Re: Speaking of Flash vs HTML5...( was RE: RE: Most innovative user doc output

Subject: Re: Speaking of Flash vs HTML5...( was RE: RE: Most innovative user doc output
From: jimmy -at- breck-mckye -dot- com
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 23:16:08 +0100

On 2012-06-20 22:18, Gene Kim-Eng wrote:

Flash has a near-100% lock on enterprise-level applications, which must
function on older browsers (HTML5 is not fully functional in any IE release
prior to 9,so it is not fully functional in Windows XP unless a non-MS
browser is installed, which many enterprises will not allow).

True, but do remember that enterprise environments are equally wary of enabling browser plugins.

HTML5 does not (at least not yet) provide any native support for animation,
interactivity, webcams or DRM, all of which are built into Flash.
Javascript, CSS3 and external codecs are needed to accomplish these things
in HTML5.


No, but it was never supposed to - HTML5 assumes its canvas elements would be manipulated by Javascript, just as Flash assumes a render area controlled by ActionScript (another variant of the ECMAScript JS is derived from).

These will all get worked out eventually, but there is going to be a long
period in which people who want full consumer market penetration are going
to need to develop content in both formats simultaneously. B2B will
probably sit out the change and stick with Flash until a full set of
replacements have been established as a de facto standard.


They shouldn't be doing either.

The point of the web is that it allows content to be exchanged without assumptions about viewing device or non-HTML technologies. It creates linked, semantically marked-up hypertext that can be consumed on desktops, phones, tablets, screen readers, web spiders and any hypothetical future device that we can only guarantee will render text. At most, non-HTML technologies like Javascript, Flash, Silverlight and the like should only ever progressively enhance user experience. Delivering content exclusively through some special, non-HTML technology makes for bad SEO, bad accessibility and bad future proofing.

As for market penetration, there's an argument against Flash right there. What about the huge number of iOS devices, or mobiles with Flash disabled for performance and battery life? What about disabled users?

I think the real issue is businesses and stakeholders taking a print media outlook to an internet that resists pixel-perfect control. Print-thinking folk come to the web hoping to exert complete control over user experience, and when they discover the limits of their power, they typically resort to the likes of third-party tech and hacky CSS workarounds to try and impose their vision. But it's a fool's errand. The only sane way to work on the internet is to think in terms of progressive enhancement, starting with textual copy and working upwards.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: RE: Most innovative user doc output: From: Nancy Allison
Speaking of Flash vs HTML5...( was RE: RE: Most innovative user doc output: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Speaking of Flash vs HTML5...( was RE: RE: Most innovative user doc output: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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