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Adobe Not Worried About the Future of Flash 328

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the better-be-worried-about-apple dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Adobe company man John Dowdell isn't worried about the future of Flash. He writes in his company blog, 'There's really no "HTML vs Flash" war. There are sure people inciting to create such a war, and individual developers may have strong practical reasons to choose one technology over another, but at corporate levels that drive strategy, all delivery channels are important Adobe territory, whether SWF or HTML or video or documents or paper or ebook or e-mag or film or packaging or whatever. Adobe profits by making it easier for creatives to reach their audiences. We're on the verge of a disruptive change that, I think, will dwarf that of the World Wide Web fifteen years ago. It was great back then when any wealthy person with a workstation in a wired environment could easily reach any creative's webpage. With these cheaper devices we'll be reaching far more people, and with pocket devices we'll be reaching them throughout the day instead of just when "logged-on." The WWW was merely a pale precursor of the excitement we're going to see, I think.' It's interesting to note that he talks about the World Wide Web in the past tense. I find it instructive as to Adobe's perspective. Personally, I'm not worried about the future of Flash either. I don't think it has one."
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Adobe Not Worried About the Future of Flash

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  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:44PM (#31658806) Journal

    Personally, I'm not worried about the future of Flash either. I don't think it has one.

    Except that it's pain in the ass to create Flash-like games with HTML5. You have to use all kinds of hacks to accomplish that, while designers and Flash game creators are familiar and love Flash authoring tools.

    Flash isn't just about video, even if it's the most talked part of it here on slashdot.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:50PM (#31658886)

      Flash isn't just about video, even if it's the most talked part of it here on slashdot.

      Really, though, that is what Flash is about. If you were to go around and uninstall Flash Player from all the PCs in the world, almost all of the complaints would be "I can't watch YouTube, I can't watch Hulu, I can't watch CNN.com."

      • Flash got nearly 100% browser penetration long before YouTube existed, though, and the reasons for that are still some of the main reasons Flash is used. In addition to complaints about online video, lots of the complaints would include things like, "I can't play FarmVille or Bejeweled Blitz anymore".

        • by tepples (727027)
          Of course you can play your farmville. It's just called "Harvest Moon" now, and it's on a Nintendo DS.
          • by alen (225700)

            farmville is free

            harvest moon you have to buy in addition to this nintendo gizmo thing

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by jeffmeden (135043)

              Except that it costs you a metric tonne of credibility, as well as most of your facebook friends. If these things are of no perceived value to you, by all means play Farmville.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                You know, you can just hide the updates from those idiotic apps. I have one stupid app addicted friend whose wall I periodically check just so I can find the apps to hide from my news feed.
        • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:03PM (#31659072)

          "Flash got nearly 100% browser penetration long before YouTube existed"

          Which is a polite form of saying "they've been f*cking with my browser for too long now".

        • That is very true but Flash is primarily used for video these days. People grew tired of of "see how far you can throw the baby/puppy/etc" games.
    • Exactly. There's something that flash could do better than all the other alternatives, web video, and now we're coming to HTML5 to do that one thing better still, but Flash does a LOT of things, and there's a lot of people using it that won't want to stop using it. Just look at how long they've been trying to phase out Director [wikipedia.org].

      Those "creatives" like to hang on to their familiar tools.

      • Very true, and while I dislike Flash in general, it is a very powerful and accessible web platform.

        Probably the best 'ramp' to Web 3.0 (gag) I've ever seen.

    • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:54PM (#31658946) Homepage Journal
      Once someone ports Badgers [badgerbadgerbadger.com] to HTML5 Canvas, then it'll be safe to put Flash to sleep.
    • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:56PM (#31658994) Homepage

      Definitely, there's a whole realm of rich applications for which HTML5 can only just barely begin to dream.

      But beyond this, even in the arena of video (which as you point out, seems to be the only corner of the Flash world the doomsayers want to talk about), HTML5 lacks ubiquity and consistency. There isn't even one single codec which is supported by every browser that implements HTML5 (Mozilla won't support H.264 for patent reasons), and even if there were, it still lacks functions which have existed in Flash for what seems like eons, such as dynamic bitrates (connection quality goes down, the amount of data sent to you goes down to compensate), and real-time seeking (ever want to skip around in a long video before the whole thing has loaded?).

      Plus it's still missing camera and microphone controls.

      Let's not forget that ActionScript is a much stronger language than JavaScript, and that things you write in Flash work in all browsers on all OS's if they work on your desktop, while JavaScript and interacting with the browser's DOM to this day is widely different in each browser, and sometimes even different in the same browser on different OS's. So the testing surface area in Flash is n (where n is the complexity of the application), while it's n*bv*o for HTML5 (where bv is the set of browsers and browser versions you want to support, and o is the set of OS's you want to support).

      I've said it before, and I'll say it again. HTML5 is moving in the right direction. But it's a long, long distance from seriously competing with Flash except ideologically. It will be five years before it's a serious competitor, and only if the backers of HTML5 all start pulling in the same direction (today they're pulling in different directions on things as simple as what codec video should use).

      • "Let's not forget that ActionScript is a much stronger language than JavaScript"

        Huh? I thought they were virtually the same language, only AS added some Java-lookalike class based object system (against the grain of the formerly dynamic language, following the finest tradition of PHP).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nahdude812 (88157) *

          No, ActionScript has a lot of high order OOP principles (interfaces, inheritance, classes, packages, abstract types, method and property visibility controls, language reflection, and so forth), is a compiled language, and has the option to be strongly typed throughout.

          ActionScript 1.0 was a pretty similar language to JavaScript. AS 2.0 introduced a lot of OOP principles, and AS 3.0 brings it pretty close to the same level as Java.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)

            No, ActionScript has a lot of high order OOP principles (interfaces, inheritance, classes, packages, abstract types, method and property visibility controls, language reflection, and so forth)

            That has very little to do with OOP, save for reflection, which is a pretty natural requirement.

            is a compiled language

            These days, JavaScript is usually compiled to native code. And guess what: Adobe's AS engine and Mozilla's TraceMonkey JavaScript engine share the same JIT core.

            and has the option to be strongly typed throughout

            That's an interesting feature, but it's neither a bug nor an ultimate selling point.

            • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:04PM (#31659944) Homepage

              That has very little to do with OOP, save for reflection, which is a pretty natural requirement.

              I'm not trying to be snide here, but perhaps you should read up on OOP core concepts and features [wikipedia.org] which include classes, inheritence, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and decoupling. In fact, reflection is the only one of those which does not directly contribute to OOP design principles (exactly the opposite as you suggest).

              These days, JavaScript is usually compiled to native code. And guess what: Adobe's AS engine and Mozilla's TraceMonkey JavaScript engine share the same JIT core.

              Yes, but this compilation is JIT as you point out. JIT is not the same thing as a compiled language. Part of the point is that you can do this work once and save all your users the overhead of doing it. You can also send them bytecode instead of much more verbose source code (making less data to transfer). It also leaves less chance of difference between clients since the client is responsible for less of the work overall.

              That's an interesting feature, but it's neither a bug nor an ultimate selling point.

              Anyone who has worked in a particularly large codebase (1000+kloc) would not agree.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)

                I'm not trying to be snide here, but perhaps you should read up on OOP core concepts and features [wikipedia.org] which include classes, inheritence, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and decoupling. In fact, reflection is the only one of those which does not directly contribute to OOP design principles (exactly the opposite as you suggest).

                Oh, really?

                Q:What does "object-oriented [programming]" mean to you? (No tutorial-like introduction is needed, just a short explanation [like "programming with inheritance, polymorphism and encapsulation"] in terms of other concepts for a reader familiar with them, if possible. Also, it is not necessary to explain "object", because I already have sources with your explanation of "object" from "Early History of Smalltalk".)

                A:(I'm not against types, but I don't know of any type systems that aren't a complete pain, so I still like dynamic typing.)

                OOP to me means only messaging, local retention and protection and hiding of state-process, and extreme late-binding of all things. It can be done in Smalltalk and in LISP. There are possibly other systems in which this is possible, but I'm not aware of them.

                Cheers,

                Alan

                This guy *coined* the whole damned term, so perhaps he has some say to it - not to mention that he got the Turing Award for that!

                Yes, but this compilation is JIT as you point out. JIT is not the same thing as a compiled language. Part of the point is that you can do this work once and save all your users the overhead of doing it. You can also send them bytecode instead of much more verbose source code (making less data to transfer). It also leaves less chance of difference between clients since the client is responsible for less of the work overall.

                Uhm? Flash works in precisely the same way - it transfers platform-independent data to the client and then it generates platform-dependent native code at runtime. If JIT compilation is not an actual compilation process, then - by your very definition - AS isn't a compiled language. T

                Anyone who has worked in a particularly large codebase (1000+kloc) would not agree.

                YOU are writing applications in AS or JS running in people's browsers that have more th

              • JS, OO, and typing (Score:3, Insightful)

                by weston (16146)

                classes, inheritence, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and decoupling.

                It's possible the parent was (correctly) trying to say that a lot of the ActionScript features the GP mentioned actually weren't necessary to make JavaScript an OO language -- all of these things were (and are) quite possible in JS before ActionScript introduced various keyword-based mechanisms.

                Yes, but this compilation is JIT as you point out. JIT is not the same thing as a compiled language.

                While that's certainly a distinction

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by xero314 (722674)

                I'm not trying to be snide here, but perhaps you should read up on OOP core concepts and features [wikipedia.org] which include classes, inheritence, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and decoupling.

                I hope you are not trying to say that JavaScript does not include these concepts, except for classes which is in no way required for OOP. JavaScript is a pure OO language, though I'm not 100% sure that it always has been, but it certainly has been for a while. You might for well at studying at least the different forms of inheritance so that you know what prototypical inheritance vs classical is.

                Yes, but this compilation is JIT as you point out. JIT is not the same thing as a compiled language. Part of the point is that you can do this work once and save all your users the overhead of doing it.You can also send them bytecode instead of much more verbose source code (making less data to transfer).

                In exchange for the user having the overhead of running the flash runtime environment. This also does not allevi

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                I'm not trying to be snide here, but perhaps you should read up on OOP core concepts and features [wikipedia.org] which include classes, inheritence, abstraction, encapsulation, polymorphism, and decoupling.

                Did you even read the section of the article that you've linked to? I mean, it immediately starts with:

                "Not all of these concepts are to be found in all object-oriented programming languages, and so object-oriented programming that uses classes is called sometimes class-based programming. In particular, prototype-based programming does not typically use classes. As a result, a significantly different yet analogous terminology is used to define the concepts of object and instance."

                Guess what kind of an objec

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by postbigbang (761081)

        Well, there you go again.

        The market forces include Silverlight-ish stuff, Flash, open-source wannabees, Fraunhofer Institute codec creations, and there's actually a wealth of stuff.

        Some of it, however, is indeed encumbered by licensing problems. It's a big deal: we don't like to pay codec royalties. We're not enamored with Microsoft's Silverlight constraints. We worry about what Oracle will do to the Java Continuum.

        And so HTML 5 isn't going to be a train wreck, but there are many details to sort thru as you

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        ...and even if there were, it still lacks functions which have existed in Flash for what seems like eons, such as dynamic bitrates (connection quality goes down, the amount of data sent to you goes down to compensate), and real-time seeking (ever want to skip around in a long video before the whole thing has loaded?).

        These 'features' as you call them, are not helping me at all. What help is a dynamic bitrate going to do when your connection is dropped? It used to be I could just start the stream and it would buffer the whole video in the background while I was viewing it, so if my connection was dropped, I already had the whole thing in buffer. Nowadays it seems only a a few seconds or minutes is buffered and the rest is only gotten when it is needed (despite the fact that I have a fast broadband connection and loads of

      • by psbrogna (611644) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:10PM (#31660036)
        Things you write in Flash do not work on all browsers. They only work on browsers that have the Flash plug-in.

        Let's not gloss over that: HTML5 may support a subset of Flash today, but it could eventually encompass all of it (or, gasp- exceed Flash functionality) and will do so in all HTML5 browsers without relying on a proprietary plug-in and closed eco-system of authoring tools. I think many people prefer this approach because Adobe is neglecting their platform and also because existing authoring tools from the vendor don't provide the functionality needed at the price desired.

        I emphasize the above obvious point because your post seemed to gloss over the whole point of the HTML5 vs. Flash debate.
        • by nahdude812 (88157) * on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:48PM (#31660470) Homepage

          So they work in 99% of browsers (source [adobe.com]).

          Not only is this no where near the penetration rates of HTML5, it's only true for those HTML4 features which exist in the venn intersection of all features between IE8 + IE7 + IE6 + Firefox + Chrome + Safari + Opera (source [w3schools.com]).

          but it could eventually encompass all of it (or, gasp- exceed Flash functionality)

          I welcome that day - please don't get me wrong. I'm just saying it's too early to sound the death knell.

          will do so in all HTML5 browsers

          Do you really think that's true? How has that worked out for HTML4 so far? Major differences between browsers and browser versions. Some of these browsers in their most modern form still can't pass CSS ACID tests.

          Flash offers ubiquity and consistency that has so far simply not existed in the HTML arena, and HTML5 has not offered any sort of standards verification. If HTML5 wants to do that, it should create a set of ACID tests for HTML5 features, and any browser which wishes to claim HTML5 compatibility needs to score 100% on them.

          • by psbrogna (611644) on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:14PM (#31660888)
            Ubiquity seems like a good thing in many areas of IT and I concede that Flash is orders of magnitude closer today than HTML5. However, instead of introducing (or continuing to support/invest in) new layers and proprietary standards (further complicating the stack, costing resources and making it damn impossible to secure) to address shortcomings that exist, we'd all benefit from embracing new open standards that attempt to address the issue.
          • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @03:42PM (#31661218) Journal

            Some of these browsers in their most modern form still can't pass CSS ACID tests.

            Few of them, and few tests. It seems to be mostly IE that's the problem here.

            Also, keep in mind that the ACID tests are deliberately designed to expose known bugs in browsers and embarrass those browser manufacturers into fixing them. As long as there's a new ACID test, there's going to be at least one browser that doesn't score 100% on it, and that's by design of the ACID tests. Yes, every browser should try to score 100%, but if a browser doesn't, that just means they have work to do, it doesn't mean the standard is suddenly broken.

            After all, does Adobe Flash follow what their docs say 100% of the time? If so, that really would be extraordinary. That's one of the advantages of competing implementations -- you can show an example of something implementing the spec correctly to show that it can be done, and if the implementation is open source, parts of it may be absorbed into other implementations.

            It is currently the case that you can build a web app which will run well on Firefox, Safari, Opera, Konqueror, Epiphany, Camino, Chrome, iCab, basically everything except IE. If we could ditch IE and Flash, we'd pretty much have what we want from HTML right now.

          • by Pieroxy (222434) on Monday March 29, 2010 @05:09PM (#31662326) Homepage

            The main point for me is that since I have uninstalled flash from my computer, my browser doesn't crash anymore. My scrollwheel always works, no matter where my mouse is on the screen. My TAB keyboard sequence isn't screwed up anytime the focus goes to an ad.

            Granted, the problem is less painful with Chrome (one process per windows so flash doesn't crash the window, just the tab), but still!

    • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:58PM (#31659014) Homepage Journal

      I have no problem with Flash living on in games.
      I can take or leave most "all" Flash games.
      Flash games don't work will on mobile devices "if at all"
      Once you drop Flash for video Flash becomes as necessary as say Java. Very nice to have but a lot of people will never miss it.

      Flash will be pushed more and more to the margins if HTML 5 takes off. Frankly there are lot of benefits to dropping Flash once you don't need it for Video.
      Security is probably the biggest. Getting rid of Flash drops an attack vector you must worry about and keep updated.

      What Adobe is saying and I think is very telling.
      We do not make money off of Flash. We make money from authoring tools. If Flash dies tomorrow we will just make great HTML 5 authoring tools instead.
      Heck Adobe may make a tool that makes writing games in HTML 5 as easy as it is in Flash.

      So IMHO Adobe is saying that "Flash could be dead but we will still make boatloads of money with our authoring tools."

      • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:12PM (#31659184)

        Flash will be pushed more and more to the margins if HTML 5 takes off. Frankly there are lot of benefits to dropping Flash once you don't need it for Video.
        Security is probably the biggest. Getting rid of Flash drops an attack vector you must worry about and keep updated.

        How does dropping flash for HTML5 remove an attack vector? It just replace one attack vector with another.

        • by mrsurb (1484303) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:27PM (#31659464)

          It doesn't remove an attack vector. But it does replace an attack vector that is practically universal and can only be updated by one proprietary vendor (Adobe) with one that has a series of different implementations and (at least with open-source implementations) can be updated by anyone.

          As genetic diversity increases a species' resistance to disease, digital diversity increases our resistance to malware.

        • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:33PM (#31659526) Homepage Journal

          Because odds are you will have both a browser and Flash.
          So dropping Flash from you system will leave you with just the browser.
          Nobody that I know of just uses Flash without a browser. So by dropping flash you get rid of an attack vector. Now you only need to worry about your Browser and not your Browser and Flash.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by beakerMeep (716990)
            But you would have that much more code to replicate the functionality, and while in the strictest sense, that may not be an 'attack vector' it's unlikely to be any safer as the video will still be interacting with the underlying OS. The thing that strikes me as strangest though is that those (not saying you) that rail against Flash's security don't ever seem to take aim at JavaScript. Surely JS has been the attack vector of choice for far longer, and far more often, than Flash.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              The thing that strikes me as strangest though is that those (not saying you) that rail against Flash's security don't ever seem to take aim at JavaScript. Surely JS has been the attack vector of choice for far longer, and far more often, than Flash.

              Of course JS is an attack vector. Every feature in the browser is an attack vector.

              Now, currently - and also with HTML5 - there is a single JS implementation in the browser. With Flash, you have another JS (AS, whatever...) implementation, which is yet another attack vector.

              (For the same reason, various IE-tab-in-Firefox or Chrome-tab-in-IE extensions also significantly increase the attack surface.)

        • by hax0r_this (1073148) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:07PM (#31659982)

          How does dropping flash for HTML5 remove an attack vector? It just replace one attack vector with another.

          Unless you're suggesting your browser would otherwise not support HTML5/Javascript, then you aren't replacing anything. Just dropping a third party plugin that is known to be buggy, non-standard and poorly maintained.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:02PM (#31659058) Journal
      I think you hit on the most important part there in your second sentence. Really, Adobe makes zero money from flash itself, everyone gets that for free. They make their money from the Flash development tools, tools that make it easy to build an awesome (ok, for varying definitions of awesome) web page. From their perspective, it doesn't matter if the underlying technology is Flash, HTML 5, or something different. They are confident they can build the best tools to work with whatever that technology is, and thus will continue to make money.
      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Try writing a flash app - that's where Adobe makes its money on Flash. It's the tools that they sell, just like for PDFs. The reader is free, but the writer costs bucks, and the primo publishing edition costs primo bucks.

        The reason they give out the plugin for free is to make sure there is a good reason to write in Flash, and so long as Adobe keeps producing plugins there will always be a reason to write in Flash.

        • Wow, I must not be writing very clearly today, because you just completely repeated what I was trying to say.

          The rest of my point was that since Adobe makes money from their creation tools, it doesn't matter to them if the underlying technology is flash or HTML5 or something else. They can still make the creation tools and still make money off them.

          There is nothing special about the Flash format, Adobe doesn't use file-format lockin like Microsoft does. You can even find free tools to create Flash [osflash.org]. Ado
    • by jittles (1613415)

      Flash isn't just about video, even if it's the most talked part of it here on slashdot.

      You're right. One can't forget all of the vulnerabilities it opens up on your computer, too!

    • by Inda (580031)
      People will create libraries and authoring tool for HTML5.

      People aren't going to rewrite sprite animation functions and collision detection over and over.

      Bit of a non-issue, if you ask me. It's probably why people aren't talking about it on Slashdot.
  • by creimer (824291) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:47PM (#31658850) Homepage
    Flash is out of luck [foxtrot.com] with Steve Jobs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nahdude812 (88157) *

      Apple should be worried. They've proven to me that they can't be trusted to wield as much market power as they've earned recently, because denying a third party technology is a decision which belongs to the owner of the device, not the maker of the device. In recent years, I'd become an Apple convert, and now I no longer consider anything bearing that logo when making purchasing decisions.

      • by PhilHibbs (4537)

        Answer me this, how should Flash on the iPhone handle an API call that asks where the mouse cursor is, so that (for example) video player controls can be shown when the mouse hovers over the bottom of the flash area?

        • How do you do it on your track pad...
          A finger down is a mouse cursor. A Tap is a left click... Two finger tap is a right click. Two Finger Drag is a scroll.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thestudio_bob (894258)

        At least Apple is using it's "Market Power" to convince the world to move on to an "open standard", instead of some proprietary format. The whole reason Flash has it's market share today is based on a simple fact that 10 years ago you couldn't rely on the same functionality across browsers and platforms. HTML5 is not a 100% fix to that problem, but it's a step in the right direction.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nahdude812 (88157) *

          Don't be fooled, Apple is not doing this thing you suggest.

          Apple is using that as an excuse to produce App Store lock-in. HTML5 is not a competitor to Flash yet. Give it 5 years and maybe. Apple is using the gap while HTML5 comes up to speed to keep people from being able to play games or run apps on their iPhone / iPad unless they paid Apple for the privilege of doing so first.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      I'm sorry, but Adobe has nearly 100% penetration into their market while Apple has significantly less than that in theirs. The same people who will want an iPad will want to view flash based websites.

      If the iPad ships with no flash, and no option for flash, people are going to be pissed.

  • "We're on the verge of a disruptive change that, I think, will dwarf that of the World Wide Web "
    [Presumably referring to mobile devices]
    Well, maybe. But what is the role of Flash and other Adobe stuff in this presumed new mobile revolution?
    I'm confused.
    Unless, of course, he's talking complete crap...

    • Corporate spokesmen are the Baghdad Bobs of capitalism: there to tell you everything is going great, there is no enemy in sight for hundreds of miles, if there is an enemy he was routed by our glorious products. Up until the moment the spokesman himself is laid off.

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        Agreed. Any CEO who claims he's not worried about his products future isn't a very good CEO. On the Video front, there is a very real possibility that Flash will be replaced, and rightly so. I don't care about flash games. Any smart phone worth it's weight will have apps to fill that void. It's the video I'm interested in.

        Flash is annoying, and wasteful. Install flashblock and look at how many simple 'text' menus are now flash based. Why? Because developers are lazy. You can't tell me that a simple text tag

    • by Locke2005 (849178)
      As far as I can tell, the Opera Browser on the Nintendo DS doesn't support Flash. Of course, it doesn't have enough memory to actually run a decent Flash app it if did support Flash anyway.
  • Seriously, do they think that any piece of crap content delivery system (to use their buzzwords against them) will supplant webpages? I just find it unbelievably arrogant for them to think that people will abandon a mature, (somewhat) stable system to use whatever crazy stuff they're cooking up.
  • by r00t (33219) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:52PM (#31658930) Journal

    It'll take a while, because IE 9 doesn't support XP, but it'll happen. Flash dies once XP dies.

    Microsoft would like to fully control the interfaces, but when they fail at that they'd at least like to stop any other company from controlling the interfaces. Microsoft will settle for open standards as required to kill things like flash.

    We can thank Adobe for IE 9 getting SVG and HTML 5 video support.

    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:43PM (#31659680)

      Flash dies once XP dies.

      Flash dies once people stop producing websites that need Flash. It has absolutely nothing to do with XP, or IE9, or a new HTML standard. You will note that IE6 is still the most popular browser on the market - web technologies, as fast as they change, are subject to the whims of those who use them, and in this regard Flash is a giant that won't be taken down easily. Since HTML5 can't do nearly what Flash can do overall, and HTML5 video is not any better than HTML5 (Flash has had H264 video for about two years now, and that hasn't even been settled yet for HTML5), and as others have pointed out doesn't even offer as many features for video as Flash does, I think all this talk of the death of Flash is wishful thinking.

      The release of HTML5 is, by itself, not a compelling reason for anybody to switch from Flash to HTML5. Tying in to the browser doesn't help much in the way of security concerns, because you have the same types of processes going on that are just as vulnerable to the errors that create exploits. In fact, for anybody who already uses Flash regularly, switching to HTML5 will cost a significant amount of time and money with little to no benefit over just staying with Flash. That's not a recipe for a mass exodus.

      Adobe has also never been known to stand still in the market, they are one of those companies that continually drives to stay on top. There are dozens of examples, Flash is just one of many.

      I predict that most HTML5 based video will be primarily produced by people who are new to video and have no prior Flash experience, There may be a small number of people who try to switch from Flash to HTML5 for video only, but I think a large portion of them will eventually switch back to what they know better - which is Flash. This is small potatoes compared to the number of Flash developers on the market, and Flash-based websites.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by smclean (521851)

        You will note that IE6 is still the most popular browser on the market

        No I will not [w3schools.com].

  • then release Flash for the G1 already.

  • Who cares if your browser games are in flash or HTML5? Or if video is flash or HTML5?

    I only how fast the video loads, and how responsive the games are. And from my testing of YouTube's HTML5, HTML5 loads faster and smoother than flash.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027)
      A lot of the Flash videos on Newgrounds aren't FLVs at all; they're vector animation over an audio soundtrack. Until someone comes up with an editor for HTML5 Canvas animations, Flash will still have its uses.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
        Why an entire editor? I'm sure there are many fine editors around, you only need an export filter.
  • by Smivs (1197859) <smivs@smivsonline.co.uk> on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:57PM (#31659002) Homepage Journal
    Says it all...
  • by DavidinAla (639952) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:59PM (#31659032)
    When you have to explain that you're not scared about a trend that could hurt your product, it means you ARE scared of the trend. :-)
    • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:05PM (#31659956)

      I don't know, when all kinds of geeks are crying "Flash is dead", and an Adobe rep comes out and says "We've faced worse, we aren't worried" I don't think you can automatically assume they are worried.

      Basically, it tells you nothing, because you can't just sit there and be silent - that will be more of a condemnation than anything. If you're scared shitless, you say "We aren't worried", and if you're not worried you also say "We aren't worried".

      Basically you can't read much of anything into it, and I have to point out that Adobe is extremely good at making their products the de facto standard. Probably the biggest knock against HTML5 is it is not going to be nearly as consistent as Flash across browser versions, the next biggest would be the fact that Flash will always be in a better position to adjust to the market - H264 video is a perfect example, Flash has had it for two years now, IE has it for HTML5 but Firefox apparently won't have it for HTML5 (it's a licensing issue). So if you want to be sure everyone can see your H264 encoded video, you use Flash, not HTML5 at all.

  • by pgmrdlm (1642279) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:00PM (#31659046) Journal

    Like there is to block flash.

    I do not want any video type stream to load when i am going to a web page until I have made the decision to watch it.

    That is not an anti flash statement because I do make the choice to watch a lot of flash. But it is at my discretion and not the web page designers.

    If it wasn't for flash block, I would spend all day waiting for news sites to load instead of actually reading the news. I hardly ever watch the flash on those types of sites, and they are probably the worse offenders of loading up the crap flash. Now other sites, which by the nature of the site presents its content via flash. yes, I do watch it. But, only after I have clicked the specific flash object I want.

  • by KeithIrwin (243301) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:05PM (#31659104)

    When you really look at it, there's no reason that Adobe shouldn't embrace HTML 5. Fundamentally, maintaining a cross-platform plug-in is not a profit center for them, it's a cost. They don't make money on the plug-ins, they make money on the Creative Suite product which allows designers to create animations, games, and the like easily. All this work of maintaining their own actionscript standards and standard library just serves to make their pay products more useful.

    Imagine for a moment that at some time in the near future, Adobe has a new option on the menu "Export to HTML5". Would this make their product less useful? Of course not. Widespread adoption of HTML 5 means that their product can now be used to create content for even more devices, including several, like the iPhone, from which they have previously been locked out. And it wouldn't even be surprising if over time they transitioned entirely to HTML 5, giving up the work involved in maintaining Flash. They probably won't do this in the short run, but in the long run, it's entirely plausible.

    I'm sure some people will point out that the move to HTML 5 opens them up to more competitors, and it does. But they've already got competitors even with the Flash ecosystem. There are a variety of ways to make swfs, including swftools, FlashDevelop, and the free Actionscript compiler which Adobe itself released as part of the Flex SDK. There are even a few other pay products out there. So, essentially, they already are in a market where there are a bunch of other tools which are cheaper but either can't produce complex content or require a bunch of coding to produce similar content. If they switch over to HTML5, they will likely be in the same boat, just in a bigger lake. Sure they'll be competing with DreamWeaver or whoever, but they'll have a clear and immediate advantage when it comes to "Flash-like" stuff such as animations and games.

    So in summary, if they manage the transition properly, moving towards HTML5 means less costs and a bigger market. That sounds to me like a pretty clear win.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cicada7 (1051002)

      Sure they'll be competing with DreamWeaver or whoever...

      Just an FYI, DreamWeaver is an Adobe product too.

    • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:50PM (#31659770) Homepage

      When you really look at it, there's no reason that Adobe shouldn't embrace HTML 5.

      Yes there is. Right now, Adobe has locks on both the production and consumption sides of Flash. Notably, they periodically add features to Flash that anyone else who makes a flash editor or player doesn't support. Heck, the GNU Flash player, Gnash, is still back on Flash 7 with some features of 8 and 9; the current version of Flash is Flash 11.

      Adobe controls neither production or consumption sides of HTML5. They would just be a single developer making a product in this market segment.

      As a side point, Flash was originally created as a vector animation tool. Strangely, it became hugely popular, largely supplanting its parent, Macromedia (now Adobe) Shockwave.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

      Imagine for a moment that at some time in the near future, Adobe has a new option on the menu "Export to HTML5".

      That's probably a very strong possibility, given that ActionScript is just an alternative JavaScript implementation.

      Sure they'll be competing with DreamWeaver or whoever

      Ahem, DreamWeaver is Adobe. :)

  • by e2d2 (115622) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:10PM (#31659168)

    Here's how it will go down: "Flash CS4 - Now with HTML5!"

    They will fall back on their design environment to create HTML 5 compliant applications and continue to sell to the more design-oriented customer. So of course they aren't worried. They'll just use HTML 5 output and sell to their already established base.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by beakerMeep (716990)
      You're more right than you know, but it's not HTML 5 that is the target, it's the iphone.

      Flash CS5 (in alpha or beta at the moment) has the ability to publish to native iphone compiled code.
  • Mobile Devices!?! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dan East (318230) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:10PM (#31659172) Homepage Journal

    What is this guy smoking?

    and with pocket devices we'll be reaching them throughout the day instead of just when "logged-on

    Oh, you will, huh? And they aren't the least bit worried about establishing themselves in an entire market and hardware paradigm in which they have no influence or foothold in whatsoever? (And no, using Actionscript as a compiler language to build native iPhone apps doesn't count.)

  • The web is still in its infancy so the technologies involved with it - especially those for publishing on it - are still developing and constantly changing. Roughly every three to four years, many "technologies" which were previously thought to be "standard" begin to shows signs of age and start to fall from grace. Flash has had a long run, considering how rapidly things are constantly changing but, like pretty much everything involved with the internet at this stage, it is now fading from grace. Other alte
  • I remember when I first saw the WWW in action back in Spring of '94. It was a Meyers-Briggs test you took with radio-buttons, perhaps the UR-ancestor of quizilla in a'borning. My immediate reaction was, "Cool. It's like gopher with inline graphics and mouse navigation. Damn shame it's so slow."

    What we do on the web today bears little resemblance to Web 1.0, and the HTML5/ubiquitous-fast-wilreless/cheap-netbooks&spart-phones future will wander even farther. While I think his turn of phrase was marketin

  • Whenever I'm handed mod-points, the FAQ is quick to point out that I should not mod posts based on my opinion, in fact, I should be as impartial as possible. Considering the submitter's opinion is blatant to see, I'll just go and brazenly smash my point of view into his open-source skull. His, and everyone else's who think that Flash has everything to do with you-tube, and nothing to do with artistic license:

    The submitter is a cretin. An arrogant fool. He or she probably thinks that HTML5 is the be-all a
    • by Arkham (10779) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:35PM (#31660332)

      Flash exists because there is a gap between making disgusting prefabbed square forms, and fluid, interesting and deeply creative content; Something that tells your customers and competitors "hey, we have style!"

      The problem is, we don't care if you have "style" or not. When I go to your site, and I can't read the text because of all the pseudo-scroll widgets and fake tabs, you failed to reach your target audience. Style is simple elegance. The perfect web site doesn't need drop shadows and background music -- the content speaks for itself.

      Flash makes the web interesting, it's what powers the little widgets you find on the sides of blogs, it's what makes the Most Interesting Man in the World interesting, it's what lets me tell the designers "yes! I can render our company's portfolio in 3D"

      Oh my God! You're everything that's wrong with the internet! People HATE those stupid widgets on the sides of blogs -- in fact most of us use Flash blockers specifically for things like that. Anyone who's not a marketing weenie avoids that sort of thing as much as their technical prowess (or lack thereof) allows them to.

      We don't care about stupid online beer commercials. We don't want to see your company's portfolio in 3D. I'm quite sure it's no more compelling that way -- only slower, uglier, and looks like crap on my mobile device, if it renders at all. Content is king, not the stupid fluff you're promoting. Flash is the realm of porn browsers and morons, and the content created using it clearly caters to this subsection of online society. I for one will be more than happy when it is banished to the realm of popularity where Java applets live these days.

  • by Fractal Dice (696349) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:22PM (#31659368) Journal
    I couldn't care less what new gizmos and glitz the web has ... what I care about is that if I create apps, just like documents and databases, I want to still be able to access and use them 20 or 40 years from now without recoding and reformatting them. The gold rush is over. What I want now is bulletproof base of archival-quality standards, not ones that reinvent themselves every product cycle.
  • Will not miss Flash, eventually all of its capabilities will be replaced with open standard / open implementation efforts. Really waiting for that time.

    Some of my projects with BellTV were about removing Flash components from the site, everything that was done in Flash was changed to Javascript + DOM manipulation + some images.

    Once Youtube is in HTML5, I will never have to use Flash again ever in my life.

  • Creatives? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rochrist (844809)
    I'm fairly certain that refering to 'reaching creatives' qualifies you for immediate douchehood.
  • Personally, I'm not worried about the future of Flash either. I don't think it has one.

    Great, Dad and I will dump those shares today. (Way to rally the investors!)

  • First, look at how long it took before CSS 2 became supported widely enough on browsers so that web developers could actually make use of it. That's probably about how long it'll take before HTML 5 becomes widely supported enough to be able to challenge Flash.

    Next, consider how many flash objects have been built already, and recognize that they're most likely not going away.
    While you're at it, consider how many sites are built out of HTML 4 or XHTML 1.x, and consider that many if not most of these are not

  • It sounds a lot like scientology propoganda. Didn't LRon claim that actors, writers, and artists are 'special' because they create worlds? This Adobe employee sounds like a scientologist trying to help creative (i.e. 'special') people become 'clears.'
  • Consistency (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sehryan (412731) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:54PM (#31659816)

    It surprises me that in all of the discussions about how HTML5 is going to murder Flash, the one thing that everyone overlooks is the exact reason why Flash continues to be popular - Cross-browser consistency.

    I mean, right now, you cannot expect any of the five browsers to display CSS2 consistently, and that spec has been around since 1998. Why is it that everyone expects HTML5 to be perfect out of the box on every platform?

  • by Stan Vassilev (939229) on Monday March 29, 2010 @02:27PM (#31660230)

    I find it instructive as to Adobe's perspective.

    That would be a bad idea.

    John Dowdell is a "user relations" guy at Adobe. He answers to users on support forums, writes a blog on Adobe topics and reads customer feedback at Adobe.

    He doesn't speak for Adobe's strategy, nor is his opinion to be considered that of Adobe. In fact it says so on his blog: "Views are my own".

    Plus, Adobe's been saying for the past few years "there's no HTML vs Flash" war namely since they don't want to position Flash as an HTML alternative (which is stupid in 2010) but as necessary extension to HTML.

    You see? It's subtle. HTML won't replace Flash, but you still need Flash together with HTML in your browser and your mobile device (by the way: Flash 10.1 coming to a cellphones pretty soon). It's just another step in a survival strategy that will keep Flash from becoming irrelevant.

    All their latest features focus on the unique strengths of a proprietary binary plugin that a public standard like HTML can't deliver quickly, or at all, which is: fully consistent performance across platforms, quick innovation, highly specialized features (such as pixel shaders, is this coming in HTML5? No. I thought so). We need that ingredient too, next to HTML5, to form a healthy ecosystem on the web, as much as some people hate to admit it.

    But John Dowdell still doesn't speak for Adobe's strategy, so accept his blog for what it is.

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