Flash and Standards: The Cold War of the Web

by Dan Mall

71 Reader Comments

Back to the Article
  1. Great article Dan. It is great to see this viewpoint being talked about on ALA. These allegiances to technologies are ridiculous and have been hampering the creative web industry for years. Our work is presented in a rapidly changing environment and ultimately we must focus all of our endeavours to ensuring the people using our sites have a seamless experience. The “people” are also constantly changing and so are their expectations and we should be looking for the right technology to fit their needs, and not restricting their experiences due to preferential technical decisions.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  2. “Finally, remember what really matters: People. For everyone’s sake, it’s time we all learned to get along.” This is brilliant (imho).
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  3. This is the definitive article i’ve read about this topic in the last month. Thank you for a wonderful read.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  4. @wiseguydigital: bq. we must focus all of our endeavours to ensuring the people using our sites have a seamless experience. Absolutely! Well said. @Addy: My pleasure!
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  5. I agree with the majority of your sentiments. It isn’t the tool itself that failed, but the people who abuse the tool that cause the frustration. This is true of a wide arrange of tools However, I feel like articles like this are just as predictable as the articles that present one side or another. Every so often, a heated debate like this takes place and then a “Can’t we all just get along!” article is written. I feel like that’s what this is. It doesn’t address the specific things that are abused and hurt the user experience. Abusers of the tool will read this article and feel good about themselves. Haters of the tool will read this article and feel good about themselves. Wash, rinse, repeat.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  6. bq. Create something excellent where the technology is transparent, and allow only the curious to look under the hood to actually see what’s going on. In this debate, truer words were never spoken. Thanks, Dan.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  7. Great job, Dan. There’s really nothing to add here - just wanted to virtually high-five you.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  8. The Flash vs HTML5 article I’ve been waiting for. Perfectly expressed. Thank you.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  9. @Nate: I appreciate your thoughts and definitely see your point. bq. Every so often, a heated debate like this takes place and then a “Can’t we all just get along!” article is written. I feel like that’s what this is. It doesn’t address the specific things that are abused and hurt the user experience. You’re absolutely right. I certainly don’t intend for this article to be the end-all for this topic. My goal in writing it was to level-set and quell some of the angst in people who choose sides blindly. For the ones who already get it, there should definitely be a more explicit article that addresses finer points of UX, technology, and the like, but I find that it’s a harder sell when the general mindset is so scattered on parts of the issue that don’t really matter.  I’ve actually already started a draft for that next step article, but I’m genuinely hoping someone beats me to the punch :)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  10. Nice Dan! I think there is room for all players in the game. HTML5 and CSS3 will give us a whole new set of tools but Flash will always have a place. I believe in hybrid sites and try to follow standards for the content but Flash can manipulate the display and customization in a pretty immersive way. I dont like players in the device game trying to dictate the tech but its all part of the game. It will be interesting to see how flash runs on non-iPhone smart phones and the support for exporting iPhone apps.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  11. A noble attempt to put people in the first row. And, I couldn’t agree more. This voice was missing. Well done. Unfortunately, life is never that simple with you. And yes, the complications are indeed multi-dimensional. 1st Dimension: this is not about flash or html5, this is about how _people_ use devices like the iPad. Touch interfaces have their own paradigms of interaction, and you probably would agree in that we so far only got a glimpse of what their potential will be. Well, Apple has demonstrated that html5 can stand up to a fairly good start. Flash hasn’t. 2. Dimension: this is about what happens with our legacy vs what happens with our future. Some innovators cut loose from the legacy on purpose. Many loose in the attempt. A few succeed. Those that succeed create a major perturbation but also value. The point is that the largest part of the legacy of flash applications, games, etc is not suitable to be used on touch interfaces. But, you already have 100,000 apps that do. 3. Dimension: commercial interests. This is about one company breaking the market domination of another and attempting to establish domination itself. The sad part is that whole communities of developers and users become the cannon fodder. Very sad indeed.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  12. Flash makes designing soooooo much easier. I don’t even care about the fancy animation features, just the fact you can lay something in place and it will stay there, no matter what broswer it is viewed with. You can layer elements and I can put my graphic design skills to full use without having to use heavy png’s with javascript alpha IE 6 hacks and all the other head aches that come from html/css designs. You can easily create nice hover states for links without using multiple div’s, overflow containers, blah blah blah. You can set things side by side without using sketchy floats and clear fixes. With Flash, everything just works.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  13. The title says it all. Nice with some wise words in these mad and ridiculous flame wars…
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  14. I completely agree with the idea of not having titles like “Flash Developer” or “HTML Designer”. Daily, I work with Flash, HTML/CSS, PHP and whatever other platform a client requires. If you only work within one platform, you’re limiting yourself and what you can build for your clients. I think most “Flash Developers” called themselves that to attract clients when Flash was the hot thing. It’s time for people to just call themselves “Web Developers” or something similar. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you build it with, as long as it works and was the right choice for the project.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  15. Well said, plain and simple. I just want to see more people start to think of the experience, getting from A to B and stop twisting “I can’t” in to “it’s impossible”.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  16. I agree with the author - I’ve never really believed that the two technologies were threats to each other.  As eager as I am to have a <video> tag for basic embeds and such, there’s one thing that HTML 5 can never replace on its own: Flash games.  In my opinion, if in the future Flash came to be used *only* for making web-based games, the technology is *still* well worth keeping alive.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  17. @malbrecht: Thanks for your thoughts, though I must disagree with you on a few counts. bq. this is about how people use devices like the iPad. Touch interfaces have their own paradigms of interaction, and you probably would agree in that we so far only got a glimpse of what their potential will be. Apple has demonstrated that html5 can stand up to a fairly good start. Flash hasn’t. That’s not entirely true. _Wired_ and Adobe demoed their “tablet app”:http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/02/the-wired-ipad-app-a-video-demonstration/ built in AIR, which I would say supports touch interaction rather well. Adobe’s “AS3 Multitouch class”:http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/beta/reference/actionscript/3/flash/ui/Multitouch.html is out as a beta, and Mike Chambers also addresses “how Flash handles touch events”:http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2010/02/22/flash-player-content-mouse-events-and-touch-input/ . bq. The point is that the largest part of the legacy of flash applications, games, etc is not suitable to be used on touch interfaces. But, you already have 100,000 apps that do. I think this is a bit of an unfair point. I don’t expect my Super Nintendo cartridges to work on my Wii. While the current Flash IDE may not address the iPad scenario head on, I’m confident that the next versions will have answers to those questions. Inferring that Flash is a legacy technology because it doesn’t cater to a future device is still a bit premature. bq. This is about one company breaking the market domination of another and attempting to establish domination itself. The sad part is that whole communities of developers and users become the cannon fodder. Very sad indeed. On that, I must agree.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  18. @Alan Hughes: bq. With Flash, everything just works. That’s a bit of an oversimplification, wouldn’t you say? Everyone I know that uses Flash has her fair share of bugs and workarounds. I think every technology comes with its own set of compromises”¦Â things that are simple in one environment are exceedingly difficult in another. For instance, trying wrapping dynamic text around an image in Flash :)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  19. Quote:“Agencies:Stop writing job listings for HTML5 designers or ActionScript gurus. You’re just fanning the flames. Instead, invest in creative people who know how to execute in a number of ways, people who prioritize learning new tools to solve a problem over honing their chops.” I agree with the concept of cross-training and the value of talent over tools, but this is a bit of an oversimplification. It’s a great concept for an agency environment, perhaps, where a developer/designer is working in a supportive environment, complete with mentors, training, and a career path. It doesn’t quite hold water, though, in the independent contractor world with its needs of the hired gun/pro from Dover. Contract engagements require resources who can come in, ramp-up quickly, and deliver quality work immediately. General purpose “cool creative thinker” sounds great in theory, but can be a tough sell. So, I agree that agencies shouldn’t lock resources into constraining titles. But the reality of the marketplace requires specialized skills, so it behooves resources to both deepen -and- widen their skills to survive an ever more capricious hiring pool.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  20. I have always been a web developer who LONGS for a feature-rich, standard API to create consistent and compelling user experiences on the web. And while I am certainly more than proficient with HTML/CSS/JS, I focus my efforts in the Adobe Flex space. HTML5 is a monsterous step forward in the right direction. But, just because we (will) have support for canvas-based interactions and a common approach to video and sound, does not mean that we have a great platform for web app development. We are still a long way out from the ability to create a user interface while working in one HTML5 compliant browser and have confidence in the fact that the other browsers on other platforms will render our precise and complex application consistently. This is why I build and deploy using the Flash player. Despite minor differences between Flash Player releases, Flash Player provides an extremely consistent deployment environment which works equally well in all major browsers and on all major platforms. (iPhone/iPad aside) My other reason that I prefer working in Flex over HTML is that the Flex Framework provides a very extensive tool kit to build complex user interfaces. Not only are the standard controls like ‘checkbox’ and ‘button’ present, but they provide the ability to painlessly generate custom, reusable layouts and a ton of libraries and tools to make server/client communication a breeze. JQuery has come a long way, but the time and effort required to build, test, and deploy comparable apps in JS and Flex is so much less in the Flex world. Now, many of you might disagree with me on that point. So, this brings me to my main disagreement with the article. While it is important to be a well rounded developer capable of building anything in any language, it is far more important to have expert-level knowledge of the tools and best practices in a given language/environment. I have been a full-time Flex developer for several years now and am blown away by how much I didn’t know even just a year ago. I just don’t see how those who dabble in HTML/CSS/JS and dabble in Flex can be masters in either. Flex is complex and easy to do wrong. So, if anyone wants to do serious Flex development, for the love of God, please don’t hire someone who has some experience making Flash/Flex widgets and some experience in PHP. Hire an expert who knows the inner workings of the Framework and can leverage the good and avoid the bad.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  21. @ Dan Mall I was more specifically referring to the problems I listed. Yes there are other problems I realize with Flash, but using it to do the more graphic web designs, it makes things so much easier.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  22. In this vein, I’ve written a nice little API to bridge the gap and let AS3 coders write AS3-like Sprites and Tweens for JS+canvas…pretty fast, too. Demo is here: http://www.joshstrike.com/strikedisplay/Demo/Ark.html I completely agree that the technology used on a site should not be immediately obvious to the average user. It should always look like some kind of magic.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  23. great article dan bq. People matter i wrote an article a few days ago that touches on the same thing - the person’s experience is the focus, so technology shouldn’t matter, as long ass the experience is improved by it. “here’s what i wrote”:http://mcapraro.com/flash-html5-browsers-vs-the-user/
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  24. I’ll miss flash if its penetration decreases and ad publishers start using javascript-css-html combination for abusive ads. Flash in its current form is a quarantine environment. Disable when not needed or abused and get rid of these evil ads. That simple.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  25. The problem with Flash isn’t in its usefulness as a technology, it’s in its implementation: Flash Player. Windows users may enjoy Adobe’s full attention and support, but other platforms are largely ignored. Adobe has given OS’s like Linux and OS X just enough attention that everything works, but it certainly doesn’t work well. You say we should send a message to Adobe if we want things changed. Well, we _have_. We’ve been pleading with Adobe for years to devote the resources needed to make the Linux and Mac Flash Players as fast and stable as their Windows counterpart. Flash needs to be gotten rid of because it’s under the control of a single entity with limited resources that allocates them according to the size of their user base. It’s not a true technology. It’s a product; and telling Adobe about where it could be improved is never going to be enough if we can’t improve it ourselves.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  26. I have read a lot of rants about both, Flash and HTML, and I finally find a balanced article like this that just makes me feel happy. Complaints and attemps to discredit the competition just lead nowhere. Same happens with locking proprietary systems or frameworks, supporting such decisions in poor rants against the competition. In fact, both technologies play well together. Every progress from one of them is a great progress for the whole web world landscape. Even when they could be competing between themselves at some points, that competition benefits end users with more reliable technologies, and benefits developer with a broader array of tools to solve common problems. There is not just thing as Flash or HTML developers. There are web coders, programmers, designers or engineers, that rely on lots of technologies to develop the best solutions posible. And, if the landscape changes, their skillset will quickly change, as already happened in the past.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  27. @ mrmambo: bq. Contract engagements require resources who can come in, ramp-up quickly, and deliver quality work immediately. General purpose “cool creative thinker” sounds great in theory, but can be a tough sell. Tough sell, yes, but I’d say it’s a more effective one. The contractors I work with most are the ones that excel in multiple areas. For instance, I worked with a guy who was brought once to help with HTML/CSS and then on a separate job to build a CMS because he was equally skilled at both. It led to repeat business for him. For what it’s worth, I certainly believe in practical specialization, but my points in the article are more related to a technology-agnostic _mindset_.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  28. Great article. I have a comment on this statement:
    Don’t sell (or discourage) Flash or standards to your clients; instead, sell creative brand extensions, accessible content, enjoyable experiences, and simple maintainability.
    This is great advice, however, it’s just a polite way of saying “discourage Flash”. Although you made it clear that Flash isn’t necessarily to blame for accessibility and maintainability problems, the reality is that it will continue to cause accessibility and maintainability problems as long as uneducated developers continue to use it. And due to the nature of the web, I don’t see that ever changing.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  29. New technology is of course better, yet i’d never want flash to completely disappear. More Search engine viable maybe, but not vanish into thin air :(
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  30. I can’t think of software that ha Flash’s combination of clunkiness, heaviness and suckiness.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  31. @Louis Lazaris That’s an interesting point… you mean to tell me every site you’ve ever been to that uses standards (and especially ajax) has been well crafted with accessibility and maintainability in mind? Because I can think of some pretty high traffic sites out there with horrible ajax experiences, lightboxes layered on top of lightboxes, pop-unders and all sorts of other horrible user experience decisions. Flash has never overcome it’s SKIP INTRO history in the mind’s of a large chunk of our industry. Standards has never been able to overcome testing across every browser and platform in another. It’s our own micro version of the Arab-Israeli conflict—it’s all deriving from the same place, but for some reason we can’t seem to find a way to get along. We’re a fractured community bickering about who’s making things the right way instead of helping each other move forward. The point Dan’s trying to make is that gratuitous overuse of anything is bad and that instead of simply brushing aside something as such, understanding and finding an appropriate use for it is the true sign of an expert in this craft.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  32. Everyone has their favorite tools - but It’s nice to have a whole toolbox full of ‘em.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  33. Dan, I found it interesting your section discussing the similarities between the need for tools to develop in Flash versus the idea that HTML5 might need similar tools. The difference, and this is the core of the argument, is that the proprietary nature of Adobe’s tech means that very few people can develop for Flash _without_ Adobe’s tools while the openess of HTML5 allows for a whole ecosystem of tools (and their developers) to benefit. I assumed from your title this is where you were headed as the Cold War analogy fits well against the capitalistic nature of Adobe against the communistic nature of the web standard’s community. On another point, you said that agencies should stop advertising for specialists because developers have multiple areas of knowledge. Surely you would admit that simply adding a Flash adept developer or a web standards guru to the staff doesn’t mean the agency can support a change in their process or that it’s the type of work they want to do. If the pipeline is based on one of these two, the designers are used to designing for it, the project managers know what to expect, and sales people know how to sell the approach’s benefits to clients, it seems rather counterproductive to hire someone that would be happier working in a different environment. Finally, I don’t just want to see Flash replaced with better iterations of HTML, I want to see browser plugins in general go away.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  34. The problem with flash is that on most of my Mac OS X computers its a complete resource hog and causes my browsers to crash. This means i don’t use flash, and it makes me hate every site that needs flash for some part of its functionality, because then i either have to enable it in my browser, or switch to firefox just for that one site. I want to use websites where i don’t have to load some plug in that makes my system unstable or degrades performance, or reduces my battery life signfiicantly. It’s not the technology as such people are hating, it’s the plugin. If we need to kill the technology to get us out of this plug in hell, then we’re prepared to do it. As far as i can see all Adobe has to do is ship an amazing version of the flash plug in, that behaves, doesn’t crash, and doesn’t use 80%+ of the resources on a dual core 2.4ghz computer. Looking at what OS X can do then the processing power is there. And if Adobe have written something that is tied to one platforms concepts (i.e Windows), all i can say is we’re on version 6 of OS X - you’ve had enough time to do something about it. The windows version doesn’t suffer the same performance issues. If adobe aren’t able to do this, then they should give the job over to someone who can.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  35. “dryan”:http://www.alistapart.com/comments/flashstandards/P30/#c328482 : bq. Surely you would admit that simply adding a Flash adept developer or a web standards guru to the staff doesn’t mean the agency can support a change in their process or that it’s the type of work they want to do. If the pipeline is based on one of these two, the designers are used to designing for it, the project managers know what to expect, and sales people know how to sell the approach’s benefits to clients, it seems rather counterproductive to hire someone that would be happier working in a different environment. From a business standpoint, it absolutely makes sense to hire the more “familiar” one, the one who can deliver expected results that everyone is used too. But, in my experience, safety sometimes hinders creativity, innovation, and open-mindedness. It often produces unremarkable results and encourages the staff to strive for mediocrity. “geekmoose”:http://www.alistapart.com/comments/flashstandards/P30/#34 : bq. The problem with flash is that on most of my Mac OS X computers its a complete resource hog and causes my browsers to crash I must disagree. You can publish an empty SWF and run it with virtually no lag on resources. That leads me to believe it’s not the player or the SWF format, but what the SWF contains that causes concern. As I mentioned in the article, the unoptimized development is misinterpreted as a faulty platform. Rather than executing the messenger, let’s teach the writer how to craft her message. That way, everyone wins.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  36. This is a great article, and it extends beyond “Flash vs. HTML5” because it refocuses on what I think the real question should be: What’s the GOAL of this project? For example, people come to me and say “I need a PowerPoint file,” but what they really need is “I have to share a lot of information in an interesting way to a large group of people.” Sometimes PowerPoint is indeed the answer (GASP!), but sometimes a video might do a better job, or Keynote, or, yes, a custom-built Flash app. People get so caught up in the “how” that they often forget the “what.” Here’s to getting back to “what,” while learning many, many “how"s.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  37. I really don’t think the Flash/HTML debate is “destroying” our “industry.”Â Nor do I believe the blandishment that technologies are neither good nor bad. Tell that to a gun-control advocate. (Flash doesn’t kill Web sites. _People_ kill Web sites. Won’t anyone think of the _people_?)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  38. This is realy a good story about flash vs the world. Still i prefer to go with HTML5 since i own apple products. And i dont like flash since every animated-gif banners are now replaced by even more irritating flash banners. But i still don’t know every function of HTML5.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  39. Concentrating on creating an awesome website design which is aimed at reaching out to the people it is supposed to has to be our first priority as designers. Selecting which technologies to use to achieve this depends on the context and requirements of the client, and our own judgement on usability, execution, SEO targets etc. Afterall, when an author writes a top novel, the emphasis is not placed on the typeface used when it is printed… generally, it has to be invisible! Let the content do the talking. Great article Dan :)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  40. bq. I must disagree. You can publish an empty SWF and run it with virtually no lag on resources. That leads me to believe it’s not the player or the SWF format, but what the SWF contains that causes concern I must disagree with you on that one - as this is content that works perfectly well in Windows, without the resource hogging. If you are correct, then what you are stating is flash code optimisation must be done separately for each OS that it runs on. If i could say that it was one particular site then i would blame that site, but it isn’t. It’s all flash that i run. Even if they fix the resource hogging there is still the instability issue. And it’s a significant instability issue.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  41. Nice article, and I agree that if you have a peeve with Adobe you need to let them know. But ... I’ve asked them three times (once in public) about a simple thing they could do about Accessibility in Flash, and there’s been no response. Are they listening?
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  42. Great article Dan!  We’ve been seeing this topic popping up quite a bit ever since the iPad announcement like you mentioned.  Pretty funny how intentional Jobs was with that sly maneuver of bringing up the NY times. With the slow death of Flash, our “web design (web design)”:http://www.dontblinkdesign.com firm has really wondered what this means for Flex and it’s future.  We’ve developed some great Apps using this technology, but in the end the SWF output is basically no different than Flash. Do you think this means the end of Flex too?
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  43. The iPad will certainly shine a spotlight on the issue as I think more people will expect a seamless rich media experience on this device compared to the iPhone. Your proposals for developers achieving detente and cooperation are spot on.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  44. Thanks so much for this great article! This topic is something i’ve been mulling about. Here’s a blog posting I recently wrote about, “Moving Beyond Flash - A Web Designer’s Interactive Toolkit” here… http://blogs.sun.com/funbits Thanks for the additional links to alternative JScript design pattern libraries. I’m quickly add those into my emerging technology toolkit.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  45. There’s been some chatter lately about how the next version of HTML 5 might make Flash irrelevant. And not only Flash, but also Adobe Flex, Microsoft Silverlight, and Oracle JavaFX might similarly become useless. Thanks,
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  46. I think Flash has a somewhat steeper learning curve which makes it harder to start out. Poisoned tongues could say that some of those “standards designers” secretly tried out Flash, one or the other time in their career, got stuck, got frustrated, gave up and now are fighting it. You also can’t easily look at Flash’s source code, which gives it a kind of an armored monster feeling, compared to the open and helpful HTML/JS ferry. But once you learned how to tame the monster, it can become your best friend.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  47. Flash is a closed plugin. I do not think plugins should be a part of the web as I think it should ideally be completely open. So, I am against Flash simply because I want as much opness in web technologies as possible. (There are reasons for this, but I won’t go into too much details here, you hav probably heard it all before.)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  48. What a great article, which addressed the bigger issue of the HTML5/Flash argument. It sums up what happens all too often - trying to fit a project into the known expertise of a technical team. The result is a “less-than” product and a customer wanting more. This article should be mandatory reading for every IT hiring manager. Thank you for the read!
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  49. I have to admit… I first balked at Apple’s choice to not support FLASH on the iPad. However, after reading various opinions and reasons for it, and today, seeing that IE9 will support HTML5 (http://gizmodo.com/5494574/internet-explorer-9-a-fresh-start-with-html5… Phew! :) It appears that Apple is gambling on the right side…
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  50. Many people from all over the world have turned to the acai berry in the hopes that it will cure their weight loss problems. TOP GRADE ACAI
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  51. I think Jquery still has much to learn and I don’t think we can truly compare itself with Flash until our computers become so powerful that the visual line between them becomes blurred. jQuery clearly does animation but not to the extent that Flash is capable of and so until then, I don’t think they can really be compared on the same level. On a side note, I think Flash and or jQuery may very well both become extinct in the near future in favor of cleaner and, ultimately, more user friendly interfaces. Having to wait for a menu item to fade in or some kind of animation to occur can become quite irritating when you’re simply looking for some information, but anyway, great article about how these technologies have changed the web.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  52. Hello Dan, I think your article speaks to the core of what’s important in design and development: The end result and how it impacts those who use it.  The challenge is that once individuals invest a sizeable amount of time in a particular technology, they are hesitant to switch to another.  In art, some people prefer watercolors while others prefer oil paintings, and others may prefer collages.  Each requires very different tools and mindset to accomplish.  We have to embrace the different technologies available to us and pick the right one based on the problem at hand rather than using the one we have learned to solve every problem.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  53. I think its all out in the public .. no mincing words - no askance its html 5 versus flash me thinks .... regards
    from nesher+israel+lednichenko
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  54. Really great article Dan!
    Well written, well articulated, well done!
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  55. Dan, i’m commenting again here.  (Hope you don’t mind.)  I’ve been thinking about this whole fiasco.  We all know the web and standards are not perfect.  /ie “Almost standards and Quirks Mode” .. I just can’t help thinking that all this has everything to do with money, power and business.  Getting to the top and staying there.  Maybe it’s a fleeting thought or i’m in a extra sensitive mood. :-) In any case happy i could get it off my chest over here, with people who actually care about the web..
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  56. Excellent article. The way people become so passionate about their style of web design has always baffled me. There is more than one solution to a problem and focusing on what is best for your users instead of focusing on the platform used is the only true way for the web to keep moving forward.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  57. Thanks for this article, I absolutely agree—and I love this quote which says it all really, “Technologies aren’t inherently bad or good. They’re only appropriate or inappropriate for certain circumstances. They’re a means to an end, not solutions within themselves.”
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  58. Like you suggest, it’s easy to sit on the fence and shout rude words at Flash; it’s done the job well so far and lots of ‘people’ enjoy their Treasure Madness & Cafe World games so why bash it. I think HTML5 + CSS3 are going to offer a lot more to the Web Designers pallette, allowing them to express their ideas more freely and really try out some devilishly cool apps.  But like a little kid it’s still got some learning to do, and especially where javascript is concerned it can learn a lot from Flash’s history. I reckon if we all learn to get along and play well with the other kids then the people who actually use our creations won’t mind a bit, they just mind when it goes kaplowey in their face. Great work Dan :-)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  59. I still feel Apple’s relunctance to put Flash in Mobile Safari may be down to how processor intensive it is, let’s face it the iPhone is no CRAY. If this was the case then it’d be good reason for Adobe to nurture their relationship with Apple and give them freedom to build an iPhone version of Flash.  Heck, this knowledge share may also improve Flash on the long run. Somethings got to give, but I don’t think the answer is taking Flash out back and beating him with an axe.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  60. It’s definitely the problem we’re faced with where I am. So much management focus is on selling the tech we can use, and unfortunately it works. It’s not only about telling people that “we can do your site in Flash” that is bad, it’s that on the recipient side it impresses them and ticks the box they’d set before the meeting. Web professionals, to me, should be that…“web” professionals with whatever that entails. Great article.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  61. I also see from the commentator here the same mentality that runs through some articles here on ALA. It’s all well and good IE9 supporting HTML 5 but the reality will be that at least 20-50%(depending on your market) will NOT be HTML5 enabled. Like it or not, folks, if you want rich content you either have to ignore a proportion of your market if you’re going to pin your colours only to HTML5, or you have to accept that to reach as many as possible you may have to also/instead use Flash. We need, due to the archaic way that PEOPLE use the web with browsers of their own choice that don’t conform necessarily to what we would prefer to work with, to know how to do things in the best way for each situation…
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  62. Great article and one of only a few adult repsonses to this whole Apple v Flash thing. Also check Ray Valdes blog:
    http://blogs.gartner.com/ray_valdes/2010/02/10/html5-and-flash/ We should also be thinking about People as creative individuals and producers of content who want good tools to work with, not only as consumers. So whether those tools are Flash or any other authoring environment it doesn’t matter.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  63. Very eloquently written article. I’ve just started a job that covers only a select group of the areas I’ve learned over many years, and it makes me wonder, is that right? Should I leave skills behind, because of how my job has been labelled, and what it’s remit covers? My last job required me to do new things all the time, which was great, but then you worry about being a jack of all trades, master of none. You’re absolutely right, we shouldn’t get worried about the technology, only about whether people like the experience we create for them.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  64. My idea is just that yes, they need to just get along and make it work. Another is for flash to learn to work within all browsers and platforms. I kind of blame Adobe over Apple. If Adobe can’t find a work around, then they need to. Why get upset with Apply for not going the extra mile, thats Adobe’s problem. If my website doesnt work on the ipad, do i blame Apple for that? No, i’ll just have to redesign my site.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  65. I don’t use Flash and don’t particularly like it or Air as development tools. But the real reason I avoid it? I cringe whenever I have to go to a Flash-based site! Most are slow to load (even over a very fast connection), klunky and awkward to use, many with obnoxious audio. I often feel like I’m stuck in some site designer’s closet, rather than being able to go find what _I_ want to find and see. That’s partially the fault of Flash, but mostly due to the way it’s used, over and over. The “I’m so artsy” sites are especially egregious (less is often really _much_ less, not more). And, by the way, it’s also a huge security risk - there are many exploitable security issues with Flash. So, even if it is a turf war between the “A-s”, I understand Apple’s reluctance. I find it interesting that there is so little discussion about use of Silverlight and XAML by this community. The potential for developing actually useful sites, with access to and innovative presentation of business data, seems like its being totally ignored with all the hype about HTML5 and the iPad. (Go look at an HP multi-touch tablet running Windows7 and see how much more it can do than an iPad!) Silverlight apps in and out of a browser will run on PCs, Macs, and soon on phones. As “Web Professionals”, why the concentration on just Apple and Adobe?
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  66. Excellent argument here and you make solid points throughout.  Two minor things: the way I read Job’s statement that “flash is buggy” is not as a value judgement, but more a statement of what he sees as fact.  One glance at Apple tells you they don’t like “buggy.”  And I do wish you folks would use a serif font for your articles.  I know, I’m old-fashioned, but the little serifs do help move the eyes to the right, thus making it easier to read.  For me this one little detail goes a long way in undermining the site’s ethos, and thus your own, in arguments like the one you just made.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  67. Really enjoyed the article and was nodding away to all the points made. I wrote “this article”:http://www.kevadamson.com/talking-of-design/article/a-flash-from-the-past recently about how designers and developers should be looking at Flash sites now more than ever. _"An article discussing how, as standards designers and developers, and with the emergence of animation and transitions in CSS, we should take off our accessibility hats and invest more time viewing the best examples of animated Flash websites.“_ Sorry for “pimping”, but I feel it has relevance :)
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  68. Nowadays Flash is a tool like chainsaw in the hands of abusing people.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  69. Great article! It is really up to the designers and developers to make the web an easier place. People with small experience on the web should be welcomed, and not having to go through a getting started guide in able to understand the web! The technologies used are of secondary importance; we’ve seen Flash lead, when it’s been used appropriately.
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  70. Firstly thank you for that good article. When i look to future i see html best way for website architect. Flash make really good visual but at searching engine not good like as design. html is more seo friendly and i think it’s so importand think for websites…
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  71. Flash does have it’s place on the web still, especially until HTML5 is more widely supported, but I think apple has done itself a disservice by not allowing flash player on the ipad
    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.