Rich media exists as the best of both worlds, Part 1: Future of Flash and advancement of HTML5 and jQuery

Rich media exists as the best of both worlds, Part 1: Future of Flash and advancement of HTML5 and jQuery

The popularity of the Adobe Flash platform came from the endless possibilities and ease of creating rich, interactive experiences for the Web. The Flash technology has a deep Web penetration since it has a very accessible interface that allowed artistic designers as well as skilled programmers a wide range of options in the type of Web application they created.

Many people have been asking about the future of Flash, the Flex framework, and uses of Flash in the future in general. The answer is, nobody knows for certain what the future will hold for Flash or has any certain answers to those questions right now. Not even the professionals in the Flash or the emerging HTML5 technologies.

Why? It's because the direction that technologies take are often told by the mass acceptance of the developer and designer tech population, over time. The technology shifts and trends are based in wide-acceptance (basically of you - the readers), it seems. For example, certain Web browser makers, such as Mozilla Firefox is open source (created by the public), so that will largely determine the extent of HTML5 features that will be added in the future.

However, as a rich media designer and developer in Chicago myself, who regularly attends many tech groups such as the Adobe User Group and a Flash Platform Development group, I can see that Flash will remain to have a deep hold for many developers and for interactive projects. It is just simply too widely used still for interactive projects.  Though I do see a shift happening in developers learning new technologies like HTML5 and broadening their JavaScript and jQuery skillset, on top of deepening their knowledge of Flash.

The reasoning is simple: that many developers, and their paying clients, still see Flash as a dominant platform that allows people to create rich media advertisements for the Web, interactive presentations, games, and Web video, all within the same technology platform that has a wide, existing Web audience base for desktop browsers.  Also this is because there are just some things that Flash and Flex can still do better than HTML5 will be able to do for quite some time. An example of that is Web applications that use large amounts of data.

Those are things that are still yet to come fully to the HTML5 and JavaScript combination. So, it seems many designers and developers are combining several, to really create even better rich media experiences. For example, there are ways to create an interactive presentation in Flash first, then tie in data obtained from the Flash app, or a game, for example, then put that data dynamically into a list Web site. This is just one example. Other reasons include the current shift to mobile device usage, which would require more of a HTML/Javascript process.

Like myself, as a hybrid designer and Actionscript 3 developer (along with HTML and Javascript developer), am now creating ads that are more quickly designed (and, honestly, with better animation effects in Flash using specific motion libraries like Greensock), Flash is just a better standard right now for Internet advertising and integrating into ad serving platforms. Though now I'm able to convert Flash ads with somewhat relative ease as being a very close HTML5/jQuery ad equivalent.

For some examples of Flash and HTML technologies working side-by-side together, see this Website example at: www.EliteMedia.us/rich-media-ads.  Basically my work routine as of late is to first create banner ads in Flash, then convert them almost identically to an HTML and iFrame equivalent, using similar animation methods, and with tools like the new Adobe Edge.

The examples can go on and on, but the idea that we should all take from these examples is not to completely tie yourself to any one technology, but instead look for ways that all of them (Flash, HTML5, and Javacript/jQuery) can all work together to create beautiful harmony of future rich media technology advancements and Internet experiences.

Take a look at Part 2 in this blog article series here which will take a more in-depth look at some methods and tools of creating rich media experiences as an HTML project, and converting Flash ads to HTML using some new tools.

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