Flash: what’s all the fuss over?

Update:  Here is a fantastic example of someone who has completely gone off the rails with respect to Flash…

Wow…nothing generates conversation in the tech industry like Adobe Flash. In just the past couple of days I’ve read articles about how HTML5 might be a ‘Flash killer’ along with articles on the release of Flash on the major mobile platforms, aside from iPhone. Along with those articles comes a lot commentary ranging from the people complaining about the lack of Flash on the iPhone to those with a strangely visceral hate for Flash who think that the lack of Flash on the iPhone is a bonus of the platform.

HTML 5 as Flash Killer

With all due respect to John Gruber over at Daring Fireball Adobe doesn’t view HTML 5 as a threat to Flash not because of anything to do with Internet Explorer but because of the history of HTML and CSS themselves. HTML 5 has a lot of great features and sounds like a real winner paired with CSS3 but modern browsers still can’t get the older standards right. There are still many workarounds required to get things rendering the same way on different browsers. Granted the situation is better than it used to be but these things simply aren’t an issue on a Flash-based user interface. While the browsers continue to play catch-up in the compatibility space Adobe will keep adding compelling features to Flash. I just don’t see HTML 5 being a serious challenger to Flash anytime soon.

Flash on Mobile Devices

I’d love Flash to be available on the iPhone. I really don’t get the reaction people have to Flash in general but when people go as far as saying that no Flash on the iPhone is a feature….please. Get a grip already. The iPhone experience would be that much richer with Flash available on the phone. HTML 5/CSS3 support on mobile Safari could be 100% compliant but until people start adopting those features on a mass scale it won’t be an alternative to having Flash available on the phone (see above).

I’m just not getting the dust-up over this stuff. Flash is a tool like anything else. Wider support of both HTML 5/CSS3 and Flash makes the web better, not worse. To those who would rather not have Flash exist at all: I think the web is a richer place with You Tube, Pandora, etc. than without them and they exist because of the ubiquitous nature of Flash. You seriously don’t? Because they wouldn’t exist right now if it weren’t for Flash.

%d bloggers like this: