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RIAs in HTML versus Flash

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In an ideal world, my life would be spent tinkering with computational fluid dynamicsmorphogenesis and other physics goodness in ActionScript and Flex, but sadly the rent has to be paid and the cats have to be fed, so I spend my days creating great user experiences in Flex for the banking industry.

Recently, I've felt a pressure to move away from my beloved Flex and start delivering rich internet applications in JavaScript and HTML. Now, I spent the best part of twelve years doing the very same and it was a blooming nightmare: wrestling with inconsistencies across browsers, not having basic object oriented support such as interfaces and classes and not having strong typing.

I'd be interested to hear the experiences of other Flex developers who have returned to those dark days. Have you embraced frameworks such as SproutCore or jQuery or do you use cross compilers like Haxe and Jangaroo to overcome JavaScript's weaknesses?

My, albeit naive, feeling is that even with frameworks like jQuery, I'll still be wrestling with browser fragmentation: especially if I'm targeting mobile. I find it hard to believe a great user experience can be delivered across multiple platforms in HTML and why would I when Adobe AIR can target desktops, smart phones and tablets with individually skinned apps that share a common code base.

I came across this great article: Why HTML5 Provided More Tricks Than Treats - I hope decision makers think twice about dropping Flex and FlashPlayer, I honestly don't believe HTML and JavaScript can deliver properly rich client code right now.

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Published at DZone with permission of Simon Gladman , DZone MVB .

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