flash: a call for sanity
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DESCRIPTIONEver since the infamous ‘thoughts on flash’ letter that Steve Jobs wrote in 2010, Flash has been regarded as a dying technology, abandoned in favour of HTML5 and web standards. But is HTML5 really ready for the rich media prime-time, and does Flash really have nothing left to give? In this talk, I’ll explore some areas where Flash is continuing to make a huge impact both in and beyond the browser, cut through some of the confusion, PR fails, and straight up deception in the front end wars and share some ideas on the appropriate use cases for both Flash and HTML5 in the ever changing digital landscape. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: if flash is dead then it hasn’t stopped moving yet.
Flash and HTML5A call for sanity
A talk by @andrewdotdobson
Creative Class Meetup | 11th November 2012 | andrew dobson
Thoughts on FlashAn exercise in FUD
FUD in action“Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.”
Steve Jobs, 2010.
Is Apple committed to standards?
Then why don’t they implement HTML5 video?
Product or platform?What actually is Flash?
Evolution of the web
Web platformsApplication Code + Runtime
Actionscript 3 and Flash/AirLAMP.NETHTML5 and the browser
Where Flash falls downPoor coding standards (GUI)AdvertisingCompatibility
Coding standardsKnowing how to use CS5 != understanding a technology
Flash banner advertisingSpecifications still in AS2AVM conflicts and performance drag.Pressure for reform required
CompatibilityShould flash be on mobile?
Not everything needs to be mobile
It’s politicalHe who controls the standard, controls the universe.
Setting expectationsClients and users do not care about technology
Whichever way you cut itBrowser support is inconsistent
CSS3 Transitions support:
Media Query support:
HacksCSS PieModernizrBranched sites<!– [if IE] -->
Developer overheadStandards dev is more intensiveTesting/QAHacks and exceptionsSheer amount of typing
A simple logo animation
Things that HTML5 cannot do (effectively)DRMWebcamStreamingFull screenAdvanced audio/DSPAdvanced animationReal-time 3DConsistent layouts, rich text and transitions
Flash use cases1. Augmenting the browser2. Extending beyond
Cross platform adaptive applications
Single codebase, multiple deployments, smart assets – efficient, scaleable and rapidly developed.
Quick porting of current web properties into native
Rapid visual prototyping
Stage3D and StarlingGPU access for gaming, mobile application development and rapid visual prototyping
Contemporary FlashdevelopmentSorry Adobe…
ToolingAdobe’s developer tooling is largely poor
Pros use: Flash Develop (PC), FDT
Flex SDK includes Air – be wary of beta releases
Debug tools: Monsterdebugger, Monacle (coming soon)
Game dev studio
Alchemy, native extentions
Unity, Cadet3D, Prefab for 3d modelling and animation
Frameworks and open sourceGreensock – LoaderMax, TweenMax, ThrowpropsStarling and Foxhole for GPU 2DAway3D, Flare, Minko for Stage3DCasaLib – utilitiesRobotlegs, PureMVC, Gaia – Design pattern frameworksAS3NUI, In2AR, OpenCV – image processing and NUINape, Box2d – PhysicsOSMF, Tonfal, Stardust – media playback, audio, particlesMinimalcomps – UI components
Literally hundreds of great libs
Summing upWhat have we learnt?