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I Am Not A Fan Of Flash HTML5 Comparisons

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I Am Not A Fan Of Flash HTML5 Comparisons

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I am not a big fan of comparing technologies using simple performance tests. These tend to never convince the naysayers, they make fans sound rabid at times, and the tests themselves are always called into question. So, I held my applause when reading recent articles comparing Flash and HTML5 (this Fortune post and this post by Chris Black).

However, I still think articles like these are sometimes informative, for two reasons. 1: The comments validate that these debates tend to be far too emotional and seldom based on real facts, 2: They validate that there is room for both, and neither Flash not HTML5 will (or even should) kill each other. Or as Chris sums it up, "HTML5 will sit side by side with Flash. Gradient fonts, drop shadows, basic video and simple transitions are probably better suited for HTML5. When it comes to rendering display objects, animation and digital rights management for video, it would be silly not to use Flash".

You are free to agree or disagree with Chris and his assertions, and I expect that we'll be talking about when to use HTML5 and when to use Flash (and when to use both) for some time to come. It's not black and white, and it is most definitely a work in progress.

But I do agree with the sentiment that the "either or" propositions that have been tossed around the past few months are petty pedantic hysteria inducing juvenile fanboism, and not an accurate reflection of reality. It's a big pond out there, and there's room for lots of fish, especially fish that innovate. Flash's job has always been do to things that HTML does not, and as HTML has evolved, so has Flash. As HTML becomes more capable, then yes, there will definitely be apps and operations for which it is better suited. In which case, use HTML (and we'll be happy to sell you tools to make using HTML easier and more efficient). And when you run into limitations and need Flash, or when you just need the consistency of experience that Flash can provide, well, then use Flash, which is also continuing to evolve.

It's called choice, and that's a good thing.

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