4025: Flash vs. HTML 5 websites

During the summer I attempted to make a website using Flash. I developed a basic structure which I really liked, but I my knowledge of Flash was too limited for me to ever make it a functioning webpage. I was also discouraged by the fact that I had heard that Flash websites were decreasing in popularity because of things like the iPad and iPhone not supporting Flash. Combined with my already present frustration, it seemed an easy choice to give up on the website since it didn’t seem useful to create something that would be instantly out-of-date at it’s release.

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On the subject of web standards, Dan Mall wrote a very informative article on the topic called “Flash and Standards: The Cold War of the Web” that I will discuss today.

Like I alluded to previously, this debate really went into full swing with the release of the iPad. The Apple corporation didn’t want to support flash because they believed that it make things slower and had “bulky” software that Apple didn’t want to have to deal with.  Flash videos have to be downloaded in order to be watched.

Because of this the idea of HTML 5 became more appeal because videos are embedded into the server and played from the server so there isn’t the need for the videos to be loaded, necessarily. (At least this is my understanding of the situation, from previous research over the summer).

Mall points out the power of Flash as it’s used today. It’s no longer a simple drawing application, but rather fully functional and complex website can be built with them. For example, take graphic designer Bang-Wool Han’s website. This is a very cool website that was made completely in Flash. I like flash because you always know who everything will function and look on different browsers because all of your design is within the movie.

Mall doesn’t think that it’s Flash that it’s the problem, but web developers. He points out that users don’t care what program you used to make your web page, as long as it works. And the more innovative it is, the more popular it has the potential to be.

What Mall reminds us is that it comes down to the designer, not the technology to be successful.

“Agencies: Stop writing job listings for HTML5 designers or ActionScript gurus. You’re just fanning the flames. Instead, invest in creative people who know how to execute in a number of ways, people who prioritize learning new tools to solve a problem over honing their chops. Don’t sell (or discourage) Flash or standards to your clients; instead, sell creative brand extensions, accessible content, enjoyable experiences, and simple maintainability.”

This entry is part of an assignment in an English class called “Writing for the Web: Digital Story Telling” in which we have to post research relevant to our final project. My final project will be the creation of a professional website.

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