October 06, 2010

Two Cents on the Flash vs. HTML5 Debate

IE vs. Netscape. Microsoft vs. Apple. HD DVD vs. Blu Ray. The tech world has seen its fair share of rivalries and the latest one, or at least one of the latest is definitely Flash vs. HTML5. HTML5 is essentially the newest and brightest kid in the block, a standard that will replace Flash, especially with the rapid rise of the mobile internet, and Apple’s distaste for Flash.

So how does Adobe see HTML5? In an interview given to Mashable, Paul Gubbay, Adobe’s VP of design and web engineering said that Adobe feels Flash can coexist with HTML5. This is hardly a surprise, considering their recent HTML5 add on pack for Adobe illustrator. However, (and unsurprisingly), Adobe feels that new technologies like HTML5 and CSS3 are not the best choice for all occasions. Being new technologies, they aren’t great on older machines and platforms, and sometimes require major hardware firepower to run smoothly. Gubbay also stated that he feels developers will adopt a standard based on project requirements. So his opinion is that developers who need to provide DRM, efficiency in services or need to do elaborate masking will be adopting Flash even now.

However, it is clear that even Adobe knows Flash isn’t the best option for mobile devices, and that’s where the future lies. Hence the rush to add HTML5 support to their bestselling software packages like Dreamweaver and Illustrator.  So is Adobe planning an HTML5 specific authoring tool? Well, the official response is a no comment, so that option cannot be ruled out entirely.

Adobe has clearly fallen behind as far as the mobile is concerned, and even the company does not deny that. What it needs at this moment are mobile specific tools so that the Flash content created for mobiles are just as rich and powerful as their desktop counterparts. But until then, while Flash’s dominance on the desktop is not going away anytime soon the mobile is a wide open playing field with HTML5 solidly in the lead.

To read the Mashable article featuring the interview with Paul Gubbay, click here

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