Apple vs Adobe

As a web designer, I’ve been following the spat between Apple and Adobe over Flash with interest. So how do I feel about the spat between Apple and Adobe? Whose side am I on?

Well, I’m happy that Flash isn’t going to be such a crutch anymore. If a concept for a site can be executed with HTML instead of Flash, it should be built in HTML about 99% of the time.

Right now though, a lot of developers don’t do that though because they like making things in Flash more than they like coding with HTML, CSS, PHP, JavaScript, and so on. To them, the important thing is the final product, and if they think it’s easier or more enjoyable to do it in Flash, and if Flash is perceived as an acceptable standard on the web, then that’s what they’ll use.

But now that their sites flat-out fail on the iPhone, they’ll be forced to build in HTML again. Frustrating for a lot of developers, but in the long run, it benefits consumers since they’ll get faster-loading, less buggy web sites. In the short run, it frustrates consumers too, but there hasn’t been much of a revolt since Flash web designers have always been supposed to at least build really simple non-Flash versions of their sites.

The trouble is that there’s a lot more than just web sites on the web, so while I’m happy to see this put the upcoming HTML5 into such a great position, HTML5 is just for building web sites while Flash isn’t. All the other things that Flash can do—programs, games, interactive animations, and so forth—aren’t really answered for by HTML5 because that’s not what it’s for. Sure, programmers can build programs and games for the iPhone, but what a hassle for all the people who learned to be Flash developers. It’s easier to make programs and games in Flash, and when completed, they’d work on any device that had a Flash plugin without any more work. I don’t consider myself a Flash designer, but I do feel a little sorry for my friends who are.

I can’t help but think that the biggest winners are people with phones running Android, WebOS, and other alternatives to the iPhone. They get to have their cake and eat it too. They’ll enjoy all the benefits of a web that’s built more on HTML5, and if Adobe’s latest press releases about plug-ins coming soon for them are to be believed, they’ll also get to keep enjoying all the cool things that will only ever be made in Flash. In other words, they get to eat the fruits of Apple’s labor while still being pampered by Adobe. And so to them, I say enjoy it.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 30th, 2010 at 11:15 am and is filed under All Entries, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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