View Full Version : In defence of Flash.

I am a web designer and have been using flash since version 2.0. It is a great animation tool. I personally have some professional loss from the downward trajectory of Flash right now, but I am nonetheless a little baffled by it.
I understand there are some reasons to be down on it. Steve Jobs probably expressed them best: instability on some platforms, choppy performance, battery drain etc. These things cannot be denied. Although some of Jobs ire toward Flash was strategic: Flash web apps are a threat to sales of ios apps.
Many seem to be happy to see Flash go down, but it lowers the potential of web experiences. I have played with html5 animation tools, and even used Swiffy to output Flash authored animations to html5. It is slower, choppier and more patchy than any swf output. It only really works halfway okay on chrome. It is hardly a substitute.
The world of mobile computing is really just beginning. Dual core and quad core devices are coming into play. They handle flash better than many laptops and netbooks, as bourne out by devices such as Galaxy S2. Within 2 years multicore devices will dominate. I implore you Adobe hang in there with mobile Flash. Keep refining and soon hardware complaints will be history. I am surely not alone in feeling the loss of Flash. Speak Flash defenders!

I am the tragic who just spent the last half year or so learning Flash. I have been dabbling in HTML5 as well and although it works well in some cases, eg. drop-down menus, simple animations, etc. it doesn’t work as well for anything advanced.
I accept that HTML5 is very useful. I mean, The Verge is a good example of what can be done with it. But Flash has it’s place and it will hold that for a looong time.

It is very debatable that “Flash web apps are a threat to sales of ios apps” – app sales are not a significant source of income for Apple but they are for developers. They are more about the “ecosystem” that everybody talks about now as one of the huge attractions of buying an iOS device.
Apple’s main bitches with Flash is and always have been performance and resource issues and the impact that has on user experience and battery life.
My biggest bitch is that Flash makes developers sloppy, lazy and greedy. I have lost track of the number of sites where devs have used Flash to do things that can be done in simple code but don’t because they can’t be bothered or they can charge their customer for it.
And there’s the rub – most Flash heavy sites are done because it looks “flashy”, not because it makes the user experience better, the information easier to access or input.
And that is where it is even worse on mobile. I see Android fans harping on about “Flash works fine on my Evo/Droid/Galaxy” but what they means is they can play video (but HTML5 compliant still works better), they can play Flash games (provided they don’t need keyboard input, are the right size for the screen and don’t require selection of very small objects or menus). Using a Flash-heavy shopping site where you have to select on-screen items, drop downs or menus is a nightmare.
As you say, right now HTML5 isn’t mature enough to do many of the thing Flash does but it will mature as more people use it and the standard becomes established. I would, however, encourage devs to design for functionality, not show. As the poster above says, The Verge is a superb example.

Sure, people say that we can let Flash go, but the harsh reality is that we can’t yet. There are still things that can only be done in Flash. It will be a long time before a game can be made in HTML5 that is on par with what a 12 year old can do in Flash.
Humans are mostly water, and like water, we follow the path of least resistance. In a lot of cases, it’s simply easier to make something in Flash than HTML5 right now. If you want people to switch, than HTML5 will have to become easier to use than Flash, and unfortunately, I don’t see that happening for quite a few things.

Flash causes i7 MacBooks fan to spin like crazy when flash plays. Better hardware is not going to make much difference.