Wednesday, 9 November 2011

How to put out a Flash in the pan...

Twitter has been loud this morning talking of Adobe killing off its fancy animation language 'Flash' for mobile devices.  The news first came, it seems, on ZDNet whilst the Adobe website still talks about creating Flash for mobile devices, but then Adobe wouldn't be the first company that failed to tell its web team what it had told the rest of the world.

Some commentators have been remarking, probably rightly, that Steve Jobs has finally won, beyond the grave, in his war against Adobe.  It was in April last year that the Apple anti-Flash venom started spitting.  Mashable ran a series of emails between Steve Jobs and an Adobe developer that suggested Jobs' hatred of Flash was purely about the stability of the platform and the ability of Apple to be able to lock in both app developers and iPhone and iPad users by making it harder to create the same app for multiple platforms (Android, Windows, RIM etc.).

The 'Roughly Drafted Magazine' blog ran an article just after the Mashable one that gives a nice summary of the real background to the Apple-Adobe spat.  In short, it has nothing to do with Flash. It has nothing to do with whether or not Flash is unstable or not.  It clearly has nothing to do with delivering a great user experience, as most websites had some element of Flash when the iPad first appeared (not to mention the iPhone before it) which could not be viewed by Apple users.

So if Adobe won't support Flash for mobile devices, surely it cannot be long before Flash dies out? HTML 5 will take over completely once Internet Explorer adopts HTML 5 with version 9, (despite many users still on I.E. 6, such as corporate clients too frightened to update anything once they have locked it down enough to make it secure) and no website will be developed using Flash.

So what is the fall-out to this?  Flash developers had better start retraining and fast. Flash trainers had better start teaching something else.  Accessibility experts had better start charging for something else as they won't be able to spend hours pointing out how un-accessible Flash is.

And pages will load faster...(take note Burberry!)

And the world keeps turning...it just no longer uses Action Script...