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Thread: Swiffy - .SWF to HTML5 converter

  1. #1
    Senior Member Pazil's Avatar
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    Swiffy - .SWF to HTML5 converter

    Hey guys!

    Just saw this, and thought this would be of interest here, especially with our legendary Flash vs. HTML5 battles! :P

    Article

    What do you guys think? Useless tool just for ads etc., or something significant for HTML5?

    Personally I think it's no big deal, Flash will go on, those who really want to show some simple animation on non-Flash devices will use it, otherwise it'll be ignored. It's just really cool though!

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  2. #2
    Senior Member tonypa's Avatar
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    It only supports subset of Flash 5 and AS2, I have not seen any Flash 5 games for very long time. Maybe it has uses in adworld if you specifically design your swf to be convertable and carefully avoid everything it does not support.

    Other problem of course is HTML5 itself. Every browser claiming to support HTML5 does it in slightly different way and as you move from simple animation to more complex stuff (like games) more things stop working.

  3. #3
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Tonypa is right.

    Some company leaders (MS, Apple, to some degree also Google) don´t like Flash, but all that would be negligible if Flash "just" ran awesome on all platforms.
    The main thing that hurts flash´s reputation and could lead to it being less and less important over time is not that some companies don´t like it or that HTML5 would be oh so great and ready on all fronts to replace it, no, the main thing that could lead to flash´s penetration going downhill more and more is Flash itself, how it runs and how Adobe pushes it forward.

    HTML5 is a joke at this point, anyone who says its ready to replace Flash for all the things flash is used for has no clue or is cheating himself or others.

    And while i totally get people moaning and *****ing about flash being a resource hog (i complained about that often enough myself), the reality is that there is still nothing to replace it for everything it can be used for.
    Another reality is that the web will be even way more annoying when a higher and higher percentage of the ads are made in html5/js and unlike a flash ad its then not easily possible anymore to block just the annoying ads while still having the rest of the website functionality working.


    There are several forces at play here, some companies pushing their own interests, which don´t go well together with all free to use content on the web or easily skippable ads or not pushing someone elses´proprietary tech and then there´s the other side of well, Adobe every year over promising and under delivering for many years hence giving those good arguments who speak against it.

    When Adobe´s marketing department hypes up Flash/Air being ideal for doing multi platform content while the reality is that on most platforms it runs weak sauce and deploying to many of these platforms involves "development tools" which aren´t way more than command line tools spitting out a renamed zip with an swf in it, well, a good portion of the blame Flash gets is of course deserved and caused by Adobe, no matter what other nay or yay sayers say about it.

    But yeah, its 2011 and HTML/JS is still nowhere close to being able to replace flash for let´s say most 2D games one can see on facebook or a video chat that works well across all browsers etc etc., so yeah...

  4. #4
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    The Flash is a resource hog thing is pretty hilarious.

    Do people think possible replacement platforms can magically replicate the performance Flash is capable of with 0% CPU usage?

  5. #5
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumblesushi View Post
    The Flash is a resource hog thing is pretty hilarious.
    It depends on to what one compares it. If one compares it to native code stuff or even things made using other middleware like unity, then yes, flash´s performance for various things (especially many one uses in game development) is horrible and it is a big resource hog, especially on most mobile devices but also desktops with not that high specked ram/ cpu resources. Adobe tried to convince its developer base that it was all about writing lower level more optimized code whereas more and more people realize over time that the main bottleneck was always that the flash vm just didn´t make proper use of the gpu.


    But besides that true weakness; if one compares flash performance to html/ js / html5, then flash is pretty on par with that, in some areas its weaker, in others way stronger.
    That coupled with downsides that html5 stuff doesn´t run properly on the desktop browsers most people use and a lot of things which are super simple to do in flash (and common tasks in app/ game development) are still completely impossible to do in html5 or not working at all cross browser, well, that all makes html5 a very bad decision other than if one only follows a certain dogma for the sake of it or does things more in the vein of component based web apps rather than let´s say more involved games or other complex interactive media mashups.


    As i said there are also many downsides to consumers when using html5 instead of flash or other plugin technologies (like more difficult to turn off blinking annoying ads etc without blocking the rest of the site´s functionality, less reliable regarding that one could access any content with any machine with any OS and any browser (version) etc etc) and yeah, there are also many more downsides for developers (like open source all cool for what one wants to have open source, but there aren´t that many ways to make money with games where everyone can have an even way easier than with flash content quick glance at pretty much the entire source of your app/ game).
    Also: While we in the know can of course ***** and moan about flash platform design and development tools all day long since we know all the downsides, they are still a dream and lightyears ahead of any such tools available for creating html5 stuff.
    Last edited by tomsamson; 06-30-2011 at 05:05 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ray Beez's Avatar
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    Whatever is technically "truth" doesn't matter. What matters is what people controlling the purse strings decide. Betamax was superior to VHS, but it lost. If producers and executives want their interactive media to work on their shiny new ipads, then guess what? Flash loses. It's already had a big impact over the course of the last year.

    But Flash could weather the storm, so to speak. Eventually the handheld devices and tablets on which Flash currently suffers will be fast enough that the issue will no longer matter. (Kind of like how Flash can now run physics based games silky smooth on a PC, but in 2003 it was a challenge getting even basic games above 24fps). How long that storm will last is the crucial variable here. Flash will survive but how many of us will no longer be Flash Developers?

  7. #7
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Beez View Post
    Whatever is technically "truth" doesn't matter. What matters is what people controlling the purse strings decide. Betamax was superior to VHS, but it lost. If producers and executives want their interactive media to work on their shiny new ipads, then guess what? Flash loses. It's already had a big impact over the course of the last year.
    I totally agree.
    Its not just that flash doesn´t run at all or not well on some mobile devices (which as you said really has had a huge impact in the last year regarding how average consumer joe guys view flash and how content creators think about using flash), its also that there were two trends in the web not helping flash out at all besides for games, advertising sites and video playback:
    Most sites not centered around these 3 are more and more streamlined, its way more the focus to deliver the content quickly than to deliver it flashy, see blogs, facebook and twitter. And when its about doing actual web apps, well, anything that feels gui components based is the first thing one can now or in the future choose html/js for instead of flash, so yeah, it was a total mis planning by Adobe trying to turn "the flash platform" into something with aim on creating gui (maybe even worse flex gui) components based apps.
    Everyone besides the flash developer would ask why one should use flash for creating something that mimics look and functionality of windows ui components but still isn´t quite there and then doesn´t run well or at all on most mobile devices.
    Flash really has its strengths in video, 2d web games and interactive media mashups, the kind of stuff one can´t just use html/js for and achieve the same.
    But yeah, as you said it, there the question then becomes whether one also wants to support all the mobile devices well, and it that case, well, using flash is again not a good idea. For some things like web games in the browser there are not many alternatives to flash for 2d stuff which runs at all or better in the browser of mobile devices, but yeah, for a lot of other things more and more people are opting against using flash where possible for website content and maybe even cutting it down a lot in visual flashiness "just" to be able to do it in html/instead so it runs on the mobile devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Beez View Post
    But Flash could weather the storm, so to speak. Eventually the handheld devices and tablets on which Flash currently suffers will be fast enough that the issue will no longer matter. (Kind of like how Flash can now run physics based games silky smooth on a PC, but in 2003 it was a challenge getting even basic games above 24fps). How long that storm will last is the crucial variable here. Flash will survive but how many of us will no longer be Flash Developers?
    I agree on the point that besides video, advertising sites and 2d web games one of the last big hopes for flash is the mobile space, but i´m not talking for content running in the browser, i´m talking about creating native apps for the devices using flash.
    Regarding your point that time would fix the issue of flash performing sucky on most mobile devices even when deploying it as standalone app:
    Just the point that devices become faster and faster each year alone will not help quickly enough i´m afraid, because: So far pretty much every 1-2 years the resolution/ pixel density used on the higher end smartphones has increased dramatically.
    Sure the upgrading on that end will slow down in a while but until then: poor flash has to handle let´s say 480x320 res on iPhone 3G. iPhone apps deployed from flash are way too bad in performance to run nicely on that device for lots of game types. That was over two years ago.
    A while later: iPhone 4: Way better hardware internals, better cpu, better gpu (not that that helps flash much right now), way more memory etc etc.
    So one could think now everything made with the flash iphone packager should run awesome on iPhone 4, no?
    Sadly not, because the iPhone 4 also has a res of 960x640.
    So that means poor flash app has to handle that.
    Maybe it´ll run nicely on the iPhone 5 for more 2d things at least if that has another bump in cpu and memory and stays at the same resolution as the iPhone4..

    But then: The iPad1 and 2 have a resolution of 1024x768 and its rumored that the next one will maybe get a big resolution bump like the iPhone 4 did, so maybe around 4 times the res.
    So yeah, the current flash exporter made apps wouldn´t run that great on such a res even if the next iPad or similar devices also get a nicely faster cpu and way more memory.

    With flash in the browser on a desktop machine one has the advantage that the content usually doesn´t have to fill the entire screen res, usually only a small portion of it and then if its run fullcsreen then its usually ok to scale up a small res picture. But on something like an iPhone4 when it is about running a native app it has to run fullscreen of course and people would complain a lot if it wouldn´t use the full res of the device.


    So yeah, when just the devices getting faster each year is not enough to help flash to perform nicely for all sorts of content in the next 2-3 years, well, could it then maybe be the hyped up molehill player and stuff made for that, so finally flash using the gpu properly?

    Yes, if its done well, likely, but then there it sounds like Adobe hasn´t integrated it with the old (current) flash language/ api well at all, in the sense that to make use of the performance gaining stuff one basically has to do a lot of the visual side of a game/app in totally different way then, so not using the current flash display api with movieclips, the display list etc.
    That imho if it turns out to be true when that player is released in final form would make the molelhill specific performance boosts bringing api stuff not adopted in that widespread way among most flash designers and developers and would likely lead to even way more leaving flash dev for even more things.

    But who knows, maybe, just maybe, finally, after all these years Adobe gets it right for once We´ll probably know by the end of this year if not earlier =)

  8. #8
    M.D. mr_malee's Avatar
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    what ray said. And its a damn shame.
    lather yourself up with soap - soap arcade

  9. #9
    Yes we can tomsamson's Avatar
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    yes.
    well, they have one more big try with molehill, let's see where that goes.

  10. #10
    Funkalicious TOdorus's Avatar
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    I too really don't get the hype over html5. Sure I think any webdev company should be able to work with html5, but it really is just a few tags for media and a canvas which is a bit clunky at the moment. Much of the advocated features are actually javascript. At the moment it's only use has been that we can make technical demands from the client (we can't guarantee that those features will work in every browser), as it's not implemented fully or the same way in every browser. So people expect cool flashy stuff from html5, which you can't guarantee to really be cross-browser. Sounds a lot like the Flash vm to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomsamson View Post
    Most sites not centered around these 3 are more and more streamlined, its way more the focus to deliver the content quickly than to deliver it flashy, see blogs, facebook and twitter. And when its about doing actual web apps, well, anything that feels gui components based is the first thing one can now or in the future choose html/js for instead of flash, so yeah, it was a total mis planning by Adobe trying to turn "the flash platform" into something with aim on creating gui (maybe even worse flex gui) components based apps.
    I disagree on that one Tom. Our company is now moving over to a Flex based framework (along with Fabrication) and I'm starting to really love it. You say you can only mimmick the html components with Flex. Well you can do that pretty easily AND than expand on it and completely skin it (and I mean completely). That is a huge advantage over the standardized html components or js components that require a lot of extra effort. And if you're going that route, you might as well go for Flash.

    But really, one should diversify and learn someting new every few years. I've been looking into j2ee with succes and I'll probably try to add html based webapps or c based clients to go into iOS development.

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