There’re a galore of speculations doing the rounds that HTML5’s coming would spell out the death of Flash. HTML5’s arrival has been lauded by the world over in the Web development industry. Everyone knows it’ll take web development to the next level. But why create a fuss by pitting it against Flash? That would not just be extraneous but would restrict our view of the larger picture that speaks of interoperability.
Let’s commence with some facts-
- One doesn’t construct a website in Flash, it is built using HTML and only after that comes the part of integrating Flash features.
- Flash has weathered many such storms since it’s arrival more than 12 years ago. And even till now, the existing standards of publishing industry say that- no advanced features in banners can be added in the absence of Flash.
- As of yet HTML5 doesn’t exist officially. It is in fact an arrangement in progress, planned to be brought out two years from now, in 2014.
- Till now barely one-half of the installed browsers comply with HTML5 and among these browsers too, the intensity of compliance varies.
- Video features of HTML5 are pretty good for simple video players, but far from fabulous when we talk about advanced video elements (such as streaming, interactive elements and a variety of effects). And that’s where Flash comes in.
None of the aforesaid is an analysis of any kind. They are hard facts!
But, in the face of all the hoopla around HTML5, it’s comparatively simpler to rip apart a much subdued Flash.
No one’s underestimating HTML5
All said and done, this just doesn’t mean undermining HTML5, it has certainly taken over Flash in some ways, particularly in light interface enhancements. Let’s see how. Specifications of HTML have undergone quite a few changes in the last ten years. Earlier, to present an improved experience to the users, due to limitation of HTML- web development experts had to go for Flash.
In the last couple of years, we saw Flash being put to use in Custom fonts as well as transitions. And somewhere around that time, HTML also made progress into HTML5 (along with CSS3), that enabled designers to employ gradients, custom fonts, round edges as well as transitions, in addition to other things. Hence in the sphere of light interface enhancements, yes, Flash is certainly having a hard time against HTML5.
Why do we need Flash
But even this doesn’t predict doom for Flash. Not yet! As- heavy interface enhancements are still left and none can handle it better than Flash. Be it-advanced audio and video elements, vector based animations or imparting engrossing environment; till date all are best managed in Flash. And to go a little further in defense of the unassuming Flash, it can be said without a doubt that it’s no less than 10 years ahead of HTML in its core technology. HTML isn’t better, but only because Flash is owned by one single organization, Adobe (and HTML belonging to none), its evolvement rate is at the discretion of its rightful owners.
There’s no speck of reservation that HTML sooner or later would have abilities similar to Flash, but how long it might take cannot be said.
Besides each and every website does not require Flash. Prominent organizations such as Wikipedia, Ebay, Amazon built their mammoth fan base solely on the quintessential HTML and so did gazillions of small and big websites.
There is another aspect that rests with mobiles. It is-if iOS and Android would offer users HTML5 powered browsers, where would the Blackberrys, Symbians, Feature phones, Cheaper Tablets of the world go? Therefore interoperability is important and the best possible way to realize it would be by concentrating on the Application Programming Interfaces and not by overly depending on extraordinary powers of HTML5.
Regardless of the points made in this write up, speculations and assumptions wouldn’t stop. But the central idea is that one doesn’t have to make a choice among the two. Instead the right path to tread would be by realizing that both HTML5 and Flash have their merits and demerits. And both could be used entirely on the basis of the experience you want to offer and other related aspects. So, while HTML is creating its foothold in one part of the spectrum, Flash is directing its energies on higher features.
Till now a tug of war doesn’t exist between the two, so why would we fabricate one?