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Flash vs HTML5 benchmark

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2009
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http://www.themaninblue.com/writing/perspective/2010/03/22/

I'm not sure if this has been posted before but here is a benchmark test somebody did between HTML5, canvas, SVG and Flash.

The results are interesting. What I found to be the most interesting of all was that on my 21.5" Imac Flash used less cpu then most of the other tests. The fact that everybody always blames Flash for using so much cpu isn't really an argument anymore since any form of rich content on a website is going to use that much cpu.

I realize some people have other issues with Flash. I'm just saying that perhaps cpu performance cannot be the reason to hate it anymore. I have always said the people that hate Flash for performance are going to hate all forms of rich media no matter how it is delivered.

The other interesting thing to note is the user on the forum who couldn't get more then 2 fps playback on their Iphone. A lot of people thought Flash wouldn't work on the Iphone due to performance but it looks like HTML5 and canvas animation isn't going to work very well either. I'm talking rich website performance and not video playback.

Finally look at the insane fps Windows users can get. I guess it really helps to tie Flash directly into Directx for playback.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
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That guy doesn't know much about benchmarking, so I wouldn't read into his results too much (though some good points are made). From the comments, on Mac the results were much closer to one another, and on Linux with Chrome, Canvas was a more clear winner with Flash at the bottom. His code for each language was also not well done and misses the strengths of each language. No matter the results though, I'm still keeping my Flash plug-in disabled and will continue to code for Canvas/HTML for my stuff because I won't shell out the money for proprietary software.
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2009
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I agree with you but it is nice to finally see some sort of benchmark. Hopefully we will see more in the near future. The interesting thing is that it was the Flash version that got the most criticism for not being programmed very well even though it was faster or held it's own compared to everything else. You and I both know that just because there may be a better way to program something it doesn't always happen that way. That is a big problem that plagues Flash. Bad development. It looks like all the other technologies can run the same risk of sloppy development which sort of brings us all back to square one.

The two main points I see from this however is that Iphone users are still going to kind of be SOL for rich animated web content and it is tough to say Flash sucks because of cpu usage.
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2009
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21.5" Imac core 2 duo 3.06 Ghz 4 GB ram

Snow Leopard + Safari

Flash cpu 32%
Canvas cpu 40%
HTML cpu 42%
SVG cpu 41%

I am using the release candidate of Flash 10.1 so maybe this helped me a bit. I guess very recently Adobe has had success getting core animation to work with Flash. I also heard a rumor that Apple and Adobe were working very close together to get the core animation part of Flash working well. I don't know if this is true or not. All I know is that on my Mac Flash had the lowest cpu. Not by a lot but even if it was equal that would still be saying something of Flash not being the cpu hog some people thought it was. I can still see it running much better under Windows but maybe that same performance is around the corner for us as well.
 

angelwatt

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Aug 16, 2005
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You and I both know that just because there may be a better way to program something it doesn't always happen that way. That is a big problem that plagues Flash. Bad development. It looks like all the other technologies can run the same risk of sloppy development which sort of brings us all back to square one.

Definitely. I see tons of ill-written JavaScript out on the web. Unfortunately, there's much more poor code out there (all languages) than good. One reason I use No-Script for Firefox.

For what it's worth here's my results:
Code:
[B]Firefox[/B] 3.6.2, OSX 10.6 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM
(Note: approx. 19 add-ons active, other tabs open, and has been open for days)
        [B]FPS[/B]   [B]CPU[/B]
HTML:   15    100%
Canvas: 25    100%
SVG:    3     100%
Flash:  45    117%

[B]Safari[/B] 4.0.5: (Note: freshly started)
HTML:   43    100%
Canvas: 43    97&
SVG:    28    98%
Flash:  28    70% (flash), 15% (Safari) cpu

[B]Chrome[/B] 5.0.342.9 beta (freshly started)
HTML:   37    11% (chrome), 99% (chrome helper)
Canvas: 38    26% (chrome), 99% (chrome helper)
SVG:    31    10% (chrome), 99% (chrome helper)
Flash:  36    18% (chrome), 43% (chrome helper), 72% (flash)

[B]Opera[/B] 10.52 (freshly started)
HTML:   28    99%
Canvas: 44    97%
SVG:    14    99%
Flash:  42    120%

I'm surprised about the differences between the browsers. Also, I never noticed Flash has it's own process when used in Safari and Chrome. Maybe that has something to do with the lesser performance. Flash does use the most CPU for each browser.

I like SVG, but would not try to do as much animation as the test page does. Most animations don't need that much going on either. I have image scrolling scripts and they only use 13% cpu on my machine. I've grown to like canvas too so can't wait for wider support for it.
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2009
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Thank you for those results. I have known as a Flash developer for awhile that Flash under OSX doesn't work as well with Firefox. It works but it eats up a lot more cpu. I also create a lot of video streaming interfaces that use 60 fps and Safari will play 60 fps no problem but Firefox seems to cap out at 30 fps. I could never really figure out why.

Are you using Flash 10.0 or Flash 10.1 the beta? I wonder if the rumors I heard are true and 10.1 is running much better under OSX. I should see what I get under Firefox as well.

Safari has grown on me more and more each day due to it's level of performance.
 

UTclassof89

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2008
421
0
...it is tough to say Flash sucks because of cpu usage.

Well... it won't be tough for people to say that, because the Flash haters are zealots who ignore facts.
They still claim Flash can't be indexed by search engines (and screen readers).
They still say the browser back button won't work with Flash.
They still quote Jacob Nielsen's "Flash is 99% Bad" article from 10 years ago.

Bravo for posting some benchmark data, but don't expect to convince anyone who doesn't want to be convinced.
 

Cabbit

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2006
2,128
1
Scotland
Well... it won't be tough for people to say that, because the Flash haters are zealots who ignore facts.
They still claim Flash can't be indexed by search engines.
They still say the browser back button won't work with Flash.
They still quote Jacob Nielsen's "Flash is 99% Bad" article from 10 years ago.

Bravo for posting some benchmark data, but don't expect to convince anyone who doesn't want to be convinced.

You forgot the only one that still fully holds truth.

It is still inaccessible!

Nice looking flash site but can i read it, ops i can't still after a decade i still can't read the content on a flash site.
 

smetvid

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 1, 2009
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As a Flash developer what would you need me to do to support your device for screen readability? Let me know exactly what you want support for and I will see if I can make it work. The thing with Flash is that it can function as a pretty raw programming language. I have used Flash libraries to use the Nintendo WII remote with Flash applications so I'm sure there must be some way to get Flash to work with every screen reader in the world. I'm sure there could be a way to get Flash to do it without a special screen reader either.

I don't think the main problem is Flash itself but no Flash developer has had the need to develop for such a thing. Most of my clients that we have worked with have never requested such a thing but I would be more then happy to see if it is possible.

One question. Are there screen readers for the Iphone and Ipad? Just asking because I have not heard of any but then again it isn't something I usually go out and look for since I never have to deal with them. Of course I am always looking for ways to do things better and if supporting screen readers will help I want to find a way to do it.
 

irishgrizzly

macrumors 65816
May 15, 2006
1,461
1
This question doesn't need it's own thread, so here seems a good place to ask...

If I have a flash rich site and am asked to convert to HTML5 - can this be done easily? I there a way of exporting from Flash? or do I have to remake and if so what program would I use?
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
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USA
If I have a flash rich site and am asked to convert to HTML5 - can this be done easily? I there a way of exporting from Flash? or do I have to remake and if so what program would I use?

Never heard of one that does anything automatically. How hard it would be would depend on the actual content involved.

lucidmedia said:
As is the Canvas tag currently...
That is true, but the canvas tag is not likely to be used to render the entire page's content, graphics and text included like Flash web sites do. Canvas would only be used for graphics and animation and are handled in a similar manner to the alt attribute on img tags. Handling keyboard interactions for any canvas interactions could be very difficult though, though Flash has a hard time there too.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
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USA
Do you know which program can make vector HTML5 animations?

I'm guessing you are wanting to something graphical that you can create with a mouse. I've never looked for any. I've always been a text person and do all my animations (for JavaScript, Canvas, and SVG) with a text editor so I can't make any recommendations.
 

Cabbit

macrumors 68020
Jan 30, 2006
2,128
1
Scotland
As a Flash developer what would you need me to do to support your device for screen readability? Let me know exactly what you want support for and I will see if I can make it work. The thing with Flash is that it can function as a pretty raw programming language. I have used Flash libraries to use the Nintendo WII remote with Flash applications so I'm sure there must be some way to get Flash to work with every screen reader in the world. I'm sure there could be a way to get Flash to do it without a special screen reader either.

I don't think the main problem is Flash itself but no Flash developer has had the need to develop for such a thing. Most of my clients that we have worked with have never requested such a thing but I would be more then happy to see if it is possible.

One question. Are there screen readers for the Iphone and Ipad? Just asking because I have not heard of any but then again it isn't something I usually go out and look for since I never have to deal with them. Of course I am always looking for ways to do things better and if supporting screen readers will help I want to find a way to do it.

I need only two things to read most text, The ability to select it word by word so my eyes don't skip lines. And the ability to select all of the text with my mouse to use ether Mac OS's screen reader for quickness or i use BrowseAloud that was recommended to me by my uni.

I need the ability to change the background colour of your sites as well to #ffffe6 during the day or #fee3ff at night.

Now all the websites i visit in HTML allow me to change the background colour, font size, select each word, read entire articles, some even have a nice skip to content link on them.

http://www.browsealoud.com/page.asp?pg_id=80004
 

UTclassof89

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2008
421
0
Neither of which works on Mac.

Then you can't say "Flash is inaccessible... fully holds truth" if it can easily be made accessible to 92% of computers, and with some extra effort (recording voice-overs) for the rest.

It would be great if Adobe put more effort into this area in the Mac version of the FlashPlayer, but an objective observer would have to admit that Flash has come light years, from "not at all accessible" in 2000, to "pretty damn accessible, but not perfect" in 2009:

http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/flash/tutorial/
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
Then you can't say "Flash is inaccessible... fully holds truth" if it can easily be made accessible to 92% of computers, and with some extra effort (recording voice-overs) for the rest.

I didn't say that. Though, just because two programs on Windows are able to help with screen reading doesn't make accessibility on Mac anymore a reality. Those programs are also very expensive, which makes it a hurdle for many.
 

UTclassof89

macrumors 6502
Jun 10, 2008
421
0
I didn't say that. Though, just because two programs on Windows are able to help with screen reading doesn't make accessibility on Mac anymore a reality. Those programs are also very expensive, which makes it a hurdle for many.

I didn't mean to attribute that quote to you.
My point was that Flash content can be made accessible, but people (like babyjenniferLB) still claim that it can't.
As you probably know, "accessible" does not mean it has to automatically work with an inexpensive, cross-platform, off-the-shelf screen reader. It means the content can be accessed by vision-impaired, hearing-impaired, or mobility-impaired users.
Flash content can be made to do all of the above (on Mac and PC). But like regular HTML/CSS content, its the responsibility of the developer to make it so.
 

angelwatt

Moderator emeritus
Aug 16, 2005
7,852
7
USA
Flash content can be made to do all of the above (on Mac and PC). But like regular HTML/CSS content, its the responsibility of the developer to make it so.

Regular HTML/CSS is naturally more accessible without the effort on the developer's part due to it being text-based. Even for RIA, the content is reasonably accessible without too much extra effort on the developer's part. Flash developers have to deliberately make the content accessible and unfortunately, many do not.
 
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