View from an elearning developer:

Statement: HTML can play video & Apple is blocking Flash Player on the “i” devices browsers therefore Flash is dead.

Problem: html5/js/and svg missing capabilities and creation tooling increases cost of entry.

When will html5/js/and svg which I see as the closest combo to what flash gives you will have stuff like: bytearray class, sockets, the depth of the sound class, amf data transfer format, pixelbender shaders, variable bit-rate streaming, microphone access, camera access, file i/o, drm? Where is the IDE that will have all the artist/animators/dev-signers willing to switch because it’s “standards based” AND it doesn’t triple the budget for their client? That’s key, the standard-vistas are saying flash is dead but if they think that the flash creatives are about to use notepad (without a timeline) to write all the javascript to animate and add logic to an svg graphic they just output from illustrator – then they will be disappointed. That will force them to un-competitive project bidding. Standards nazis tend to miss the real world of paying bills. You have to have tools that lower the cost of entry for creatives to get them to see your standard as a viable output target to present to their clients.

I can see at some point Flash IDE/ Flash Builder IDE adding x complier output to a html5/canvas/svg/js package that can begin to act like an swf. Adobe already does it with their compilers for AS-iphone app, and their C+ to SWF bytecode. Write once deploy to many. They have an opensource spec called fxg that is a graphic interchange format that DW has been shown to consume and render svg/canvas versions, same with flash. It’s all about the tooling.

demo vid: http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2009/10/sneak_peek_ai_fl_dw_canvas.html

Yet javascript has some issues with depth of ability. Which was reinforced by the ecmascript 4/5 mess. (Notice how the standard ended up tending the current field rather than climbing the mountain in the distance? Thats what you get with a horse designed by committee – it comes out a camel.) It’s missing those powerful classes so that output will probably limit what you can do when targeting html5 output for now. Hopefully, if adobe goes down this road they’ll roll some support js framework classes that can compensate for the missing built in classes that ActionScript3 has.

If that happens then why would any flasher care? They wouldn’t. Build your stuff in Flash IDE’s and let the cross-compiler do it’s thing. Will it be the most svelt code ever seen-no. Will you get the job done on-time and on budget, yes. That’s where the html5 guys miss it. They don’t get how flash tooling and advanced classes reduce *Cost Of Entry* to great experience sites-heavy interaction, ria’s, rich media, video with alpa channels in 3d space, complex simulation using physics, 3d, pixel bender filters and particle frameworks. Adobe Air is another example-Adobe gave flashers the ability to build desktop apps. No need to learn another language-just export to air, done. Low cost of entry.

I still look at the elearning courseware I built for VW/DCX/Toyota 6 years ago and I still do not see how you can build it for a reasonable price in HTML5 now. HTML5 is not ready for experience sites with lots of mixed multimedia built on a budget (missing classes and tools). Cost of entry again. I’d love to see google build what i’ve done purely in HTML5 – then tell me how much it cost time wise. Was it under 60k for an 1.5 hour long technical automotive repair training course delivered in a 8 weeks (both web and cd versions) from scratch? In the trenches of paid work it’s the fastest route between point A and B. Currently-Flash.

So will espn switch to html5 for their vids – Probably. Good, pleeeease take over the linear passive tv style playback- “Welcome oompa loompas of interactivity/experience”, meanwhile flash has been making stuff like this: http://aviary.com/tools/myna quickly. Standards like html5 are good at codifying abilities that Flash has shown to be valuable several years earlier.

So my personal view is – whatever. HTML5 video playback != Flash Player abilities yet. HTML5 tooling for creatives are sorely behind flash dev tools.

some balanced reads:

http://www.dgrigg.com/post.cfm/01/31/2010/Apple-Flash-the-iPad-and-premature-speculation

Apple continues its iShun of Flash: Who really wins and loses most?

Open Access to Content and Applications