Flash vs. HTML5? Here’s what I’m doing about it …

Goodness, the Interwebs surely have exploded with this whole Flash vs. HTML5 debate. I don’t think I’ve read so much dis-information since “weapons of mass destruction”.

There is an excellent piece here (“I’d rather be a Woz“) all about it, which covers everything I feel, and strips away the sensationalist clap-trap coming from most quarters.

But if that post summed it up so brilliantly, why am I writing here? It’s simple really. It doesn’t matter how many brainless blog posts and comments are made about how “terrible” Flash is, or how HTML5 is the bringer of world peace and technological unity. None of that translates into the real world right now, today.

At work we are building some truly massive Flash based projects, in partnership with some of the largest broadcasters in the world (most projects of which I can’t even mention in passing, let alone link to). Sites that will be visited by tens of millions of people. Last week we released a new Shaun the Sheep game called “Home Sheep Home“. It has spread around the gaming portals like wild-fire, and is currently hitting 570,000+ plays per day. Since this time last week over 3 million people have enjoyed playing that one single game.

And you know what makes that possible? Flash Player does. Adobe does.

Would the same have happened if we’d made it in HTML5 and JavaScript? My arse would it. If we’d done that our support team would be pulling their hair out as millions of people across the world email to say “it doesn’t work in my browser!”. Maybe in 10 years time things will change. I for one surely hope so, as choice is a good thing – and goodness knows HTML4 needs a shot in the arm to wake it up from the 90s. But Adobe don’t sit still. Where will Flash be a decade down the line? Heck of a lot further on than where it is today, that’s for sure.

So you know what fellow Flash devs… stop reading the constant stream of HTML5 / Standards / iPad ramblings (to which I just added :)), and get back to making and releasing great quality Flash games and sites. Because for every new release you put out there, you’re just strengthening what is already the largest platform in the world. Leave the zealots to their theory and hypothesis, because you and I are the front-line, and our creations are what makes the web a fun place to be.

Posted on March 5th 2010 at 11:32 am by .
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10 Responses

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  • Jonny
    March 5th 2010 at 12:22 pm

    There is a problem I face: with my 2.16 GHz MacBook Pro running OS X 10.6 and Flash Player 10.1 beta 3, even running something like Home Sheep Home for just a minute sends me into a burning-up-CPU-fans-cranking-massively nightmare :( So is obviously true for any high-loading .swf, particularly video (YouTube, et al). I’m using YouTube’s HTML5 player beta, which gives a marginal load reduction. Surely Adobe can optimize better somehow?

  • March 5th 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for the Mention!
    @jonny Adobe is constantly upgrading their ability to perform. One step in this direction is Adobe’s Partnering with OEM’s to improve hardware performance.

  • March 5th 2010 at 3:58 pm

    It’s true that the OSX Flash Player has been lacking in speed for a long time, but this is changing right now. However HTML5 vs. Flash is not the same thing as Apple vs. Flash, that’s a different argument.

    Personally I think Adobe got caught with their pants down re: speed on OSX, and I’m glad they are finally investing resource into addressing this issue (maybe as a result of Apple? who knows). I work with lots of developers, artists and animators, all of whom swear about Adobe apps on a regular basis! (“CS4 crashed AGAIN!” being the most common one). So they are far from perfect, no-one could deny that. But that isn’t the issue here. The issue is berating a technology in favour of something that doesn’t even exist yet, and that won’t do what Flash Player can even when it does.

  • Russ
    March 5th 2010 at 4:47 pm

    But I can’t wait for the rash of bad HTML5 transition “intros” that is sure to come. Hello web 2001! Great post, thanks.

  • pault107
    March 5th 2010 at 9:44 pm

    I’m loving Home Sheep Home mate. So much so that my housemate had to pull me away from my PC last weekend as we were supposed to be going down the pub – that’s a very big sign that the game is a good one.

  • March 6th 2010 at 4:06 am

    Good post! Let’s imagine what would happen if Flash dies tomorrow. Can a technology even die? Not really. It only can become less supported, the technology will remain. Some people even still code in 6510 Assembler. Sure, that’s not really commercially feasible and there would be few opportunities to earn money but deep down from my heart I couldn’t care less about that because ActionScript is an established language, now not only used on the web but also on the desktop. Claiming that Flash will die is almost like saying that Java will die or *gasp* C will die. But apart from that, yes, Adobe would not net Flash die. It will find it’s way into new areas, even if HTML5 will eventually replaced it as the sole video player.

  • March 20th 2010 at 3:51 am

    If Adobe guys will make Flash GPU accelerated, Flash will remain world №1 forever. Otherwise it will be replaced by Unity3D and analogic machines with GPU. NOW is the moment to add GPU to Flash!

  • March 23rd 2010 at 2:26 am

    Yeah, you are right!
    Sorry for adding the static with my stuff.

  • Some Funky Dude
    April 24th 2010 at 1:33 am

    I think the hype around HTML5 has a lot do with Apple’s crappy IPad that can’t run Flash, so not supporting it is probably their excuse. I would like to see 2d and 3d hardware acceleration in Flash though, I wonder if they’re considering it.

  • October 27th 2010 at 10:47 am

    At Code Computerlove we’ve been experimenting with HTML5 and Flash.

    We’ve actually created a pong game using both Flash and HTML5.
    The left side of the court has been created using Flash and the right side has been created using HTML5.

    Have a play and let us know what you think.
    http://labs.codecomputerlove.com/FlashVsHtml5/

Make yourself heard