Um, what does HTML 5 do exactly?

So I signed into TweetDeck for the first time in months today (sorry for missing all the @cartoonsmart tweets, I’ll try to work back on them ) In Tweetdeck I have a search column setup for Adobe related tweets, and I saw a frillion of links to this article titled Adobe: 7 Million iPhone users want Flash and that title about says it all. People want Flash. I was more interested in this quote:

According to Wired magazine, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs recently claimed Adobe is lazy, Flash is buggy, and the future of the Internet will be HTML5 based anyway.

Well first, Steve Jobs has obviously been using a Mac for quite a while. And okay, often times Flash Player on the Mac IS buggy, lazy, and worse, even crashy. For a decade now, Windows machines have been displaying Flash content WAY better than the Mac.  So Steve might want to check under the hood at some point and see why Flash isn’t running so well for him and the rest of us Mac folks.

Moving on, is HTML5 really going to be the future of the internet? Well I’ve seen some cool examples of what HTML5 can do, but I thunk to myself this morning, “what exactly can html5 do?”. So I went looking for some real examples that weren’t just Star Wars text scrolling back into space, and I found a good intro to Html5 from Brad Neuberg (a guy who works for Google)…

Its long and its paused at the moment because I’m still watching it, but from what I’ve seen so far, HTML5 is cool, but it clearly needs an easy dummy-friendly editor like what Dreamweaver does now for HTML . Lets face it, most folks don’t like writing code. Even easy code, like what I had to type out to get that Vimeo video embedded above.  We want to push buttons that make stuff, or use brushes and paint can tools to create art. And watch our art on a timeline slide around to get an idea of timing, not hacking away with code.  And considering all this talk in the video of animation possibilities, vector graphics, collision detection, mouse events, it seems like a better program for publishing HTML5 content wouldn’t be Dreamweaver but instead Flash.

So lets suppose we live in a world where Flash becomes the favored editor to export to HTML5. Which is quite likely considering Flash already exports to just about everything else imaginable, Swf, AIR, exe, projector, Quicktime, PNGs, JPGs, and soon even iPhone apps. Do you, the Flash developer, decide to embed your Flash-made content as a swf with the ever-changing proper HTML tags, or do you display your Flash-made content with the new HTML5 code? Well the determining factor would obviously be your audience. How many folks will see it or not see it based on whether you publish with Option 1 or Option 2. Duh, I’ll choose more people.

And development-wise your browser embed method is also a pretty minor choice. Us Flash developers spend 99.5% of our development time within the program creating, animating, etc, and very little time publishing and uploading. I could really care less about what html tags display my work. So in the end, devices like the iPad or the iPhone could play into that decision. But at the same time, HTML5 had better work. Overall Adobe has done a pretty great job of letting us Flash developers cram a ton of content into a swf, and play it mighty well. If HTML5 wants to be a playa, they better be able to handle doing what we wanna do…for starters, another classic Mario Bros emulation.

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5 thoughts on “Um, what does HTML 5 do exactly?

  1. I’m not sure what to say about html5, too soon to say anything… Everybody say that it will replace flash but flash is not just for building crappy animations and I don’t even know if we can even compare the two technologies…

    Those that are saying that html5 will replace flash have no idea about the power of flash programming and animation…Let’s not forget that adobe is still behind the flash player platform, we are talking about a huge company that has always pushed the limits…

    The star war text and other crap was not impressive, true show some capabilities but that’s it. We must not forget that until this technology will be fully integrated with all browser and this I think will never happen flash will be at the 15’ft version…Until then html PRO6 will show UP… LOL

  2. I’ve recently read about someone who actually thinks Flash will die/ disappear in the near future. While I don’t agree with him, he did make two points about why Flash is buggier on OSX than it is on Windows.

    1) Adobe refuses to provide Apple with it’s source code, which Apple has set as a condition before putting Flash on iPhones and the likes.
    2) Apple does not allow Third Party software acces to their H.264 hardware accelerators API. (explaining the buggyness)

    I’m not sure how true these statements are, but they sound pretty valid.

    My guess is actually that Adobe will give in eventually, but we’ll see. =)

  3. Yeah I read that same article. I’m sure both companies will back down eventually.

    What might ultimately lead to Apple to allowing Flash on the iPad or iPhone is public opinion. Not including it on the iPad has raised a lot of red flags among the tech crowd this last couple of weeks. Moreso than I would have thought. The excuses of “it drains the battery” have always been weak to me, but when it was just the iPhone not having Flash, I couldn’t care that much. I didn’t really want to see my website on a 320 by 480 screen anyway. But the iPad is a fun device meant for sitting on the couch and having fun, which is where playing around with Flash comes in. And Apple could have lessened a lot of this chatter of “wait, its just a big iPhone” by including one simple plugin.

    Flash will be around for a long time for a ton of reasons, but one major reason that doesn’t get much airplay from the pro-blogging crowd: Flash developers love using it. And there’s a lot of us out there!

  4. ‘Flash’ and ‘Actionscript’ – absolute bollocks. I understand that there are a great many artists and technical artists out there making a living off of it, and I do feel for them (if they feel they don’t want / can’t learn a new tech) but it is time for Adobe to finally be put out of our misery.

    Interface: These guys don’t believe that the user should be able to use their products without having had extensive (and expensive) training, or are willing to put in the many hours it takes to discern their UIs. Seriously – make simple stuff easy guys! (Flash CS3/4/x are all terrible, but I have to say that it is Photoshop that is the worst UI design, hands down, ever). Maybe Adobe has a great editor, maybe even the best one ever made… so why don’t they make that fact obvious and therefore accessable to their users?

    Reliability: CS4 Professional? Since when does ‘Professional’ software crash so much? As a software developer I could not honestly recommend this package to anyone willing to dole out $1000 CAD (about $999.99 USD right now). Rather, I’d have to recommend Unity, Silverlight, or maybe even any shareware animated GIF editor currently on Tucows. (BTW: The recommended fix for a file that caused the ‘Professional’ software to crash? “Go into the file and start deleting elements one by one from the stage until the software doesn’t crash to the desktop anymore. Then one by one, add those elements back, being sure to save after each. Professional software for very, very inexpensive developers, maybe…)

    Anyways, my two cents. Flame away, disregard my points if you like… but here’s one dev that cannot wait until Flash is nothing but a bitter 32-bit memory. If HTML5 can replace it, I say great! Let the standard way of doing things take over, by all means! But I am equally as happy with another proprietary tool that actually works and actually is useable.

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