Adobe's no-choice embrace of HTML5

As Flash gives way to open technologies, Adobe is retooling to support the new developer reality

By , InfoWorld |  Software

One developer praises Adobe's embrace of HTML5. "With SEO [search engine optimization], Flash has always caused problems for websites," says Shar Marachi, a developer at website designer and developer Digital Mark Studios, which does custom website development. "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 HTML5Adobe has proposed its CSS regions and CSS shaders as standards for adoption by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which oversees HTML5 and CSS. "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," Trani says. With CSS regions and CSS shaders, Adobe is leveraging its Flash experience to bolster CSS.

A shader, according to the official proposal filed with the W3C in late October, is "essentially a small program that provides a particular effect (such as a distortion, a blur, or a twirl effect) and whose behavior is controlled with input parameters (such as the amount of distortion, blur, or twirl)." Shaders are useful in the context of animated transitions and complement specifications such as CSS animations, CSS transitions, and SVG animations. CSS regions enable building of complex, magazine-like CSS layouts, Adobe says.

Flash still has supportDespite 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 development.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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