The Fate of Flash

Posted February 17, 2012

I started writing this quite a few weeks ago when the announcement was made that Adobe will no longer support the mobile Flash player. Since Flash is something I use on a regular basis I wanted to weigh in on this development, but bear in mind this has been mostly picked apart by analysts with similar conclusions.

On the web

HTML 5 is ushering in a new enthusiasm for web development. People are excited to quickly adopt the new tags and features, even though it’s an unfinished spec from my understanding. The Flash player is likely to lose out in this space and overall. HTML 5 builds the important features of Flash player into modern browsers with fairly straightforward markup and no need for the user to think about it. This site has some HTML 5 features tucked into it if you’re inclined to look, nothing too fancy though.

In games

I’m fairly convinced that Flash player games themselves will decline. As a proprietary part of some game engines it’s hard to say. Game developers require such turn around that it’s not as likely for that switch to happen in large studios that depend on it. In those cases though it’s so warped to the games needs that it’s hardly Flash at that point.

Why I keep saying flash player

Flash as a tool won’t go away so quickly. The key field and area where Flash excels is animation and that distinct advantage isn’t countered in HTML 5. Editing animations in code is really annoying by comparison to scrubbing a timeline and seeing the results in real time. Adobe will inevitably integrate HTML 5 into their products and continue to bring value to it’s customers. Another company could write a tool to fill that role, but Adobe has a nice head start.

Conclusion

The key point is to become familiar with HTML 5 and Javascript. Flash skills will likely remain valuable for artists and animators.. Try to follow developments as the HTML 5 spec evolves and create some small projects to be ready.