« Geolocation-Enabled iPhone Interface | Main | Flash and Web Architecture »

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


the problem is your over concern about web "technology" allow me to enlighten you...the visitor ONLY cares if the info is what they want, and fun and easy to get at ....the only people that about tech are the tech heads...I do not care what they use to make my favorite TV show as long as I can watch....no one really cares about Web Architecture except web architect's....


Varmac, I was just about to comment on the same thing.

The fact is, non-tech users just want a cool experience. They could give a crap about what powers it. On the other side, if you go into any large corporation, the marketing teams all want the coolest way to show off their products and services.

The reason Flash is so prevelent is because it offers rich media animation to the masses in a rather painless download. The development applications, though not perfect, have been available for a long time and are very polished compared to other alternatives. Also, there is a large (and growing) Flash developer community.

More-so, ActionScript 3.0 follows standards so much better than Javascript does that Mozilla will be using it in their next browser for the Javascript 2.0 interpreter. This will allow Javascript coders to easily code Actionscript and vice versa easier/faster encouraging even more Flash apps.

Then you have technolgies like Silverlight. Why would Microsoft invest millions if the future of the web did not include rich media plugins into websites?

Honestly, I see the opposite happening. Over time I expect formats like Flash will begin to take over more and more as HTML/Javascript hacks take a back seat. And this is based on the fact that my wife and friends love the iPhone, and most of all, they love to fun GUI - not the tech or features behind it. They also love Flash stuff. They stick photo albums and videos in their MySpace page, they send me their mockup of a Simpsons character from the Simpsons movie page - all Flash, and they send me greeting cards - again Flash.

Flash is no longer just some banner ad toy, it is a development platform that is far more rich than any browser. And as for "standards", Flash actually looks the same on every platform it runs on. This cannot be said of HTML and browsers, even on the same OS.

Robert Hirst

The point you made on Graceful degradation is valid in todays climate. But you have to acknowledge that graceful degradation is not something that comes for free if you stick to the w3c standards for content. Partly because none of the browser vendors truly stick to the standards themselves. Disabling javascript shows how many websites are critically dependent on what is again should be an optional extra to some zing to pages.

If you build an application based around AJAX, then there is also an all-or-nothing risk, since if the browser (mobile or not) must have some kind of the XML request object, which not all do. There are many non-Flash sites which break on devices like the PSP because of this very reason.

The potential lack of graceful degradation in html pages is something which is currently addressed through software solutions. The Google Web Toolkit attempts to address the differences in browsers and make the differences between browsers not something that the developer needs to worry about. Perhaps in the future there will be a super-Google-Web-Toolkit which can take some common language, then compile for a multitude of RIA platforms like Silverlight, JavaFX and Flash (maybe even AJAX as output option, but this is less likely as it is highly deficient in many of the areas these platforms excel in, so would lack equivalent functions). There have already been converters which take a Flash application and turn it to Silverlight, and I'm sure the day will come when developers are sick of being pawns in the battle for control of the RIA space, so tools will become available which just say "I don't care if you prefer Microsoft, Adobe or Sun for your browser plugin, I'm going to rock your world". And maybe the w3c will come up with a 4th way which actually delivers a standard which can do the things people are coming to expect from the web.

btw, Bookmarks not working in Flash/Flex is a coding issue, and one which affects AJAX just as much as Flash. There are ways around it for both too.

The comments to this entry are closed.