Web 2.0 Talk: HTML5 vs. Flash

Published 8 years, 5 months ago

Earlier this week I presented a talk at the Web 2.0 Expo titled “HTML5 vs. Flash: Webpocalypse Now?” which seemed to be pretty well received.  That might be because I did my best to be unbiased about the situation both now and into the future, and also that the audience was very heavily weighted toward web stack practitioners.  Seriously, out of 100-150 audience members, about six raised their hand when I asked who was developing with Flash.

Many people have asked if the slides will be available.  Indeed so:  head on over to the session page, which I encourage attendees of the talk to visit so that you can leave a rating or comment on the session.  The 5.4MB PDF of my Keynote slides is available there whether you attended or not.

While I was at the conference I was also interviewed by Mac Slocum on the topics of the HTML and Flash, and that’s been put up on YouTube along with interviews with Brady Forrest and Ge Wang (both of whom are awesome).  I haven’t watched it so I don’t know how dorky I come off but I’ll bet it’s pretty dorky.

I indulged in a little good-natured ribbing of Adobe at the front of the interview (I kid because I love!) but the rest of it is, as best I recall, a decent distillation of my views.  I’m hoping to get a few more detailed thoughts written and published here in the next week or two.

Many thanks to Brady Forrest and the entire Web 2.0 crew for having me on stage and getting me out to San Francisco.  It’s always a great place to visit.


  1. relevant in a way to html5 v flash in that it applies to the h.264 as “open” debate – http://www.osnews.com/story/23236/Why_Our_Civilization_s_Video_Art_and_Culture_is_Threatened_by_the_MPEG-LA

  2. It’s interesting that this topic comes up at a time when I’m slated to begin a Adobe Flash class at my school towards the end of the month. I really liked your take or more correctly, your unbiased view on the Flash – HTML5 war. My personal learning focus has been mainly towards “open” technologies such as JavaScript, PHP/SQL, etc. At this point I’m not sure if I’ll really worry too much about adding action script to the list, yet.

  3. Youtube video looks great. I can’t believe that only 6 people raised their hands for Flash!

  4. Good for you, Eric.
    Many years ago I thought Flash was on its way out; then came Flash Video.
    ActionScript 3.0 is a slap in the face to Web designers. Whereas CSS and HTML are easy enough for a right-brained person to grasp, Flash (and all Adobe products) have added so many features that they’re almost unusable.
    I appreciate OOP and respect those who can do it, but brackets, curly braces, colons, and !@#$%^&*() symbols belong in application programming, not Web design.

  5. Jeff i think it is allways good to know how to program even as a designer. When you do user centered design and Information Architectures you do almost the same as in OOP you plan your software. And learning the syntax of a language is like learning a language and as a designer you need to know your language very very well. This is because design is 60 % or more about communication. I think all the talk about openness is good and the pressure on adobe leads them to good decisions (like the open source releases), but web standarts are only good when they are available. You can do things in Actionscript that are not possible in HTML5 for now. Maybe in 2 or 3 years if all the browser developers have done their best to implement it and especially microsoft.
    And curly braces colons and symbols are in Javascript too and if you want to built interactive applications in HTML5 you have to use Javascript. Which is also Object Oriented…
    Also from a designer point of view, they are really happy to change their designs in Photoshop or Illustrator push a button and get the site running whithout writing one line of html and css, which looks the same on every browser.
    Cheers
    Nacron

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