What say you?
Is HTML killing Flash?
What say you?
Is HTML killing Flash?
I would maybe have said it's own limitations/security problems and Apple were killing Flash, or just an unvarnished "Yes".
But Matt knows much more abut the media side of things than me, and he will be more right.
OK, the long form answers:
To clear up the urban folklore (FUD) about Flash: http://blog.matbury.com/2011/10/01/thoughts-on-flash/
An in direct answer to the pejoritive question that keeps rearing it's head from time to time on forums: http://blog.matbury.com/2011/11/28/are-flash-and-html5-locked-in-a-mortal-struggle-for-control-of-the-internet/
Feel free to discuss the points in the articles.
Steve jobs wanted to kill flash, is an old feud for having let out quicktime in flash back in flash mx early 2000's
flash became an overloaded tool wich from this adobe is to blame and got naked in his deficiensies in the mobile market
probably flash would have survive if jobs would have let it run on its devices, but he became the stalin of the internet
theres a chanse that flash will become in a gamming tool for html5, and like now it can export to ios, or trough createjs can output html5 content, so adobe could make flash that instead of exporting swf it would export canvas
but as of now yes, flash is on its last breath,
Apple want complete control over what goes on iOS. Flash in the iOS browser would put a severe dent in Apple's iTunes app store profits because developers would just create online Flash apps to get around Apple's app approval process and it's restrictions. Many developers have walked away in disgust at how they've been treated by Apple. I've also noticed that some authors have done the same. The only way that Apple can enforce their approval system is if there's no other way to get apps onto iOS. Apple also block JRE for this very reason.
Another reason would be the iOS battery life and overheating issues. Apple doesn't allow 3rd party apps to access its hardware's GPU for optimising video rendering, therefore any video played by Flash or Java would have to use software rendering which puts a heavy load on the CPU, which in turn eats up battery life and may make iDevices get hot (iPad 3 already has overheating issues). Rather than dealing with the GPU API issues and relaxing some of Apple's "Stalinistsic" control over iOS (and OS X - Flash is crashy on Macs? Yes. Crashy on PCs? No), forcing native only video rendering is a way to avoid this issue. Youtube with Flash would be an iDevice killer!
BTW, Flash DOES run on iOS, just not in the browser. That protects the iTunes monopoly and keeps Apple happy.
It's pretty typical for controlling, insecure people to blame everyone around them for anything they perceive as less than ideal, regardless of the underlying causes. In that respect, Apple are behaving like the stereotypical media portrayals of Jewish American mothers. Is that who you want controlling your online life?
Stereotypical Welsh mothers are pretty much the same - why do you think I emigrated to France at an early age?
Have to admit I'm writing this on an iMac, though. However, I don't have any of the Apple gadgets for the reasons Matt mentions - but I couldn't express so well myself.
ummm....absolutely no. It may be one of the forces pushing flash out of the global browser domination it had, but Flash is now so deep into the streaming video space (what percentage of the internet is STILL porn?) and mobile gaming as well as newest flash dev environment can output to iOS (ipad) format AS WELL AS android. So you might not be able to show flash on an ipad, but you can output an ipad version of your flash app with a few clicks... evolution - they are not going anywhere
the video porn sites is also a falling strengh, now most porn site have their quicktime fallback, a quicktime version of the video, now that adobe drop the flash support on android looks dificult to keep battling.
Now adobe has the new edge product wich even a website witha simple scroller its kind of heavy, but the implementation of a lot of flash like things is wellcome.
Flash should not have die, i love it and i believe its the best graphics programming tool, theres not another one where u can do so mucho to convine graphics with code with so much easy and especially for RAD
Flash make the web more democratic, everyone with a cool idea coul implemented or find someone that would, and the power of binding of issac and super meat boy, shows that its no little tool, it can be upscale and have good performance.
The saddest thing is that Jobs was a cry baby for so long of microsoft monopolly and playerd to be its victim, now, they are a biger monopoly and dictator than bill ever was
And the worst is that, is a dictatoship that people loves, when would you end the ditadorship if people is happy with it? its gonna be a while, the app store is loaded with trash 2/3 of the games are worst than most flash games, and let user decide what to do with their bateries, we are not travelling 8 hours all the time, we could play flahs games for 3 hours then plug and re charge its not so big of a deal!!
Its not was best for consumers or technology it was about revenge money and lust, maybe thats why he died, i mean not that i wished that he did, but so much obsesion for work and vengance should be bad for health, a genious yes, and evil genius, probably..
I dont think it is KILLING flash but it really can perform in a whole other realm than 'html' has ever been in ... check out site called mrdoob dot com for a pretty good overview of some of the capabilities
Samantha - you were right...that site is V cool!!!
I've got an idea for a public awareness raising app for iOS. It's very simple. All it does is create a transparent layer over the whole touch screen. Users will try to use their iPhones' and iPads' touch screens; launch apps, play games, make calls, etc.; but all that'll happen is it plays:
Perhaps with a link to information about security and privacy on mobile devices.
If you want to gain control of your mobile devices, you'll need to "root" them, i.e. gain administrator access, and then install a free and open source operating system on them such as Ubuntu for mobile or one of the "homebrew" versions of Android, which typically run faster because they don't have all the bloatware and spyware that the network carriers put on them, e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_IQ#Rootkit_discovery_and_media_attention.
Most consumers more than likely wouldn't know how to start to do this. Perhaps a quick and easy service, like phone unlocking?
Quick review of why Flash is on its last breath.
The story goes that Steve Jobs got pissed when Adobe shifted focus from Apple to PC for the video editing program Premiere. At that point Steve said that all new Apple devices would not be delivered with Flash.
A lot of webmasters were already unhappy with Flash because it means squat when it comes to SEO, which is why HTML5 is so attractive to developers. HTML5 can accomplish a lot of what Flash does, but with code that search engines can read. It's also easier on bandwidth than Flash, which is significant considering mobile access to the web is about to overtake desk and laptop computer use.
Personally, I couldn't be happier to see the demise of Flash and wish that Adobe would stop bundling it with the other software that is useful. Oh yea, I'm a PC guy in case any ask.
OK, here we go...
Re: "At that point Steve said that all new Apple devices would not be delivered with Flash." -- Apple isn't/wasn't Steve Jobs. He was the CEO, not the emperor. Apple Inc's business team saw that Flash, and to a lesser extent Java, were in direct competition with its proposed iTunes app store: Why pay for apps and install them on your device when you can view them in your web browser for free? Additionally, the heavy demands of many online games in Flash and Java (3D graphics engines, physics engines, ray-tracing, etc.), not optimised for the weak ARM processors on mobile devices would've made iPhones and iPads look bad. It was better to make developers write and optimise software specifically for the iOS environment. To make the point again: Flash apps run on iOS without any problems when you download and install them from iTunes and Apple Inc. get their 30% cut.
Re: "HTML5 can accomplish a lot of what Flash does..." -- But not everything. They're still very much complementary technologies that work together, not in competition. There are times when HTML4 or 5 are the best option and times when it's Flash. The HTML5 vs. Flash argument is like arguing between cross-head vs. flat-head screws and screwdrivers; at the end of the day, when you need to get a real world project done, pretty pointless and meaningless hypotheticals.
Re: "It's also easier on bandwidth than Flash" -- Do you think the alternatives are better? Animated GIFs are a poor substitute, don't support audio, stream (progressive download) very poorly, and automatically loop. For vector graphics SWFs are more efficient on bandwidth than GIF or PNG, and sometimes more efficient than SVG.
Re: "mobile access to the web is about to overtake desk and laptop computer use." -- Not true. Mobile device sales are overtaking PC and Mac sales which isn't the same as usage. Consider that most people have network plans which automatically include new devices every "X" months/years, and not all smartphones are created "equal," whereas the cheapest entry level laptop is more than sufficient to do almost everything for almost everyone (almost = not including high end gaming or video editing, transcoding, etc.). PCs and Macs are getting replaced less frequently because they're doing great job as they are. To see how people are accessing websites in general see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Browser_usage_share#Historical_usage_share, also bear in mind that this doesn't differentiate between general usage (weather updates, Facebook, Skype, etc.) and accessing elearning. In other words, I wouldn't call ~14.44% "about to overtake" by any stretch of the imagination.
And... end of rant.
There's also issues with pushing web development onto app stores, i.e. RIAs as apps instead of in the browser (Sorry but HTML5 + JS + CSS just doesn't get the job done in many cases). It's a horrible situation for developers to get into: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/22/young-appmakers-cant-job-life
Excellent rant Matt, for the most part. Only two points I take issue with and one is wishing "the demise of a large community of developers."
Do you really have any expectation that anything in the digital world will remain the same? It is a world in constant flux.
As a little kid my father told me a tale of caution. It was about Op-Amp Engineers. He'd tell me how they walked into work one day to discover their job no longer existed. Not their job description, but their job. In a moment they saw the years of education swirl and disappear down the drain. The moral was to never think that your job skills will be needed in the future.
The other point is mobile access to the web. Have you taken a look at the stats for many sites? I have and assure you that mobile use is gaining traction. In the past year I've also seen the number of visitors to non-responsive designed sites decline while sites with responsive designs increase (and with it the percentage of mobile users.) Let me put it another way. I won't build a site that isn't responsive to mobile devices.
I understand your passion for Flash. It's cool. It's fun. IMHO for anything other than displaying videos it has too many drawbacks. After all isn't the original posting just about, 'our' opinions.
Ok, a quick update on Actionscript and Flash:
Mobile devices currently account for less than 15% of web traffic, but without knowing what that traffic consists of it's difficult to say how relevant that is to elearning software development. Traditional vanilla Flash is still the elearning de facto standard for multimedia and interactive learning interactions.
BTW, some of the most advanced JS libraries that are widely available and in use are direct ports from original Actionscript 3.0 projects, e.g. http://createjs.com/#!/CreateJS However, they're limited compared to what Actionscript can do.
Do you really think Flash is going away any time soon?
Flash isn't going anywhere soon; especially in the academic environment for obvious reasons. The commercial world is another story for the reasons previously discussed.
Currently Flash is used for video and does a decent job. The kink is that Netflix is spending a lot of money on improving video quality, which I suspect will end up being widely be used for online delivery.
Years ago my neighbor worked for MacroMedia (the Flash originators) and gave me a copy of Flash. It was the first program of its type that I learned. Imagine my disappointment to discover the disadvantages of Flash when it comes to search engines.
As for the claim that 15% of web traffic is way off from what I've seen. My figures are closer to just below 50%. In fact recently a CEO of one of the largest publishing houses of technical print and epub books said that their online services show a high number of desktop computers accessing their services during the week, but the numbers basically flip to favor mobile devices from Friday to Sunday. This publisher showed some historical trends and there is no doubt that either your mobile figures are dated or you're looking at a narrow niche maket.
Your argument for Flash is cogent and well thought out. The only disagreement you'll get from me is that there is a danger in becomming attached to any one approach to solving a problem. Just because it 'might' be the superior approach doesn't mean a lot in the commerical world. Think Beta vs VHS (ironically both developed by Sony). Sony sold off VHS because they felt Beta was far superior (and it was), but the market place saw it differently.
So you've pretty much answered your question, no Flash isn't already dead, it's alive and well.
Since you bring up the subject of video, Youtube, Vimeo, LiveStream, et al, all continue to push forward with Flash browser clients as their main mode of delivery. See: http://apiblog.youtube.com/2010/06/flash-and-html5-tag.html
Could we ask whether HTML5 as a delivery medium for commercial video services, which usually require DRM, is dead?
I guess we could keep this up ad infinitum. I've provided sufficient links for you to find out background information and empirical evidence in support of my claims. If you care to check, the less than 15% figure is from March 2013 and there's a variety of other stats from other sources there. Feel free to peruse them at your leisure. However, like I said, aggregated statistics don't really tell you much when you're working in a specialised area. For example, a mobile device that constantly polls various services 24 hours a day, which is pretty much the norm with social networking clients, weather, news, etc., is going to generate a lot of web traffic whether the users' eyes are on their devices or not.
In the months and years to come, anything can happen with regards to all the web technologies. The web giants, Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and the network carriers and media corporations are all fighting it out for market share and there's no telling who might get inadvertently "squashed against the sides." It's not like it's a well thought out plan; I think we're in agreement on this one.
For the foreseeable future, the development prospects in Flash are bright.
So what is your particular interest in Flash? Why are you so keen for it to die?
I don't have a horse in the race and will use whatever is available. When building a commercial site it is imperative that everyone have access to it, which means that Flash content is not readily available to a lot of mobile users.
What I have found is that technology changes rapidly and the success of any change hinges on its adaptation by the consumer. When Apple made the decision not to include Flash with their products it means content providers have to either provide an alternative way to provide Flash content or not use Flash.
It occurs to me the reason that your mobile stats are so low is that you have more-or-less have alienated that market. I mean if your site(s) depend on Flash how are those users going to access the content?
Let me explain my own experience with losing viewers on a non-responsive site. The site has been up and running for eight years and until the past year was getting just under a thousand visitors a day. Over the past year there has been a significant increase in mobile visitors and have seen an increase in the bounce rate, which suggest it is a direct result of not being mobile friendly.
Albeit the site didn't use Flash, but that is not the point. The take-away is that when a site isn't mobile it will lose visitors.
Mobile users are a driving force and not providing the same content to all visitors is problematic IMHO.
Where we differ in our view of Flash is that you come from a technological viewpoint, while I'm looking at it purely from commercial needs. Like the Betamax it doesn't matter if it is a superior product. What is important is what happens in the consumer market.
Judging from your responses, you haven't really read what I've written in this discussion. and just coming up with rationalisations for your opinions, e.g. "It occurs to me the reason that your mobile stats are so low is that you have more-or-less have alienated that market." -- What did I actually write and cite? It appears to me that your posts demonstrate a belief based rather then evidence based appraoch and you have no interest in learning about why Flash is still important in web development. This is a pointless discussion.
I've acknowledge that the technical aspects of Flash that you put forth may be valid, but that is only half of the story.
What you need to acknowledge is that technical superiority doesn't mean commercial success as with the Beta versus VHS story. That is not a rationalization, but reality. Whether a product (or program) is superior doesn't mean anything unless it is widely adopted by the general public.
A key pivotal point in our discussion is the number of users accessing the Internet with mobile devices. You wrote that the mobile market is at 15%, but haven't substantiated how you came to those numbers. My experience is different from your stats as are those of other site owners with traffic above a few hundred a day.
You can label market use as rationalization and that the mobile market is going to remain relatively low. We'll just have to agree to disagree.
Richard, didn't you see the link next to the stats I posted earlier? This is what I mean by not really reading and just coming up with rationalisations.
Your argument VHS beat Betamax therefore HTML5 will beat Flash could just as easily be turned around by your definition (since you appear to believe that HTML5 is "better" than Flash - I say they're complimentary technologies and there's no conflict or competition). Let's turn that around to:
"Flash will beat HTML5 because VHS beat Betamax, even though they were better technologies." Do you see why I say this disscussion is pointless?
OH Wont anyone please think of the buggy whip manufacturers?!?
Sorry, I'll get me coat.
Going back to the video issue, this came up in another dicsussion (about alternative web browsers). The HTML5 video and audio tag implementations are from being standardised. Microsoft, Apple, Google, MPEG LA, and Adobe just can't seem to get it together to play nice with each other and deliver free and open source web standards. See this example: https://www.youtube.com/html5
For the foreseeable future, the most robust way to deliver video is with a fully functioning Flash media player with all kinds of useful options, and with an HTML5 alternative content fallback (or it can be vice versa) and to encode the video to MP4/H.264. Android and iOS mobile devices will work "out of the box" with basic, no frills audio and video playback, and PC, Mac, and Linux users get the full benefit of accessing current and legacy/historical web video and audio content.
Linux users need to install the "restricted extras" packages which is pretty much a standard practice for general purpose Linux desktops.
If you want the bells and whistles on mobile devices, you have to bite the bullet and go for native app development, which for Actionscript developers is pretty easy and requires relatively little extra development and testing work. The "big pig" for all mobile developers is having to test on so many different Android environments (iOS is pretty consistent in this respect; one phone, two tablets, a small number of OS versions) and you have to make use of all available processor power, memory, and screen size since they're all in short supply.
There's also the point: PCs and Macs for work and study vs. mobile devices for leisure and procrastination.