by Cedric Dugas on December 22, 2011
Warning! warning! rant ahead! I wrote this a week or two weeks ago, not being sure if I should publish it, finally decided to go for it.
The open web grinds my gear, there I said it! It seems a lot of developers wave their flags at every technology that are not open like the open web was the only solution viable. There is some sort of movement about the power of the open web and more specifically HTML5, and these days HTML5 is about pretty much anything that was added to the web stack for 2 years.
Even non developers heard of HTML5. Hell, even the web agency secretary knows the buzz word.
People supporting the Occupy Flash movement don’t get it
It seems the Occupy movement even got into web technologies. Even if “occupying flash” doesn’t make any sense if you want people to uninstall it. If I had to guess, I would say that the people supporting Occupy flash never really delved into that technology and just are kind of pissed that most of the publicity on the web is in flash (which makes a pretty poor audience to go to war with anyway). Because knowing the technology, you would know that Adobe API’s for creating interactive experiences is specially awesome, and that AS3 is a really beautiful language.
It’s so slow
Adobe is iterating a zillion times faster than the W3C body. Adding cooler API’s to Flash every year. Forget it guys it’s not going away. And this bring us to the next subject.
Flash cannot be replaced by HTML5 (* not currently, not in the near future)
Now you could certainly use HTML5 and jQuery to do what Flash does? Bullshit. That’s a statement that I often see. What does jQuery has to do with HTML5 anyway? You are going to query canvas with jQuery?
What you can currently replace, is the same thing that you could replace 3 years ago when jQuery 1.0 came out: basic animations. So why all the fuss?
CSS3 is a mess cross browser, it’s non-existent on IE8 and less, and canvas API’s are so low level we currently have no idea if you will be able to achieve all the great stuff that you do with Flash with a decent framerate soon.
No, Occupy Flash is about supporting the open web
They also bring us absurd things like “aside” , aside what? How does it help semantic if I can’t understand from the get go what it does. Is that going to be remove? No, that would mean tons of back and forth with tons of people that are moving a ship bigger than the largest boat on earth and consequently can never turn on a dime. Once a direction is taken, going to the other side is slow and costly.
The open web is a great smoke screen if you ask me. It’s nice that we move forward, it’s nice that we got new tools (thanks god for border-radius and box-shadow) but it does not mean it’s the better tool for all situations.
It’s about using the technology that make sense for your client or product.
You want to create an interactive experience, bring emotions, nothing will beat Flash with great designers. You want to create a web application, well there is a ton of opened and closed framework to that end. You must choose technology depending what is better for your team.
In fact it seems we are steering more and more away from open technologies. Mobile is all about closed frameworks that are faster than the open web. Try an app with jQuery mobile, then try an native application, which is faster? Maybe we should kill all apps created with Phonegap, or maybe, it’s all about using the right technology at the right time.