Shifting the attention - facing forward.

Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity - not a threat”. - Unknown

This is not where I'm going to announce to the world that I'm leaving the FlashPlayer platform behind all together. Nor is this where I'll tell you to forget everything you know, gather you wits about you and start over. No, this is where I'll tell you what I've learned, how I've learned this and why this is.

Like Borland Delphi back in the days, the Adobe FlashPlayer architecture is dying without itself being aware of it. It's not because Flash content is evil, nor because the FlashPlayer is particularity crappy. Still, many sites, like YouTube are heavily dependent on the FlashPlayer in order to display their content. This will be true for quite some time. However, at the same time, all these sites still depending on the FlashPlayer do not express enthusiasm for it, it's seen more as a necessary evil in order to get the job done while we are waiting for something better. Well, change has come to the interwebs..and it's called HTML 5.

HTML 5 is acctually a standard being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium. Like HTML 4 it's a specification used by browser vendors to integrate the support into their browsers. This by it self means that  individual browser vendors are responsible for the performance of HTML content in their browsers, effectively launching a race to be the fastest browser. This is a win for HTML 5 over Flash, seeing as Flash Player has no real competitors, because Adobe is the sole vendor. However, HTML 5 and it's companions CSS 3 and JavaScript cannot accomplish the same as the content you create using Adobe Flash, or so many people think. Actually, it can. Both 2D animations, 3D animations, advanced text layout and so on is readily available using HTML 5. So is advanced interactions. What HTML 5 does not have, that Flash do have, is an advanced authoring tool. Using HTML 5 may require more development skills, longer production time and more work to achieve the same result as using Flash authoring, today. This will change in time as HTML 5 skills grow more common amongst web-developers and the marked for great tools enlarges.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs

Let's not forget the devices. The iPad, the iPhone, Android devices and the Google Chrome OS. These are the platforms of the future, the PC is not. Yeah, PCs will still be around, we as developers will still adhere like superglue to our Macs and Chrome computers. But, the normal users, aka. "most people" will not. Flash belongs to the PC era, HTML 5 is build for the touchscreen generation. This is kinda hard to see if you don't look closely, but think about it. How many iPads and iPhones does Apple sell? A lot! How many Android devices are there? A lot! Granted, Android phones do have a FlashPlayer, but have you tried it? Yes, it really sucks. And that is the most devastating blow to the FlashPlayer, the experience on future devices sucks or it simply isn't supported like on iOS devices.

Change is one of the most difficult things for humans to endure. We don't play well with it at all, but sometimes it's for the better. Remember, there is nothing wrong with plugin based technologies like FlashPlayer or Silverlight, like there was nothing wrong with the horse and carriage. But, now we drive cars, even if they can't do everything horses can do. This does not, however, mean that we hate horses, does it?

Resulting from my contemplation is an understanding that my attention will focus on the utilization of standard based technologies in the foreseeable future. I believe HTML 5 and all its companions will be the way of future web-based solutions. Flash is not dead, will perhaps never die, but if you're starting out today as a greenhorn developer, go for the future. And if you are a seasoned web-developer like myself, embrace this opportunity to learn new things, to start from "scratch".

Some great HTML 5 demos can be found here: