13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 3, 2012 10:31 AM by sinious

    end of flash?

    inquestflash Level 1

      hello to all.


      ive just read a blog about the end of flash




      so does this mean i have to do my animations in  dreamweaver for my banners and text effects ect etc?


      im so confused now.

        • 1. Re: end of flash?
          boudewijndanser Level 1

          No worries.
          Flash is not going anywhere yet, it's just that the hardware on wich you can view it is changing / declining.

          • 2. Re: end of flash?
            sinious Most Valuable Participant

            They're merely not supporting Flash on devices very much past what they have done already. The desktop flash player isn't going anywhere. Adobe is setting up to become the next console to directly compete with Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo*. They realize the demographic of online gamers is only increasing and their flash platform needs to take 3d seriously, which is what flash player 11 has introduced so well.


            Adobe refocused "Flash Player" efforts into "AIR For Mobile". It's a variant of flash that has a lot more native device access. As HTML5 continues to grow and because devices support typically a newer subset of web technologies they realize Flash Player for devices isn't necessary anymore. So they're letting HTML5 take over where Flash Player was needed before (mostly in viewing movies or animating small parts of sites).


            You will probably see a large push for AIR on desktops as well. The setback was always Flash Player integrates with the browser so it's a seamless experience. Now that Windows 8 Metro doesn't even support plugins in IE anymore (forcing you to load flash content in a separate Flash Player), the future may get rough for even Flash Player on desktop. Leave it to Microsoft to screw things up. Boy, I bet Silverlight will work in the browser though.......


            Banners and text effects can be done in HTML5, via JavaScript, CSS3 and the Canvas. You should start getting used to it.


            Mind you, HTML5 isn't even close to a standard, nor is CSS3. They segmented HTML5 into many parts because they know that making a whole entity like "HTML5" a new standard takes forever so by splitting it up they can get approval for each part faster. Several parts are "recommended" but HTML5 still isn't even a standard as a whole (and hell, may never be in totality). Now is the time to start learning it.


            What bugs me is people think HTML5 itself is really the most important thing to learn. It's not the case. HTML5 is simple, just the same old tag setup with some changes and additions. It's always been JavaScript and CSS3 that people should have been learning. Without JS/CSS, HTML5 is nothing more than better browser compatibility with built in media support. Nothing more.

            • 3. Re: end of flash?

              I kind of posted a thread similar to this here, considering Flash's current position in the market, and I have to say; I kind of think that Adobe is missing a trick.


              The Flash program, along with Flash Builder, are both great ways to create content, but really when it comes down to it, is there any reason that they couldn't produce that same content for HTML 5? ActionScript can easily be converted into Javascript, so you can get all the benefits of developing in ActionScript, which is a much nicer language. At this point the only real issue is porting the ActionScript APIs. But with the HTML 5 canvas, and with ever improving hardware support, there seems no reason that Flash's vector and 3D capabilities couldn't be ported into an HTML 5 library, capable of running current (or at least a similar) .swf format.


              After all, it isn't Flash Player that makes Adobe money, but Flash and Flash Builder, both of which are still good products for what they do; simple animation (with or without vectors) and easy cross-platform or web-app development. So changing what actually runs them is only logical, as any advantages that Flash Player still has aren't going to last long as HTML 5 is only getting better. So, while Adobe should definitely keep developing Flash Player's capabilities in the mean time, I think they should be looking at ensuring that Flash and Flash Builder can build for "pure" HTML 5, so that when it (inevitably, in my opinion) pulls ahead, then the two products will still be just as desirable to use. Not to mention the fact that it would reassure everyone that's invested in Flash content but unsure about whether they now need to look at replacing it, as the lost ground in the mobile space is only going to hurt more and more, especially with Microsoft's barmy new Windows 8 browser. Plus it's not exactly a bad thing if Adobe can position a new Flash and Flash Builder version as the de facto tool for keeping your existing Flash content alive in an increasingly HTML 5 oriented browser world.


              Possibly even look toward some price drops, and they could make themselves the way to develop web-content.

              • 4. Re: end of flash?
                sinious Most Valuable Participant

                They definitely ended their Apple dispute about Flash being a viable way to develop an app. It's a pretty desirable route to me and I know xcode/cocoa/obj-c. I choose AIR over native despite the obvious differences in performance because it's so portable. I choose it over HTML5 wrapped as an app (phonegap and such) because it has frameworks to reach into the native OS and it doesn't require the devices ever-changing browser. Not to mention HTML5 overall is far from approval and continues to change which will almost guarantee any ambitious apps will need updates as it changes. AIR is more dependable.


                What you said is why flash is what it is today. An app approachable by any designer who has no coding knowledge at all who can create engaging animation content in a "as compelx as you need it" fashion. It's a tool that clearly traverses the spectrum of beginner to expert and keeps anyone at all levels continually learning.


                Because they chose ECMAScript compliance I always saw the future was going to be compiling into HTML5/JS/Canvas. I don't think anyone over in the Flash development division is sitting on their hands waiting to lose a job. They already made themselves viable for mobile. I feel they are taking their time because there's no reason to export out to HTML5 when browser consistency is so fractured in the market. One big problem flash has always fixed is what you see is what you get. No matter your browser the experience is identical. I doubt they'll take an early plunge into the limited parts of HTML5 until the water is a little more calm. But I don't think they'll wait until it's 100% approved either, or we'll all be in our graves at the pace they approve things...

                • 5. Re: end of flash?
                  Captain N. Level 1

                  There are two realities that Adobe can't get around:


                  1. Apple's iOS will be an important mobile platform for the next few

                  years at least.

                  2. Apple will not allow Flash within Mobile Safari - ever.


                  There's no need to spend resources on a fight you can never win.

                  Companies will need to target iOS as the dominant mobile platform, and

                  since they are doing that anyway, might as well consolidate their

                  development costs (which means developing for HTML5 instead of Flash on

                  many platforms).


                  It's reality, it's out of Adobe's hands, and they've done a smart thing

                  by refocusing on features of their platform in the places it is allowed

                  and still thrives - the traditional web on the desktop (and within the

                  realm of gaming and video more specifically), and in app stores. I'm

                  ecstatic about it all, and very much looking forward to seeing them

                  deliver sweet new features for me to play with.


                  Kevin N.


                  BTW, Apple seems to have intentionally made it hard to develop for

                  mobile Safari - there's real opportunity there for Adobe to step in and

                  develop some stellar dev apps. RIM's BlackBerry Playbook has been a real

                  help for me in that area - they have a great remote web console that

                  ships by default. I got mine for free by submitting an AIR app.

                  • 6. Re: end of flash?
                    Haravikk Level 1

                    This still doesn't exclude Adobe from developing versions of Flash and Flash Builder that can export as "pure" HTML 5 by supplying javascript libraries that provide all current ActionScript features and drawing capabilities. This would position Flash and Flash Builder as a way to develop HTML 5 platforms, including those with no plugin support at all (or intentional lack of Flash support). This would prevent developers from needing to abandon Flash at all, as they'd just upgrade to the latest Flash or Flash Builder versino and export as HTML 5. It'd mean that existing Flash content isn't potentially a waste of time to maintain, which is the big concern for projects that I've been working on.


                    Besides which, Flash could be a great way to develop for HTML 5, as I like animation, and sometimes make simpler games, and these are the kinds of things that it makes dead easy. If it could let people do these things for HTML 5 then that'd be great, as while you can do those things in HTML 5 now, it's an absolute pain as the tools available just aren't up to it.


                    Fancier games etc. are nice for Flash to be at the forefront of, but it seems to me like they're too niché to be a serious revenue stream for Adobe, as the number of Flash or Flash Builder licenses would be comparatively low when compared to say… making simple website banner, or other forms of relatively simple web-content that Flash makes/made really easy. But with plugin uncertainty no-one wants their website to stop working, but it means getting in Javascripting everything, finding ways to develop animations etc., all do-able, but not nearly as easy as Flash. I think there are far more websites out there with simple needs than people that want big complex projects with high performance demands that Flash might meet.


                    I mean, the Flash plugin, AIR platform and so-on are great, but as HTML 5 catches up they'll become obsolete, but Adobe should really be the ones helping to make that happen, by positioning Flash for making content for both the Flash plugin and HTML 5 browsers, so when it catches up they can just let the plugin disappear. Not that I'm not eager for the new capabilities of the Flash plugin as well, as it's a great way to push what HTML 5 will eventually have in order to compete.

                    • 7. Re: end of flash?
                      sinious Most Valuable Participant

                      I wouldn't go too far with saying HTML5 is going to own the world. Realize that the power of a website is not the seemingly magical term, HTML5. HTML5 is utterly useless without JavaScript, which is still a prototype based language. The dude originally wrote it for nutscrape in 10 days and it's only added more oddness over the years. At least AS3 is based on OOP and is far easier to built large scale applications with. That's one damn good reason why canvas isn't scaring me one hint.


                      Not for nothing, I do almost absolutely nothing with flash on the web. I use flash techs almost every day in at my job but it revolves around kiosks, touch interfaces for various platforms and mobile apps. I will never start touting a HTML5 canvas instead of a projector for those purposes. The web is just one use of flash.


                      It's no question that both flash and dreamweaver will eventually come around to giving us a hand with canvas. It's, for once, called exactly what it is. A blank canvas. Devoid of a decade of development put into frameworks of all sorts around the web. Until there is a nice jquery or flash-esque way to utilize canvas, it's going to stay blank. It's just not easy enough to use to threaten flash and won't be while javascript is prototype.

                      • 8. Re: end of flash?
                        Haravikk Level 1

                        sinious wrote:


                        It's just not easy enough to use to threaten flash and won't be while javascript is prototype.


                        You don't need to develop Javascript in that way, there are a ton of good translating languages you can use instead that allows you to develop object-oriented code that then becomes Javascript when you actually push it to your website.

                        I mean, technically ActionScript is kind of one of them; if ActionScript were available for use in place of Javascript then that would just be brilliant in so many ways.


                        My point isn't that HTML 5 is going to take over; AIR is going to remain a great way to develop cross-platform apps, especially when you can export as an iOS app; more of that will serve just fine. But the browser space is somewhere that Flash already exists in abundance, and it just seems like Adobe's current strategy is leaving all of that stuff to die off, as there's no good way to keep your Flash content, which means ditching it and building the same things in HTML 5/Javascript since those are the technologies that guarantee that people can actually keep using your website(s) now, particularly in the mobile space with iPhone style "proper" browsing (less need for specialised mobile versions of sites).

                        • 9. Re: end of flash?
                          sinious Most Valuable Participant

                          If you're creating something mission critical it's not really a good strategy to choose a language that requires you to write code in another language that needs to be migrated back to the original language. That in and of itself is what AIR for iOS is. It's using AS3 where you should be using obj-c/cocoa. The trade-off? A framework that limits you versus native. Gobs of potential bugs and the dependancy on the framework to get updated to conquer potential project shattering issues. JavaScript needs to go OOP or something other than the obfuscation that occurs in prototype on large scale projects.


                          Adobe themselves have already stated they see Flash Player as the "console of the web". They directly want to compete with PS3/Nintendo/Xbox/etc. This is the big push on Stage3D as well as the August 1st tax on any "console quality" products that use premium features that exceed $50,000 in sales. They're simply realizing that the hole they previously filled in for the web is being filled in another way and they are no longer unique.


                          However full scale console quality games on the web? Flash is ideal and preinstalled, ready to go for that. That's their target. They have a dozen or so frameworks already built and more being built and improved as we speak. They're not laying down, they're re-arming for what they're betting all their dollars on. That WoW2 will be a flash-based game

                          • 10. Re: end of flash?
                            Haravikk Level 1

                            sinious wrote:


                            A framework that limits you versus native.


                            But its cross-platform and easy to develop, which can be a good lure if it means avoiding having to maintain multiple versions or cut out a market segment, especially for apps that aren't performance intensive; also most good Javascript "transpiler" languages let you right regular Javascript where it's needed, the point is that it doesn't matter so much that Javascript is currently the only choice, as there are a bunch of ways to develop for it. However, Flash should really be one of them, as there is so much Flash-based web-content that now isn't going anywhere. Flash might not be "unique"* in the web-space if it were to export in HTML 5/Javascript, but it's good at a wide array of things, particularly simpler projects, which is a big audience, and it's not like moving the Flash player into Javascript is really a big project for a company like Adobe, as it's mostly porting of code, and it opens up Flash and Flash Builder again for developing simple web-apps, and maintaining existing ones well into the future. These uses are also ones where performance isn't as critical; if all you're doing is some flashy web-site effects, banners, or basic games, then it's not like the demands are huge, and Javscript virtual machines are progressing at a pretty fast rate.


                            By focusing on the "web console" I feel Adobe are greatly limiting themselves, as the Flash editor isn't really useful in that space as any serious project will be using Flash Builder and Stage3D for everything anyway. It's also not exactly "unique" there either, by your own argument, as this "web console" can't compete with native either, and any serious game development will still be better done in C/C++ and OpenGL for a mix of performance and compatibility, so it's not like this "web console" stuff is actually that compelling in practise; the only thing that makes it really interesting is the fact that Unreal engine 3 is already apparently ported to run in Flash, which was surprising.


                            Keeping ahead of the curve on performance for higher end Flash uses (including new ones) is admirable, but abandoning the other end, which the tools are currently well suited to, is a bad idea.

                            • 11. Re: end of flash?
                              sinious Most Valuable Participant

                              Yep just look in the revenue thread that was around here recently, I said basically the same thing. I don't know why Flash is refocusing to console outside looking at the MAX conference where they were quick to show that the audience of Flash is 20x bigger than all of console gaming combined. So they think the numbers are there for this. I said myself that any console quality game I ever create is sure as hell going to be c++ before I'd choose AIR.


                              JavaScript to me is similar to Perl. It was amazingly complex and dynamic and writing it was almost an artform. It had strategies that mimiced a multitude of languages wrapped with new functionality that made it glimmer, 15 years ago... Without knowing programming patterns it was almost impossible to decipher what the hell a person was thinking when they wrote a CGI. Half the time you'd come back to your own code, getting lost in the lured fun of writing mass concatenated logic until each line of code ran on for 3 paragraphs. This is the problem with prototype. Prototype itself isn't bad at all, it's excessively dynamic. What's problematic is people typically either just hack it up as proceedural or don't have any real grasp on common patterns to stick to for prototyping for large scale endeavors.


                              I think this is the mass push of google with Dart. They want to start taking away what seems to always become some giant spaghetti mess in JavaScript and wrap scripts up into something more familiar, common, tested and true. Not that I see Dart as winning that battle, but hell, at least someone is trying to update JavaScript...

                              • 12. Re: end of flash?
                                Haravikk Level 1

                                That's the big shame really, as ActionScript is exactly the kind of language that could replace Javascript, especially since it's easy to translate into Javascript as it is. It'd be ideal really as it could be translated into Javascript in the short term, and potentially gain native browser support if it emerged as the dominant language later on (which it easily could by leveraging existing content for momentum). I think it probably could as well, as Flex is already open-source, and it's a language I much prefer to Dart since it has all the real features of Javascript + optional static typing, and proper classes. It's a language pretty much begging to be made into a Javascript replacement, as Dart, while it has merits, is too different really, and for no good reason.

                                • 13. Re: end of flash?
                                  sinious Most Valuable Participant

                                  AS4 is said to have strict type checking and that'll probably, if not more, be as big of a performance increase as AS2->AS3 introduced "not everything has to be a movieclip with excessive overhead". Both JS and AS are going to need critical debugging and performance tweaks like that to even almost be considered usable for console quality games.