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Challenge to Adobe's Flash by HTML5

by Dinesh Beniwal on Jan 24, 2012

HTML5 introduces new set of specification that includes CSS3,Canvas 2D tags, and WebSockets for interbrowser communications
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HTML5 present a serious challenge to Adobe's own Flash rich Internet plug-in technology.Since Adobe's Flash has been used to present videos and multimedia on the Web. With HTML5, developers can use the open JavaScript language, cascading style sheets (CSS), and of course HTML to build applications. The HTML5 "family" features a set of specifications that also includes CSS3, Canvas 2D tags, and WebSockets, for interbrowser communications.HTML5 reduces the need for external plugins (like Flash).

Paul Trani, an Adobe developer evangelist says that the company is developing Adobe Edge, a tool for creating animated content using Web standards.Edge uses HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Adobe also backs HTML5 capabilities in its Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Illustrator tools. Additionally, Adobe's PhoneGap and PhoneGap Build enable building of cross-platform mobile applications with HTML5 and JavaScript.

Adobe is even hiring people to work on Web standards projects and is considering offering tools to convert ActionScript to JavaScript. Adobe's Wallaby project, meanwhile, is about converting artwork contained in Flash Professional files to HTML.

One developer praises Adobe's embrace of HTML5. "With SEO [search engine optimization], Flash has always caused problems for websites," says Shar Marachi, he said "If there's certain content in that Flash element, the search engines don't pick it up."

Another developer who has worked with Flash understands Adobe's response to HTML5. "While a lot of their stuff has to do with Flash, that's not where they make their money. They make their money selling tools," says Alan Gruskoff, a developer at Digital Showcase, which does mobile and rich Internet application design. "They give away Flash."

Adobe pushes CSS improvements for HTML5
Adobe has proposed its CSS regions and CSS shaders as standards for adoption by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees HTML5 and CSS.
Trani says,"CSS regions lets you reflow content, and shaders basically take any sort of Web standards content and make it appear as bitmapped data, so you can manipulate it," and "Shaders are useful in the context of animated transitions and complement specifications such as CSS animations, CSS transitions, and SVG animations".

Flash still has support

Despite Adobe's HTML5 strategy, Flash is not going away, argues the developer Ruskoff: "Any of the fanboys that say, 'Flash is dead, HTML5 rules,' you know they're speaking without knowledge of the real world." HTML5, he notes, has not even been ratified, despite its adoption in draft form in every major desktop and mobile browser.
JavaScript represents the biggest gap in the HTML5 realm, says Tom Bray, a developer at Ace Metrics, which offers an on-demand Adobe Flex-based application for advertisers to gauge effectiveness of TV ads. That's why he prefers using Flash: "[Flash's] ActionScript is a beautiful language, based on the same standard as JavaScript ... ActionScript 3 is much more mature object-oriented programming language, and that is the one thing that enterprise developers who love Flex really want to see survive."

Adobe's Trani also cites a niche for Flash, such as 3D capabilities and game developme

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