by December 3, 2010 0 comments



Flash or HTML 5?

You too are probably grappling for the right answer, just like us! So, to solve this conundrum, we spoke to key developers and industry experts. Presented below are their responses

Binesh Kutty

Vineet Tyagi,

Senior Director of Engineering, leading the R&D/Consulting & New Product development. Impetus Technologies

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
The Flash v/s HTML5 debate in my opinion really needs to be a Flash OR HTML5 debate. The “v/s” gravitates towards implying that either one of the technologies will replace and kill the other one, while, the real opportunity is in the fact that we now have an option which is quite capable and is providing a viable alternative to the use of Flash on the web (or the browser).

Is HTML5 a threat to Flash?

Yes & No. It is a threat in the sense that Flash is no longer the only standard or technology widely available to work on browsers; HTML, SVG, CSS, JS will provide good options for web developers to replace Flash.

Is this Apple’s business strategy versus a standard? How will the debate end?

In my opinion the debate will end with HTML5 finding increasing use and replacing some use cases of where Flash was positioned earlier. Flash would move upstream and would continue to be used for things which it is better suited for such as Gaming.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML5 and when to develop on Flash? Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?
As a Web Developer I can now make smart choices, I could use HMTL5 when I want to create multi device , multi-channel applications which have a rich UI and can also work offline in almost all browsers. I would rely on Flash when building Gaming UIs or go for a large implementation that goes beyond what HTML5 offers me today.

What makes for a standard that will be universally acceptable?

Any standard to become universally acceptable requires acceptance from the developer community, strong support from browser companies and device manufacturers.

Mani Doraisamy,

OrangeScape

MMy take on Flash versus HTML 5:

HTML5 is future of general purpose user interface, without a doubt. Flash will start serving special purpose/niche applications. For example, graphics, animation, and video intensive applications.

Is HTML5 a threat to Flash?

Yes, I think HTML5 is a threat to Flash as a standard for general purpose web user interface.

Is this Apple’s business strategy versus a standard? How will the debate end?

The moment Microsoft joined HTML5 bandwagon along with Firefox, Chrome & Safari, with its IE9 version, technically the debate is over. It’s only a matter of time now. When HTML5 complaint browsers become mainstream, the debate will officially be over.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML5 and when to develop on Flash? Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?

As I mentioned earlier, if you are looking for general purpose UI without the wrinkles of its earlier predecessor, HTML5 is the way to go. The neat thing is that it degrades gracefully with the existing browsers.

But if you are looking for a special purpose app – say a gaming application with lots of graphics & animation (where degradation is not an option, experience is the king), Flash is the way to go. HTML5 has a lot to catch up there.

What makes for a standard that will be universally acceptable?

It’s simple: Whichever has the greatest adoption. It doesn’t matter if one single company is behind it, or a neutral organization is writing pages of specification for it.

Shekhar Govindarajan,

IT4Enterprise

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
Yet another debate when one wants to have more control than the other by giving standards as the excuse. The debate is already won by Flash with its huge installed base and millions of sites which use Flash.

Is this Apple’s business strategy versus a standard? How will the debate end?

Certainly it is a conflict of their business interests. Perhaps the debate will end when one buys out the other.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML5 and when to develop on Flash? Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?

First, as of this writing, HTML5 is not even released. And early adopters will have to deal with incompatibilities across web browsers. What I suggest is to try going the path of: HTML5 and then Flash. Try using the video and canvas (for streaming video and 2D animation) in HTML5 before hopping to Flash. At the same time, don’t kill yourself developing the coolest game using a markup language.

What makes for a standard to be universally acceptable…

Easy to use, backward compatible, consistent implementation.

Vinod Unny,

Enterprise InfoTech, Microsoft Regional Director

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:

It is an interesting debate. Flash is quite entrenched with the Web world for providing rich media solutions. HTML5 plans to provide standardized markup that does audio/video/2D canvas that will take away a little bit of this. However Flash has a huge bunch of things that HTML5 simply doesn’t have (animation timelines, keyframes, etc.) and if need to be done using only HTML5 will require a huge amount of JavaScript programming. HTML5 is also at least a couple of years away as a standard.

Is HTML5 as a threat to Flash?

Not as such. Yes, it will take away some of the lower end stuff like showing video/audio and some simpler 2D stuff. But I see SilverLight as a bigger threat to Flash. It’s easier, has better tools and is enterprise accepted.

Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?

All are important for a developer. For designers, HTML5, Flash and Silverlight are essential tools of the trade.

What makes for a standard to be universally acceptable?

Rich feature set, universal availability, and enterprise acceptability.

Sandeep Dasgupta,

Director- Engineering , Tavant Technologies

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
This debate is a natural consequence of a change — the HTML5 specifications have opened up an alternative to some of the features of Flash — and when people have choices, they weigh the pros and cons, leading to debate. The fact that this is also a “world-wide standards vs a private firm’s intellectual property” kind of issue makes the debate more passionate. We should encourage this debate – debate is always good, a healthy competition would obviously improve both standards and benefit the industry — so let’s start thinking “HTML5 and Flash” rather than “HTML5 vs. Flash”.

Is HTML 5 as a threat to Flash?

Not really. Firstly, let’s keep in mind that they are inherently different things — Flash is an animation-centric product, while HTML is all about text markup for rendering; Flash sits at the top of the web technology stack, while HTML forms the base.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML 5 and when to develop on Flash?

The choice of standard would depend on the type of application being developed. I believe for developers of high-end games and animation, Flash will remain the first choice. On the other hand, developers doing typical web applications will be able to use HTML5 (and SVG and CSS and WebGL and JavaScript) to do almost everything that they need to do — even things for which they may currently be using Flash. Not to forget though, if developers need a codebase to be built into both web and desktop versions, they would have to choose Flash or Silverlight.

Himanshu Mody,

CEO, 7Tekno Point Multimedia

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
When you compare Flash Vs HTML 5, you are actually comparing what Flash has been delivering since years to what HTML5 only promises to achieve in future.

Is HTML 5 a threat to Flash?

If HTML 5 can first catch up with what Flash can already do and then match the pace and constant innovation that Adobe brings to Flash platform year after year.

Is this Apple’s business strategy versus a standard? How will the debate end?

This seems to be one company versus what is good for a content owner (reach, cost , turnaround time) and the designer- developer ecosystem.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML5 and when to develop on Flash? Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?

As of today I will probably not choose HTML 5 to develop anything substantial, it brings you back to the age old issue of standard experience for a user across browsers, a problem that is resolved with a Flash player. A team of very talented engineers can probably do a lot with HTML 5 , but in reality you do not want to use such engineers to do something which is so easily doable using flash.

What makes for a standard that will be universally acceptable…

With so many rapid changes in how consumers interact with content, a standard universally acceptable should be something that can constantly innovate and create opportunities for content owners, designers and developers to adapt rapidly and make sure they do not miss the bus.

Subrahmanyam Kavuri,

Account Manger, Enterprise Business Unit Persistent Systems Limited

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
It is a very healthy debate. Having a competing technology will only bring out the best. In the end we will have HTML 5 and Flash instead of HTML 5 v/s Flash.

Is HTML 5 as a threat to Flash?

Since Flash has some lead over HTML5, it will be a while before HTML5 can be a serious threat. But there is also a good amount of buzz already around HTML5. Key product companies are looking very closely at HTML5, preparing themselves to adopt the technology as it matures. The iPhone/iPad world is making this a compelling option. However, on the downside, HTML 5 would be heavily dependent on browser vendors’ implementation. Webkit, Firefox etc. should be supporting HTML 5 in a compatible way soon.

How to decide on when to develop on HTML 5 and when to develop on Flash?

Today, the safer bet is Flash. But if you are looking to build apps specifically targeted for Apple devices, HTML5 offers enough capability to build something meaningful, though the HTML5 is going through a lot of changes at the spec-level. Again, if you are dealing with H.264 video codec and need multi browser support, HTML 5 is an outright reject.

Rajdeep Dua,
Google India

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
Google has invested heavily in HTML 5 and believes it will be standard for the web going forward. Lots of things like video,audio and canvas support would go a long way in building richer apps within the browser

Is HTML 5 a threat to Flash?

We can’t comment on that but believe in open standards for the web.
How to decide on when to develop on HTML5 and when to develop on Flash? Should the developers prefer one standard over the other?

Developers have to evaluate a technology from various aspects. The key being: Is this a native platform supported out of the box?; Will I be tied to a particular vendor or technology?; Will this slow down the performance of my app?; Is the technology platform open?What makes for a standard that will be universally acceptable?

Extensive support from major technology platform providers, Easy to understand and program, Lower learning curve, Extensible, and it should cover majority of the use cases.

P.N. Anantharaman,

Director — Engineering, Platform Business Unit, Adobe Systems Inc.

My take on Flash versus HTML 5:
The way Adobe views this is that both Flash and HTML 5 will have a role to play in shaping up tomorrow’s rich internet-user experience. Adobe always has had products and support for HTML. For instance, Dreamweaver is a product that is a part of our suite, which has always looked at HTML as a core technology. Similarly, ColdFusion also is meant for producing HTML content. That said, it is progression from old HTML 4.x to HTML 5 that we see as a logical extension to whatever we are already doing.

Is HTML 5 a threat to Flash?

Flash today is extensively used on a variety of applications. For example, the number of Flex applications used in the finance, banks, and enterprise space is huge. The enterprise grade applications has got enormous acceptance with Flex. I would say, 9 out of 10 banking and finance applications are on Flash platform. Flex has a strong foothold in this area as seamless integration is very critical for enterprises.
HTML 5, for the first time, is trying to add what can be classified as rich internet capabilities. At this point in time the standard itself has not been finalized, and browsers have varying degrees of support for it. No enterprise will put a mission critical application with a technology which is just emerging.

Are there any talks or strategy to push Flash products into iOS (iPhone, iPad)?

Recently, Apple’s announcement on September 9, 2010, that it has lifted restrictions on its third-party developer guidelines has direct implications for Adobe’s Packager for iPhone, a feature in the Flash Professional CS5 authoring tool. This feature was created to enable Flash developers to quickly and easily deliver applications for iOS devices.

From a developers’ perspective, when should one use Flash and when should one opt for HTML 5?

In case one needs a very rich user experience, tooling support to debug or profile the program, tweak the performance, etc — these are the likes of business application, where people will be more benefited by going for Flash and AIR kind of a model. Adobe’s integrated runtime, wherein when you build a Flash or AIR application, lets you have a desktop version of it, in addition to the web version of it. Also, if you are looking to take the same application and provide it for multiple screens e.g. mobile devices, Flash is several steps ahead of HTML 5 and therefore I would strongly recommend to go for Flash in such situations.On the other hand, HTML 5 is for developers who are not used to Flash before, and have not been really exposed to the rich internet application side, and are pure HTML/JavaScript guys with a lot of legacy backend. For example, a Java code running on the server which emits HTML. When the requirement is to add only a few more capability into the existing website, HTML 5 will surely help in developing those kinds of application.We won’t say that Flash is a universal solution for all scenarios. There will be some scenarios in which HTML may be more naturally fitted. For example, in case of a page oriented application, wherein a page is displayed, a link is clicked leading to another page; here, the nature of application is that it is a collection of pages where you want to navigate from one to another. If this is what you want to build, where the content is purely text, and you don’t want rich graphics, and the application in itself is not business critical, it is preferable that you go with HTML 5.

No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

<