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Thread: Is Flash Dead?

  1. #21
    aidanmack.co.uk
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    What worries me is what else would I use other than flash for some stuff.. ???
    My day job is is to look after and add to a jukebox interface I wrote last year. Its been really successful.
    This is an early stage youtube video of it I took at a show... Its come on a bit since then!...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzfq2tprb5s
    The interface is all written in flash... by me!

    But what Im getting at... is I'm not sure of another platform that would allow me to say well... "yes" to just above everything anything people want that interface to do?

    Its obvious that some of our competitors have used java but are actually really struggling with it or at least to get it as slick as the vhub.

    I could use a .net language maybe?? What is the best language for a project like that above?

  2. #22
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    Flash has definitely been on a major decline in the last two years, so much so I don't even get to do anything besides banner ads with it anymore.

    It's getting to the point where it's hazardous to my career to remain such a steadfast believer in the platform. Everyone has moved to CSS3/JS for animation, and even though it isn't as good as Flash, it's good enough for most things.

    I am diving in to Mobile development with Flash, and I am seriously afraid that in 2-3 years Adobe will have abandoned their pursuit into Mobile. There are major problems with FLA based apps right now, and I'm crossing my fingers they're fixed. Otherwise I'm going to Phonegap and HTML/CSS/JS.

  3. #23
    aidanmack.co.uk
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    Yeah unless Flash turns a corner and is well used in the industry again.. im not learning any more flash based stuff! I know more than enough for most stuff! I dont actually know what to learn next?... maybe html5/javascript... quit fancy learning "java" though.

    Eraxer.. have you tried Corona for mobile dev? .. as flash developer its reallly easy to get into.. the code (lua) is similar to a.s / javascript. worth a look.

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  4. #24
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    I might have to try it out, I've read up on it. What does it offer that Phonegap doesn't? I get worried because it's unproven, while HTML/CSS is proven to work well on iOS.

    Lua does looks really nice, I've watched some of the tutorials on the site.

    After checking out your app, I can see its advantages. JS and CSS couldn't easily handle that sort of thing.

  5. #25
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by argonauta View Post
    but it's clear that most of the web is trying hard to move on.
    The only people trying to move on are the html fanboys defending their decision to never learn flash and clients convinced their product has to work on iOS. The rest of us are reluctantly remaining competitive.
    Quote Originally Posted by Frets View Post
    vrml It would be a major bloat to the player.
    They did that with FP11. It's called stage3d. http://www.unrealengine.com/flash/

    @aidanmack HTML5, its <canvas>, <video> and <audio> tags, CSS3 and JS are well positioned to do everything vhub does but not in a good way. You're guaranteed to put in four times the works, kick and scream at how hard it is to do simple things, end up sacrificing at least one UI effect, and be forced to write reams and reams of hard to manage code... but yeah, you could do it. You can bash your head in with a rock too, that don't make it a good f*cking idea. Great work btw.

    @Eraxer, what are these 'major' problems for FLA based mobile apps? Compared to my aforementioned workload, some workarounds are worth the effort.

    Adobe will eventually get it together and produce one hell of an IDE that blurs the lines on target platforms. They're working with Grant Skinner on http://createjs.com/ which will export flash timelines to re-usable js objects that basically act like movieclips.

    Flash is not dead, but no developer should be a one trick pony.

  6. #26
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    Here's a video of what Grant's been working on. http://vimeo.com/32684411

  7. #27
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    @Eraxer, what are these 'major' problems for FLA based mobile apps?
    1. No native scrolling. And I've never found an AS based solution that scrolls smoothly on mobile. The one trick you can do is build menus in HTML, then use stageWebView to show scrollable content. That's such a pain in the ass.

    2. No native UI. I'm okay with this, but it's a gigantic pain to replicate some native elements like the this one:

    3. Text seems to "pop" when it's an input box.

    There are many more, but these are the ones I simply havent found a work-around to. The scrolling is my primary problem.

  8. #28
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    All good examples.

    It's true that not having those things natively can increase the workload but phonegap has the same problem. If you're lucky enough to have a client only require their app or page run on iOS then you should definitely do it in objective C but I have a hard time putting an estimate for native android and iOS development in front of my clients.

    This recent fracturing of target platforms has left us developers holding the bag and frankly I'm not going to play sheep to that. If all I have to do is customize some components in order to stick with a single code base I'm going to do that.

    As far as smooth scrolling, I've had pretty good results leveraging the touch events to simulate inertia scrolling. Sucks that I don't get that for free but I never have so I don't see it as something I've had taken away.

  9. #29
    anyone else hear that? flashpipe1's Avatar
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    Have to agree with jAQUAN, we create LOTS of e-learning courses and are still using our flash shells, templates, etc. for 90% of those. We've started working with HTML5/CSS3 on some of the newer projects where clients need to support their iPad customers/users, and HTML5 is FAR from a replacement for flash. Everything takes way longer, doesn't have the dynamic functionality of flash, and is pretty limited on lots of animation-type things...might be just inadequate user training, but I don't think so after reading lots of reviews, posts, etc.

    Been playing with Edge, trying out different converters, generators, etc. and, even then, there are so many db hooks, user tracking, reporting, etc. that all has to be re-done, that most clients balk at the additional cost to create html5 versions.
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  10. #30
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    I agree on the mobile front. There are a lot of issues using flash to build mobile apps, but those issues are getting fixed very rapidly. It seems like there is a significant AIR release every 4 months now. Full GPU acceleration, Stage3D support for mobile, native extensions, etc...

    I just hope Adobe can keep this pace up because it's moving and changing so fast. I remember when I built my first flash based app for iOS, it was a struggle to even animate simple things. Now, after some tweaking and updating, along with some well documented best practices, we have a viable solution for pushing out apps to multiple platforms.

    I've dabbled with Corona and it suffers from some of the same native support issues flash has. Corona is pretty nice but there's still a learning curve and there is no real structure to development.

  11. #31
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    There will be a Flash CS6 plugin to convert Flash movies to html5. However, Grant Skinners JS libraries predict a move to html5.

    http://www.fitc.ca/news/?p=1773

    My opinion: I want to see browser compatibility of all those html5 projects.
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  12. #32
    poet and narcisist argonauta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jAQUAN View Post
    The only people trying to move on are the html fanboys defending their decision to never learn flash and clients convinced their product has to work on iOS. The rest of us are reluctantly remaining competitive.
    There's always a group that doesn't bother to learn the technology. Once upon a time, people thought css was useless because tables were better. Saying HTML5 can replace flash (or viceversa) is just dumb, because developers have to use the right tool for the job, sometimes the right tool is flash, sometimes it's html, sometimes it's none.

    Clients will go for whatever buzz words they hear. Clients ask for HTML5 since Steve Jobs said HTML5 is the way to go. The same clients asked for ajax, or a blog, or social features, because those were the trendy words to use at one point.

    So I guess I partially agree with you on those two groups.

    However, Flash used to be ubiquitous once. There were a ton of major sites built 100% in flash, back in 2004-2006. Once "ajax" became a trend, javascript gained a lot of traction. Sites moved to either full html, or became hybrid sites (flash being used mostly for media, banners, slideshows). Dynamic content became more popular using content management systems, and it was easier to generate dynamic html than it was to do in flash (using flashvars, xml, or amf). And finally, Adobe announced flash won't be in mobile's browsers anymore (and for what I read, Internet 10 Metro version won't support plugins, so no flash there, either). Mobile internet is how most people will be browsing the internet in the near future. So the use of flash has clearly changed, not because HTML5 came to the rescue, but for a ton of different factors, including users' behavior.

    On the other side, flash grew from a simple animation tool to a strong platform to create all kinds of applications. There are still markets where Flash either dominates or is a strong player in the field (animation, tv animation, games, e-learning, video players, kiosks), which is why I don't think flash is dead.

    Flash is used in console video games, web games, movies, tv animation, web animation, iOS applications, air applications, widgets, and a bunch of other things. But flash has been slowly disappearing from websites and web applications for years already.

    I think it's wrong to say there's a "flash killer" out there. Maybe I'm in the wrong thread, as this one seems to have become a flash vs. html5.

    I just think that the industry and the technologies keep changing. Consider that Flash has existed for about 15-16 years, and it has evolved considerably from an animation tool to a whole platform to develop serious applications, but it's presence on the internet is changing.

    Whether HTML5 can replace it doesn't change the fact that at some point, the majority of people will be going online on devices that have browsers where flash doesn't exist.
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  13. #33
    Flashkit historian Frets's Avatar
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    Flash didn't say it wouldn't be in mobile browsers anymore. Adobe just said they have stopped developing for mobile platforms. Flash 10 still has a lot of mileage on it. Most flash usage really doesn't require more then MX.

  14. #34
    poet and narcisist argonauta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frets View Post
    Flash didn't say it wouldn't be in mobile browsers anymore.
    From their announcement: http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations...ash-focus.html

    Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores. We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations
    yeah, flash 10 might be enough, but it will be available as long as browsers are willing to support it (even flash 11 is available in some devices). However, that's already changing: http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2...roid-beta.html

    Today Google introduced Chrome for Android Beta. As we announced last November, Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content. Flash Player continues to be supported within the current Android browser.
    Although the default browser in android supports flash, google has the plan to eventually replace it with Chrome. So, even if most flash content could work with flash 10, flash 10 won't be available on that browser.
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  15. #35
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    I think that Adobe has botched Flash. Probably irreparably.

    However, the demand for what Flash does well hasn't gone anywhere and hasn't been effectively replaced by another technology. HTML5 hasn't replaced it. 99% of apps on iOS wouldn't impress a 5-year-old in 2002, let alone 2012. This betrays that iOS development has yet to become a cost effective solution for most companies.

    Some of these "translation" efforts like Skinner's posted above seem promising. Unless some unexpected technology rises or Flash comes back, I guess that's where we're headed. Frustrating to realize that this layer comes with a cost and is completely unnecessary from a technology stand-point.
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  16. #36
    Mod cancerinform's Avatar
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    The only future I see for Flash or Flex is in Adobe AIR applications, which don't require a browser.

    We will see what happens to the other developments. The sad thing is that Flash was not degraded by the users but by some egocentric CEO.
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  17. #37
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    This is partially true Cancer. Yes Jobs started a landslide when he could have quite easily allowed for FP to work on iOS but it's come to light that Adobe was already in trouble before that statement. The flash division at adobe was reasonable when sales of the IDE compensated the cost in developing runtimes for a handful of browsers. Supporting every single mobile got expensive fast and open source compilers put a huge dent in profits. It's less about supporting flashes growth properly than it is the cost of doing business.

    Technically, it makes sense to either donate the source to Apache like they did with Flex and phonegap or rebuild the whole damn thing from the ground up to make it a mindless drop in for any hardware. It just doesn't make good business sense.

    Recently Adobe had posted their roadmap which includes a focus on gaming (which makes sense considering they effectively have a browser-based-gaming-console) and perhaps dishearteningly, are going to start charging a percentage should your profits exceed 50k.

    It all makes sense, it's just damned unfortunate. Seeing the industry fractured and hobbled like this is why I maintain that the web has gone batsh*t f*cking insane. Its like if car manufactures suddenly offered electric cars predominately at the sacrifice of tempered steel and vulcanized rubber.

    Giving my clients their money's worth used to mean a day or two of unbillable hours hacking CSS, now I have to consider Java, Objective-C, a stack of JS api's, UX and UI for dramatically different screen sizes and more customization than development time. I am so f*cking out of here.

  18. #38
    Hood Rich FlashLackey's Avatar
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    I agree that those market forces were at play. However, I think that the players involved could have made different decisions and affected the outcome.

    I can't say that I know the heart of Adobe as a company. But, it seems like they were too infatuated with Apple to put up the fight that would have made rational business sense.

    Days after Jobs slammed Flash, Adobe launched an ad declaring that they loved Apple. These are not rational stewards of the product.
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  19. #39
    Total Universe Mod jAQUAN's Avatar
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    I was never sure if those ads were tongue-in-cheek or not. Either way, not a good way to stand by your customers. The way flash is talked about, you'd think it was a terrorist sympathizer who couldn't produce a birth certificate. (I could draw a lot more parallels there ie. how we got into this mess but I wont)
    Adobe fault was not in that it failed to invest in a solution, its that they spent time and energy poorly and ultimately failed. They could afford to negate the legitimate complaints about flash and proved incapable. There are many people including engineers close to the core who's hearts are broken and wont forget this anytime soon.
    Flash, or moreover, the idea of flash has the aptitude to achieve world internet peace. Write once, run anywhere. This is how it should be but those who stood in the way proved it's as elusive as actual world peace.
    As a plugin, flash has a bleak future, not due to irrelevance. If it were re-imagined as a core engine like webkit (flashkit?) with all the same hardware access it would be very difficult to deny it. Hardware manufactures, be it car stereo or wi-fi enabled refrigerator would no longer have to get in bed with android or pay for a custom solution. I would love to hear the argument for javascript over actionscript in that situation.
    Never forget, javascript is the Mitt Romney of languages. It just happened to be everywhere and people just settled.

    Maybe one day we'll see a common sense approach to multi-screen but until then our learning curves just got very steep. Frankly I'm too exhausted.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jAQUAN View Post
    Apple would send developers to everyone's office to type code for them before they'd back off on flash.

    @YBAB please come back and post about you're experiences in making html do what flash did 10 years ago. Remember you haven't truly replaced it unti it works everywhere.

    Read a great quote on twitter the other day. "Lets all ditch flash because it doesn't work on mobile and build a bunch of html5 that doesn't work on mobile."

    There is a huge momentum behind js right now so it's getting easier and easier to make it do what you want but it's just sad that using multiple libraries and a V8 engine is pretty much a requirement.

    Carl Sagan said to bake an apple pie from scratch you must first create the universe. This is how I feel about js. To make js work, you must first write thousands of lines of code to fix js.


    really? name one thing you cant do with HTML JAVA and AJAX and JQuery that you cant do with flash.... lets hear it... I mean a websocket maybe, but there are plenty of ways around that with some simple library or even by programing your own websocket.io, the only thing I can really see flash trumping HTML5 and all the goonies backing it up, is flashes new 3d GPU acceleration... which Im sure there is some library out there that can support as fast of a render.


    where do you need flash for? If you can come up with some unique thing that you cant do with other products I will be impressed...

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