5 November 2010

HTML5, yes you can, but should you...

I have not really said anything about the subject, just because I am mosty answering to a bunch of ignorant people. Instead of arguing, and debating, I thought I would finally just share my thoughts here.

My views are pretty much in line with Grant Skinner, and his My Thoughts on the Future of Flash post. The best part for me was this quote.

Let me start by saying that I completely lack empathy for people who get so emotional about technology. I don’t care if it’s Mac vs. PC, XBox vs. PS3, or Flash vs. HTML 5, I say use whatever works for you. If you want to get into a mature discussion about it’s pros and cons, that’s cool, but spouting vitriol on a public forum just makes you look like an ass. Period.

Everytime I hear some ignorant person using the word HTML5, I want to cry and strangle them. I want to tell them that every time they say that term a baby dies. 90% of people who use it really have no clue. The most common answer, it’s the way things are going, and no one should use Flash.

By itself HTML5 does nothing realy cool, it’s a way to structure websites, and with new tags you can get a better more meaningful structure to your html documents. It’s unfair to say it is not cool, the audio/video & canvas tags, geo location, offline storage are actually very very cool. People seem to use the term to encompass CSS3 and Javascript enhancements. HTML5, as the ignorants define it, is actually very cool.

My other rant, while I a here, is the extremist on both sides of the equation regarding Flash. I hate any extremist, so the HTML5 advocates who turn up their nose at Flash, are all asses in my head. Flash made the web what it is today, without it we would not be as advanced as we are in the web. Sure things are changing, and Flash may not be the first choice where it once was, but it’s not going away any time soon. For these people I point them to Miller Medeiros excellent article Why the HTML5/JS community should respect the Flash community .

Then there is this whole apple/adobe debacle that started all the backlash. While he has valid points, I can’t help but think he is an ass. I think giving users the choice to install Flash on the ipad/iphone should be that, a choice. Open, open, open? … to develop a iphone application, I need to by a Macintosh … hmm… Because I hate his opinion doesn’t mean I am going to get a PC anytime soon, but I am also not going to get an iPad. My next phone will be an Android phone, after I am ready to make the leap from my crippled iphone 3.

Just to make it clear, there are many horrible Flash websites out there. Banner ads annoy everyone (who clicks on them?). They can be CPU intensive, they can have needless intro screens. But there are also horrible HTML websites out there that can be just as bad… The fact is with all the new improvements and richness available, means that the quantity of horrible websites will increase dramatically.

I have been concentrating on Flash in the past few years, and I would be an idiot (and you too) not to play around in the HTML5 world. It’s the nature of my job, it’s the nature of the web, it’s my nature. Things evolve constantly, you need to adapt, you should challenge yourself and learn new things. HTML5 getting better, means there is a healthy competition. Each technology will push the other to get better, and you can bet that Flash will come up with new things.

In the end, what technology I will use for a project, is totally dependent on the content, and the client. The chances of building a site in HTML has dramatically increased. But remember that HTML5 & CSS3 Support is not that great. And you will have to do allot of defensive coding.

Other people have probably said it better than me:
HTML5, Flash and RIAs: 18 Industry Experts Have Their Say
Jack Doyle > Flash vs. HTML5: Faux Drama


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