Flash or HTML5

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by 3282868, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Random opinion based question.

    I've only recently began learning/dabbling in Flash with CS5, mostly as I want to get into more web/graphic design. However, with Apple and many abandoning Flash, is it worth putting the effort into learning or should I put on my HTML hat and learn HTML5?

  2. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    As a web/graphics designer who often works with Flash I'll offer an opinion.

    I work on/create Flash websites for various movie studios. We've always used Flash and I can't see that changing any time soon. The attraction of Flash for these sort of companies is that users get to see exactly the same content no matter what system they are on.

    With that said, however, we have started to add code in so that people who either don't want to use Flash or can't (iPad) are provided with an HTML replacement of the site. We obviously don't use HTML5 but we do provide a backup for the user.

    I'd say learn them both, it's better to have a varied set of skills than being a one trick pony. Be sure to research properly the options that are available when you are building a site, and always chose the best tool for the job.

    You're obviously going to get a lot of negative points regarding Flash on this site, I'd advise only listening to people that actually work in the industry rather than those who think they know it all! ;)

    P.S. This probably should have been posted in the 'Web Design and Development' forum rather than this one.
  3. Melrose Suspended


    Dec 12, 2007
    I wouldn't put a whole bunch of time and effort into Flash. However, it's going to be around for a while yet, so it naturally doesn't hurt at all to be familiar with it.

    Before you throw it into a project, though, carefully weigh whether it really is necessary. A lot of what used to be universally done in Flash can now be done with jQuery or Mootools - and more than just slideshows.

  4. arnop macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Paris, France
    It's never a bad thing to know both technologies. You may find yourself with the situation where your boss ask you to create a flash animation... Especially as flash is going to be around the web for at least the next 3 or 4 years. HTML5 is still 'new' and my opinion is that you should learn, at least the basics, of both.
  5. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

    Jan 8, 2009
    Thanks guys, appreciate the help! I know enough about Flash to produce basic animations (tweens, timeline, key/frame points - basic knowledge). I still need to dive into Actionscript 3.0, so I have a few video/project tutorials on my Mac Pro I've been meaning to utilize. I also need more expertise in vector based illustration, as I assume much of the graphics used in Flash are created with Illustrator (I've worked in Photoshop and digital photography for years).

    Makes sense to have a solid background in everything, I assumed that would be the case but it's good to get some facts from professionals in the industry.

    Thanks again for your input (oh, and sorry if I posted in the wrong thread, was in a rush at the time and didn't know better).
  6. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    Putting the unreasonable Flash opposition aside, it is a great platform. If you think that your clients will require some applications, multimedia or some really fancy solutions, you have to consider Flash. If you'll avoid Flash, your financials might suffer. Banks, corporations often ask for tasks that only Flash can do effectively. HTML5 might be a large part of the future of the web for many people, but you never know what the present means to your potential clients.

    Keep an open mind and don't fall for the kids' opinion on this forum.
  7. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    It's not unreasonable. It just plain doesn't work on most mobile platforms. Regardless of Apple's decisions, why is it not on Blackberry 6, Windows Phone, WebOS?

    Provided Adobe make a runtime for the platforms you wish to target.

    I completely agree you should keep an open mind when evaluating all technology, but that sounds outstandingly patronising. It's not just “kids”. There are many good reasons why a bet on Flash isn't a bet on the future.
  8. kernkraft macrumors 68020


    Jun 25, 2009
    Yes, Jobs also have some issues with Flash. But honestly, you can abuse HTML just as much and produce lagging applications and sites. You cannot blame Flash for poor development on individual web designers' part.
  9. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    I agree that Flash can be very efficient, but the problems with Flash go way beyond performance issues.
  10. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I don't see flash disappearing anytime soon, heck I think its going to be around a long time.

    Done right, flash can help create a great website, the problem is that people go overboard. Just look at vaja cases as an example. The site looks great, but because it relies so heavily on flash you cannot use the back button and its slow, when you start selecting products and viewing images.

    So in the end, flash is a useful tool to learn and use, and its not evil, unlike what Jobs says
  11. JackAxe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2004
    In a cup of orange juice.
    @ maflynn,

    The majority of that site you linked is handling all of its effects and so on via JavaScript and SVG(Maybe canvas, I didn't look.) -- or as the kids call it... HTML5 (Since it's become a blanket term these days). It's AJAX. There's only a few areas they use Flash on that site. You can left-click(control-click) to see if an element is Flash.

    Flash like AJAX has had access to back, forward, address bar, and refresh button for years now, but the developer has to know how to implement support for it. It's called deep-linking. It takes a bit more effort and understanding though than some care to commit, but for a product site it should be a given -- since a direct link to a product that can be copied and pasted is always useful.

    @ elppa,

    So says the individual with an iOS avatar. ;)

    @ bedifferent,

    Flash is not being abandoned, don't believe the haters -- well that .01% of Apple product using Job ... er ... supporters. A substantial majority, so pretty much everybody else is still behind Flash since HTML5 does not do what FLash can do.

    Your question is either or, but you really need both, especially if you want to stay competitive.

    Flash on its own can not access the browser DOM and even if you build an stand alone app, CSS is quite useful for formatting text, just as it is in HTML -- but you'l also have access to more advanced text-formatting that goes beyond anything that can be done with HTML/JS and CSS right now.

    HTML5 on the other hand still falls noticeably short of what FLash is capable of doing and there's that tid-bit that it's not even a standard. Even it it were, it still has the same cross-browser/platform limitations as HTML4 AJAX. Nothing has really changed... BUT, having siad that, there are many aspects of HTML5 development that you'll want, well need to learn even when developing Flash content.

    Just for reference: I've been doing web and interactive development since 95 and In order to build something in Flash now days, I use any of the fallowing in any combination; ActionScript 3(Flash's programming language, it has a descent IDE to work in.), JavaScript, ASP or PHP, XML or JSON, MySQL or SQL, and of course HTML and CSS, along with the experience to know how to optimize both my art assets, but also my code -- I've always hated bloat no matter what tool is being used!

    Anyways, there's WAY more to this, but don't limit yourself with just HTML5 or Flash for that matter. You really need to learn both if you want to be busy busy busy!
  12. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    The "Flash or HTML5" is a false choice: the future of the web is not one or the other (they do different things, with some overlap).

    (See www.bigarmadillo.com, especially the links at the end)

    There's s tone of job opportunities out there for skilled Flash developers (who know ActionScript), so the folks who say "don't waste your time with Flash" don't know their arse from 3rd base. But don't let that keep you from learning HTML5 too--the more tools in your toolbox, the better builder you are, and you'll be able to use the right tool for the right job!
  13. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Who is really backing Flash?

    Google? They don't really care that much about it. It makes a good bullet point for Android over iOS, but all their efforts with Webkit, Chrome and the OS are focussed on standards.

    Microsoft? They are making a big commitment to standards with IE 9. Just today they announced support for CSS3 2D transforms in the latest platform preview. They also have Silverlight, which is a huge part of their strategy with Windows Phone. That's a Flash competitor.

    RIM? Well they have a tablet coming out some time next year which supports app development using AIR, but none of their existing devices run Flash.

    HP Palm? Their whole platform is based on using standard web technologies and WebKit. Again they are not opposed to Flash but Adobe isn't interested in supporting smaller platforms right now.

    We might all give up on this mobile stuff, but I don't see that happening soon. And when you look at the mobile space I just don't see much to be optimistic about for Flash.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  15. JackAxe macrumors 68000


    Jul 6, 2004
    In a cup of orange juice.
    Google cares about Flash. They always use it when they can't achieve something with just JS and so on. The reason YouTube still uses Flash, is that Google doesn't have their own video player like Apple or Microsoft, so they still need it. It's aslo fully implemented into their new Google TV, which handles all video playback. It's also part of Chrome now. And just to clarify, I'm not calling Flash a video player, as in that's its only task, as that's like calling a car a seat.

    Yep, Microsoft is silverlight. I thought it was funny when they came out and tried Apple's tactics about how flash was a CPU hog and buggy in IE -- yeah right -- when it seemed like Flash support was stumbling. Glad that's passed. :)

    Mobile with the capability to run anything like Flash is new to this year and just look at how much things have changed since then.

    I give Apple all the credit for making mobile phones and even PDAs better, because not only did they show everybody how it should be done back in 2007, but their sure lunacy last year -- when they became dominent -- pushed on a wave of competition that now offer devices that in some ways are just as good as Apple's offerings, and in others better. Google certainly got their act together with Android when Apple went big-brother on us. :eek:
  16. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    I'm sorry to sound like a dog with a bone, but you're just not convincing me.

    Google doesn't care about Flash long term because an open web suits them perfectly as their services (and therefore adverts) don't get locked out of any platform*. If they cared that much about Flash, they wouldn't be so heavily invested in WebKit and so heavily focussed on pushing web standards. Google will say they care about Flash to keep Adobe sweet, but if it goes away it is of little consequence to their core business.

    From memory Street View in the browser uses Flash and Analytics uses Flash to draw some charts**. Can't think of much else!? Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar, the rest of Google Maps all use standard HTML/JS.

    Google have their own video player built into Chrome. It plays H.264, WebM and the other weird format that no one uses***. They already serve up nearly all their content in H.264 (without the flash wrapper around it) for mobile, be they WebOS, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry 6, Android 1.6/2.1 or iOS devices.

    * The problem with Flash is that Adobe can choose not to support some platforms because it doesn't suit their business interests and vendors can choose not to welcome Flash to their platform because it doesn't suit their business interests. The good thing about standards is that every vendor can add the support themselves. Not only that, it is also in their best interests to do so.

    ** Which let's face it could be done using standard html/css/js.

    *** Joke…
  17. obibobi macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Why does 90% of all Flash developers forget about usability when they create a new design ?
  18. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    Probably the same reason 94% of all JavaScript developers do, and 98.4 percent of all C++ programmers do, and (while I'm pulling numbers out thin air like you did) 91.625% of Objective-C programmers.

    (it isn't the technology a developer uses that determines whether they pay attention to usability principles)
  19. electric macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2002
    San Francisco, CA
    Stage Video

    Adobes Stage Video API just might might make flash the dominant video delivery platform again. What people forget about flash is it can get leaps and bounds better in a quick amount of time. HTML 5 is as good as it will get until html 6 comes along.
  20. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    First I assume when we talk of HTML 5 we are really talking about HTML 5/CSS 3/SVG/Offline Storage etc.

    Second every browser/platform vendor can work on performance for web standards solutions by themselves and if you look at performance of general rendering and javascript across all browsers then it has increased greatly in just the last 12 months. Internet Explorer is really turning up to play as well. It is extremely competitive and exciting.

    Contrast this with Flash, where is will go as fast and progress a quick as Adobe allow it, because they retain ultimate control.
  21. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Sep 29, 2008
    I think Flash is a great app to use as it's visual but then just export to HTML5 when the new compiler comes out. I mean thats why I think flash will stay around!
  22. DaReal_Dionysus, Nov 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2010

    DaReal_Dionysus macrumors regular


    Jan 9, 2009
    Flash is going nowhere anytime soon!!! Why? Because the truth is there is nothing to replace it1 Javascript & HTML5 do not and will never provide the all the functionality of flash and HTML is even predicted to be fully ready to 2025 and that date is not even cemented in stone. Apple has even begin to see this as now they just let a app in that allows you to play Flash. As a matter of fact, most clients will look at Flash site say I want my site like that. Developers are the ones who turn them off to that. Learn Flash and HTML5, all skills are good skills in this market!

    kernkraft your dead on correct!!

    elppa you sound like a serious coder and coders hate flash! Most coders have crapy looking websites or very plane looking. Most flash sites (if done correctly) are visually stunning.

    bedifferent: Please learn all you can of every development option out there! Flash, PHP, HTML5 and the various other web development tools that are out there are exactly that! "TOOLS" Versatility is the key to a successful web development career and the key to success web projects for your clients.

    BillyBobBongo: you are also dead on

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