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HTML 5 Takes Aim At Flash and Silverlight 500

Posted by kdawson
from the crowding-out-the-proprietary dept.
snydeq writes "While Adobe, Microsoft, and Sun duke it out with proprietary technologies for implementing multimedia on the Web, HTML 5 has the potential to eat these vendors' lunches, offering Web experiences based on an industry standard. In fact, one expressed goal of the standard is to move the Web away from proprietary technologies such as Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX. 'It would be a terrible step backward if humanity's major development platform [the Web] was controlled by a single vendor the way that previous platforms such as Windows have been,' says HTML 5 co-editor Ian Hickson, a Google employee. But whether HTML 5 and its Canvas technology will displace proprietary plug-ins 'really depends on what developers do,' says Firefox technical lead Vlad Vukicevic. It also depends on Microsoft, the only company involved in the HTML 5 effort that is both a browser developer and an RIA tool developer. 'That's a big elephant in the room for them because you can imagine the Silverlight team [whose] whole existence is to add [this] functionality in. [But] if Internet Explorer puts it already in there, why do we have Silverlight?' asks Mozilla's Dion Almaer." The RIA guys are quoted as saying they're not worried, because HTML 5 + CSS 3 is 10 years out. Are they just whistling in the dark?
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HTML 5 Takes Aim At Flash and Silverlight

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  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:44PM (#28354779) Homepage Journal

    If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

    • by CountOfJesusChristo (1523057) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:54PM (#28354893)

      If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

      I was under the impression that canvas tag was going to allow people to create those kinds of whiz-bang interfaces that are currently done in flash.

      • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:59PM (#28354947) Homepage Journal

        If by "people" you mean "javascript programmers", yes, it will.

        But Flash is popular because artist types can do it.

        • by nausea_malvarma (1544887) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:05PM (#28355017)
          In this day and age, you don't need to know good html in order to make a webpage. We have WYSIWYG editors. So I don't see why we couldn't have an editor for the canvas tag, that would provide artists with a point and click interface like flash does.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:14PM (#28355115)

            The irony is that the most popular WYSIWYG editors are produced by Adobe and Microsoft.

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by fatalwall (873645)
              but can there editors be used from within the web browser embedded into a site so that it can be modified from any computer the owner is working at?
              once this is built into the browsers it could be used to created an editor such as this without the need to reverse engineer or license junk
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward
              Frontpage and Expression Web isn't WYSIWYG, it's WYSIWTF.
              Visual Studio for other uses (C++/C#) is kind of neat though.
          • by Dan Schulz (1144089) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @08:32PM (#28356441)

            In this day and age, you don't need to know good html in order to make a webpage. We have WYSIWYG editors. So I don't see why we couldn't have an editor for the canvas tag, that would provide artists with a point and click interface like flash does.

            And yet those tools produce more crap code than Microsoft had market share for its Windows operating system and Internet Explorer browser in the first few years of this decade.

            Seriously - there's a huge problem when someone can create a Web page with a WISIWYG editor that breaks when a new browser, browser version or rendering engine comes out and is generally inaccessible to people with disabilities while leaving search engines guessing which content is the most important; yet I can create the exact same page by hand using nothing more than a plain text editor and a decent graphics program (like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop Elements) that works just as well in Internet Explorer 5, IE6, IE7, IE8, Firefox 2, Firefox 3, Opera, Safari, Chrome and other browsers without having to update them whenever a new browser, browser version or layout engine is released - without hacks about 90% of the time for any browser. And that's just for GUI capable desktop clients.

            While using only 25% of the code the WYSIWYG editor barfs up, making the site accessible to everyone (not just the disabled), search engine friendly, and able to support up to three times as many people due to lower code weights, fewer HTTP requests needed with every page view, and optimized images (CSS sprites anyone?) - and that's just off the top of my head.

            If I can learn how to do that, anybody can. And my high school counselors (not to mention my family and their friends) thought I would never amount to anything.

            • Sure, /if/ your content is the type that can be presented in a text-oriented, page-by-page manner, then creating simple, barebones HTML pages is smart coding.

              But every design has its limits. Try pushing at the edges of HTML, and it gets painful, fast. On one project I audited, we were spending 75% of our coding time on browser workarounds. Switching to a RIA was a huge time-saver. At the edges of user interface design, HTML compatibility is thoroughly broken.

              However, your instinct that the simplest desi

      • by Tronster (25566) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:00PM (#28354957) Homepage

        While I don't agree with how the grandparent phrased it; I'd say it's spot on. Canvas tag or not, the editing tool has to allow artists, hobbiest, etc... to easilly create content and publish to the web for others to see.

        Flash's biggest win over Silverlight is:
        1) Install base
        2) Defacto web animation tool

        If enough browser pentration occurs for the install base then the editing tool is the last big hurdle.

        My predictions (as a C++, Flash developer):
        1. Silverlight takes a larger market share than Flash in 3 years (in 2013)
        2. HTML5 overtakes both in 5 years (2015) if a "killer app" for editing comes into existance by 2012.

        • by setagllib (753300) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:13PM (#28355103)

          You have to be kidding about Silverlight overtaking Flash. Not only has Silverlight failed to take any notable market share to date, many projects that started with Silverlight have switched to Flash (or even Java and JavaScript).

          Even Microsoft Popfly itself is so unpopular you can go for months at a time without hearing about it, and I bet you hadn't heard about it for months until just now.

          • by Tronster (25566) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:53PM (#28355541) Homepage

            Microsoft wins market share, not by innovating, but by making a product, and quickly iterating up-to and past the leader.

            Adobe has more baggage to deal with (e.g., http://blogs.adobe.com/rgalvan/2009/06/feature_feedback.html [adobe.com] ) which hurts the speed they can push ahead with new features. I've tried Silverlight 1 and 2; both show promise but neither seemed as mature as Flash CS3. Now CS4 is out as-is Silverlight 3. Silverlight 3 compared to 2 offers many times newer features than what Flash CS4 offered over CS3.

            For example, I'd love an integrated code editor in Flash with decent editing, syntax highlighting, and intellisense capabilities; I've been waiting for this since MX2004. Silverlight 3 now has a built-in code editor, I wonder how well it stacks up to what Adobe offers.

            Overall I'm glad Silverlight exists as it will push Adobe to keep making Flash a better technology, but historically Microsoft has come out on top. It took Microsoft 6 years from IE1.0 to make this happen in the browser marked ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_web_browsers [wikipedia.org] ) With 3D it took Microsoft until 6 years, from DirectX 1.0 to DirectX 8.1, to overtake OpenGL in the AAA PC gaming market.

            Unless there is a shake-up in Microsoft I predict it will happen with this RIA tech too.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Ilgaz (86384)

          I will (or would) take Silverlight serious if they release 64/32bit plugins AND design tools for Linux, OS X (PPC too!), Symbian, Google thing, FreeBSD.

          Not that one coded by that MS trojan. The real thing, with ALL codecs, ALL functionality, releases in sync.

          They have to code the design tool, plug into XCode on OS X, plug into Adobe tools, plug into Quicktime and guarantee there will be never, ever any missing updates for any of these non Microsoft operating systems.

          That is what Flash is or will be. Adobe a

    • Well, you'd at least need someone to create an editor to make it easy to develop. The company most likely to create such an editor would be Adobe, except that the functionality would compete directly with Flash. Is there any economic motivation for someone else to invest the money in creating a Flash-style editor to compete? Or for Adobe to integrate support for using Flash to create HTML5 interfaces instead of using the Flash format?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by setagllib (753300)

        The economic motivation is to be able to compete in the new market. If HTML5 is awesome enough to kill Flash, the best Adobe could do is be ready to take part of the new market, even if it's less profitable. If they refuse to do so, and Flash does get killed, they end up with nothing, which is certainly even less profitable.

        • by RobNich (85522) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:52PM (#28356117) Homepage

          I don't see why it would be less profitable. They don't charge for the Flash client, only for the authoring tools.

          Even if Silverlight were to take over, as long as Adobe makes a decent tool for creating Silverlight projects, they'll make close to the same amount. Although come to think of it, they may lose some sales only because they don't "own" the technology in consumers' eyes, and many consumers would buy Microsoft if they could anyway.

          But since HTML5 is not owned by a company, it puts Adobe on equal footing with any other company making an editor. Consumers would be able to choose their editor, and Adobe has a well-established footing in the market. If they just changed their product to output HTML5 instead of or in addition to a swf file, they'll keep their strangehold on the editor market.

      • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:26PM (#28355243)

        Is there any economic motivation for someone else to invest the money in creating a Flash-style editor to compete?

        Sure. Anyone whose determined it is in their interest to support HTML5 + Javascript as an alternative to Flash has an interest in seeing that it gets used, so everyone that has been embracing HTML5 for browsers -- Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera, just to name the browser publishers -- also has an interest in creating tooling to make sure that HTML5 doesn't just sit around unused in favor of Flash and Silverlight.

    • by ink (4325) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:21PM (#28355185) Homepage
      Amen. I wish more developers would take the time to understand this point. Without an analog to Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Flash (vector animator/tweening) -- no other technology will succeed. HTML5 is a great _engine_, but that's all it is until we have the tooling to make it actually useful.
    • by StreetStealth (980200) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:21PM (#28355189) Journal

      What you're not considering are all the other Flash-based sites that don't trade in pointless crap -- the far more subtle ones where you have to take a peek at the context menu just to be sure they aren't actually using some particularly clever JavaScript.

      These are the sites that use but don't abuse Flash, and are the best candidates for HTML 5's more lightweight environment. If the designers and developers of these sites can be convinced it's worth migrating from Flash for the decreased overhead, they just might.

    • by JobyOne (1578377) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:45PM (#28355471) Homepage Journal

      If graphics artist types can't make the kind of pointless crap that they do now with Flash, we won't see uptake of HTML 5.

      As a professional "graphics artist type" I take a offense at that. What if I were to ask about the computer coders types making the kind of buggy crap they do now with [whatever language you like]?

      Don't blame me for the ugly crap made by my less talented brethren and I won't blame you for the unstable, insecure crap made by yours. No-talent assclowns are no-talent assclowns, regardless of profession.

      This graphics artist type (full disclosure: I may get paid for design, but my hobby is programming so I'm sort of an odd duck), for one, is very excited at the potential of HTML5. I look forward to a world where I can make animations for the web and embed videos and whatnot without having to muck around with stupid Flash/Silverlight/Java/whatever. I HATE Flash, I HATE Silverlight more, I HATE Java the most, and anything I can't name off the top of my head can go STRAIGHT to hell. I do see where the parent is coming from though. I see a lot of designers building sites in Flash just because they lack the analytical skills to wrap their overdeveloped right hemispheres around using CSS and (X)HTML. To design a website that isn't just pretty, but is actually good takes more than a good creative sense.

      These days everyone and their brother and their cat might think they're a web designer, but most of them aren't. They're just some guy with a pirated copy of Photoshop. Rest assured that there are web designers out there who know what they're doing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by WillKemp (1338605)
        Graphics is graphics, no matter what the medium is. What i hate about flash is the time it takes to load and to grind and clunk its way into action. That's rarely an issue with small areas of flash on a mainly html page, but the bigger it is the worse the problem. But it is mostly pointless. At the good end, it barely makes any more impact than a static image would and at the bad end it may be ok the first time, but it quickly becomes intensely irritating when you have to go to a site several times.
    • That is one thing MS Silverlight team doesn't understand too.

      If you want designers/video guys embrace a new technology, you have to plug into Adobe's tools and Apple Quicktime framework in a perfect, seamless way.

      Both Adobe tools and Apple quicktime has no problems with stuff plugging into them and in case of Quicktime, it is actually designed for "components adding new functionality". There is no "evil" to whine about, just an ignorant company who aims to give hell to people who dares not to use their oper

  • Total nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WaywardGeek (1480513) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:44PM (#28354781) Journal

    Just because I can embed video and sound doesn't make my HTML pages the equivalent of flash. More importantly, Microsoft has "announced" intension to support HTML 5, but there's exactly zero movement so far from the market leader, and a long history of similar unfulfilled promises. Until Microsoft says HTML 5 is the next big thing, it isn't. Sorry, I know it sucks.

    • by zoips (576749)
      And draw with <canvas>.
  • by itsybitsy (149808) * on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:53PM (#28354875)

    Dump Flash and Silverlight into the dust bin of bit history along with the YouTube master control! Onward!

    How about adopting Chromes Native Code Binary API plugins for all the browsers while we're at it? Let's get it so that we can auto download plugins written in languages other than that icky JavaScript gooicky stuff.

    Get on with it guys! The web browser is still just so much as a dumb terminal spitting screens to a central server master control program!

    Let the independent distributed revolution begin!

    • by zoips (576749) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:57PM (#28354933) Homepage
      What's wrong with Javascript?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by itsybitsy (149808) *

        Ick, you have to ask? For starters it's a round parenthesis language like C, Java, and other icky goo.

        Well, it does have prototypes so it's not all totally lost.

        Heck, even C is getting blocks now with llvm and clang over at apple - grand central dispatch relies upon lambda blocks like smalltalk has for decades.

        If you like javascript that's great, good for you. It's just not for all of us who prefer other languages. That's were the chrome native binary api comes in with the browsers. It let's us download nat

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by zoips (576749)

          Not a particularly great explanation as to the shortcomings of Javascript other than apparently C-style languages are a no-go with you. Plus it's prototype system is pretty half-assed, so I'm not sure that's even a positive (I'd prefer real prototype setup like in SELF).

          I don't recall asking why anyone would want to use another language, though, as that's obvious: language preference. *shrug*

          • I'd also prefer SELF in the browser and with Native Client you'll be able to add SELF to your web pages!!!

            Yes, javascript sucks for me. Notice I didn't mention the language that I prefer as I didn't really want to get into a language war. I don't care if someone else prefers another language as I pretty much get their reasons as I've been around a while. If someone wants to use some language, SomeLanguage(tm), then please let them!

            Native Client now!

            • by tepples (727027) <<tepples> <at> <gmail.com>> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:13PM (#28355753) Homepage Journal

              I'd also prefer SELF in the browser and with Native Client you'll be able to add SELF to your web pages!!!

              From the front page of the Native Client site [google.com], with my emphasis:

              Native Client is an open-source research technology for running x86 native code in web applications, with the goal of maintaining the browser neutrality, OS portability, and safety that people expect from web apps.

              That doesn't bode well for compatibility with ARM subnotebooks, ARM PDAs and PDA phones, PowerPC set-top boxes, etc.

              And even on devices with a GenuineIntel or AuthenticAMD CPU, it's far from ready. From the release notes [googlecode.com]:

              Support for the following browsers is not available at this time:

              • Internet Explorer

              [...]
              Native Client does not work on 64-bit versions of Windows.

              • And even on devices with a GenuineIntel or AuthenticAMD CPU, it's far from ready. From the release notes [googlecode.com]:

                Support for the following browsers is not available at this time:

                • Internet Explorer

                [...] Native Client does not work on 64-bit versions of Windows.

                Unfortunately, this is a more fundamental problem. Native Client makes use of x86 CPU's segmentation features to provide memory protection. These are not available on 64-bit CPUs (except when running a program in 32-bit mode). So native client will NEVER work for a fully 64-bit browser. I do not see any way of providing equivalent memory protection without segmentation, short of dynamic instruction rewriting (emulator-style) which has an order of magnitude more overhead (say, 2x overhead, versus 5% overhead

      • Here are some articles on the topic of what is wrong with javascript.

        Certainly the speed issue is or has been resolved with impressive recent results. Hopefully that trend will continue.

        I don't agree with the strong typing but then that's just me.

        Here they are, all with the title "What is wrong with Javascript" funny enough!

        http://ayende.com/Blog/archive/2006/02/27/WhatIsWrongWithJavaScript.aspx [ayende.com]
        http://service.compuskills.co.uk/blog/2007/01/17/what-is-wrong-with-javascript/ [compuskills.co.uk]
        http://www.infoworld.com/d/develope [infoworld.com]

    • Auto-download plugins? Why do I want plugins? Do you mean things like Firefox Addons?
  • Need good tools (Score:5, Insightful)

    by poached (1123673) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:53PM (#28354887)

    Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX all have major vendor tooling support to help coding, developing, deploying on these platforms easy. I don't know of any tools in existence or in development that can beat the solutions offered by these vendors. Adobe might be willing to do that in the past, but they own Macromedia (flash) so I don't know if they will step up. In short, unless the tools are there, it will not see major adoption.

    • The only thing that would get any of the above-mentioned companies on board would be for HTML 5 to take off to such a degree that they feel their authoring environments are threatened enough that they need to adapt.

      And as arguably their support would be instrumental in HTML5 taking off in the dynamic browser-based media market, it's pretty much a catch-22.

      Unless some new player lands on the scene with a well-designed and powerful authoring environment built from the ground up for HTML 5. Then things could g

  • by laughing rabbit (216615) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:55PM (#28354909)

    The RIA guys are quoted as saying they're not worried, because HTML 5 + CSS 3 is 10 years out.

    If this is the case, how far behind will the browsers be in supporting the standards?

    • by hardburn (141468)

      The 2D Canvas tag already works pretty well in Chrome, and mostly works in Firefox with some notable features missing. The w3c plans on adding a 3D standard at some point, but my guess is that the 2D API isn't going to change much from here.

    • Both Mozilla and Apple are already working on HTML5 and CSS3 support. I'm not sure about Opera, but I'd guess they're already working on it. Microsoft will probably drag their fee (as always), but you'll see support in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome well before that "10 year" timeframe.
    • by BZ (40346) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:06PM (#28355677)

      The 10 year timeframe is for going to REC. Which means there are two complete interoperable implementations.

      Unlike previous W3C standards, this time they're not going to publish as final it until they have evidence that it can actually be implemented, and by more than one development team. That's been a major issue with CSS2, for example: the long time CSS2.1 has been taking has been largely about fixing things that were underdefined, contradictory, or just wrong (in the sense of not making any sense) in CSS2 and that were discovered when people went to actually implement the spec.

  • HTML5 is awesome (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cthulhuology (746986) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @05:59PM (#28354943) Homepage
    HTML5 is incredibly awesome. I've been building some apps that run only in safari and the things you can do in so very little code make Flash and Silverlight look like anemic. What people don't realize is that HTML5 means tools to author HTML5 in HTML5. I've done a simple Object Oriented Javascript programming interface that currently only runs in Safari4 (only one with sufficient HTML5 support), and it is amazing what you can get done in 500 lines of code. Using the framework at http://www.dloh.org/ [dloh.org] I built a graphing app by adding 2 lines of Javascript. A simple movie player is 5 lines of javascript. It takes stupidly little code to make compelling apps using the right tools and HTML5. Furthermore, more and more phones are supporting the WebKit framework. Qualcomm is recruiting a team to port webkit, so we'll soon see it on Brew phones. Iphone runs it. Android phones run it. And even if you run Opera, once again you're getting decent HTML5 support on your phone. This is game changing technology because it runs on the devices that most of the 6 billion people on the planet actually use.
  • by Radhruin (875377) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:00PM (#28354953)

    I've recently embarked upon a hobby project where I'm only targeting the latest browsers, excluding IE8.

    Not until now have I realized how much we web developers are hampered by IE. Canvas and Javascript are a highly capable platform for interactive graphics, and it works across browsers and operating systems without issue. Chromium on Linux for example, incomplete as it is, works with canvas out of the box (not to mention about 10 times faster than FF in executing Javascript).

    The ability to create web pages quickly, using convenient CSS2 and 3 rules, the ability to use piles and piles of Javascript without worry, the ability to have everything just work across my target browsers, it's utterly amazing. If we weren't stuck in this damn backwater due to having to support IE, the web would be a far more compelling platform.

    I absolutely cannot wait for the day when HTML5 and CSS3 are widely supported and adopted, but will that day ever come? Surely Microsoft realizes, as I have, how much potential is here, and I don't doubt that some of the higher ups would hold IE back so that developers are forced to use their plugins in order to deliver their content.

    For those projects that don't care about IE support, HTML5 canvas/video/audio is a fantastic leap forward for the web. For the rest, business as usual for some time to come I'm afraid.

    • by xlotlu (1395639)

      For those projects that don't care about IE support, HTML5 canvas/video/audio is a fantastic leap forward for the web. For the rest, business as usual for some time to come I'm afraid.

      No, it's not. You have the option to double your coding efforts, and implement your canvas features in VML as well (see for example OpenLayers [openlayers.org] for nicely abstracted code; it has 3 renderers: canvas, SVG and VML), or use ExCanvas [google.com], which does all that for you. It's slower compared to a native implementation, but it works.

    • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:48PM (#28355499) Homepage

      The assumption that the IE team is motivated to compete with other browsers on the grounds of features and compatibility is naive. MS if pushing Silverlight through every vector they can think of. They like things the way they are: proprietary. This is the same company that makes Visual Studio, along with compilers for a dozen languages. Do you *really* think they'd have a problem developing a JavaScript engine to compete with V8? Or implement a few additional CSS rules? How about Canvas?

      As long as the numbers of IE usage remain where they are, they are not compelled to push this route of technology. They like things the way they are now.

  • by Virus Hunter (1274224) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:01PM (#28354967)
    I'm sorry but I just can't stand developing in Javascript. Javascript is hands down the most arcane language I find myself developing in. At this point being locked into a language like Javascript by the standards community seems much more restrictive than what the proprietary plug-ins are offering. Programming in both Silverlight and Flex has been a liberating experience for me. When using Silverlight or Flex I'm able to focus on creating an application that satisfies my customer's needs; instead of focusing on the black magic tricks that are so often required when using Javascript and HTML. At the end of the day it's so obvious that HTML and Javascript were not intended for serious application development. Not only do Silverlight and Flex offer better programming models they also offer rich support for databinding, and that has simplified so many of my applications. So unless HTML 5 comes packaged with a better programming language and data binding you can count me out.
    • by acidrainx (806006) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:39PM (#28355403) Homepage

      I was ready to jump on you when I read the title of your post, but you're right, mostly. JavaScript is actually a really nice language to develop in (for small projects). With features such as lambdas, closures, and functions as first class objects, you can write some very elegant solutions with very little code.

      Even with those features it's still stuck in the dark ages when compared to other modern languages. Prototypal inheritance, while cool, doesn't really offer the power that classical inheritance gives you when you're creating large systems. There's no such thing as super in prototypal inheritance, which gets annoying after a while.

      Lately I've been looking into Flex and ActionScript 3. AS3 is basically what EcmaScript 4 was going to be before Microsoft derailed it. It's basically Java with a different syntax, a few extra features (lambdas, closures, namespaces), and no equivalent to abstract. It's really nice.

      While I'm all for HTML5 and open standards, I highly doubt that it will ever be able to keep up with proprietary solutions like Flex. There's always going to be that big asshole in the corner who refuses to keep his browser up to date with everyone else. I've written large programs in JavaScript and its just far too stressful trying to keep IE-compliance. Until Microsoft or IE are dead and buried, I'm going to have more fun writing Flex apps that run on all browsers and all platforms without any platform specific code.

  • RIA? (Score:2, Funny)

    by selven (1556643)
    What's RIA? Is it like the RIAA but without the A at the end? What's next then, MPA? BS?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Virus Hunter (1274224)
      RIA stands for Rich Internet Application. It's a term that was coined by Macromedia in order to describe the rich user experiences that can be provided by flash. The term has gained a lot of popularity, and it generally refers to any technology that allows the user to have a rich application experience from within the browser. Currently the major RIA platforms are Flash, Silverlight, and Java FX, and I've also seen this term applied to Ajax before.
  • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:03PM (#28355003)

    Had Adobe not steadfastly refused to put any end user controls or setting in Flash no one would have bothered to develop alternatives.

    But because they wanted to cater to the jumping monkey segment of the web advertising world, they stonewalled every request for end-user controls, such as no looping, no animation, no sound, etc.

    Besides the fact that it is bloatware, its just end user un-friendly.

    In order to control Flash, you needed to kill Flash and millions of web browsers would like to do exactly that.

    Being an open standard HTML5 is open for development of end-user controls, such as animate only while cursor hovers, sound off till I say so, etc.

    Bring on HTML5.
    This is a market Adobe deserves to lose.

    • by derGoldstein (1494129) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:55PM (#28355565) Homepage
      As an aside: Does anyone remember how they pushed SVG before they bought out Macromedia? They even made a decent player, which you can still get here [adobe.com]. Notice the first line on the page: "Please note that Adobe has announced that it will discontinue support for Adobe SVG Viewer on January 1, 2009."... Who needs SVG after you own Flash?

      Screw Flash. Screw Acrobat. Screw Silverlight. On the web, the most puritan Free Software advocates are right: If it's proprietary, don't download. Don't install. You've just giving them the power to take away your choices.
  • well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by evil_marty (855218) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:04PM (#28355005)
    this is the beginning of the no-plugins trend and I for one think its about time. Sure some 98% of people have flash installed, silverlight much much less and java (well I tend to steer away from that as much as possible, besides when was the last time anyone ran an applet these days?) but the problem we are seeing is that single vendors take there time to migrate to other platforms, and usually then they lack features and what nots. Look at flash, it isn't even available for the iphone and it's linux support is very limited (alpha still?) not to mention lacking 64bit in windows, fucking windows! If flash was an open platform then more external resources can be used to address these situations but then this is where html5 goes one step further, instead of making it a plugin for everyone to download why not just make it part of the browser and save the hassle.
  • No browser implements HTML properly. In some instances there is no such thing as "proper" since the spec is ambiguous, contradictory or forgiving, or the content abuses lax enforcement of doctypes leading browsers needing to implement all kinds of the quirks. Even if HTML 5 were rigourously defined and backed up by proper compliance testing, you only have to look at HTML 4 or indeed proper PNG support to realise how long it will take for browsers to properly support it. Even if HTML 5 were properly supporte
  • by Gopal.V (532678) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:06PM (#28355033) Homepage Journal

    The fundamental issue with the new RIA standards is the lack the of authoring tools. I have got a number of graphically-inclined friends who are never going to write something with HTML5 mainly because there are no tools out there (yet) which come even close what the Adobe authoring tools can do.

    Recently, I sat with one of my friends (who's a decent artist [coroflot.com]) and played around with Processing 1.0 [processing.org]. After several minutes of hard work, it just became abundantly clear that visual thinkers have a lot of trouble expressing what they want algorithmically. The experience was repeated the next time, when he was playing around with chucK [princeton.edu] (yeah, he's a music dude too).

    The graphic artist folks will have a lot of trouble using the HTML 5 authoring tools currently available, especially if they're confined to use HTML Canvas programmatically. I've easily gotten upto speed with canvas [dotgnu.info], but I'm a programmer with no artistic pretensions.

    Real adoption of HTML5 - canvas and video & all, will need easy ways to author media ... not write code.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by derGoldstein (1494129)
      Sometimes it really sucks you can't contribute to a discussion and mod it. I reached your post only after posting my rants. You hit the nail on the head: People are confusing Graphic Designers with Developers. Even if canvas gave you 5 times the capabilities of Flash, it won't do the trick until there's an authoring environment -- an end-user application that's designed to be used by graphic designers. There are only so many polymaths around who can code and do visual design. Programmers write tools for, pr
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BlueBoxSW.com (745855)

      Not sure if you know this, but with the latest release of Flash and ActionScript3, you have to be a coder to get ANYTHING done.

      If you want pure linear animation, Flash still works great in the hands of designers, but the second you add a replay button, you now need to start coding.

      Adobe shot themselves in the foot by pushing flash out of the hands of designers, taking away a huge advantage they had against HTML5.

      http://blueboxsw.com/jktest/index10.cfm [blueboxsw.com]

  • What I hear is that "we need an open standard on video that is not controlled by one [proprietary] company."

    But when it comes to Linux and where system files are "kept" (read installed), versions and naming conventions for files and all the rest, folks advocate for what is essentially chaos on the Linux platform.

    How do they do it? By making lots of noise about choice. Where choice has put us to date is: Being behind on the desktop. We should have a target system configuration and still leave those who wan

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:16PM (#28355151)

    The big problem with HTML5/JavaScript/CSS is that each browser has quirky behaviours that need to be tested. Even if Internet Explorer no longer existed, developers would have to test against Firefox, Safari, Chrome and maybe Opera. An example of a quirk is Safari not recognizing table element widths in percentages. A Flash developer tests against one Flash runtime, same with a Silverlight developer and a JavaFX developer.

    Adobe released a beta of a multiple browser runtime testing tool, but it's apparently very flawed.

    So until the above problems are solved, many RIA developers will simply use Flex, Silverlight or JavaFX, instead of coding for a hodge-podge of different browsers.

  • With older browsers all that was needed was a plugin. If the user/corporation is required to update the browser, good luck.

    How many organizations are still use IE6? Too many.

  • by unity100 (970058) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:32PM (#28355325) Homepage Journal

    if you make it good, and we like it, you'd be surprised how fast proprietary technology gets replaced. look at PHP. many of you who work corporate may not be aware, but PHP dominates the majority of sites that belong to individuals and small businesses now. check elance, rentacoder, etc - you'll find that the demand for php projects at least quadruples anything closest.

    how did it happen ?

    people liked it. it was adequate (then), it was free, it allows you to do anything (now). period. it took off.

    before any of you language nazis come up and start trolling about how you dont like php syntax, how there are more 'elite' languages out there, and how php is 'not a language' etc, i should say - i dont give a flying fuck. neither do millions of people who utilize it and who develop on it. so keep it.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:37PM (#28355981) Journal

      It could be done with PHP because replacing server software doesn't affects clients; in particular, it does not require them to install new plugins and/or change their browser.

      Client-side, it's a very different kettle of fish. Silverlight can fight Flash by being bundled with the OS (or installed wia WU); JavaFX can fight it by being bundled with JRE (or installed when JRE is auto-updated). I don't see any similar opportunity for HTML5.

  • Microsoft? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by asdfndsagse (1528701) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @06:40PM (#28355415)

    Microsoft might be part of the w3 organization, but none of their browsers support any of the HTML5 specs, i dont call that being involved, instead they have specifically decided not to support these standards, and try to slow down, and break apart the web.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      ... but none of their browsers support any of the HTML5 specs

      IE8 supports bits and pieces [microsoft.com] of HTML5. It's a very far cry from full support, but your claim that "none of their browsers support any of the specs" is plain wrong.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MemoryDragon (544441)

      Microsoft might be part of the w3 organization, but none of their browsers support any of the HTML5 specs, i dont call that being involved, instead they have specifically decided not to support these standards, and try to slow down, and break apart the web.

      Happened many times, they were members of the Corba consortium and derived DCOM from the technologies there, early they were members of the OpenGL consortium it ended with DirectX 3 being a plain COM based copy of OpenGL, their membership in the W3C consortium has been going on for longer than a decade.

      But to Microsofts defense they behave more nicely. The last stunt they pulled was to rip off SVG and label it under their own name (XAML) incompatible of course, while not supporting the official SVG standard

  • Why is it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JobyOne (1578377) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:14PM (#28355769) Homepage Journal
    Why is it that every time a new technology is created we have to phrase it as "taking aim" or "taking on" or being a "[blank] killer?" Why can't we all just get along?

    But seriously, why can't we look at this in terms of the development doors that will be opened, and not mind the fact that RIA content will someday probably fall by the wayside? Progress happens, and those companies/individuals/organizations that fail to adapt fall behind and eventually wither. I think we can all agree that HTML5 has the potential to be awesome, let's approach it in terms of how to make it as awesome as it can be, instead of wringing our hands over the fates of the poor, defenseless multinational corporations.
  • by caywen (942955) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:48PM (#28356075)
    One factor I'd think would contribute greatly to the success of one over the others is how well a search provider like Google can reasonably analyze and index the content.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by mctk (840035)
      You get a C+. Your comment is insightful and original, at that. You have a clear title indicating the content to be found within and you have neither spelling mistakes nor grammatical errors. What's more, by refusing to make a categorical statement, you are promoting discussion. It is clear that your comment is an opportunity for others, perhaps more experience in the field, to chime in. So why the C+?

      You should know better than to start a new thread this far down. Find some random troll up at the t
  • WebKit vs. IE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:51PM (#28356097)

    For the past two years, I've been telling everyone the new browser war is between IE and WebKit. WebKit has become the default platform for the mobile browser market (iPhone using Safari and Android and Palm using their version). One of the big reasons Apple started WebKit was to keep the browsing platform out of the hands of a single vendor. It's not that Apple doesn't like proprietary technology. It's that they don't like proprietary technology that they depend upon and don't control.

    The battle for HTML 5 vs. Silverlight vs. Flash will be on the mobile platform. It's easy for Silverlight and Adobe to create a desktop application that work with 90% of the desktops (and a bit more work to get another 9%). However, the world is changing. Adobe and Microsoft can't create Silverlight and Flash clients for every single possible mobile platform. The trick is to get enough HTML 5 clients out there that it'll be worth it for developers to learn HTML 5. If enough developers pick up HTML 5, companies will make IDEs for HTML 5.

    If that happens, Flash and Silverlight will go away. The other possibility is that Apple will buy Adobe and open source Flash. Apple loves open source standards because it means that they'll be able to sell all the neat gadgets that work with these standards.

  • Sun uses Flash (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jasonmanley (921037) <jman@math.com> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @07:58PM (#28356173) Homepage Journal
    I wonder what it says about JavaFX that Jonathan Schwartz's blog uses Flash for its video?
  • by melted (227442) on Wednesday June 17, 2009 @02:22AM (#28358573) Homepage

    For several reasons:

    1. Microsoft doesn't give a shit about it. Therefore enterprise users won't give a shit.

    2. Even if Microsoft does give a shit, neither Apple nor Microsoft will support Ogg Theora. Therefore Linux is SOL again.

    3. Apply #1 and 2 to audio standards as well. No common, open, royalty free, pre-installed standard across all platforms == epic fail.

    The main power of Flash right now is that once you install the plugin, you might as well forget all that BS about paying for codecs on all three major platforms. It's all in there. It's convenient. It's sufficient.

"If that makes any sense to you, you have a big problem." -- C. Durance, Computer Science 234

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