flash will disappear eventually, but for now Flash has it’s place in the work we do. We just don’t use it in the places like menu’s and headers anymore.

    • 10

      I agree: I’d love to see a list of some great Flash sites here, the kind that can’t be built otherwise.

    • 13

      Yeah, take a look at the FWA and show me some HTML 5 that can match the brilliance of some of those sites. I think the majority of “full flash” sites are aimed at the more creative, entertainment seeking audiences who will have a modern browser with the latest flash player installed.

      I haven’t been impressed by any HTML video/canvas animation as of yet, the markup seems to be cumbersome compared to AS3 which I find much more readable and easier to work in with greater results. Until HTML 5 is widely adopted and as rich, I’ll stick with Flash.

      • 14

        Morten Najbjerg

        April 12, 2010 5:04 am

        True enough! But I don’t forget that this is really a decision of weather you’re going to make a media-driven or text-content-driven site.
        None of the FWA sites are text-content-driven sites that is for sure… Big images, large videos, animation – no one will argue that websites where these are the key elements isn’t better made in Flash. But on text-content-is-king sites it is just as obvious that Flash is really a bad decision (which IMO is 80-90% of all websites).

        • 15

          But on those types of websites, Flash always was a really bad decision. The emergence of HTML5 doesn’t change that.

        • 16

          Mmmh. I guess there are several good solutions to bring HTML Content into Flash… You can actually import HTML-Files as XML into Flash, that means that you have the same text base like a normal hmtl-webpage. Additionaly all crawlers can index your contents. But I agree, that often, when it comes to text driven websites, it’s not necessary to use flash. But one great advantage is, and still will be in the near future, is the preloading-issue which is quite good solved in flash.

          And the reason why Apple isn’t supporting Flash is just politics.

    • 17

      Doesn’t matter: “Standards-Based Websites That Shine” are a surprisingly broken heap of sites where anchors don’t work, other basic HTML don’t work, all because, just as bad as any Flash, these sites require Javascript or you get zilch.
      I’d rename it to “Trendy Websites Who Care More About Imitating Flash Than Actually Providing Content to Everyone”. Click the Swedish site’s “read more”. Where? Oh, yeah, I have to turn on some bloated script simply to READ PLAIN TEXT. Real winner there. Looking awesome with Javascript was more important than letting me read more?

      You’re either on the web to look pretty/show off/be artistic (fine) or you’re there to give information to as many people as possible… Standards-Based Websites That Shine is a list of sites who want to do both but don’t know how. So they should have just built themselves in Flash anyway for moar cowbell.

  5. 18


    April 12, 2010 1:23 am

    Flash apps won’t be finding their way to the iPhone any time soon. Apple just updated its license agreement for developers with this new clause:

    “3.3.1 — Applications may only use Documented APIs in the manner prescribed by Apple and must not use or call any private APIs. Applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine, and only code written in C, C++, and Objective-C may compile and directly link against the Documented APIs (e.g., Applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited).”

    Basically this is a huge blow to many, many developer toolkits, small developers who relied on said tools, and for Flash CS5 as well. Programming in Flash for iPhone is henceforth forbidden.

    It was an incredibly petty move from Apple to announce this change just as Adobe was on the verge of releasing Flash CS5. Imagine how much time they wasted gearing Flash for the iPhone platform and promising it to everyone just to be told now that it was all for nothing. This speaks of the bad blood between Adobe and Apple. I just didn’t think they would turn so petty.

    • 19

      Yeah, pretty sad. Not only for Adobe, but others too.

      I like Mono, and I am following the MonoTouch project closely. In light of the changes, their future has become uncertain. Another great framework that will be impacted is Unity3D (not for web design though, it’s a game development toolkit). We all like games, don’t we? :D

      • 20

        I will second that. Apple blocking Flash/Mono/Trinity etc is like building a very closed guarded ecosystem where only Apple can survive. How can such cross compilers cause problem in Apple OS unless, the insiders know that their OS is much worse this time than all previous versions. On the other hand, companies like Microsoft have realised the power of open ecosystem and thus we saw Express editions coming up. It joined hands with Novell to provide support for Mono. Google open-sourced Chrome and many other projects to see community support grow.

        Looks like Apple is going back to the days of Microsoft, overseeing what happened to them. Guess what, the next in line of Apple would be modifying the licence terms of Webkit, thus blocking the development of Chrome/Adobe AIR.

        A very sad day for developers world wide :(

    • 21

      @Sandeep good call! Where I am confused is why this article was even published today? The Apple announcement was last Friday. Why is Smashing Magazine (specifically Brad Cooper) sloppily misinforming the web developer community? I’m sure he knew of this announcement before publishing this article…

      Great article BTW, just wish it was more accurate. It is possible to go back and modify it with notes and updates, along some of the dated information.

    • 22

      Interesting that Apple would bite the hand that virtually sustained the company through the 90s. Without graphics professionals, Apple’s marketshare would have been much less than their paltry 3-4% that it was during that time.

  6. 23

    Marijan Barkic

    April 12, 2010 1:27 am

    The iPhone Packager of the Creative Suite 5 could be banned from the app store due to the upcoming exclude of cross-compiled applications.

  7. 24

    Flash was invented in a time where html5, css3 and jquery was non-existant. There once was a need for flash and I think adobe has a very good understanding for this. I read on an adobe employee blog that their focus is not to force people on flash, its to develop tools that makes it easy for developers to make rich web sites. I dont think they will go the microsoft/ie way, adobe is smarter than that. We can probably expect flash to change to fit with new technologies like html5 and css3 in the comming years but probably not in the upcoming cs5 release.

  8. 25

    Flash CS5 will be able to export to Html5/Canvas btw, so Flash Developers can continue using the IDE (at least in theory, haven’t used it of course).

    But Html5 has one major disadvantage compared to Flash: It’s NOT a standard yet. And it won’t be for many years. So everyone who tells that using html5 is the way to go because it’s standard and works everywhere is simply wrong. There is no html5-supoort in IE6, 7 and 8, and as far as I know even IE9 will only support some parts (and won’t run on Win XP), FF, Opera, Safari and Chrome all work different with html5, support different codecs etc – so how on earth shall we use it for commercial websites?

    The flash player on the other hand is installed on ~ 99% of all PCs, and will run on the majority of mobiles soon. The only ones who are out of the game are Apple products (and Apple users of course).

    • 26

      What are you talking about? I can get a flash plugin on any browser on my mac. I work with flash everyday and I do it all on a Mac. So please exercise some common sense and think about what your saying before you insert your foot in your mouth.

  9. 27

    You serious? You want real opinion? here you are.

    You are trying to convince ppl to use one true style for webdesigning, just look at ur posts from the pack of “50 super-ultra-mighty, outstanding webdesigns”, they all look the same, build with the same tools, look at the world, it exists outside united states too.

    You show some websites with simple transitions rollovers – what is it comparing to flash? You compare two different techniques, it’s like using spoon to dig a hole for a swimming pool.

    And to add, the trends sucks, instead of trying to show people new ways, and make them use creativity, u insist on them to use same rules over and over again, it’s boring.

    • 28

      This is an objective view of the current trending of web development, not a subjective argument attempting to convince all designers to use Web-Standards over Flash.

      • 29

        No it isn’t.

      • 30

        This article is _far_ from objective.

        I expect more from Smashing Mag.

        • 31

          I think the title of the article is misleading and uninformed. There is an increase in flash platform development, not a “Gradual Disappearance of Flash”. This comes off as a subjective jab at Flash. Change the title, and the flash developers probably won’t be so pissed off.

  10. 32

    Look mom, no flash!

    • 33

      look mom at bloody source of js…. programmers nightmare :P

      • 34

        Exactly, it calls 27 JS files totaling 221359 bytes, 7844 lines of CSS and JavaScript code to do this… It seems the computer science is going backwards, instead of things becoming easier to code they are becoming much harder, much more complex. Compare this to Flash and I am sure it can be done in 1/7 of the size.

        • 35

          Dont be lazy and just learn how to code

          • 36

            Such an ignorant reply… I am speechless. That is the problem nowadays with IT, too many kids.

          • 37

            In my opinion,
            If the intention here was the look & feel,
            then, the combination of Flash-AS w/ JS would have been just ideal.
            You could have worked out the animations, avoiding this kind of mechanical feeling. To protect your images, etc, etc…
            And if browser-navigation doesn’t really matter then, this could have looked even better w/ Macromedia Flash 4 – 1998/9… we are in 2010 for god’s sake!

    • 38

      I am very impressed of really great website

  11. 39

    Well, like always Smashing, continues with flash bashing. Talking about Flash and dont mention the huge advatiges like:

    – Full control of the typography
    – Having cross-platform and cross-browser support (according to the creator IE9 beta scores 19 of 160 possible points
    – the performance of a reach animated html5 sites is _not_ better
    – html5 canvas has no seo advantage
    – AC3 is so much superior to JS, it’s ridiculous to compare them
    – Webcam, Fullscreen support

    Webstandards can only dream about to became as consistent as flash already is now.

    The author is just a fanboy, who has not much clue about both platforms.

    so please tell me why any site on should be converted to html5? there is absolutely no reason for that, and for 90% of those sites it’s completely impossible anyway

    • 40

      The author is a fanboy?

    • 41

      Shabith Ishan

      April 12, 2010 9:33 pm

      Well said antpaw. beside the things in the list, Flash has the more user interactivity than the html5 like microphone support and handling thousands of data is much better than the javascript.

    • 42

      Absolutely! not to mention comparing JS to C#, VB or the wonderful F# in Silverlight, JS, JQuery whatever won’t ever reach there until JS dies for good and something better emerges

    • 43

      +1 to antpaw. I really don’t understand why people hate flash. Just look at some really amazing sites. You can’t do that with HTML5.

  12. 44

    Show me anything from zynga that can be done with “standards”.

  13. 45

    I think its poignant that the ad at the top of the page screams how it has helped create 700k+ flash websites and counting, yet this articles title seems to state how flash sites are disappearing…

    I don’t believe that flash is just going to fade away due to HTML5, not in the near future anyway.

  14. 46

    Flash sucks!!! anyday!! It probably shouldn’t be used on websites. unless its absolutely required.

    • 47

      Any arguments, kid?

    • 48

      Yes! let’s remove flash from the web!!! and then…and then…Java!!! and …wait for it, wait for it, then…..asp!!! and then….

      I don’t get who made people like you the kings of internet whith power to decide who can and who cannot exist in the system.

      If you don’t like flash sites just don’t use them, or if you are annoyed by banners what are you thinking? that people will stop making them if flash dissapears? they will do them in whatever technology there is!


  15. 49

    Gareth Axford

    April 12, 2010 3:00 am

    Coming from a purely animation standpoint (and by animation I don’t mean moving blobs about the screen, I mean proper character animation) all this flash bashing has me very worried. If that goat/wizard piece of work is the best that html5 canvas can offer, then those of us that use flash to create traditional 2d animation will be scuppered, Flash has transformed the animation industry as well as the web, it’s a relatively cheap and easy way for students and pro animators to hone their craft and cartoons using flash technology have become progressively more impressive over the years, it would be a real shame if we lost that accessibility because of the snootiness of developers who care little for aesthetics and craft, plus i’d be out of a job!

    • 50

      Yeah, did you View>Source for the Canvas animation. How is that superior to the timeline animation tools in Flash. I’d like to see somebody write some code for some Inverse Kinematics or some lip syncing. Hah!

  16. 51

    my colleague wrote an article in Dutch about this:

  17. 52

    Oh dear. Another stupid, worthless article from Smashing Magazine. Repeating the same old points over and over again. Following these people like they’re saints, when all they do is explicitly point out the obvious.

    Again, you’re trying to convince people to use jQuery or any other JavaScript library. They’re not doing anything special. You can make one yourself if you’d actually give the effort. The truth is, these libraries are painfully modularised and use lots of processing power to parse. If I need a JavaScript effect, I write it. Half the time, it doesn’t give any impression on users. You all think “wow, this is the latest amazingness trend to follow!” but your users are stuck with “meh”.

    All these blogs seem to do is link to each other, claiming how great they are. The biggest sites don’t use these overused techniques, because they are unique. All these showcases annoy me – they’re pointlessly hard to navigate.

    In all, the whole web design industry is a narcisstic farce, and you’re only helping them do it their ridiculous way. Let all the fanboys flame me, but they just can’t take the truth.

  18. 53

    i think there will always be space for great flash projects, right now i’m working on various projects for the game industry and I don’t think that they will get rid of flash when presenting their games in the near future, the ability of using their original 3D models, etc is a great benefit of flash …

    but you’re def right when saying that working with jquery like js libraries on normal projects is much more comfortable and user friendly than using flash and we won’t see any ‘skip intro’ pages any more.

    at the moment i think that this whole discussion is basically driven by apple’s rants against adobe and jobs’s ambition to control the future content of large parts of the web.

    it will be interesting to see how both companies will end up on this as fanboys on both sides have their roots in the design community. being adobe today I wouldn’t release cs5 for mac until this fight is over :-)

  19. 54

    Must say, well grounded article.

    I wrote this about Flash at its future and such:

    Guess the article kind of reiterates your point “Flash and Web standards developers have more in common than they don’t”.

  20. 55

    Honestly!? Talk about jumping on the bandwagon. Why don’t you try writing something with intellectual merit instead of pandering to the fanbois!

  21. 56

    Bartosz Oczujda

    April 12, 2010 3:17 am

    Sorry but in my opinion js/casnvas/css3/html5 combo is not ready yet to fully compete with flash. Why?

    1. Anything with more advanced visual efects (even simple games) in js/canvas make my processor usage skyrocket…

    2. You can’t run flash on the iphone but the same is with the js/canvas examples you provided… They just don’t work…

  22. 57


    April 12, 2010 3:18 am

    I don’t think it’s a matter of HTML5 vs Flash. Just like every other industry you use the right tools for the job. If you have to build a solid standards compliant website maybe flash isn’t the way to go. However, if you know your target audience is going to have flash installed then there should be no reason not to use it. To say flash is dying is short sighted, to say flash will evolve is more accurate.

  23. 58

    The future will lead to interesting changes using open standards, but take into account that you don’t need the Flash IDE to build and publish your own Flash sites. So while it is true that Adobe controls the future of Flash, you can start creating your own Flash sites right away (that is, for free).

    And it isn’t only about making full Flash websites: it’s about making richer user experiences. Well used Flash is not a useless intro: is a smart piece of animation, video, interactivity or data management.

    Comparing the current status of HTML5, Javascript and Flash, the more efficient, clean and object oriented ActionScript 3.0 takes the lead. You could mimic some Flash behaviours with the other technologies, but that would be much more time expensive.

  24. 59

    Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn, stubborn… flash developers people…
    whether you like it or not, flash will eventually be out of the web development.
    Being blind about this will not help flash anyway.

    • 60

      Well, while you sit and wait for HTML5, flying cars and Michael Jackson’s return, I’ll continue to focus on a proven and evolving platform. Pretty sure the 5 stands for ‘in 5 years time’…

      If HTML5/JS someday proves to be better for higly interactive UIs then and only then will I make the switch. Until then, enjoy making your cute little 3D cube demos.

      • 61

        First of all, too soon for MJ comment. Seriously. Secondly you say that same about the “5” in flash CS5…Out of date in 5 years time…

        Anyways, Good points, although I think the fact the “standards” simply allow more people to view the same content is very relevant. How about accessibility and screen readers.

        I think a happy medium is definitely the best solution so that flash “fanboys” can have their fund, but people who like stable websites can have theirs.

        • 62

          I didn’t mean out of date in 5 years time, I was referring to the fact that everyone keeps referring to how great all this HTML5/JS will be, but it looks like it will be a good amount of time before it is fully adopted and supported. In the mean time Flash will continue to evolve. Look how long it’s taken for CSS3 to be taken up!

          If anything, HTML5 will be a good thing for flash. Competition to its platform will spur Adobe to cover areas like accessibilty and screen readers, plus improve its stability. I can’t remember the last time Flash crashed my computer (my own experience, not saying it doesn’t happen) but I’m sure in the wrong hands HTML5 and JS could easily crash your browser as well. Not that will will be a huge problem in the near future as all the browsers seems to be seperating all their processes anyway.

          Sure, sites like this will continue to run in HTML, but for all these people to say that ‘flash will eventually be out of the web development’ is pretty short sighted. HTML5 is an upgrade to HTML4, not a full replacement for Flash.

          • 63

            The biggest reason why Flash sites are disappearing is b/c of communication, period. There are far more resources on the web that show the advantages of using web standards. No longer do you have to rely on using proprietary software and training to create and manage websites. Sure, Flash has its uses, but for making web pages there is just an overwhelming amount of information now at anyones’ disposal that solidifies the benefits of using modern web practices. Over time, Flash may have its small victories, but in the end, you won’t see many context sensitive, flash menus when you right click on an entire web page.

        • 64

          Haha, sure CS5 ist out of date in 5 years. We´ll have… CS7.. or even CS8 then?

          • 65

            Jason, Flash is not disappearing but appearing… see and think again. Intel, Cisco, Disney and other 70 partners signed for flash… it will be on every mobile, in every car or PC… how you gonna beat that????

            + how you gonna make site like in html5/css??? do you want replace pixel bender with javascript???? :DDD impossible….

  25. 66

    Armen Grigoryan

    April 12, 2010 3:38 am

    I think the question should not be about tools like Flash, JavaScript or others. We actually facing a radical change in the user experience, that will come with the touch devices. Those Flash and pure JavaScript sites – non of them will give a good impression since they cannot use their potential on the tablets.
    Developers should start thinking in a touch way, and completely redesign websites, regardless of the technology. And it doesn’t matter if Apple rejects Flash, they might have their reasons, and it doesn’t mean that changes should concern only Flash developers.
    Touch designed web sites will work perfectly on desktops and mobile devices, and people who will experience mobile apps will expect similar functionality from the desktops. Which means no mouse hovers, no double clicks, no right click, bigger fonts, easier selectable links and different layout.

    • 67

      Flash does support multitouch, one of the many reasons I’m sure Jobs doesn’t want to see it on the i****. I doubt we’ll ever see HTML5 support multitouch, at least not on the i**** devices. I hope people really aren’t naive enough to think Jobs will stop with Flash. He’s threatened by anything that could impact his control and bottom line. Flash will be the first web technology to consistently support open tablets with multitouch, and this just might end up giving Apple’s competition the leg up.

      I’ll be happy to be the first in line to tell the Apple “Flash bashing” Jobs cronies, I told you so, when Jobs starts gimping the open standards he touting today. HTML5 is simply a means to an end to try to crush Flash as a competitor. Don’t be surprised when he starts coming after your technology next…

  26. 68

    I’m impressed. I expected to scroll down and read even more flash-bashing in the comments, but to my surprise I had to agree with (at the time of posting anyhoo) the majority who see flash for what it is now (not what it was 7 years ago)
    to mis-quote de-concept…
    …You’ve got your good thing, and I’ve got mine

  27. 69

    This is a very mixed bag and I think the debate can easily become convoluted due to the current Apple situation, however…

    Flash is driven by commercial gain to fill a much needed gap in the industry and therefore delivers requirements based on a financial and business model; HTML5 on the otherhand is a standards project and doesn’t benefit financially (that I am aware of.)

    On this basis the delivery of HTML5 is drawn out while people sit around and munch over what it should do, so commercial sectors will always be better at rolling out products on time as revenue is the key concern and is why Flash is here and HTML5 is on the horizon with no real end in site.

    As to whether Flash is any good is semantics – as the man says HTML, Flash, JScript are just tools – my personal opinion is that it serves a pupose that no one else has delivered on, so while HTML5/CSS3 may be superior we need to deliver projects today not in the distant future.

    There may become a downtrend in Flash websites in some peoples eyes, but given the relatively unadopted features in the majority share browsers there is still too much inconsistency to turn away from Flash and embrace HTML5 – so while people may be leaning toward JQuery and similar frameworks for web applications I don’t believe the ever increasing entertainment sites for movies and video games are turning away from Flash at all.

    Flash produces attractive and interactive websites in a quick fashion and is consistent across all supporting browsers which means cheaper costs for clients and that is the major driving force – we can’t say this about HTML5 yet or any time soon so we certainly aren’t in a position to knock Flash and what it allows us to achieve today and tomorrow, regardless of it being branded a technology of yesterday.

    • 70

      I think the only flash really disappearing from sites is tacky little add-ons where someone had a full fledged site and just slapped in a flash-based menu so they do some crazy hover effects. Flash still provides a much richer and capable environment than any html5-enabled browser can accomplish today. In 5 years, hey maybe browsers and open standards will catch up, but where will flash be then? Mobile marketplace? Yea, Apple is taking the ball away and changing the rules for developers midstream, but for my money the most exciting “innovation” coming to the mobile market this year is flash + air on android. Sqllite + open environment means tons of actual business opportunities for mobile workforce apps that are currently only functional in a mobile pda market that has limited direction. Apps that can function both on and offline and either extend desktop app functionality or have a life of their own regardless of connectivity issues mean a lot more to me than an ipad.

  28. 71

    Henk Duivendrecht

    April 12, 2010 3:51 am

    Although this is a good article, I’m still very surprised by the fact that many HTML developers are SO enthusiastic about features that have existed for more than 5 years in flash. Of course it’s nice that HTML is now finally able to let a sprite move across the screen (as long as you don’t expect it to work cross browser and especially not on mobile safari).

    On the other hand: isn’t it a bit far fetched to say that flash doesn’t add anything to a modern browser? It adds more than ever. And I’m not saying that just because I’m a flash dev. I most certainly would not mind switching to HTML5 + javascript (especially since javascript and flash actionscript are basically the same), but that means going back in time at least 5 years.

    Most of the web consists of text-based sites and blogs (like smashing mag), and I guess it’s true that these sites really don’t need flash for anything. On the other hand, when you want to build a full fledged rich application, there still aren’t many good arguments to build it in HTML:
    – developing HTML takes a lot more time due to cross-platform issues.
    – animations and effects still look choppy, can’t use the GPU, and use more CPU than flash does.
    – the basic premise of HTML is still based on pages and links, isn’t it completely illogical to use that as a basis for building an application?

    • 72

      Mike Hartley

      April 12, 2010 3:37 pm

      Thank you for this. I was searching for it. Dumbing down was as far as I could get. A web structured around words and links not images and true multimedia rather than grid like multimedia. You said:

      ‘the basic premise of HTML is still based on pages and links, isn’t it completely illogical to use that as a basis for building an application?’

      It is. This is fundamental I think.

      Thank you.

    • 73

      “still very surprised that many HTML developers are SO enthousiastic…”

      Surprised? I’m not: think of all of us who write (free) HTML in (free) text editors, because we didn’t fork out the thousand euros for Flash+. You don’t have to buy Javascript either.

      At least, that’s one of my guesses. That and I can’t run Flash on my Ubuntu anyway, but then, Adobe’s been fairly anti-*nix for some time (yet another platform to develop for).

      • 74

        You’re right, I do the same when I develop in JS.
        Then… when I develop for Flash, I use FlashDevelop and the Flex SDK. Both free and incredibly fine.

      • 75


        April 28, 2010 1:53 am

        Stomme poes

        Just because of free?
        Maybe you just built some silly simple games or webpage, right?
        If you build a complex one, nobody would use HTML5.

        Though HTML is a standard, it would have different outcome in different browser. THAT SUCKS!

  29. 76

    css3/html5/javascript CANNOT do what flash can (and it’s damn near impossible that it ever will for that matter). Stop spreading that farce.

    You should really include a full-flash websites that shine but I guess that would f… your arguments.

    “The Gradual Disappearance Of Flash Websites” happens only in your mind probably due to excessive reading of web design blogs of people that have degrade web design to wordpress widgets and downloading jqueries. pff…

  30. 77

    Well written article. Focuses on what’s really happening without ‘taking sides’. Flash has it’s advantages, and since they didn’t address the issues the open-web-advocates pointed out for years, it was inevitably that other technologies would catch up. The fact that people could make, and often did, completely unaccessible sites with Flash, didn’t help them either.

    I have a phone without Flash support, and some sites are simply not accessible for me.

    The mobile web, which now mainly comprises the ‘open-web’, will continue to grow, and sites that don’t work, will simply die out.

    Unless Adobe has something up it’s sleeves..

  31. 78

    Henk makes a good point – getting excited over functionality that existed years previously through flash is a head scratcher especially when there’s no guarantee it will be consistent across all browsers; this is reminisent of Mobile Phone games where people are getting excited about playing the New Sonic the Hedgehog game which is actually not new but a game developed over 10 years prior just on a new medium… yawn.

    Consistency across browsers with Flash has been achieved not by the browser creators, but by a third party plugin that hovers outside of their tinkerings.

    Even with standards in place Browser developers tend to tinker and improve in their own little way, the success of flash has been that it lives outside the bickering of competetitor software developers and allows a single company to deliver a single experience.

    Is HTML5 a consistent solution – only if a gun is used to ensure that Browser Developers adhere to the standards and refrain from feature creep…

    • 79

      By the same argument, there’s no point in getting excited about the fact that you can animate a sprite in flash – that could be done on the ZX81 30 years ago.

      The reason to get excited about HTML5 is that it will allow the kind of features that have – until recently – only been available in Flash (and Java before it) to be delivered in a cross-platform, accessible, and – most importantly – open manner. If you care about function more than a specific product/company, surely you’re pleased about that, too.

      • 80

        Correct your text: “it will allow just some of the features that Flash has today in about 5 years only”.

        The customers really don’t care if it is open, standard, whatever. They want the job done and we want to do it faster, with less code, less maintenance, lower cost and at the same time showing an attractive and nice interface. Soon Flash will be available in almost all mobile platforms too (except of course Apple) and interactive devices via the “Open Screen” project (almost 2 years in the making already).

        Would you create a RIA application for any customer today using HTML 5? Please… I work with Adobe Flex for 2 years now (Flash 10), we delivered +10 applications now, all customers happy, 98% of the issues with Flash were caused by our mistakes (null reference, property does not exist, etc). We have customers using Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS X and Linux; IE, Safari and Firefox. We can use Flex to even create “ERP” like applications, with thousands of modules, we use runtime libraries for common components (not this crappy JS method of including code), AS3 is a full OOP language, compiled, Flex handles XML natively via E4X, easy access to Web Services and RPC calls, several built-in effects for all UI components… the list is long but I think it makes the point.

  32. 81

    Ehm there’s an error:

    “With Creative Suite 5, developers will be able to output Flash projects as native iPhone applications using the iPhone Packager.”

    no more baby :)

    • 82

      Technically it is possible. CS5 still exports a flash project to iPhone App, it’s Apple that will look into the code bundle and reject the App if they find traces suggesting it was built with Flash.

  33. 83

    Aaron Martone

    April 12, 2010 4:06 am

    With the slow adoption rate of even standards compliant browsers, it could take well over 5 to 10 years just for HTML5 browsers to become the majority.

    As long as we have non-standardized browser solutions in play, there will always be content segregation.

    • 84

      Not a problem, so long as content is accessible and core features are usable without HTML5. Exactly the same goes for flash. The difference is that, whilst there are many, MANY flash-only websites, there are very few HTML5-only websites (other than demonstrations, tutorials, etc.)

  34. 85

    Abel Schooleman

    April 12, 2010 4:09 am

    So we’ll impeach Flash and shoot web standards in the head. What’s next?

  35. 86

    Due to emerging HTML5, CSS3 and wide range of jquery Flash is obsolete. It’s much better to code than creating flash…

    • 87

      Due to emerging vegetable oil technology, electric cars and he3 energy systems, gasoline is obsolete.

      So I guess we can all sell our Exxon stock?

      My point is: how is something that is supported by 99% of devices and browsers rendered obsolete by something that is supported by less than 1%?

      Something that might be discussed (even though not trendy) is the emerging irrelevancy of Apple and its mobile devices. That thud heard upon release of the iPad was the cool kid landing on the other side of a shark. The iPad is a glorified TV, albeit one that one can doodle on.

  36. 88

    Didier Durandet

    April 12, 2010 4:39 am

    Can I try to let my hown ‘old’ professionnal eyes MouseEvent.ROLL_OVER this article ? (ah, ah, sorry for my poor english vocabulary, verry hard for a frenchy to seriously debate on this site. But i have to try…)
    One thing I’ve not read on this article or comments is about ‘design’.
    Javascript, HTML5 and others are near Hebrew for non programmers, you know ? And it seems that you only see Flash as a programmation tool too.
    But first, it’s a designer or graphist tool, isn’t it ? With a TimeLine, and a big WYSIWYG toolbox. What about Javascript and HTML5 ? Are there so friendly with non-logical peoples ? I think no, but I can be wrong.

    For me, the danger for Flash is more to encounter a new challenger, coming back to simplicity, and who coul’d seduce graphists and designers. I just think that because of what i see on my work. Some programmers that wanted us (graphists) to do formated jobs… with Flash ! If we could do the stuff ourself and use more easilly our creativity, yes, we could leave Adobe and Flash. If not…

    Finally, this article is a great one, because of the richness of comments.
    I hope what i wrote was intelligible ;-)

  37. 89

    I think the key here is ’emerging’ – HTML5 isn’t here yet so until it is commercially viable Flash isn’t obsolete not by a long way.

    In terms of ‘pickup and go’ and which is easier to code for – I’d say Flash has the upperhand, at it’s most basic it’s an animation package rather than a blank notepad, so people can delve in and create animations in an environment similar to common apps like Paintbrush.

    However Flash’s strengths in this area are also a part of its weaknesses, and these weaknesses become the brunt of most peoples arguements.

    As a development program Flash is fairly easy to pickup and start working with, but like most projects there’s many ways to crack an egg and many ways to solve a problem using code, some elegant and some sloppy – unfortunately a percentage of Flash developers are really designers who are extending their abilities (and good on them for bettering themselves) or homebrew hobbiests who don’t know the foundations of OOP practices.

    This means a lot of websites that people point out for being memory intensive and filling the web with yet more awful ‘Flash sites’ are due to poor programming and a lack of thought; but that can equally be said about the days of GeoCities where the web was full of poorly designed sites or even now with poorly programmed JQuery.

  38. 91

    Flash is a million times better for designers, with javascripts and jquery we are just at the mercy of whatever plugins programmers have written and at best get to choose between a few options. Do you think there with ever be an equivalent of Flash that works with javascript instead of action script? That would be great.

  39. 92

    Flash IS free: you can do rich applications using Flex SDK and FlashDevelop (what I do for a living), and you won’t need to open Adobe Flash any time.
    Flash DOES support content management, otherwise I would be jobless. And by the way, Flex (another Adobe free technology, even open source) is a great tool to build backends faster than with HTML.

  40. 93

    Looking forward to the death of Flash and other bloatware that gets in the way of simplicity and usability. Hurray for Jobs

    • 94

      Good way of thinking, yeah, let’s destroy everything and let everyone just the iphone. Let’s erase the concurrence, …. you are a little bit absolutist right? You like Steve Jobs? He decides what you get, when he wants and the way he wants… You are just his puppet!!

    • 95


      April 28, 2010 2:01 am

      OK! Lets go back to 1980’s with Steven Jobs!

  41. 96

    Although I was annoyed by many bad uses of Flash in the early 2000s, it now seems that it does have a place in my heart as it can do so many things that are (still) impossible with HTML 5. If Apple wishes to keep control and income generation of their walled garden, it’s fine by me, I just won’t go into denial and deem it “an acceptable practice, good for the end user”.

    And HTML 5 is in no way an environment where magical things happen, where all you needed Flash for can be done just as easily with the same outcome. It is a better, improved, expanded version of present standards but it still simply can’t do what Flash can. If anything, the only real bad aspect of Flash is its SEO performance, and that affects a site that is entirely made in Flash.

    Everyone bashes Flash because Stevie-O said so but imagine how your (mobile and desktop) browsers will crawl when HTML 5 animated banners will pop up all over the place (and you won’t turn them off as easily as you do now).

    HTML 5 is faster than Flash? Methink not:

  42. 97

    I think we should take ‘iPhone user’ comments with a pinch of salt – ‘Iphone developer’ may have had a point, but it didnt take long for Steve Jobs name to get banded about in all this…

    HTML5 doesn’t improve usability, a bad HTML5 programmer can still deliver a god awful experience and a Flash programmer can deliver a well executed experience – just not on an Apple device it seems.

    But in terms of hurray for Steve jobs, he has no control in the delivery time of HTML5, he’s providing a medium for it to be used – albeit a very popular medium!

    What Apple is doing is showing how vulnerable existing technologies can be if an influential player places a barrier in their way. While Apple can’t sink money into speeding the completion day of HTML5 standard, they can use their influence to drive its necessity by placing barriers to those businesses that had stepped up to solve a solution.

    At the end of the day, it’s Apples device and they can put whatever they want on it and restrict what they like – I do however think they are building the Internet in their vision and not allowing for others to contribute – but that’s fine we buy a device from someone who is willing to do it.

  43. 99

    The thing I always liked about flash is that when you build a flash file it looks the same no matter what browser you are using. HTML is different slightly on various browsers.

    • 100

      Funny – one of the things I like most about HTML is that it can adapt its display according to the needs of the user :-)

      • 101

        Flash can do it too… gosh, I hate people not knowing what they speak about…

        • 102

          Fair enough: I speak from experience, rather than a deep understanding of flash. I’d be very interested if you could point me towards a flash website that adjusts layout according to browser size, and allows me to scale font size up/down according to my visual preference. I’m sure such a thing is perfectly possible, and I’d love to see it in action, it’s just that every one of the flash sites I’ve ever visited fails in these regards.

          • 103

            Want to see a scaleable Flash website adjusting the content according to the users preferences? Look at this >

            By the way, all content is driven from a custom CMS (also made with AS 3.0).

            All projects can be printed as a PDF (thanx to

            The key in this discussion is the monetizing strategy from Apple, which brings memories back to all the Microsoft lawsuits. But Apple can afford it. That’s their strategy. Get control of devices and technologies, get a closed marketplace to control revenue and kill the developer community.

            The internet should not be a closed environment – remember its heritage and reason to be.

            I’ve never been so disappointed by Apple – it makes me sick….

        • 104


          April 28, 2010 2:04 am

          yes, Bobby Jack think that the others are talking about customization….nonsense…

  44. 105

    If you don’t know Flash – this article can make you smile !!

    • 106


      April 12, 2010 5:52 am

      I know Flash and this article still makes me smile.

      Flash is/was just another stepping stone in the progression of rich media on the web. I think it will eventually become a very niche technology as HTML, CSS and Javascript continue to evolve.

      • 107

        I see your reply and it makes my cry because most likely you have never done any real work in JS/CSS/HTML and compared to Flash/AS3. I like when people just repeat things without checking.

        • 108


          April 13, 2010 8:00 am

          I’m a front-end developer by occupation – all I do all day is JS/CSS/HTML. I also have 4+ years experience working in Flash. I know exactly what I’m talking about.

  45. 109

    If flash actually worked properly on a mac I may not hate it so much. Even simple flash streams eat up memory like nothing else on a Mac.. Nothing has kicked on my Fans like flash does on a MacBook Pro (Dec 2008 Version) and this thing is great with heat on everything else. Hell I have played much more rich 3d games on here without the fan kicking on. WebGL tests use very little memory, less tan half of what flash uses.

    Make flash not use up all my resources and I might be convinced to like it more. Why do you think Apple does not allow flash on their Mobile OS? It eats the crap out of the battery and runs like crap. Convince Adobe to do somthing about their crappy framework and that might change. I am also hoping that cs5 runs well on mac because every adobe app on the mac to date runs like crap and crashes.

    So keep that in mind when you think of the reasons why flash is not on the Apple Mobile OS

    • 110

      Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it Apple who have refused to give Flash access to hardware accelleration, hence better performance on Windows? I think anything that runs videos, animation and a full blown framework smoothely is going to require system resources. HTML5 will be no different.

      Apple doesn’t want flash because it allows users to use sites like Hulu that bypass Apple’s cash cow (iTunes).

      I’ve never really felt to need to reply to articles and comments like this but the amount of biased/mis-information on this matter is staggering.

      • 111

        Sorry, but ThatGuy is absolutely correct. Flash is a horrible resource hog on Macs. It always has been and always will be until that crap shrivels up and dies, then blows away like a tumbleweed. As it should. Apple did the right thing by banning it from their products.

        You get tired of your processor(s) constantly being jacked all the way up to 100% just because a stupid web ad is on screen. And gimme a break, Apple didn’t give Flash access to hardware acceleration? Are you listening to yourself? Flash needs hardware acceleration? Doesn’t that scream to you how badly it’s coded if it needs all that? I don’t let this nonsens run on my screen, and I haven’t been to a site yet that made me want to unblock it.

        Apple doesn’t want Flash because of Hulu? PLEASE. Flash has been performing poorly on Macs for over 10 years now, well before Hulu or anything like it even existed. Get it together, man. Take off the tinfoil hat. Your conspiracy theories are laughable, even though it isn’t really funny if that’s what you truly believe.

        I’ve never really felt the need to reply to articles and comments like this but the amount of biased/mis-information in your comment is staggering.

      • 112

        Sorry buddy, no tinfoil hats here. Like I said at the start of my comment, please correct me if I am wrong.

        You however, replied with nothing but an emotive rant of creative writing with no information to back up your argument. My opinion is formed by what I have read from multiple sources and my own experiences. For example –


        Here’s my logical reponse –

        By the looks of it, Flash performs worse on a mac partly because of Apple, not Adobe. (BTW I prefer Macs, typing on one now, so I’m not trying make Windows look good here). Can’t be than bad if it’s also coming to Android soon.

        That article above mainly relates to video, but after all, that’s a big draw card for HTML5 right? I’m sure once HTML5 ads catch on they’ll exploit just as much system resource as possible in a bid to make you eyes pop out and buy their product. Good luck blocking HTML5 ads since you can’t single them out by disabling a plug-in.

        Poor programming by the content creator will always lead to these issues. it’s up to the browsers to split these processes up so that you don’t lose everything when one page crashes, something which both web-kit and gecko will/soon addresses. You can’t honestly say you haven’t had a bit of JS crash your browser before.

        Of course Flash is going to eat more resources, never said it didn’t. You can stick with your choppy JS animations if you are so concerned. I didn’t buy a modern computer to let it sit idle because people like you freak out whenever your fan starts to spin.

        Plus, you can’t deny free online content is not good for Apple’s iTunes business model. They are a business and they will do whatever benefits their revenue at the end of the day. Otherwise we wouldn’t have this ridiculous policy of not being able to replicate the functionality of any of their iPhone apps.

        Show me a better technology for creating a rich online media experience and I’ll gladly switch.


        Here’s my emotive response –

        Enjoy your shitty gif animations and rollover effects, they won’t stress your cpu at all.

        • 113

          One of the big points of HTML5 is to not take up so much resources so even if someone finds a way to exploit it to lag your computer, it will still get a fix (I would hope so, at least) which cannot be said about flash on a mac.

          Regardless of the reasons, I will not backup flash at all while it still runs like crap on my Mac that I use everyday. It is also a bad argument to backup adobe because pretty much all Adobe products run like crap on a Mac.. I absolutely love fireworks but CS4 crashes all the time, any mac owner can tell you this. (I am hoping cs5 changes this).

          Back to the HTML5 thing… Its not a CPU hog AT ALL, why can’t abobe figure that out with flash? Regardless of their argument, there has always been a way to fix it, they just didn’t do it.

  46. 114

    Great article! Thanks for addressing this issue from a new angle. People believe that Apple is just evil for excluding Flash, but there is an actual reason that Flash is not the “ideal” platform for rich interactive media anymore.

  47. 115

    Christopher Masiello

    April 12, 2010 5:51 am

    Flash is an amazing tool for putting rich, interactive content ON pages. It does some great things that would be very difficult with other technologies.
    However, it is NOT A WEBSITE FRAMEWORK TOOL. It’s just not. Not any more than Quicktime or JPEG is a website framework. A screwdriver is an amazingly useful tool, just don’t use it for pounding nails.
    Flash media rocks, flash sites suck!

  48. 116


    April 12, 2010 6:02 am

    I think a large amount of hate these articles produce from Flash developers stems from fear. In the early years of the last decade Flash seemed like it was going to be THE thing for the web and if you didn’t know Flash you’d be lost. So a lot of web guys (including many I know) just learned enough HTML/CSS to get by and abandoned JS entirely to be on the cutting edge of the Flash phenomena. Fast forward ten years later and standards are finally making a move to the front of the pack. Flash is not the IT thing anymore and I highly doubt it will ever return to that prominence. As a result we have a lot of talented developers who fear they’e spent last 10 years mastering a technology that will no longer be abundantly relevant in 2-3.

    The lesson to be learned is that as web designers AND developers, we can never limit ourselves to one technology. The web advances at a pace too fast for us to voluntarily become one-trick ponies. Learn Flash, learn jQuery, pickup some AJAX, maybe some PHP – any and everything you can. Always be prepared for the time when web technology begins to shift, because expecting that it won’t is just sticking your head in the sand.

    • 117

      I don’t mind switching technologies, but I do mind when the technology is not as good as the one I have mastered.

      apple x-code is not appealing to me because I have to pay $100 a year to have the privelege of building iphone apps. Flash is free to publish and I do not have anyone screening or censoring my applications for content or competition. I cannot build a cool iphone app if it competes with their business – that is BS!

      HTML5 is javascript css and HTML etc… If you have any experience with html/js ajax, you know that there is no way all browsers will ever work exactly the same way.

      Flash/Fash Builder is so highly developed and refined over the years there is no other development platform out there that is as powerful and awesome to build with.

      Show me a platform that can do what flash is capable of and I will gladly adopt.

      I’m not afraid of change, just afraid of change in a negative direction.

      • 118


        April 13, 2010 8:13 am

        Of course all browsers will never work in the exact same way – though we can dream. However, that issue is over exaggerated. I’ve had very few issues with differences between Firefox and Chrome. IE7 and 8 do have a few glaring issues, but it’s nothing that has given me huge headaches. As time goes on, I feel those differences will become even smaller. I think the entire issue has been blown out of proportion due to IE6’s all-around suckage.

        Flash was meant as a rich media tool – not something to build entire websites. It’s still great for web video, though I can’t see it staying strong for much longer – I’ve been very impressed with HTML5 video. I have no problem and actually support keeping traditional animation, games, etc in Flash. One of the conversations/debates/arguments I have with people is that I’m concerned that developers will try to push HTML5/CSS/JS into boundaries where it doesn’t belong. Just as Flash shouldn’t be used to build an entire website, HTML5/CSS/JS shouldn’t be used to create games. It SHOULD stick to simple animation. It should be able to display video. However I have no desire to see used to make Flash-like games. That’s what Flash is for.

        Which goes back to my original post – learn everything or as much as possible. One-trick ponies take technology and stretch it’s use for purposes that it shouldn’t be used for.

  49. 119

    woooooo!!!I came acorss a great hot cougar dating site.

    If you put “A GE” and “MIN GLE” together, then you will get the url.

    It’s a nice and free place for Younger- Women and Older Men, or Older Women and Younger Men, to- interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or- tell your friends

  50. 121

    Worst thing about Flash is that you cannot customize site with user css and greasemonkey.

    8pt size white coloured text on black screen? Annoying behaviour and useless animations?
    You cannot do anything about it.

    I have 0 flash sites in my bookmarks, and never had any, because they are usually promo-sites or portfolios with poor usability.

    I hope flash in future will only be used for games.

  51. 122

    anonymous coward

    April 12, 2010 6:14 am

    -“I can code anything you can code in flash”
    -“but will it work on everything the same way including IE6?”
    oops – I win.

    • 123

      more anonymous coward

      April 12, 2010 11:42 pm

      -“but will flash work on device that hasn’t been installed flash player?”
      oops – html win.

      • 124

        Does the number of flash-less devices exceeds number of IE6 users? :)

      • 125


        April 28, 2010 6:07 pm

        haha, if HTML really wins, there will not be any Flash since 90’s…..
        HTML is developed since there is internet, but acts different way in different browser…Yes, it is an OPEN STANDARD but irony still work different way in different browser!! HOW SILLY!

  52. 126

    You should change the name of that last section from “Standards-Based Websites That Shine” to “Sites that no one cares about that illustrate my point – an exhaustive list”

    But otherwise you’re right – this is totally going to be like back when Star Office crushed M$ Word.

  53. 127

    Maria Manoela Porto

    April 12, 2010 6:22 am

    beautiful article

  54. 128

    The dirty little secret of html5:

    Tired of hearing this html5isbetterthanflashmantra over and over. Build a simple cross-platform audioplayer that supports stereo-panning, sound-mixing and has an built-in equalizer in javascript (a 10 minute job for any intermediate skilled Flash-coder)! Not possible? But wait, there is sound-manager used in a lot of canvas games these days: and isn’t soundmanager full javascript?

    Answer: yes it is. And for sound–playback it uses – FLASH!

  55. 129

    Matt Pritchett

    April 12, 2010 6:32 am

    Did anyone else get the Flashtoolkit CS5 advertisement right above this article? That just hit me as ultimately ironic.

    • 130

      heh, yeah, the wix advert got me too :)

    • 131

      Emily Brackett

      April 12, 2010 6:44 am

      I also got the “Free Flash Web Sites” ad at the beginning of this article, which was confusing and then ironic.

  56. 132

    No one walks into an art gallery and says: “what amazing paintings….what hammer did you use to bang the nails with?”

    Tools are not interesting, content and fantastic design is. I dont care what they are if the content and design is fantastic.

  57. 136

    In fact, lack of consistency is one of the things that makes Flash-based sites maddening. Will the thumb on a scrollbar be clickable this time? How about the arrows? Will clicking in the bar above or below the thumb page up and down? And then there are the form fields…

    Flash is a good tool for streaming a/v content, and for games and animation. But it’s a terrible choice over html/css for creating page elements that already exist, and have predictable behavior (enforced by the browser and OS) which we’ve come to expect.

  58. 137

    One factor I never see discussed in the JS/Flash debate is cost. In order to build a Flash website, I need to by a copy of Flash, which isn’t cheap. I can build a standards-based site with nothing but a text editor, which I can get for free. It’s not a bash on Flash. But it’s not an insignificant issue.

    As a freelancer I can avoid buying an expensive tool, but I can still offer impressively interactive and animated sites.

    As an employee of a company that buys my software for me, it means the days of “Of course we have to have the latest Creative Suite” are over. My company stopped upgrading at CS3. We didn’t get CS4 and we’re unlikely to get CS5 —and all we use Flash CS3 for is maintaining legacy sites.

    • 138

      German Hernandez

      April 12, 2010 8:03 am

      Jeff you can code a flash website usign notepad and the free open source flex SDK. But I recomend usign flashdevelop. great opensource free tool.

  59. 139

    Jose Maria Barros

    April 12, 2010 7:24 am

    I´ve used flash and AS for long time and of what i tested with html5 is not going to substitute flash. I’ve tried the html5 in the new IE9 and it is so buggy… I code with javascript and jquery too, but i still think that flash is not going to end. I think Flash and Actionscript has strenghts and weaknesses like any other tool. Its a matter of taste and client target. Lets end this war

  60. 140

    If only “gradual disappearance” were the case…

    Here in Asia, and as pointed out in a recent Smashing Magazine article on the state of the web in China, 99% of internet users are using old versions of Internet Explorer or localised variants of it and necessitate the use of Flash for both typography (I’m not aware of anyone currently trying to come up with a way of dynamically serving up a 10MB chinese font file incorporating 10,000 characters), and sophisticated gaming (despite having mastered Wolfenstein 3D, javascript is still a fair way off).

    In China specifically, with the largest and fastest growing web-surfing population, flash websites are certainly on the rapid increase rather than a gradual disappearance.

  61. 141

    “With Creative Suite 5, developers will be able to output Flash projects as native iPhone applications using the iPhone Packager.”

    Didn’t Apple just say the opposite 2 or 3 days ago?

    • 142

      This is slightly different. Mobile Safari doesn’t support Flash, but it seems like Flash can put itself into an app “wrapper” and function as a normal Mac app? Maybe the code is converted or something…

  62. 143

    Yesterday, I liked but
    Today, I prefer

    • 144


      April 28, 2010 6:22 pm

      how come my browser saids: “Error establishing a database connection”

      cannot imagine this is what you like!! LOL

  63. 145

    WTF pictures.

  64. 147

    German Hernandez

    April 12, 2010 8:01 am

    It’s funny how HTML dudes fail to comprehend what HTML is. HyperText Markuop Language. You can try to push the boundaries for your personal projects, or even research. But when it comes to create a game or ria for a client with a deadline in the real world nothing beats flash. At least for the time being. I mean, do you prefer to still be hacking your own html5 website to makeit work with IE6 or be moving on with the next project and the next client?

    I do a lot of work with pure html/wordpress site, but to do an online advertisement/augmented reallity, that’s another beast. And all of my work is done with open source tools: flex sdk and flashdevelop, Talk about open

  65. 148

    One thing that HTML5 and Flash will compete heavily is the interactive 3D front.

    Today, most computers already come with a sufficient graphics card that can do basic 3D objects with decent textures. However Flash 3D is about 3+ years away from an entry level “industry grade” graphics engine, i.e. PlayStation One quality and rendering speed. Other factors include graphics languages such as OpenGL, DirectX (Micro$oft), and WebGL.

    Be on the look out. HTML5, X3D (ISO ratified file format and run-time architecture), and Java are collaborating to bring the interactive 3D realm with open standards to the web.

    • 149

      I think to say flash cant do 3d is laughable. Papervision does a good, creative job. Thats what its about, not rotating squares perfectly. The artists are already using the tools. I imagine html5 3d will be crude.

      flash player 10 also does some 3d elements from the timeline, so no coding skills needed. HTML5 wont ever be able to.

      html5 3d will be for developers it sounds like, developers arent artists…

      And you cant have standards for creativity because then you cant be creative!

  66. 150

    Luke Wroblewski had a great presentation about Mobile First design at the An Event Apart conference in Seattle that is more indicative of where were going. I think some of the flux in interest in Flash is partially because more sites are working on mobile friendly strategies for iPhone, Blackberry, WebOS, and Android and even dumbphone browsers.

    Designers and developers start looking at how they do more with less, how they focus their message, and how they simplify interaction. This means decreasing your reliance on Flash and even JavaScript for must have features. Flash, JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5 Canvas become nice-to-haves adding polish for browsers that support it but not being key to using the site.

    This refocus will cause developers and designers to rethink where and why they are using these technologies. In some cases this may mean that they abandon the use of robust Flash features in favor of less functional (or in many cases, similarly functional) JavaScript/CSS3/HTML5 features.

    So really the argument of Flash versus HTML5 is all wrong.

  67. 151

    Carlos Barco

    April 12, 2010 8:16 am

    This link is in Spanish but is very good

  68. 152

    David Cameron

    April 12, 2010 8:16 am

    If Jimmy Carter is meant to represent HTML5, what will be happening after HTML5’s four-year term is up?

  69. 153

    I am so tired of people saying “Flash sucks!”. They mostly come from 3 types of people:

    Type #1
    These people starts learning Flash and failed. So they say “OMG it sucks! It’s stupid!”. People who “got” Flash, loves it. This applies to every aspect of life if you think of it. Think “sour grapes”.

    Type #2
    Mac users. Because Flash movies makes their fans work harder. So when they say “Flash sucks, they mean they can’t watch Flash videos on Hulu, YouTube or Vimeo without their fans spinning faster than usual to cool down the CPU. I am a Mac user myself and I have not seen my Mac’s fan spinning out of my Mac, ever. Get over it.

    Type #3
    Followers. Yes, people who just follow what everyone is saying. If everyone says – “Flash sucks!” They go “Flash sucks!”. They have no mind of their own.


    Don’t get me wrong, I have seen HTML5 doing some incredible things lately. Although not supported by all browsers yet, it’s the beginning. I am going to learn HTML5, not because everyone says so but because it’s almost as interesting as Flash when it first came out.

    And the last thing I will do, is bash Flash. If not for Flash, video sites that you enjoy like YouTube for example, will never have existed.

    So before you bash Flash, think twice.

  70. 155

    Lovely list! has copied Eric J’s site completely, that’s bad. Realy Bad!

  71. 156

    Martin Fernández Lombana

    April 12, 2010 8:52 am

    To all those featuring sites without Flash and trendy animations like, or mostly all this post’s websites like this one:
    Can you please try them out in your iPhone and see what happens? They are buggy and inconsistent…

    And, please, do not compare what you can do with Flash to what you can do with HTML5. (For now) Flash is much more powerful. I am not saying that Flash must be used for everything, neither am I saying that HTML5 is bad. All I am saying is that some people speak without real knowledge about those subjects (not in this post in particular…).

    So, I guess I will wait and see what happens. Even if all the mobile devices supported HTML5 (witch they don’t) there will always be compatibility issues for each device. That is something that is really annoying. People say flash is buggy, well… I can assure you if you code you as3 well it will run in the exact same manner across every OS (except for some and very rare cases). I rather have that and put my effort in doing a better application, than expending time making my HTML/Javascript compatible with more than 20 or 30 different cases: navigators, devices, particular screens… But that is because I do Flash to create very specific and different UI-s, games etc. (I am not saying that we must use Flash for everything… I hate Flash sites that could have been done in HTML because they have nothing more to offer than a simple HTML site).


    • 157

      Unless they change the way a website works then mobile platforms with touchscreens will never work, they dont work with normal websites either really, how can they if they cant tell if you are hovering for instance.

      I think its a little horrible all the strange feelings against flash, it doesnt seem to stem from what is good for the web as a whole, what is good for entertainment, art or creativity. It seems to stem from the need to conform.

      The fact is the web is huge and has grown very quickly and like it or not flash played a massive part in that. Its almost as if people are not actually thinking about the web properly, you love it pretty much. So this mistical work in all browsers, have perfect code working is kind of redundant because its not really essential for a website to work in ie7 and firefox, the reality is its not the web that should conform its people who constantly go on about standards who should sit back and look at the bigger picture and realise even the average joe has a couple of browsers and the more the internet grows the more people update.

      Stop worrying about standards and ie6 and make an impression!

  72. 158

    I think Flash only works for promotional content on websites, It has more impact on a short term, but thats only my opinion :)

  73. 159

    Craig Hooper

    April 12, 2010 9:07 am

    Stop w/ this ludicrous debate. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    DESIGN for your audience. Use the right tool(s) for the job at hand.

    So bloody sick of this pointless banter.

  74. 160

    Craig Anthony

    April 12, 2010 9:11 am

    The title should read “decline” … not “disappearance”. There are peaks and valleys for everything in life. And believe it or not a valley can be a good thing!

    Glad to see some level headed comments on here instead of this being another “Apple fanboy pile-on-Flash” spam repository.

    I particularly agree with those who pointed to There is no way HTML5 will be able to produce the same kind of experience. And if it came close, it would probably take twice as long to develop when compared to ActionScript. Regardless, I look forward to HTML5 and embrace the future of web standards. It will be nice to find some consistency in the world of html.

    Flash isn’t going anywhere. It will continue to evolve, improve and be the leader in interactive development.

    Cheers to all you Flash developers out there!

  75. 161

    There is no way in hell I can ditch Flash and totally work with html5. There are some things html5 can’t do and there are lots of things Flash can do. Flash will finally embrace different standards and become even better. To omit 90% of the web experience is insane and not forward thinking. Flash and html5…now that’s something to talk about.

  76. 162

    Me wonders how CS5 will affect this debate…

  77. 163

    I’m wondering if anyone knows how much YouTube will save (bandwidth, server load) if they switch from Flash to HTML5? ($millions?) I could see it as a reason to leave flash (for large sites with lots of traffic).

  78. 164

    Another typical SM article that has a gallery at the end of it.

    I am surprised that Smashing would let this article be published based on the fact of the current debate right now on the internet.
    I guess they need traffic to their site.

    This article is a fail in my mind.

  79. 165

    It’s funny how code junkies have been against Flash since it came out, and yet…there it is. It’s survived all the “best practices” blogs, and even the SEO blogs. As the the web evolves, so will Flash. Adobe developers aren’t going to stop innovation because coders have almost caught up to the standards Flash set many moons ago. Coding a site 5 ways for cross browser/platform issues is really fun, but I guess I’ll still prefer Flash. It’s the same as saying “eventually JavaScript will disappear” or “one day HTML will be a thing of the past”. But I’ll entertain the Flash haters. Flex/AIR…I’m sure that won’t catch on. I’m sure Apple won’t be around much longer either, and I hear the internet is a fad.

    Just get the Lynx browser, and get on with your coding. Leave innovation to those with the imagination to support it.

  80. 166

    Not sure where the facts are in relation to the decline. obviously shows its not really true.

    The facts are flash is an impact tool, sure a short term thing. Nothing wrong with that. Too many people seem to hate it and obsess with standards and lines of code. There is a difference between clean code and impactful art. You only have to ask yourself do you want a web world where everything is just a document or a jacob nielson website? Or would you occasionally like to see some artistic websites that go further than flat websites.

    Incidentally I dont notice any decline in almost every major movie using flash websites. One thing you dont seem to understand is things are more about time in the business than high quality standard code, its not a library resource, more flash elements are advertisment based, so they are made quickly and everything is put into the art.

    Html or css is never going to be fast or efficient or as impactful as flash websites. You talk of html 5 or css3 progressing, yet flash doesnt stay still….

  81. 167

    Are there any readers who are not Adobe fans? The only people I see feeling irked by the advancing standards are designers; flash let’s them become pseudo-coders. People who want their site built in flash are the same people who would embellish their page with animated gifs in the 90s. It’s time you learn real programming.

    • 168

      Whatever dude. Take a look at flex builder and as3 design patterns before you spout out ill informed statements like this.

  82. 169

    Id also point out, if there are so many problems with web standards as some would like us to believe, why is the internet grown so fast and become such a huge part of society? If web standards were truly that important then it would have made a bigger impact than it has.

    There will always be a place for written articles on the web, but I doubt the internet is going to stay like a visual book. Humans evolve and what Ive seen is more video being used on the web, via flash. Retailers and big websites in the future may use more and more videos as broadband gets bigger. Eventually there might not be hardly any design anymore just full screen videos. That would be more strange!

  83. 170

    Also showing a javascript bike game is laughable compared to the masterpieces some incredibly talented people have created in flash.

  84. 171

    Emmanuel Burton

    April 12, 2010 11:29 am

    Some of the negativity I have been seeing towards Flash recently frightens and agitates me. The whole HTML5 vs. Flash argument frustrates me to no end. They are two very different things that serve very different purposes in my opinion.

    Why can’t they coexist? I have yet to see one single HTML5 website that can rival some of the Flash websites out there. ( is a fine example) You could come close to replicating it, but the experience wouldn’t be the same. Not even close.

    It’s also important to note the adoption rate for HTML5, how long will it be until it reaches decent penetration? A year? 5 years? Who knows? Where will Flash be at that point? I have no doubt Adobe will continue to improve their product too you know.

    I look forward to seeing what the future holds for HTML5, but Flash will continue to grow also. All the comments along the line of “good riddance Flash” stem from pure ignorance.

  85. 172

    The reason I worked with flash in the past was that it was far more intuitive and worked like a tool as opposed to a multi-page equation you needed a codex to translate to (like web standards coding). Flash has become less intuitive with the need to ‘keep up’ with new functionality, I suppose.

    I pine away for a truly intuitive tool set for the web, as all major art forms eventually create. Don’t mistake that for a lazy aversion to thinking! Too much time writing text code detracts from fluid, seemless-to-self design, and the farther one gets from ‘intuitive’ the less well one can wield the tool, any tool. The best artists of any form do best when the melding of tool and artist are complete, and as long as “if then but tab div input option 2+7” is as fluid as it gets, we have a looooooooong way to go.

  86. 173

    “…would leave out a potentially large audience..”

    So 5%(mac users) is a large audience. What are you talking about. I think the key word was “potential” – but still what on earth was the point of this article, am I missing something? Was this a test to see how many people support flash, dude look at the top websites in China (the worlds largest empire) and then write a crappy article about your emotional issues and childhood scathing.

    you really pooped the bed on this one.

    • 174

      5% of all potential visitors to your website is a fairly large number.. definitely large enough to not want to alienate.

      The point of this article was discussing how flash is becoming more and more irrelevant and unnecessary, and creates lagged down and often unaccesible websites. I’m not sure if you read the entire article or not, but the point of it is very clear – flash-esque effects can be created using new forms of HTML, CSS and Javascript.

      I enjoyed this article, very informative with some good points about usability.

  87. 175

    Great article. We try to minimise our use of Flash for all of our websites due to SEO effectiveness and accessibility. We choose to use Canvas and JS for animation instead.

  88. 176

    Torbjoern Karlevid

    April 12, 2010 12:39 pm

    Some great great thought here, hopeful I can span over this comments tomorrow. Wow. Amazing.

  89. 177

    Josh Chernoff

    April 12, 2010 12:43 pm

    @Brad Cooper
    “What once could be done almost exclusively in Flash is now easily accomplished with JavaScript”

    That statement is a blatant lie. True it “maybe” possible to do flash like animations, but it is in no way easier and that is one major reason why flash has done so much better then JavaScript..

    True standards are very important, but the way you portray standards is to limit ones development to just Javascript, (“to which Javascript standards are not even upheld 100% by the web browsers”) is hypocritical.

    You should make best will all available that fit your skills. As they say.
    “you get more bee’s with honey then you do with shit.”

    End the end you should ask your self what kinda of company you want leading the standards in your industry. Surly not Microsoft, Yahoo feels just like another Microsoft, Apple is becoming so closed minded they will end up cutting their nose of despite their face, and god help us if Google is evil. Now Adobe other hand is openly creative and has done a great job to produce creative software for the creative industry.

    And for you out there that says flash sucks because its not free, think again.
    Feel free to watch my video on how to use the open source flex sdk with the free IDE Flash develop to start making flash based content today for free. So easy even a cave man can do it. And that is why I’m with adobe.!/group.php?gid=113492765344092

    • 178

      Fanboy Alert ! Fanboy Alert ! Fanboy Alert !

      I wonder how an article like this has found its way to Smashing magazine .. I mean seriously one must be so naive to compare HTML5 to flash , okay , someday there will by flying cars but for now HTML5 cant even come close to flash :
      for those who still think flash is video , flash is capable of :

      * generating and processing audio.
      * multi-touch support
      * integrating C/C++ code client-side
      * libraries for 3D and physics?
      * Running Videos full screen with interactive overlays, subtitles or content triggered by cue points
      * DTP-style typography and layout.
      * webcam or microphone access.
      * variable bitrate streaming
      * Dynamic Image processing , pixel blending etc …

      • 179

        All of this is fine as a standalone product, but not in a browser. HTML is more natural.

    • 180

      What internet are you on? Gradual dissapearance? You serious? I’m sick of this debate being JavaScript vs. ActionScript 3. Listen as a well rounded developer you should know both and be aware that JavaScript libraries such as jquery can produce a visual attraction but they cannot touch flash. Just because flash has a higher learning curve and is more expensive you are bound to see less flash sites. But wait, I’m seeing Flash everywhere still, especially if you are in the cutting edge realm of inside the browser. I’m aware smashing doesn’t want me to post links so I’ll just break it down for you. Real time 3d in the browser in flash with only the flash plugin. I’m researching it for my game production class because I know Maya and can work in either actionscript or javascript and the actionscript version is looking a lot more stable due to only needing flash player. Owning my web company for two years, more than half my clients prefer flash over javascript because I can offer them at the same prices and even prefer to make flash sites for my portfolio. Not only this but I am seeing flash used successfully in ecommerce. For example I just dropped 2800 on adobe cs5 master collection and guess what format it was in? Flash. Web standard dinosaurs must be throwing a fit over this. This talk of HTML5 is just ridiculous, how it’s going to kill flash is just silly. Listen people before you go making statements which you clearly have not done the research for, I suggest you learn Flash AS3, JavaScript, CSS, HTML5, PHP, and then realize that they are all valuable languages which handle specific tasks if utilized correctly. Recently some HTML5, but every project I take on uses each language. For instance an engaging interface with AS3, browser detection in javascript, Geolocation communcation with javascript and actionscript, php to communicate with forms, css to style my text, and javascript currently for a mobile version. I can’t wait for mobile hardware that accepts flash and apple loses. They have bad Karma, Steve Jobs failure is inevitable and all the iphone users will realize they don’t have to pay for the same service because it is available in the browser on the droid or google’s phone. Yea it’s a lot of work and that’s why I keep getting clients because you have to stay on top of you game when the tools you work with are constantly changing.

  90. 181

    This article is like a regurgitation of all the arguments that are already out there! Better than the usual junk I guess that appears on Smashing, but still missing a lot of Flash’s valid points like rich apps and animations (not the page turning kind!) which others have already mentioned in their comments.

    I hope someone write s a rebuttal article.

    • 182

      everywhere I see a negative article like this it gets bombarded with comments pointing out the fallacy of the idea that html5 is the new flash. I don’t think a rebuttal article is necessary. the fact that flash is so pervasive on the web and will remain to be the best animation and web application platform out there is the rebuttal.

      Flash isn’t going anywhere!

      Apple is playing a risky game by trying to kill the competition. I hope it bites them in the ass.

  91. 183

    1. Thanks to all the web standards die-hards who fought so hard for standards over the years. It worked.

    2. Thanks to all the Flash gurus who jumped so high to build the rich media experiences we have on the web today.

    3. There’s room for everyone outside. Walk with nature and build tools of mass adaptation.

    This is natural.

  92. 184

    Josh Chernoff

    April 12, 2010 1:13 pm

    The thing about journalism is the value of the “facts”. So I thought I would point out yet another false fact in this article.

    Flash is not solely a “proprietary product” as stated in your second paragraph.

    The flash player on the other hand was made open source and was given to Mozilla to work with. as well as the flex sdk which makes it possible to make flash content for free.

  93. 185

    Until recently I had never looked at photography portfolio sites.

    Seems flash is alive and well.

  94. 186

    Good article and nice HTML 5 designed websites in that list although flash isn’t disappearing quite as quickly as you’d imagine –

    HTML 5 Video Tags aren’t really used at all yet –

    Although I have to agree Flash embeds are declining –

  95. 187

    I get a notion that most HTML/JS coders think that Flash programmers aren’t real programmers, what the hell, has any of them actually look at how AS3 looks today? I mean i come from C background, actually i started in Assembler in the 80s but most of my career i worked in C/C++ i am one of those that goes with the client flow i mean when client wants something in C i will do it in C if he want’s Python he will get Python, wants Flash gets Flash etc. I can code pretty much in anything its just matter of syntax as probably most of the real programmers do. But back to my original point, i mean AS3 is way more complex than HTML/JS these days so HTML dude saying that Flash coder needs to learn some real language is laughable any decent AS3 coder can jump to Java or C++ very easily whereas pure HTML/JS coder is out of his water in an instant.

    So yep i can do both but for most of the things that both of these platforms provide i will still use flash. Why? Simply because Flash is in a different league as it was pointed out HTML/JS is just catching up and not in a hurry as it seems, Flash is going forward way faster than HTML/JS with all the open-standards bickering and once the dust settles in 5 years and there will be some kind of HTML5 standard Flash will be once again miles ahead. If i want simple video i may use HTML5 but what if i want ads management, subtitles, sharing management all embedded into a player guess what i will use.

    And about the Apple i think they shoot themselves into the foot, i mean if i have a cable tv where i can’t see CNN guess what will i do i will change the cable company, i certainly will not blame CNN that i can’t view it there. Its not Adobe’s fault that Apple is being stubborn so how can one blame Adobe they are opening their platform where Apple is closing it so staying on Apple’s side has no valid point whatsoever.

  96. 188

    I’m so sick of people saying html5 can do what flash does….

    NO IT CAN’T look at the demos!!!!

    html5 sucks!!!!! compared to flash. the physics engine is crap! the audio visualizations are a joke!!!

    give me a break! whats up with everyone bashing flash?

    html5 is vaporware!

    • 189

      ha ha! brad here we go again – I just saw that you wrote this article :-)

      Seriously though, work with flash builder and look at what as3 has become. also take a look at the html5 demos – they are awful compared to what flash can do.

      sure flash can be ugly, but it’s the developer not the tool that causes those UI problems.

      also I know you cannot possibly believe that html5 will be supported identically in all browsers. no way that will ever happen!

  97. 191

    This is so old, i mean come on, html5 is great and with jQuery its great replacement for some fade in/out menus i build with Flash before, but Flash is much better for full flash interactive rich sites/ RIA applications, animation etc.. !!

    I read smashing every day, and articles like this only make me think smashing publishes every crap they can get their hands on…

  98. 192

    There is one convincing reason, why Steve Jobs doesn`t want his products to support Flash: because he is a kapitalist nazi.
    Flash allows development of complex applications. And Apple has no control over Flash and the Internet. Apple cannot make you pay for Flash applications on your iPhone/iPad.

  99. 193

    Amber Weinberg

    April 12, 2010 2:45 pm

    The reason I’m against Flash is a simple one – it’s a pain in the ass to update. I hate being handed an all flash site and asked to do something as simple as change a link or the color of something. It takes 10 times longer to do that than just messing with regular HTML, CSS or jQuery. It’s ridiculous.

    • 194

      Because it wasn’t built properly to begin with. Imagine being handed some HTML using only font tags and without any CSS? Don’t blame the tools, blame the creator.

      Yet another pointless arguement. Next.

    • 195

      Brent Norris

      April 12, 2010 3:54 pm

      totally. gotta keep the presentation, style and content separated.

      • 196

        @Brent, agreed…but only to an extent. Separating content and style isn’t really anything more than a fad for most front-end developers to put a smile on their own faces with they validate strict. Unless you plan to constantly change the CSS and you need all the content to always work with ANY changes, that separation you worked hard to “achieve” is irrelevant. And, even then, the overall html skeleton you made still has limits to how it can be visually molded. Until you put all the content in a DB or XML scheme and have the site as nothing but a giant program that extracts styles and content and puts them together on the fly, you’ll never truly have a 100% separation of content and style. And, in a way, you can do that in Flash. Put the content in a database or in XML. Add on new abilities to have SEO and interaction with back buttons and bookmarking, Flash can hold its own for sure.

    • 197

      @Amber: I’ve never had a problem quickly updating embedded content of flash files. Especially if they were designed well and everything is modular, separated, and even easier when it gets content from and outside source like XML or a database.

    • 198

      You can use xml with flash. I know updating a text document is so hard. I’m sorry hunnie.

  100. 199

    Randy Ringstead

    April 12, 2010 2:52 pm

    They made Flash too complicated for the average person to use. One needs a college degree in Flash coding to make anything good.

    By making it too difficult to create with they killed it off.

    And they missed the opportunity of beefing up the animation side of Flash.

    • 200

      @Randy, I have to disagree. I find AS 1.0 and 2.0 vastly more easy to learn and code in than the javascript level necessary to make comparable things. I once made an entire flash site, interactive with loading bars and animations and OS-like fluidity, with probably a fraction of the code needed to make it in js. I’ve seen dirt-simple things in javascript that were thousands to tens of thousands of lines of code, things you can do in Flash with less than a hundred lines.

    • 201

      yea see exactly the learning curve, look at this guy as an example…check my post

  101. 202

    Funny, the advertisements on this pages are made in Flash.

  102. 203

    I have to agree that this post is ridiculous. Following trends with any type of creative field is a no no. It is about breaking boundaries and doing something creative that makes a creative individual shine. No doubt it’s very difficult to do but it is important to go through the process.

    You don’t need a college degree to create a flash site. I used flash in my undergrad program but never did they teach me actionscripting. I taught myself from scratch and here I am creating full blown 100% flash sites for the entertainment industry.

    Flash does the job in many ways HTML5 will never do. Even the article headline sounds retarded because there hasn’t been a gradual disappearance of flash websites. As flash sites disappear, new flash sites are being created. I created 6 different flash sites in the past year alone, so no, the littlest addition to the internet counts.

    Smashing Magazine is a great site for resources but I disagree with certain articles such as these. This website focuses too much on typical standards and web 2.0 stylization. I hate the term ‘web 2.0 design’ because now every website with a blog looks the same. Ok sorry went off on a tangeant.

  103. 204

    Don’t mean to get mean looks directed my way, but DHTML (the blending of html+css+javascript), as I still call it, still can’t really live up to Flash. Forgetting that you can program functionality in interactive components of a Flash movie with a fourth of the code and complexity as needed with javascript, you can just do so much more even without coding. The timeframe approach of making it like a movie makes so much possible, and so much possible to designers who aren’t coders. And with the advent of Flash’s ability to work with the back button/SEO/bookmarking, if anything Flash is just as useful as it has ever been. Granted, a lot of stuff I’ve mentioned about Flash’s relevance doesn’t exclusively apply to making websites. Websites are one thing…widgets, players, tools, cartoon animations, and so on are entirely different. All in all, DHTML lovers have been hating on Flash for years. But this new, widespread vision of its pending demise are really more attributed to Apple’s refusal to work with Adobe. Don’t let Apple dictate where the web goes.

    • 205

      I agree. I am unhappy with Apple right now. I think they are getting a bit too cocky. Apple is forgetting that they are just hardware. Apple needs to realize that Adobe is what makes the web look excellent.

  104. 207

    I don’t like that the author equates HTML5 as being synonymous with ‘Web Standards’ and Flash with ‘Anti-Web Standards’. Web Standards has nothing to do with the technology that is used as much as “how” it’s used. The decision to use Flash has nothing to do with ‘web standards’ but is really about using it in it’s proper place.

    • 208

      I agree. Accessibility (n.) and accessible (adj.) are such slippery terms. Web browsers & web technologies make web content accessible to users; designers design for accessibiliy.

  105. 209

    I bet a lot of the flash haters just can’t design flash sites which is where their hatred stems from. I use to be one of them. My ignorance to flash made me hate it until I actually sat down and learned it. Now it’s the greatest thing since online porn!

    It would be nice to get an un-biased article from SM once in a while.

  106. 210

    Hmmm – looks like about ZERO people agree with this article.

    If smashing wants to pander to the majority – time to get over apple and get back on the flash bandwagon…….

    I was wondering – can html5 process c libraries using Alchemy ?
    Does it have support for seeing peer to peer networking such as Stratus ?
    Native sockets ?
    Bytecode loading and processing ?
    Hmm – can it implement effects libraries like PixelBender ?
    What is the micophone access like ?
    What is the sound manipulation like ?
    For that matter what are the image processing effects, filters like ?
    Hmm – what are the non-system font handling capabilities ?

    In fact this list can go on for about ten pages – why dont you get a remote, tiny, fraction of an understanding of what on earth it is you are commenting on – and if you do – then how about SOME DEGREE of honesty and fairness in your comparison – because this is just pure bullshit !

    Grow up.

  107. 211

    Chris Howard

    April 12, 2010 6:03 pm

    Keep the internet proprietary free.

  108. 212

    Chris Howard

    April 12, 2010 6:18 pm

    Can you modify/update Flash websites/content without owning Flash?

    Is it limited to those who own it?

    • 213

      Actually you can edit/modify/update through either XML or CMS. If you are talking about changing the design and graphics and color of a website, you can say the same thing about HTML/CSS based sites. You can’t change graphics using CSS or HTML. You can’t change the actual design of the header without loading up Photoshop.

    • 214

      Yes you can do it with a style sheet, xml, or cms.

      • 215

        Yes , Flash websites can be modified and hooked up to a Content Management System.
        It does involve knowledge of php/asp mysql/mssql/access and Xml. Not simple, but I’ve successfully done a couple.

    • 216
  109. 217

    Darryl Jonckheere

    April 12, 2010 6:47 pm

    Exactly what does the image of the soldier brandishing the machine gun while displaying a big thumbs up supposed to represent? -the debate is over? -diplomacy has failed and it is now time for brute military force -destroy Flash and all other plug-in Web technologies?

    This post is absolutely ridiculous.

    My full rebuttal is too long to post here.

  110. 219

    You don’t need flash to create flash – except to compile (and even then there are alternatives).

    I do not use flash for anything except compiling and create some of the most compelling, dynamic, creative sites there are.

    Almost all flash users use html, css, and javascript – they are therefore in a great position to comment on the merits of both. It is a shame that those who never use flash, barely understand it and are limited in the experience feel so knowledgeable about something they are really clueless about.

    HTML5 is, at the very, very best a poor version of flash 5 PLUS a very, very simple video. Its ridiculous to eve try and compare them – and when you consider that HYTML5 is years away this notion is compounded.

    Anyone, ANYONE who compares them, are claims HTML5 is a flash killer is proving one thing – their own absolute ignorance.

  111. 220

    Emerson Alencar Junior

    April 12, 2010 8:52 pm

    All the discussion about Flash and Web-Standards is relevant, very interesting. But what we’re discussing? Apple vs Adobe or the future of the webdesign? I think we’re stepping on a grey area here.

    No doubt Adobe Flash is still very powerful. With some coding, you can create both complex and aestheticaly pleasant (and sometimes just awesome) projects with it. But Jobs is right on a certain level. Adobe got lazy because of it’s own market position. It is really charging high for it’s own solution: The Flash Editor. It not only fails to manage already-published-on-the-web projects by itself but also utterly fails to easily create an SEO-friendly, searchable-content projects. And does someone remember when it was last updated? Apple people are pissed off by the lack of quality Flash support (me included).

    To make things worse for Flash, the software market got flooded with all sort of insanely cheap flash easy/quick banner/slider/whatever crap solutions for non-designers (or design-challenged people with greedy pockets). Of course there are shining pearls among the mud, some of them could rivalize to a point with Adobe Flash own editor itself ! But let’s face it: most of them just helped to throw Flash’s reputation as a premiere webdesign tool it deserved to be into shameful doubt. Each subproduct those cheap bargains throw to the web just make most people think designers are a luxury, not a TRUE necessity.

    HTML5, CSS and JS is trendy, is cool, is Web-Standards. And the better: you may create a project with inexpensive tools! With some patience and average knowledge, you may create beautiful projects with them too. Flash like? Sorry, not for a while, at least not without a nice amount of time spent and expert knowledge on JS and CSS, to say at least. And they’re SEO friendly. But you must learn at least HTML, CSS and Semantics to accomplish something useful. And you must account render differences/bugs between browsers. And JS conflicts sometimes. But they’ll be aestheticaly pleasant? The nice designed ones tend to be.

    In the end I think that nicely designed sites are just that. Just nicely designed. No matter the tool you use. Nor if they are (or not) that awesome, inventive and groundbreaking. Sites MUST WORK in first place. Remember you can get stuck into really nasty traps while developing them in XML, JS, AC2/3, CSS, HTML, SILVERLIGHT, you name it. But you MUST KNOW HOW AND WHEN to use them. And for the sake of webDESIGN, webDESIGNERS must have DESIGN bases. As designers, we must step up and start to show our talents whatever is the platform used. Platforms are as good as their designers/developers are. WE must guide the corps, saying what WE want. Not otherwise. Let’s stop throwing rocks each others and start to reshape this coding hell that the Web is becoming! But, above all, we need to make people leave design for designers, not for corporations or anyone else. Sorry for the loong post. :P What you think? Agree? Disagree? Anything else? Not at all? :D

  112. 221

    I cannot think of anything useful to add to this article. Maybe this is the reason why it should be considered near to useless. It’s bad written, illustrated, argued, and also generates poor comments and opinions. Just like this one of mine. What a waste.

  113. 222

    Hot topic for designers AND developers! Here’s a related debate:

  114. 223

    calredd made a lot or realtors upset because they made all of the mls software for agents 100% in flash. Seems like a mistake to have an all flash website in 2010 and beyond. Just my opinion.

  115. 224

    Suddenly i can’t get access to any articles from smashing mag on my mobile- n97. When i select an article it takes me straight to comments only, no article.
    Noooooo…… I can’t live without smashing….. Is there something i’ve done to my mobile or is something amiss with smashing mobile version?

  116. 225

    Kashif M Qasim

    April 12, 2010 11:36 pm

    Great one! Keep it up [SM]

  117. 226

    I still don’t see why it must be one or the other. Flash is widely supported, and it does stuff you can’t do with any other technology (or you can, but it isn’t worth the hassle). Web isn’t failing because of Flash, so we have to get rid of it… au contraire. And it’s in constant developement, year after year something new and useful is being introduced to the platform (not the case with HTML btw).

    It’s a good thing, it’s one more tool you can use to present your stuff. If there was no Flash, everybody would be going “if at least there was some standard platform that we could use for…”.

    Bad and unusable web is being made with Flash, but guess what, it’s being made with HTML/JS too. No standard will ever help a production team that isn’t willing to invest time into making a decent product.

  118. 227

    Chaz Scholton (iDude)

    April 13, 2010 12:16 am

    Ask me, there’s too many things that all us monkeys have to bang out on the keyboard to get things done. Some monkeys make poor poor coding choices or mistakes. CPU’s become stressed out like Hamster Wheels with great big fat Gerbils running inside…. I’ve encountered some flash on websites you’d swear was based off the Byte count of the Windows OS. Also, have encountered sites with Extremely Bad JS that was stressing out the Memory and CPU as well. Sort of nice to get alerts in my browser about out of control Javascript and if I want to stop it. Don’t see that control feature with Flash. I really have seen more Done with RIA javascript and Ajax. Stuff that a human being could crack open with a text editor and fix… no special tools or expensive software involved.

    I think Adobe should be figuring out how to translate Flash into the inside of the canvas tag. Come on folks, If you can port and run Quake II inside of it why not flash? I think Adobe is poised with some excellent tools that could translate into effect tools for things to go into the Canvas tag. Perhaps it’s time for flash to become a little more innovative and evol a little.

  119. 229

    Craig Pearson

    April 13, 2010 1:13 am

    I do feel this article is pretty pointless and I lost the motivation to put my time into reading this with the passion Smashing Magazine perhaps intended. Halfway through this post I realised that I wasn’t learning anything new here and here’s why:

    In the opening paragraph it was boldly stated that we’ll fewer flash driven websites. There was no real evidence for this, no figures and quite frankly it was in my opinion – a hunch which came across a little narrow minded.

    I’m not sure about other professionals out there but I always make the decision on what “tool” to use for the job based on the needs of the client but most importantly the customers the end product is aimed towards. Of course Apples move to not allow flash on their iPhone/iPad makes our job more challenging, and yes HTML5 opens many new doors for web developers and designers.

    Most of our lives consist of overcoming the dilemma on what tool to use, and I think common sense prevails here, If I am designing a website which I want accessed across all mediums including the iPhone I’ll just have to consider alternatives to flash, just as if I wanted to build an online web application for multiple mediums I’d have to consider the people still using IE6.

    Arguments such as this go round and round in circles. And this seems to be a complete waste of time, most comments on here focus on whether people like flash or hate flash. It’s not about your preference it’s about what the people accessing media want and the hardware/software they are using to access that media. Flash, like every other “tool” has it’s pro’s and cons, it’s up to you to decide on what “tool” to use, the fact is there’ll always be something that flash can do which HTML/Javascript can’t and vice versa. I for one certainly won’t be dropping flash just because there is this fear that it’s going to be an out dated technology, I also won’t be so stupid as to make bold claims based on the future of a “tool” in such an ever changing industry. We adjust to changes, improvements and set backs all the time. Let’s stick to making great media, not becoming mediums!

    I’d have been way more interested in this article if there was some actual figures involved, that way I could have took this article as an informative piece and something I can use when making decisions in the future as opposed to a wasted hour of my day.

  120. 230

    Everything is said.. this is definitively one of the worst and incompetent articles on smashingmagazine..

    I think you people should imagine or notice which position you got in the international industry and focus a bit more on resarch for this articles, better than kick out one or two articles every day stuffed of BullSh****.

    But okay.. when all the kids just read the headlines of THIS amazing magazine and tell it with the stupid useless brains to other stupid brainless people.. sure.. everyone is on the same position.
    /ironic off?!

  121. 231

    I like how the “Content Management” section makes it sound like Flash can’t use content from a CMS.

  122. 232

    Ey!, nice article.
    I think you´re right, but, I think this could became a “lucha de egos” (sorry I don´t know how to explain this sentence in english) as we say in spanish.
    I think both (apple and adobe) are looking for money, don´t forget both of them are big companies, so they have to mantain their status on the web. The last Apple advice, I think it´s a tantrum (I´m a user mac) and it responses to the next iAd system appearance, that could close the door to google and adobe´s technologies.
    I´m flash and xhtml developer, I can´t tell to my customers what to use, flash or hxtm.
    Customer idea of the web and their purpose are the elements that finally select the lenguaje, for online shops I use xhtml, and for corporate projects I use both, because the manipulation of video in flash plataform it´s impresionant.
    I really think we don´t have to be with or against flash or xhtml5, we have to do our job as better as we can, using wathever we use.

  123. 233

    I hate Flash especially because it is an external piece of software controlled by Adobe running on my PC and in many cases it stores Local Shared Objects (LSOs) “Flash Cookies” (trackers, etc.) on my computer without notifiying me. Clearing cookies in my browser leaves the hidden flash cookies untouched. Even Firefox plugins like Flashblock just stop them from being shown, but they still load.

    I wonder if there are more people blocking flash in their browsers or people who think they need such stuff on their website.

    • 234

      Josh Chernoff

      April 13, 2010 5:03 am


      Yeah if you spent all day looking at illegal sites I could see how you maybe worried.
      But for the rest of us no one really gives a rip.

      Also if you cared so much about it you would have clicked on the first line in a google search for. “how to turn off shared cookies from flash” which brings you to an adobe site where they give you full detail about what a SO is and how to turn them off in flash permanently.

      so why don’t you try again and this time try to have a valid point.

  124. 235

    Each has its place. From my point of view, the anti-flash movement stems from bias against cost and learning a yet another technology. I’ve worked with Flash since version 4 and there are appropriate uses for it. I’m not about to create medical animations in JavaScript and canvas, nor am I going to create web forms in Flex when I can use jQuery to enhance UI. Ever compiled a Flex form with two fields and a button? It was about 500k!

  125. 236

    Here’s the deal:
    1) Get the coolest, “flash like”, full of shinny things, website done without using flash that can reach 90% of the internet users right now.

    2) Go to FWA and look at some of the top flash sites.

    Now you should understand why developers use Flash and why our clients want Flash.

  126. 237

    Having been animating and designing within Flash for many years I have also been around to see scripting become more and more relevant as far as creating rich websites go.

    But to say Flash is dying…thats an error.

    Flash provides an editing environment similar to photoshop with the addition of a timeline that allows you to be a conductor…to “orchestrate” while you create. The more talented a Flash designer got the less work they had to do with the addition of newer coding practices and greater understanding of functions.

    When Flash cs3 came out and actionscript got “rewritten” into its cumbersom but more durable form…alot of people got turned off.

    Yet and still to create interactive sites as well as animations quickly and painlessly, Flash is the way.

    I will never enjoy scraping through code for hours to get windows or boxes to line up properly when I could place them in their right place physically. Flash is an amazing program and if the powers that be would honor Adobes great contribution and make it worthwhile to import the program to mobile phones and devices….we would not be having this discussion.

  127. 238

    This is perhaps the worst article I’ve ever read on Bad research and terrible arguments – as proved by many of the comments here.

    I just want to comment on one more thing though. When it comes to flash-sites, flash-haters has been whining for years about that “if I turn off flash, I can’t use the site”, which is partly bollocks, but anyhow… I think about 80-90% of the “javascript enhanced” websites I click through nowadays, including most on your list (those that are still active), doesn’t work at all if I turn off Javascript. That’s NOT “javascript enhanced” – that’s just “javascript”! And that’s just trying to pull a frikkin’ accessability-card out of the hat, when there isn’t one.

    Flash, html5, javascript, whatever… I don’t care if they all survive, one die, or they all die and get replaced by something new. I’m a webhead and I use the tools most appropriate for the case. Flash is a tool that’s miles ahead of the alternatives for some cases – so I use it. Stupid people put everything on a single card.

  128. 239

    This has to be the stupidest “article” I’ve ever read on Smashing Magazine. It’s hardly factual, it is OPINION. Please let the author spout his opinion on his own blog.

    I have never come to Smashing Magazine to be preached at – I’m usually here to learn. I have to say – I’m coming to SM less and less – much more of this drivel and I won’t be back, as grateful as I have been for so much great CONTENT.

    BTW – The author seems to imply that there has to be a choice between web standards and Flash (I can’t stomach re-reading to check). This, of course, is drivel.

  129. 240

    woooooo!!!I came acorss a great hot cougar dating site.

    If you put “A GE” and “MIN GLE” together, then you will get the url.

    It’s a nice and free place for Younger- Women and Older Men, or Older Women and Younger Men, to- interact with each other. Maybe you wanna check out or- tell your friends

  130. 241

    This article is misleading. Flash is not declining but is simply being used more efficiently. Designers and developers who were seeking to a degree simple effects and interactivity in the past only could achieve this with Flash. Unfortunately this was a majority of developers and designers so as a results Flash became the driving force. But with the introduction and popularity of java script libraries, css3, html5 etc, these same designers/developers who are seeking such simple and easy effects and interactivity can achieve it without Flash. Does that mean Flash is on the decline? No, it means the development of website in Flash is getting purge and the use of Flash is being more efficient, which is good and will continue to make Flash a vital player in the web. HTML5 and CSS3 have a long long way to go to caught up with the interactivity possibilities of Flash.

    I will hate to consider this article being inspired by Apple products iPad and iPhone. Don’t forget that Apple is a private organization seeking to make a profit – so I highly doubt their reason for not supporting Adobe Flash and application development in it was only to increase Web Standards and promote HTML5.

    • 242

      I agree with you, Flash is definitely not declining. The showcase of state of the art websites exposed on THEFWA.COM does not compare with any of the Extended JS and CSS websites which still struggle with cross browser compatibility, deficient custom font display (some techniques use flash to accomplish this XD ) and above of all this facts, the SIZE of the page site is waaaaaay bigger than a full flash site.

      Please let me know when a CSS/JS website accomplish such a rich media experience like the one shown by ‘’

      • 243

        Alexander Trefz

        April 13, 2010 9:07 am

        “Extended JS and CSS websites which still struggle with cross browser compatibility, deficient custom font display (some techniques use flash to accomplish this XD ) and above of all this facts, the SIZE of the page site is waaaaaay bigger than a full flash site.”

        each character of this sentence is bullshit(except the font-replacing). JS libraries do NOT struggle woth cross-browser compabilities. js and css would not struggle with cross-browser if browsers would be standard compatible(this is not just IE, Opera(except 10.5) and other arent much better) but this is on a good way(Opera 10.5, IE9)Flash site are at more then 80% bigger than a css/js based version IF the solution makes sense on css/js. custom font display is easier then ever with css3.

        The point is: Flash is used in the wrong way in most cases, which means that it is used for a simple slideshow. That isnt the thing that flash or silverlight are build for. this: is what flash is build for. sites like this one are absolutly great and could not be build with js/css without extreme effort.

  131. 244

    “This is perhaps the worst article I’ve ever read on Bad research and terrible arguments – as proved by many of the comments here.”
    What a dumb post. You are all over the place, and the title is horrific. The Gradual Disappearance of Flash Websites. Flash websites aren’t disappearing. You make it sound like we are in Back to the Future and someone changed the past. If anything there are more of them, there may be more Javascript and JQuery based sites too but they are not replacing Flash anytime soon. By the way, a lot of those sites suck the life out of my computer as bad as or worse than any Flash site ever did. Flash is going to be here a while. I used to respect stuff on this site, but it seems the quality of what you put on here lately is horrible. This is such a sensationalistic post with absolutely no consistency. If you want a good post written on this topic check A List Apart and read Dan Mall’s post. Wayyyy better and far less sensationalistic.

  132. 245

    Anyone notice how developer oriented these claims are? “Everything you can do in Flash you can do in X with some J and some H!!!” Sure… we could also do it in Fortran and Cobal but it’s much easier to drag the little image across the screen and select “tween”. Go back to your Linux box and write some code

  133. 247

    Alexander Trefz

    April 13, 2010 8:50 am

    90% or more of the actual flash(-parts of) websites are not needed. This could be done better with js. And the improvement would be: selectable text, standards based websites and and and…

  134. 248

    You Flash guys are so lazy. Drag this, tween that. Sounds like flash guys are insecure… Just learn how to code and grow with the future

    • 249

      Josh Chernoff

      April 13, 2010 9:52 am

      wtf do you know about people who support flash, Like I haven’t learned JS, PHP, ASP, JAVA, C/C++ in addition to learning AS3/AS2.

      What exactly do you do that gives you the right to spout off this bs. If I need to learn to code then you need to learn to not be so ignorant.

      @Alexander Trefz
      90% of people who think they know it all don’t know shit.

      @Smashing Mag
      By the way this is the first thing I seen when I cam to this post, yet I’m a bad developer cause I use flash????

      Good job on spamming 90% of the top viewable part of this blog post. Since we are on the topic of web standards I think that you guys could learn a thing or two about web ethics. Just because it’s JS and follows web standards doesn’t mean a thing, crap is still crap no matter what tech it was made with.

      • 250

        Reading books about those languages doesnt mean you know them. Any developer who who truly knows how to apply C++ or Java would know that Flash and AS2/3 is a joke for what it is. A bloated piece of software with the psuedo developers that come with it.

        • 251

          Do you know how to code AS3 or did you read a book?

          Besides, this isn’t a choice between c++/java and flash. It’s between javascript and flash. And anyone who does both for a living, like me, know that the current state of the javascript scene is a MESS, compared to what you get on the flash platform.

          Stick to the point, this is about frontend web development, not programming and technology in general!

          • 252

            Josh Chernoff

            April 14, 2010 5:56 am

            Well if you had taken the time to read your self you would have seen the ass hat who commented before me stated “You Flash guys are so lazy, learn how to code”

            So yeah I think I stayed on the point that just cause someone learned one technology that are not branded as lazy or ignorant, though on the other hand….

            This post is hosted on hypocritical site for it claims to support better standards/ethics. The post it’s self is asinine and the people who are in support of this post are commenting with little fact or prof and dismiss others peoples handwork and efforts only to spout off BS in a public domain with sheer ignorance and arrogance.

            If your such a proud coder with superior skills to any flash developer/designer then prove it! Post links here of your work. Otherwise stfu moron.

    • 253


      You sound like you’re still living in 1999.

      “Just learn how to code and grow with the future”
      Reading this sentence spells you are not a developer.

      Kids nowadays.

    • 254

      Lets see your port.

  135. 255

    After seeing this ecommerce, I believe that everything what says this article is bullshit.


    • 256


      The Checkout process is still html. Why would Converse switch back and forth between flash and html? Cause its stupid to run ecommerce thru a plugin…. geez

      Just move on Flash Developers…….

      • 257

        “Cause its stupid to run ecommerce thru a plugin…”

        And it’s stupid to do rich internet experiences in html… Geez… Since when did using both technologies become a bad thing?

  136. 258

    This article has come way to soon in my opinion. Sure new markup and scripting languages are creating more complex effects but they still simply cannot touch what Flash is capable of. We are really at a point where that should go without saying.

    This one would have hit the mark, if the mark existed.

  137. 259

    Do you remember…
    not so long time ago JavaScript was the evil one and now surprisingly Flash is the bad guy.

    to the “Web Standards” faction:
    you want to make the web “standard”!? LOL you’re daydreamers!
    How “Standard” is the REAL world? Just ask a handicapped!

    go to work and be creative no matter which technologies are used and stop talking bullshit.

  138. 260

    I got a better idea. Learn how to create things in flash(as2, as3), learn html5, learn jquery/ajax/js, and stop stating which is dying and which is not. Learn how to do all of them and you will be better than the designer who comes to SM to full on follow. SM is a great place to read certain things here and there but never take inspiration or follow someone 100%. Be your own designer, have your own tools, fight your own fights.

  139. 261

    Why don’t you take a few outstanding Flash sites, say some recent FWA sites of the month – and then do a tutorial how to build these in HTML/JavaScript, running in all currently used browsers?

    People always make these vague claims how standards have caught up but all we see as proof is more or less lightboxes and slideshows.

    The really interesting new thing is canvas, but how can it ever become mainstream if it’s most likely not even included in the next InternetExplorer version?
    It might be nice for iAds .. but apart from that?

    I love the IDEA of standards, but in reality it’s always just a promise for a distant future.

  140. 262

    Cathrine Olsen

    April 13, 2010 2:35 pm

    This looks like a great article, but I only get to see the comments (no article) on my iPhone. Can you please fix this bug?

  141. 263

    Vectortrance Studios

    April 13, 2010 4:36 pm

    As a designer who followed every move of famed interactive studios like 2Advanced, Pixelranger, Fantasy Interactive, etc, I used to be a big time supporter of Flash based websites. But still, in all my enthusiastic naiveté, I recognized that Flash sites were starting to drop off the map. Usability, and accessibility are important, and once web2.0 trends began to take a foothold, people started to recognize this and the webscape saw a shift from style to substance. The portfolio sites of many designers big and small started moving away from high intensity Flash towards a format that increased usability and placed content as the center of attention.
    (I’d bet that the next iteration of 2Advanced Studios’ website is likely done with some form of web-standards j-query magic instead of Flash.)

    I think we’re still quite a ways off from the day when HTML5 and CSS3 are a viable reality. (Due to Microsoft’s history of crawling towards standardization, and the sheer magnitude of their marketshare.)
    Flash will continue to be king of the web for things like microsites, movie/music websites, advertisements, and streaming video. It’s much quicker to develop/design in, and works accross most browsers like a charm. And as others have said, it commands respect, having been installed on ~99% of internet-connected computers. And lets not discount that Flash is assuredly going to be a whole new creature by the time HTML5 is widely standardized. Adobe is a pretty agile company. I’m sure they are very aware of the trending of their products. They’ll innovate, rest assured.

    As for Apple, I’m sure they’re going to see a reasonably large decline in Marketshare as Android and other platforms gain popularity among the masses and position themselves to be much more developer-friendly. Trying to whorde the market on their own terms isn’t wise. You’d think with a company as smart and innovative as Apple is, they would have learned from Microsoft’s mistakes.

    • 264

      @ Vectortrance Studios You make some really great points about Flash, I for one love flash but don’t use it at all anymore with so many customers going online on their phones. The only thing I disagree with is your statement about Apple, the thing that makes them stand out is the fact their delivery system is so streamlined with their products. I think the industry is probably going to end up following apple, there is only so much stuff you can give away without making a profit.

      • 265

        I disagree on the industry following apple. As any famed company will have their “top of the hill” moments (i.e microsoft back in 95 ~ 98), nothing stays the same. Just like how friendster / myspace was the revolution of social networking and doing the “catch up with old friends” thing, this was over passed by facebook. Apple will lose it’s touch sooner or later with another company that will over power their current ideology in technological advancements. iphone is the big thing now, but make no mistakes, with growing platforms like the droid and windows 7 mobile, there will be a time when a mobile platform will beat iphone os.

  142. 266

    Andrei Potorac

    April 13, 2010 11:44 pm

    What’s up with these examples? :-)

    Why do people confuse Flash websites with websites where the content fades in and out with an elastic ease in front of the user?

    Have you seen the amazing user experience created in the Flash websites (like most of those on the FWA) in the past years? I’d love to see at least ONE example.

    VIsit Mini or Mercedes websites. Do you see how exceptionally well they use Flash to promote their brands? How would you be able to do that with HTML?

    I don’t want to live in a boring world, and Flash is here to make sure we don’t.

  143. 267

    Really good read – actually there already is a battle between Flash vs. HTML5 going on:
    A little comptetion between two Berlin-based web designers/developers, developing the same web app in different technolgies – let’s see who will make the race.

  144. 269

    Flash have afew problems. I agree. But don’t we all have problems of our own (HTML5, CSS3 etc etc)?

    Afew problems of Flash sites include problem with SEO.. crawlers cant crawl through… deep linking… back button… mobile viewing (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad especially)

    Ok fine… So why not we solve the problem a step at a time.

    SEO, Deep linking, back button can all be solved. Just add in SWFAddress! Blitz Agency manage to make their Flash site SEO friendly and the contents can be indexed by search engine. Read their article here (dated June 11th, 2007 that is 3 years ago man!):

    Mobile viewing can also be solved. There are open source scripts out there that allows you to detect a mobile browser. Just google it. A simple if else statement would sound like this:
    if i detect mobile browser, bring me to a mobile optimized site..
    else, bring me to a Flash site.

    • 270

      Im surprised that other companies are not backing Adobe and there Flash product. I think all Browser company want to see Flash limited at some point. HTML5 is natural for a web browser. Just live with the changing tech.

  145. 271


    April 14, 2010 4:49 am

    whether we want to admit it or not Flash is the middle future of website’s, minus the holographic ones you see in films.

    static websites are slowly going out of fashion, it’s all about accesible content, ask yourself how many websites are using moving jquery or ajax elements?

  146. 272

    @Andrei Potorac
    “VIsit Mini or Mercedes websites”

    These websites will change over time to HTML5. Why would you want to create an entire site in Flash, even is more html than flash. Its just laughable that Flash Developers managed to convince Managers, Leads and VPs that this is the tech to use. incredible!

  147. 273

    @Sam is not only Flash.
    It is also Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Acrobat, After Effects, ColdFusion, Illustrator, InDesign, AIR, Flex, etc.

    There is no tool better than Dreamweaver for html5 and css3.
    Anyway, flash and specially actionscript 3 and Flex or Air will not die for sure.

  148. 274

    Very funny, headline is “The Gradual Disappearance Of Flash Websites” and riiiight underneath it is an ad for “Creating free Flash websites”.

  149. 275

    It’s disingenuous to write about the future of Flash without mentioning one of the most important reasons for it’s future decline: Apple refuses to support it. If I can’t view Flash on my iPad, I insist that the site support a standard such as HTML5.

    • 276

      Josh Chernoff

      April 14, 2010 10:48 am

      stop buying crappy apple products and that will fix your problem.

      • 277

        crappy? your so insecure

        • 278

          A device with mid-size screen, that is used in huge part for viewing web pages, that does not support a browser plugin that is installed on 99% of desktop browsers, certainly is crappy to some extend.
          I’m an Apple fanboy, but this is ridiculous. Much more so than ‘an Apple guy’, I am a creative (and the people in the creative industry have helped Apple stay alive over the lesser years) who loves to create in Flash. Now Apple is simply giving us creatives the finger.
          Don’t even get me started on their treatment of the export to iPod feature on Flash CS5. That was just below the belt. Apple is officially no longer the free spirited underdog for creative minds but a cold and greedy corporation. Shame on them.

  150. 279

    Dear Mr. Cooper are you aware that articles about technology, especially within the hallowed confines of Smashing Magazine, are supposed to be Non-Fiction?

    After reading your article — which is far more opinion than fact — I went to your web site and reviewed your entire portfolio to get a sense of how YOU view the technological landscape.

    And given the scope of your work there is only one possible conclusion — You shouldn’t use Flash.

    What would be the point?

    Now, was that so hard? I bet you worked long and hard to create this tragically flawed masterpiece when the real story — the non-fiction story — is that you were unqualified to write about a topic you knew nothing about and unwilling to do what good writers do — research.

    And alas Mr. Cooper… no platform can ever fix that.

  151. 280

    What this article — and most of the commenters, who I’m guessing are web designers? — fail to acknowledge is that Flash is a terrible resource hog. All those ‘neat’ but largely non-useful-to-the-end-user Flash effects consume too many CPU cycles and too much memory and bandwidth that I would rather have devoted to the primary content of the webpage, rather than fancy banner ads, video ads, or even clever webpage tricks.

    If Flash is needed to enable the primary purpose of the webpage — showing video, games, etc. — then fine, I can accept it as part of the ‘price’ for visiting that webpage (but I may choose to find an alternative website offering the same or similar content that uses techniques that are less taxing on system resources). But if it’s used simply to enable extraneous B.S. or to make life easier for the web designer, it’s an inefficiency that I can’t and won’t tolerate. (And gross inefficiency = non-green in my book, btw.)

    On the worst websites, the cycles and/or bandwidth consumed by ‘non-content’ Flash can be greater than the actual content I’m looking for by a factor of 4 or more! That’s just plain stupid imho….

    I admit that HTML5 may or may not be better than Flash in this respect… both are merely tools, and the responsibility of the effects of their use lie with the tool-user, not the tools themselves.

    I will say though that Flash has a nasty habit of remaining running in the background (and continuing to consume resources) even after I’ve closed the browser that invoked it. That too is intolerable, and I’m seriously considering making my PC a “No-Flash” zone!

    • 281

      Flash is a visual tool. It is used for creating innovative webapplications, athmospheres and some kind of experience. Flash is not made to deliver (text-)contents in the first place (although it can, of course). If you want your www to be boring, step back to some text browser. It´s your choice.
      btw, I rarely recognise an unacceptable increase of my CPU, caused by well coded(!) flashsites.

    • 282

      This argument flies in the face of what I have been taught as a computer science student.
      The following article explains it much better than I could:

      Tech Is Too Cheap to Meter: It’s Time to Manage for Abundance, Not Scarcity

      Read More

      also, if you actively manage your resources with well written code – you can eliminate memory leaks.

      it’s like ANY other technologies… javascript, php, asp, python etc… can also crash a browser very easily

    • 283

      @Fx: Flash indeed is quite CPU intensive. But remember, if you’re building something really interactive and visually rich stuff using HTML5/JavaScript, it’s probably using as much CPU power (or more) as Flash.

      I think it’s perfectly okay to use both technologies at the same time. If one can produce exactly what Flash can do, then, yes, I reckon using something standard is logically better. But if one cannot produce the same effect, and his compromised solution doesn’t really meet the business objective of a design, then, no.

      I’m glad that HTML5/JavaScript is developing because, I must say, it does fit nicely with content-driven sites. For really simple stuff, like accordion menu and image slide-show, they are the right tools. But when a developer is asked to do something a lot more complex, then he must be realistic about which tool he should use, instead of being stubborn about web-standard. I’m sure a really good front-end developer can eventually produce it with JavaScript, but I’d imagine the task would be really complicated to do.

      Just take a look at the examples the author put up. They are really impressive. But if the exact same things are done in flash, most people would say ‘what’s so special about them?’

      Anyway, I think the single most important thing to keep in mind is that if the cost of pursuing web standard is to restrict the creativity of designers, then there’s a strong reason to use plug-ins. If not, I don’t see a reason not to.

      PS: Yes, I think some people hate flash because there are many examples of bad flash stuff. But please don’t dismiss stuff that are made with flash for a reason.

  152. 284

    Uh… I just validated some websites Mr. Cooper created:
    They are not only ugly (are you really an educated designer??) , they don´t validate… (at least the only one, that is online)
    66 Errors, 7 warning(s)

  153. 285

    I hope I’m not repeating anyone else said. What ever happened to the practice of offering a non-Flash version of a Flash site? Didn’t we have to do that back when Flash was new? I love the richness of Flash when I’m on my desktop or laptop, but what if I didn’t have the Flash plugin installed. Those site are useless. Why does it have to be one technology vs another instead of making sure your audience gets your message no matter what the technology? Apple isn’t saying that no Flash is allowed anywhere, just on the iPhone, so Flash isn’t going away. Would I miss it on my phone? Nope, as long as I can see something.

  154. 286

    I’ve done a little with jquery. It’s pretty cool but it’s javascript and dhtml. html5 is kind of a misnomer because its a combination of the same web technologies that html developers have always used… just the next generation.

    the thing that gets me is the people who say html5 is the new flash are pidgeonholing flash into a video player hole.

    they also ignore the fact that as3 has evolved into a very powerful structured OOP language, and flashbuilder is arguably the best developer tool out there. I’ve played with silverlight, visual studio, xcode, and none of those platforms are as intuitive and well structured as flex/flashbuilder (IMHO)

    html5 isn’t even universally supported or even finished for that matter. I will be shocked if it is universally interpreted by browsers the same way (form elements in safari and IE are completely different)

    Flash plug in for the most part displays exactly the same in every browser.

    Apple hopefully will cave and support flash if hp slate, windows phones , android and other competitors support flash.

    The verdict is still out whether ipad is awesome or a big turkey. time will tell… (if they supported flash it would definitely be huge)

    one last point – people say flash is buggy and processor intensive….
    it’s as good as the developer writing the code. My tunecandy app is super complex, but i can run it on a shitty hp laptop and it performs almost as good as it does on a 10,000.00 mac pro.

    The bottom line for apple is if they kill flash, they get rid of a major competitor. That pisses me off because my career is built on flash. sure I can adapt to other technologies, but I don’t want to throw away a technology that is really awesome to work with something inferior.

    There is so much that flash can do that has not been explored by developers yet and it would really suck if it died because some greedy soulless corporate monster decided to kill it.

    if they kill flash they kill a lot of access to people who aren’t full fledged programmers. we will see less innovation and the accessibility of innovative development gets taken away fro creative people who do not want to be hard core programmers.

    thats my 10 cents on the subject :-)

    • 287

      Excellently put. It’s time to get behind platforms like Android, who will leave the field open thus creating more jobs, foster more creativity, and not stagnate the growth and offerings of the web.

  155. 288

    This article reminds me of those developers always saying that Linux is replacing Windows, talking about freedom while telling us what we should use and what we should not use, carrying torches pitch forks and strong words wnenever they can. Everyone misses the point in letting users decide what content and designs like the most.
    Flash can be missused and no one is claiming that is perfect but is definitely much more than photo galleries and dropdown menus.

  156. 291

    “The Gradual Appearance of Programmers that Can’t Afford Web Premium CS4”

  157. 293

    Another useless flash vs html5 debate… Flash is not going anywhere same as html5 they will co exists as many other technologies… flash is still superior in performance for heavy animated graphics… javascript is still pretty slow.. although in chrome it is kinda acceptable..

    Also the open debat is kinda useless… there is a opensource compiler.. get flashdevelop and code away… If you have programmed in both AS 3 and Javascript you will definitly see the stroing points of flash.. goodbye cross browser headaches… welcome strict typing.. ^^

    Anyway… yes for the application types of websites html wins… for heavy graphic intensive (smaller) websites flash is king.

    The listing of some javascript websites is kinda pointless too.. I can just list some of the sites in and say oh look no javascript used… that must mean it is better… doh.. X_x anyways enough time waisted on this bullocks back to coding :P

  158. 295

    As I said many and many times. Smashing Magazine is all about bashing flash and go pro into HTML5. You can see by the volume of posts that they try to inject you the idea that HTML5 will win. That plus the completely Jobs, makes this website not a good place for those who want a clear and clean picture of all this debate.

    You still can’t do what many sites do with Flash right now, and eveything you see done right now in HTML5, Flash does it for years…

    As I said in Twitter more than once. Smashing Magazine should really try to not choose a side in all this technology thing.

    A good magazine is one that can say good and bad things about a technology and I can’t see that, for at least, the last 3 months from Smashing Magazine.

  159. 296

    So who is this Brad Cooper? What an ignorant. Just look at his portfolio he hasn’t got a clue. I’d be ashamed to display such work on a website.

    • 297

      This comes better when you read in his profile:

      “… and an advocate of open source & web standards.”

      C’mon Smashing Mag! You can do better than this!

  160. 298

    Funny article… also very immature!

  161. 299

    Well, Adobe seems to be worried about, especially not being on 80 million iphones and ipads out there. Major websites are moving to HTML5 and leaving Flash behind. No need for useless flashy animations. Move on Flash Developers…. Learn a REAL development environment and language.

  162. 300

    Is that guy with the yellow speech balloon on the photo Steve Jobs? Seriously.

  163. 301

    I get a kick out of all the people who like to bag on Flash and predict it’s demise. What is there purpose in life other than to be totally ignorant, irrelevant and annoying? I mean, no one can deny that without Adobe and Flash in particular, the internet would have no where near the functionality, capabilities, or creativity that it has today. So why would they want to see such a demise? I understand that people can and do build some crummy stuff with Flash. I have also been to equally crummy sites built with HTML and Java. In that case however, you do not hear people shouting “HTML must die!”, it is interesting how Flash on the other hand takes the flack for poor designer work. I have some theories on why some people are so anti-Flash. One reason may be that the group is spear-headed by disgruntled designers who do not have the capabilities and could not write “Hello World” with ActionScript to save their life. Well I have news for you, HTML5 and Javascript are not going to make it much easier. OK, it’s just a theory, but really what other reason is there to wish for the demise of such an awesome tool that produces such awesome results? It’s also obvious that Steve Jobs is having an impact with his anti-Flash stance on the iPhone/iPad. I am an Apple user myself, but I also have news for all of the little iSheep who follow Steve Jobs and Apple religiously: he is actually not a God, but only a marketing genius with a nice sense of style. So all of the people who have their iPad and are OK with not being able to view all the content from about 80% of the sites on the web, you are truly as brain-washed iSheep and you might want to open your eyes a bit. In fact, Steve’s choice to lock down his platforms to any non-Apple-approved languages is in fact a backwards maneuver and may only serve to stunt the growth of the internet and developers in general, it is so far from the ‘open web’ a lot of other people seem to be ironically championing. Hey, at least Steve finally admitted it was so he could retain control (and make more money), and that it really had nothing to do with Flash.

  164. 302

    Can’t understand this obsession with predicting who will be the winner of an inexistent battle.

    When making this arguments, please try to keep in mind that websites must be build to accommodate visitors needs and requirements and not designers and developers preferences.

    • 303


      April 28, 2010 7:19 pm

      But irony, most designers and developers know that HTML standard cannot replace Flash. Only user think it can due to Steve Jobs saying it can without thinking. HOW SILLY THEY ARE! If user think that web-site should be built by Pascel, do u think designers and developers have to used Pascel to do things. Users should only care the results, not what tools designers and developers use. FUNNY MAN!

  165. 304

    Raphael Pudlowski

    April 16, 2010 2:25 am

    well, seeing how shitty is the portfolio of the autor, he mau be frustrated about all this good designers that do awesome flash stuff. Maybye people are dreaming that with the demise of flash, they will again be the only masters and people to know how to code an animation in canvas, because good designers won’t bother to learn code by hand to do what they do with flash. The linux comparison was wery nice :)

    • 305

      You’re right, one of the worst portfolios ever. I mean, just look at his favorite picture. I’m not being rude or anything but this has to be the worst article on SmashingMag ever. :)

  166. 306

    Justin Carroll

    April 16, 2010 4:38 am

    With almost 300 comments I’m not sure I’m adding anything new here, but until HTML5/CSS/JS can import 3D and After Effects onto a timeline and tween it better than Flash I’m pretty sure Flash will be around for awhile.

    The bottom line is that some companies, mostly worldwide brands like Coke, Phillips, etc. could care less about the tidy SEO delivered through browser-based technologies – what they want is an interactive experience that dominates, that no one has ever seen and Flash can do that better than anyone else and always has.

    Leading interactive agencies like North Kingdom, Big Spaceship and 2Advanced Studios create sets, like movies, with green-screens and shoot video, apply After Effects and post production processing, render 3D, add audio and other effects to produce online interactive experiences that tell a story and change the way consumers feel about a brand. To date, I’ve never heard of anyone doing this for HTML/CSS/JS.

    I’m willing to bet about 90% of “designers” in this industry who have something to say about this debate have no idea how Flash is really being used by true, authentic interactive agencies. The FWA exists. The day it doesn’t, that’s when you know it’s over.

  167. 307

    Danilo Ramos

    April 16, 2010 6:03 am

    I preffer CSS3 and xhtml !

  168. 308

    all Flash haters WAKE UP!!!

    see and ask yourselves… Intel, Cisco, Disney and other 70 partners signed for flash… it will be on every mobile phone, in every car and PC… do you think you can beat this??? Not even apple can beat that :P

    • 309

      Still waiting for Flash on any mobile platform, but it keeps not happening. I believe it when I see it (i.e. in my hand in a shipping smartphone product), and then we’ll see what it does to a smartphone’s battery for real.

  169. 310

    Nerp, sorry :( . But wait…. Javascript has that amazing 3D library that… Oh yeah, it doesn’t.

  170. 316

    Flash Websites ?????

    This is an oxymoron!
    The web is defined as the way to bring the information to everyone regardless of their platform. (just ask Sir Tim!) This can’t be done with Flash™ exactly because it’s proprietary and thus not available for every platform. When you understand this everything else unravels. The only way to make the Web real is by using open standards, namely the ones form W3C. Last I heard this wasn’t the case of Flash™.

    So please stop talking about “Flash Websites”, this hurts by ears and eyes!

    Flash sux anyway:

  171. 317

    Dragisa Mirkovic - Gile

    April 17, 2010 2:16 pm

    “Flash, HTML, CSS And JavaScript Are Just Tools”…well… I like to think about it that way, but you don’t need years to learn how to use hammer or screwdriver.
    First you got to learn a complex structure of Flash interface + AS1. After that you begin to learn AS2, and just when you’ve get used to it, they come with AS3 (complex oop language, btw)…and again, just when you’ve get used to AS3, they tell you that Flash is dead and that your knowledge is for nothing.

  172. 320

    Flash and advanced AJAX are often a nightmare to make Section 508 compliant. Granted these technologies have made great strides in that area in the last few years, but it’s still a big issue. For those of us who work in Federal Government consulting, 508 compliance often adds a huge amount of additional work when building interactive apps.

  173. 321

    Good one! May I kindly request the “go ahead” to translate it in French?

  174. 322

    “Standards-Based Websites That Shine”

    Really? If that list is the best you can put together, you’ve missed your own point.

  175. 323

    Hold on. Just had a look at the author’s portfolio. Now it all makes sense. When you set the bar that low, even a turd looks like its glowing.

  176. 324

    On the subject of CMS and Flash, I would say that CMS developers need to look at how they build their systems rather than looking at it from the point of view that Flash is a suitable front-end platform if you want a CMS system.

    Take Silverstripe CMS for example, it does not tie you down to using just one technology to render your site. So you can use xml instead of html for instance which you can easily combine with Flash. Therefore there is no reason you can’t have a robust CMS system behind your nice Flash interface.

  177. 325

    I develop in as2/3, js, java, php,.net, and a list of other languages; so don’t think I’m just a Flash developer here. Although Flash has been responsible for the major portion of my success as a developer and creative. I’m open to all languages but I have to say that Flash is the one that encompasses the most functionality, development rate, and visual wiz-bang. The Flash community is very large and has shown no signs of letting Flash go anywhere.
    I find that people who opt for standards over creativity are the losers here. Flash currently offers an environment where you can dream it, create it, and everyone (well 99%) can see it the way you intended them to.

    Yes, HTML5/JS/CSS have made HUGE strides, but guess what, they’re not where Flash IS now and when they are, where will flash be? I’m guessing blazing the trail of where the next STANDARD is wanting to be.

    At the end of the day:
    End users could careless what delivers their youtube, facebook, and tweets.. they just want them reliably and fast. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather deliver on something tried, tested and true over something that’s new, cool, and buggy.

    :End my 2 cents

  178. 326
  179. 328

    Flash Does, And Will Continue To Do, Many Things… Great!!

    Where would the Internet be without Flash and the innovations it brought? It would be all XHTML and boring, we’d be wearing a hat and grow beards :) Zeldman will be the second most feared last name after Jobs. I like the section where it says BROWSER COMPATIBILITY on HTML5 tutorials.

    I think SmashingMag should stick to the lists, cause these “definitive” articles are not great at all. Do you work for Apple?

  180. 329

    If you are using Flash for video, you might find this helpful: HTML 5 video with a Flash fallback. This lets you reach those 250million+ users with Firefox (Linux, Mac, Windows), Chrome (Linux, Mac, Windows), Safari (Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad).

  181. 330

    antonio brandao

    May 5, 2010 3:32 am

    It’s a myth thatFflash sites can’t be “web standard” and indexable. Many flash sites have an HTML content in the background, making them indexable, they use deep linking, etc, and they are amazing! HTML5 is years behind Flash.

    Tell me about motion blur, displacement maps, convulsion filters, etc….

  182. 331

    Flash is dead, killed by the iPad and iPhone:

  183. 332


    May 5, 2010 12:07 pm

    Well, the author of this article is yet another Flash-hater idiot with a license to blog and no real research.

    I’ll save you the 2,000 line post on why, and just say that for one, if you’ve got this much of a boner for Ajax and HTML5, do some freakin benchmark tests before you open up you’re ego on your blog and watch a nice Flex / Flash library like GreenSock’s TweenLite absolutely crush HTML or JavaScript performance, and trumps the look and feel of Javascript / DHTML / Ajax / HTML5 / CSS or whatever else you want to call it as soon as you get into animating more than 1 little box at a time. HTML5 and Ajax are ok, great for some things like backend system interfaces, data entry apps, forms, little slide out widgets, updating data on the page without refreshing, etc, but when it comes to the next level of user experience, web presentation, slick interface design, rich interactive applications (RIAs), and the evolution of web, HTML5 and Ajax (JavaScript) are unfortunately always going to be subject to issues between competing browsers.

    I love how you bash Flash and advocate web standards, and yet the Flash player is more standard across web browsers than web standards are! Hah! Web standards at the moment are almost an oxymoron in themselves. Simple point: Setup a website viewing with FireFox and make use of margins and padding as defined by W3C (web standards authority), then load it in different versions of IE and observe the cluster-f*ckery of web standards as the browser craps out it’s interpretation. Web standards would be great if all browsers adhered to them and handled the DOM exactly the same- but they don’t. Perhaps the real end-all for Flash vs Web standard HTML and JS will be a browser that you can actually say does it 100% right and the majority of the world deletes internet explorer (which you can’t in Windows) and switches to this new amazing browser… good luck getting that done.

    All in all, like most Flash developers that put out junk and give flash a bad name, you probably can’t even program a nice flash app, and thus pass judgment on the entire technology because your favorite corny flash game performance sucks and you can’t do any better. I’m not saying there’s not a lot of flash out there that shouldn’t be, there is. I’m saying there’s just as bad HTML sites- worse in many cases- and it’s not the technology that’s the problem, it’s narrow minded developers like yourself that hate it because you are too stuck in your ways and ill informed to read or make a post on how to use it correctly.

    Save your breath bashing some of the most advanced technology on the web that is largely responsible for the phrase Rich Interactive Application, and start helping to evolve web technology. Learn some Flex / Pure AS3, get a free compiler like FlashDevelop, the free open source Flex SDK, and start helping on a site like, instead of whining and making the problem worse.


    • 333


      This comment make you an idiot.

      “but when it comes to the next level of user experience, web presentation, slick interface design, rich interactive applications (RIAs), and the evolution of web”

      I think Apple knows more about the next level of user experience and apps to leave Flash behind. Flash is old and you need to learn to move on.

    • 334

      I think citing performance as a benefit of Flash is pretty specious. Even if you ignore the fact that Flash is mature technology and therefore has had more time to become a strong performer, you’re missing the fact that most devices on the web are mobile devices which Flash absolutely kills. HTML 5 will perform dramatically better on these platforms that processor/memory hungry Flash, not to mention suck battery life.

      As far as L&F go, “Look” comes from the designers, and there’s nothing that Flash can do in this space that HTML5/CSS/SVG/JS cannot. As far as “Feel” goes, Flash apps consistently have the most clunky, non-standard interfaces on the web, making them a PITA to use. The only UI area Flash seems to do well on is mouse hovers/clicks, which as you are aware are pretty much useless on a device like the iPad and most phones. Everything else like keyboard interaction, mouse scrolling, etc. is complete crap. Flash is primarily successful at making pretty, but useless applications. There are some particular verticals where there are some benefits, but the vast majority of web apps suffer poor UI under the yoke of Flash.

      Equating market penetration to standards is also disingenuous. W3C standards are supported in hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. Flash is supported in less than half a dozen, and only one of these (Adobe’s) is any good. An open standard for Flash would allow Apple (for example) to implement that standard on the iPhone/iPad in an efficient manner. No open standards means they’d be chasing the dragon’s tail, just like everyone does with MS Office.

      And just as there are bad Flash devs, there are bad HTML “devs” who can’t deal with browser incompatibilities. Good HTML “devs”, though, learn the idiosyncrasies and develop libraries that handle all that so they don’t have to. And because of the open standards, there are hundreds of great off the shelf libraries that already do this for you.

      • 335


        May 7, 2010 11:21 am

        haha… ok, Sam you’re obviously a mac fan boy who apparently thinks that Apple is a web company, no response needed there. lol @ “flash is old” – yeah, in the same way computers are old . FutureSplash Animator is old, jackass, FP10.1 beta is brand spankin new and supports more new tricks than your mom. (lord knows that aint easy ;)

        Rich… sorry for this.

        i love how you said:

        “Flash is primarily successful at making pretty, but useless applications.”
        >> and you work at a company where millions of dollars, the majority of the prodcut buzz, and the lion share of interesting products are created by thousands of people a day who pay more to create theirs in a FLASH application. That’s what the suits call MONEY, and that’s what pays us. (An AS2 app made for FP8 that is 3 years old to make things worse, and it still does better than any other product)

        Nobody ever claimed Flash was a solution for mobile or stuck up Apple products which i can only imagine at this point are conceived in secluded steve jobs circle jerks where they chant “down with adobe” or something. They’ve purposely pushed away common technology screwing over thousands of websites when Nokia phones like 8 years ago had light flash support. Apple’s not making the best product they could, they’re making the most money they can, they don’t give a sh*t about all the sites their F*ing over. So at this point if you have flash content, I think you’re obligated to duplicate it for web/apple in a compatible format. But considering the size of the mobile device, it’s better for your users to provide web UI and mobile UI separately and capture the best of both worlds.

        Market penetration? Flash has more penetration (99%) than any other media plugin, more than JAVA for god sake- google could have told you that.

        “and there’s nothing that Flash can do in this space that HTML5/CSS/SVG/JS cannot” –
        >> you really gotta know very little about Flash to say this. Have you ever seen a nice full screen media rich website with full video, animations, interactivity, 3d, image processing, sound, games, lighting effects, automatic filters like drop shadow, glow, knockout, bevel, or ANYTHING exciting or progressive that was NOT built in Flash? IF so I would love to see, but probably not. You know why? Because it’s a pain in the ass, not supported the same in all browsers, and doesn’t ever perform well! Do it in flash, its smooth (if you can program worth a dam), and it’s the same in every desktop computer’s browser that has the plugin.

        Maybe you guys missed what I was getting at, let me get all number list like:

        1) Show me real 3D in HTML5 … you can’t. Google papervision 3d examples for inspiration

        2) Show me bitmap manipulations in a practical or mainstream usage in HTML5 / JS… there aren’t any.

        3) Show me a fun online game to play that isn’t made in flash.

        4) Show me something web that you’ve made that’s animated- if you don’t use flash, then you probably have nothing!

        5) Program something fun in JavaScript like a fractal generator or particle generator, program it in flash, compare. Guess which one will be choppy and struggle cross browser? Guess which one looks like “if IE, do it this retarded way, if Firefox, do it like this…” …y1k3s0rz

        6) The most successful interactive apps and games on the web (for computers) are ALL FLASH – example: Farmville (i’m not saying i like the game, just that it’s bringing in millions for it’s owner Zynga that people are calling “the first billion dollar IPO”) – name an HTML5 or DHTML / JS game pulling in more users buzz and money – there aren’t any.

        Don’t get me wrong, i love what MooTools has done, but it’s not even close to where flash is right now, or where it’s going.

        Finally, Flex is open source. It’s free. So is this great compiler called FlashDevelop. All we need now as someone previously mentioned, is an open source player. Yes, then maybe apple would have some open standards to start supporting without feeling like they’re getting on their knees in front of Adobe’s giant flash dong.

        Inspiration: – check out a running list of sites you wouldn’t want to make in anything but Flash and….. oh man…. Silverlight (gag).

        Sonic Boom!

  184. 336

    Most FWA sites are one hit wonder, they are not mainstream.

    Most designers are in love with flash and they are trying to sell technology, not funcionality.

    Apparently most flash lovers argue about “What I know and that guy who write this article don’t know”.

    As designers we must deliver easy to read content, not just fancy flash sites.

    In the end most flash driven sites are the result of an Ad Agency meeting with some art directors and flash stars.

    I like this article a lot, because it has important ideas to keep in mind, I like this one first:

    “People should be free to consume and create information, without being tied down to the kind licensing restrictions and legalities seen with the likes of Flash, Silverlight and other corporately owned technologies.”

    If Adobe wants to open flash, that’s good, but sound like designers are just in love with the tool, we need to focus on content delivery… and that mean Web Standards.

  185. 337

    May 25, 2010 11:12 am

    you owe me another 5 seconds of my life for this.


  186. 338

    When HTML 5 can do something like this… give me a ring, until then I think I will stop reading these articles and get on with making engaging creative content.

    • 339

      @Tim………….I had to leave due to the loading time. SLOW and it’s not my internet connection. It would be in your best interest to use a mix of both. Use a few flash components to jazz up your site.

  187. 340

    Brett Widmann

    December 8, 2010 4:44 pm

    This is a really interesting article. I would have thought flash would have stayed around a bit longer, but I suppose their is such a wide array of tools and programs that can do the same thing.

  188. 341

    Most people on here are clearly Flash fanboys. Well, when you can’t view a Flash site correctly on one fifth of browsers, and when some people leave a Flash site after waiting 30 seconds for the damn thing to load, and when you get a virus through your Flash plug-in..I guess you are all correct lmao

  189. 342

    Make your websites information in XML or JSON and then target either desktop or mobiles.

    Use Flash or HTML5, or both….I use both.

  190. 343

    Funny how Smash title for this article is the disappearance of flash..and yet they promote at the top , you can’t miss it..a banner of wix..all flash based click and drag site builder ..hmmm…..can we say affiliate commissions anyone !..

    I’m not a developer but my site is build in wix..I also use wordpress and Optimize press plugin..I love apple but it has turned into a strict draconian play ground where they want to control and rule ..instead of keeping the web open to be as creative as we can with the tools we have, no they try and build monopolies ..Like I said I am not a developer but, I am interested in the future of flash and html5>

  191. 344

    I realize I’m giving you a little more rank in Google by writing this on your site (you’re welcome, by the way) but, sorry, you couldn’t be more wrong about Flash disappearing. Actually, it’s just beginning a new lease on life. Flash did use to be a little crippled in some areas such as SEO, for instance. However, according to Adobe, Flash will be treated like a “first-class citizen” on the major search engines. Why? Because major companies depend on Flash to draw in their online revenue. Hey, my site is entirely in Flash, and I’m always on page one in a common search. And just because Apple decided to give it the cold-shoulder (which I think is a huge mistake) doesn’t mean it’s doomed. You must remember, Apple’s not the only show in town… there’s Blackberry brand and many, many others that will be running Flash full stream (or already are) and blowing away the compitition as they do. You do bring up some valid points about current trends and web standards… but you barely scratch the surface when you attempt to explain Flash.s capabilities to JAVA or other platforms. Flash is far superior to almost all the Flash-wannabes out there. Besides, it’s acually quite easy to make Flash iPhone friendly. So, I think you know how to write entertaining and controversial articles … but you obviously don’t know Flash.

    • 345

      I was replying to a flash developer the other day that, i bet, he didn’t even knew what “swfaddress” was and the use of it, or he was just a flash hater and had no idea what he was talking about, and kept trolling on posts.
      This anti-flash movement started by a brand (that i use too) and can’t develop good enough batteries like the competition, and blame that on the top rich media provider on the web, is somewhat funny, but sad, once you read these people that don’t even know the difference between the two, and they actually don’t, and still claim they are flash developers, or something in between a web designer and a programmer.
      Apparently they don’t know the software they use, and basically what they “develop” are plain ” super awesome hardcore websites” with a few stop()’s and gotoAndPlay’s, and that’s basically it.

  192. 346

    The real problem with flash is SEO. Once this problem is taken care of then flash would be awesome to have as a full site for any webmaster.
    I know that Google is working on a solution. Right now as it stands, it’s not in the best interest of most businesses to have full site built with flash.

  193. 347

    I think both flash and html/css are equally important tools in the web industry. They can co-exist, and a web designer should be able to use both these tools.

    Each of them should be use appopriately, for example I would use html/css for a web project that has lots of articles to read, needs SEO, etc..Use flash when videos, sound, animations and lots of pics involved.

    As for accesiblity, I think both needs to be accessed in all devices and browsers. If flash can’t be accessed in an iphone, then have a mobile site directed to the device. The same goes html/css sites, even if they are accesible in iphones, sometimes they are just too small.

  194. 348

    I hope flash doesn’t leave us, I love flash games(some of them).


↑ Back to top