For a good while now, I have been hearing the same things from well-informed web developers and industry friends. “Flash is dead,” they tell me with a smile.
I often wonder how they could tell me such things while smiling, since for the past five years I made my living as a Flash developer. Forgive me if I don’t share your glee, but you may as well be cheerfully telling me that my house is on fire.
So what technology is the arsonist trying to burn down the house that Flash built? Well there are actually three:
Animated menus, interactive banner ads, web video and even casual games are no longer the exclusive domain of Flash. With this fiery trio, web developers can do all the things that they would have exclusively turned to Flash for, and these technologies can be used in many more places. CSS and jQuery are fully supported on every major browser and every major operating system without plugins or downloads, including popular mobile devices (many of which can’t or won’t support Flash).
Hey! … Do you smell smoke?
Flash developers do have at least one bucket of water with which to douse the flames: our old friend Internet Explorer (IE). I have to admit that as a developer I have always had a love/hate relationship with IE. By that I mean to say I have always loved to hate IE.
IE6 ignoring the standards of HTML was one of the things that drove me to learn Flash years ago, and now the currently incomplete implementation of HTML5 in IE9 is helping to keep Flash around.
But it is not just IE. Of the major browsers, Chrome and Firefox come close to fully implementing the HTML5 standard but most are still behind on compatibility. The end result is that the slow response from platforms like IE gives Flash developers like myself the time to hone our CSS, jQuery and HTML5 skills. For that we Flash developers should be thankful.
Of course, the interactive world never rests for web developers. At Imaginuity Interactive, everyone is learning and refining skills every day to deliver the latest/greatest solutions to our clients. It goes with the territory.
One day soon, I too will declare that Flash is dead. Just don’t expect me to smile about it.