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Do we need flash?
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TOPIC: Do we need flash?

Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #889

Normally I have a solid stance on tech debates. I'm glad the iPad doesn't have a back-facing camera, Apple and AT&T have a good thing going, Jason Chen is not a journalist, Apple is abandoning the Mac platform at the moment, and Steve Jobs is a control freak (if you don't like it, stop buying it).

But I'm a little stuck on the whole flash debate. Since we are gamers, Mac fans (I think we have a Mac hater or two on here), and seem to be pretty tech educated, I felt this is a good place to see what people think.

Re: Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #891

As a web designer/developer for the last 15 years, no we do not need Flash. Especially now. In fact, other than popularizing video, I dare say we never needed it.

While Steve is running Apple (as we knew it) into the ground, I agree with him on this one. It's about time someone put this thing out to pasture.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #895

Flash was (and still is) fine for what it was originally built for - animated vector imaging. It got too big for itself when it started to support the playback of video files.

What ever happened to just embedding a video file in a web page? Let the OS and browser handle the details of how the video is to be played. I have software that can play a 720p H.264 video file excellently, and then there are videos played through Flash that don't reach those specs and I get massive stuttering.

Back to basics, people...

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #896

Sorry to double-post...


Niemann wrote:
Apple is abandoning the Mac platform at the moment

I felt that way when they took the word "Computer" out of the company's name...

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #897

^^^What they said.

It's beginning to seem a lot like the mid-to-late 80s, when Steve Jobs gutted the profitable Apple II division to focus on the more 'visionary' Macintosh (and when he killed the Lisa before it had a chance to succeed).

EDIT: There is the interesting twist that the Apple II was Apple's main income at the time, whereas the Mac has not been Apple's main income for a while now. Then again, maybe it's not a twist -- a lot of engineers were switched from Mac projects to iPod/iPhone development, before they became huge sellers.
Last Edit: 7 years, 11 months ago by mossy_11.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #899

Now that I finally figured out my problem (it was the hard drive all along), I can't urge people to try Hackintosh'ing. My computer only cost $1,600 with a 22 inch monitor, and if I bought that in Apple products, then it would have cost 5k at the time. This thing is still going strong now that I worked out the last kink that has been bothering me for 2 months, and the Snow Leopard process is so, so much easier with Snow Leopard than it was for me with Leopard, I can't recommend it more.

Seriously, the desktops are about a year and a half old now. How can you pay full price for that?

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 11 months ago #903

My own stance on Flash is equal parts ideology and practicality, but, getting down to it, the biggest bone I have to pick with Flash is that web browsing should be as simple of an experience as possible. So we really should be trying to do as much stuff as we can in the browser, without additional software that mucks up the web browsing experience. (Oh, you're running an old version of this plugin or not running it at all. Go leave our site now, download this plugin, quit your browsers so it can install, then come back to our site, if you can remember the URL.) I was willing to give Flash a pass for video and games, but with HTML5 video and WebGL, all we need is a good JavaScript library for 2D games and an IDE for JavaScript that can compete with Flash CS5. And those two details are merely matters of development, the technology's there.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1181

Sorry in advance for the 2 month bump...

Flash has risen to power over the past decade, becoming a household name even to those who aren't necessarily tech savvy (i.e. check out this sweet Flash game!). To do away with flash would definitely give way to lighter, swifter implementations such as -as previously mentioned- Javascript and HTML5. Browsers are evolving into a new age, one that browsers like IE (bleh!) just barely or do not support. Flash is sort of a staple, running through the same plugin across multiple operating systems and web browsers regardless of age, similar to Java. To rid the web of Flash could prove to be a great hassle; instead, development of JS/HTML5 etc. as well as continuous support of Flash could lead to an easier migration to new media.


P.S.
I will admit, the whole Flash/iPad fiasco is a bit ridiculous, considering Adobe and Apple's cooperation on Photoshop.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1182

I will definitely be happy the day Safari stops freezing cause Flash crashed again. This happens multiple times a day to me.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1185

The issue is this... do we need proprietary plug-ins for rich content?
Personally I've never liked being told "you don't have _______ plugin, please download/update it."

Whether it be Flash, Java, Silverlight...etc do we need any of them? In the past, HTML was basically for text and pictures... rich content was achieved through plug-ins that offered features complementary to the HTML standard.

Granted HTML 5 can do everything that Flash, Java and Silverlight can, why should we let Adobe, Microsoft and Sun dictate how rich content has to be displayed?

In my opinion, plug-ins are just that... plug-ins. Now, Apple doesn't have a Safari plug-in architecture for iOS. Adobe's kicking up a stink because they paid a LOT of money for Flash, predicting it would always be the only way to make sites with rich content. It's not because HTML can do the same things now. That was Adobe's financial risk (and their professional outlook for the future of the market.) Apple's is different, and they're risking money/reputation on a future without rich content plugins, where HTML 5 can do everything for you by itself...

Personally I'm glad that HTML has finally caught up... we have an open standard for rich content delivery that doesn't rely on 3rd party coders to dictate the rules. Lets not forget how expensive Flash is for developers!

- It's a win for developers that they can deliver rich content without plug-ins or licensing fees.
- It's a win for consumers because they're given an option of a device that can do everything without plug-ins.
- It's a win for the internet as a whole, as we see a move away from proprietary rich content plug-ins...

Apple's showed some guts by not including Flash, and saying "HTML 5 is our solution..." as a company they are entitled to take risks, and I don't think it's wrong for them to let the market decide. If people REALLY need flash, they won't buy the iPhone/iPad... if they don't, they'll make HTML 5 sites.

The only site I can think of that uses Flash exclusively is Hulu, and for those of you who live outside the USA... guess what? It doesn't exist anyway... so you can see how much need/interest I have in Flash (none... same feeling regarding Silverlight and Java... no bias against Adobe.)

---

In console terms it's a bit like the PS3/Xbox 360/Wii Battle where we saw 3 different ways of delivering HD content... HD-DVD, Blu-ray and well... online. We had Sony/M$ criticising each other's vision of the future while Nintendo showed that it could get more customers without Blu-ray or HD-DVD. They all took risks (I'd say on many other things such as controllers and hardware.)

Companies need to have a vision for the future that differentiates them from others. They all do their own research and have their own strategies... Sony didn't use HD-DVD... they'd have egg on their face if it was the winning format, and all PS3's had a drive that nobody else used.

Computers are the same... people go with Flash, Java, Silverlight... HTML 5? In my opinion, HTML 5 is the only standard that everybody will agree to implement. Silverlight vs. Flash is sorta like Blu-ray HD-DVD... they both do exactly the same thing and well... if you can deliver the same content without either... it's a bit of a no-brainer in my opinion.

Yes... my other opinion is that HD content is moving towards online delivery. That's a risk Apple's taking with the Apple TV... why don't people complain that it lacks a Blu-ray drive? Because it offers HD movies without one!

Flash/Silverlight/Java for an iPhone/iPad is like Apple offering a plug-in Blu-ray drive for the Apple TV. It's a plug-in device that is not necessary... if you want Blu-ray movies then buy a Blu-ray player. If you want mobile Flash, buy an Android. If you want mobile Silverlight, buy a Windows phone. If you want mobile Java... maybe a Nokia?
Last Edit: 7 years, 9 months ago by jetboy.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1186

HTML 5 definitely can't do everything Flash can do. Granted, it does a major portion of what Flash can do, but its lacking several features.

Major ones: webcams, non web based network protocols, many DRMs, and full screen come to mind.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1187

This is an excellent discussion, and I'm glad it got bumped. I just started with a new client who is requesting to have a flash site reprogrammed using HTML5 and javascript. This is going to be an excellent experiment, but it also shows how people are starting to realize there is a big transition coming away from Flash.

I have been surprised by the media (namely Gizmodo; although they've been trying to pick fights with Apple for a while now) and how they've criticized Apple for moving away from Flash. They act as if Apple has somehow betrayed users by choosing a different standard. I always think the best response is that developers get to choose. If they want to develop applications and games in Flash, they choose one audience. If they want to develop applications and games in HTML5, they choose a slightly different one (albeit they overlap significantly).

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1188

If you have access to the original actionscript code, you may be able to save yourself a good chunk of time by reusing a lot of it.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1189

menace690 wrote:
HTML 5 definitely can't do everything Flash can do. Granted, it does a major portion of what Flash can do, but its lacking several features.

Major ones: webcams, non web based network protocols, many DRMs, and full screen come to mind.


Not having a go at you, but it definitely can do most (all) of those things in my opinion. If there's one thing I've learned from development, it's "where there's a will, there's a way..."

1) The webcam thing was just an issue during drafts (not an issue of can it do it, how HOW shall we do it?) It has been tackled. HTML groups tackle webcam support.
2) HTML is a web-based protocol... that's like saying that a Ferrari's rubbish because it isn't a boat. Practical example please...
3) DRM... no reason why you shouldn't be able to program your DRM to work with HTML 5... if developers want DRM, they have to code it.
4) Full-screen IS supported, it's just a "best practice" issue of allowing browsers to grab your whole screen. You can enable it either by doing a handshake where users agree to allow fullscreen support, or by using a 2k browser hack that breaks your browser's "best practice" rules.
Last Edit: 7 years, 9 months ago by jetboy.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1192

I am a full supporter of HTML5 btw. Can't wait for flash to die. But..

1. Do it today... you can't.
2. Flash supports TCP sockets with full control. As far as I can tell, its text only for HTML 5.
3. Because of 2, its much more difficult to control DRM. Encrypted streams are a no go without using SSL. and even then, its not the video thats encrypted and can still be copied.
4. So a hack is necessary... so yah, not supported.

I am adding a number 5. Just as back in the day, browser implementations of HTML 5 aren't exactly compatible, even for the supported features, so you need to write extra code for every browser. Flash is write once, play everywhere (except mobiles)

I am a huge fan of what HTML5 represents, and hope that the downfalls are addressed sooner than later.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1196

I'm extremely hopeful for the future of HTML5, CSS3, and other core browser elements. Already, functions previously nonexistent are being developed every week. For example, the new Webkit animations, showcased in Safari and Google Chrome, are displaying enormous potential. Games and other gizmos and interfaces are being developed purely in Javascript, prominently showcased on sites such as Chrome Experiments (I strongly suggest you check it out, especially because it is mostly fully compliant with all browsers, with the exception of Internet Explorer *cringe*). YouTube will soon be supporting full-on HTML5 for video playback, another huge step away from proprietary plugins.

Granted, these new alternatives to Flash, Silverlight, and the like are not perfect. On the contrary, they are in active development 24/7, squashing bugs, implementing new workarounds, and more. All-in-all, I'd say there's a pretty bright future for our Intertubes.

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1202

Kuribo wrote:
Granted, these new alternatives to Flash, Silverlight, and the like are not perfect. On the contrary, they are in active development 24/7, squashing bugs, implementing new workarounds, and more. All-in-all, I'd say there's a pretty bright future for our Intertubes.


Mmmm I didn't want to haggle with Menace too much because I respect him and he definitely knows his stuff, but yeah... I think you've nailed it.

HTML 5 hasn't even been finalized yet so it's difficult to talk about, and it's wrong to say it "can't" do certain things because most of them it actually can... just the best way of doing them hasn't been finalized yet. Like fullscreen... support exists... it's just not currently considered good practice. Little things like that always get sorted out when the standard has been finalized...

Re:Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1211

...it actually can... just the best way of doing them hasn't been finalized yet


That's the precise reason for many things, even outside of the browser, i.e. why Mupen64 supports multiple plugins (this is an emulation site, if I'm correct ), why many GNU/GPL programs have support for many things -yet crash upon accessing the obscurities, etc. The list continues ad infinitum. However, Flash just seems to present a friendlier interface to end-users (who knows why?), provided you ignore the whole "Install Missing Plugins" havok, as mentioned:

Oh, you're running an old version of this plugin or not running it at all. Go leave our site now, download this plugin...

Personally I've never liked being told "you don't have _______ plugin, please download/update it."


Most people absolutely detest updating individual plug-ins. I know that I used to have an awful experience updating standalone Java plugins a while ago, on an old Windows setup, before actually realizing exactly why it made some things work and destroyed others, like my RAM (let's face it, I had no computer experience). So, naturally, cross-platform and cross-browser and non-plugin dependent components are easily less painful to deal with.

To be fair, though, Flash still comprises a hefty portion of the web, and while it seemed like the only option to watch silly videos in 2003 or embed little things in your MySpace page in 2005, it's time for a massive change. That is, whenever Web 3.0 rolls around.
Last Edit: 7 years, 9 months ago by Kuribo.

Re: Do we need flash? 7 years, 9 months ago #1257

vitaflo wrote:
As a web designer/developer for the last 15 years, no we do not need Flash. Especially now. In fact, other than popularizing video, I dare say we never needed it.

While Steve is running Apple (as we knew it) into the ground, I agree with him on this one. It's about time someone put this thing out to pasture.


second that. screw flash.

do this: open up Activity Monitor and look at Safari's CPU usage. goto www.pepsi.com (a site totally in flash) and watch what Activity shows. Hmmmm...
Last Edit: 7 years, 9 months ago by octavius.

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