Friday, June 29, 2012

Adobe Flash is not dead, but it does not look good.

A while ago I blogged about Adobe's decision to "Open Source" Flex (
http://simple-webdesign.blogspot.com/2011/11/thanks-for-nothing-adobe.html
). The feeling at the time was that Adobe was teetering on the edge
of killing Flash. The adoption of other standards by Apple, Google
and even Microsoft served to shrink Adobe Flash's market. Then we
hear that Adobe is getting rid of the Android Flash plugin (
http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2012/06/flash-player-and-android-update.html
).

This is a good thing in the long run as Adobe has ruined Flash
entirely. This is impressive considering where Flash started, it was
the bane of dial-up users in the 90s and then a major security concern
of the 00s. Steve Jobs will be remembered for a lot of things, but I
think I will admire how he killed Flash by speaking the truth. It was
a brave thing to do, to say "Adobe has no clothes". They were part of
the complacent IT crowd that assumed technologies like Internet
Explorer, PDF, Desktops and Flash would be a part of our lives
forever. This is no longer the case.

Maybe this will let Adobe shrink and focus on what they do well,
making multimedia creation applications, and not things they never did
well such as drive web technologies. The Macromedia acquisition by
Adobe was a big, big mistake for everyone except the people who cashed
in on the stocks. Since then it has been a phenomenal loss. With the
death of Flash what is Adobe left with? They killed Freehand (it was
inferior to Illustrator anyhow). Adobe is left with Fireworks,
Dreamweaver and Coldfusion. What a mess. Adobe is primarily a
multimedia content creation company and they hold the *best*
closed-source web application server technology (meaning: better than
ASP as that is all that is left). I never liked Fireworks but on the
other hand I am a designer who can program so maybe I was not intended
to like it. I was Ok with Dreamweaver but it is hardly essential and
consider it strange that Flex/Flash Builder was based on the MUCH
better Eclipse, and not Dreamweaver. If they were going to charge
money for something why not leverage their own products. But that is
the dumb moves that got us to this point.

Adobe pushed Flash to be everything to everyone without considering
"should" they do something vs "can" they do something. They have the
same issue with PDF, so it comes as no surprise that I think PDF has
days that are numbered as well. All of this is too bad. Flash is
still a great animation platform, only for television and not the web.
For example the new Titmouse cartoon MotorCity (
http://peopleofmotorcity.tumblr.com/ ) is entirely Flash... or mostly
Flash as I assume a lot of the car/racing effects are 3d. Flash is an
important part of their workflow, a complete dissolution of Flash
would alter how they work. I like Flash for animation and drawing, it
is what I doodle in when I have the chance. The excellent Webcomics
of Humor Scientist Kris Straub ( http://krisstraub.com/ ) are done in
Flash.

I'd hope this only spells the doom of Flash the plug-in and not Flash
the vector animation and drawing package. I'd really hope for an open
source alternative to the drawing and animation functions of Flash but
that is because I'd like to use a new version of Flash on Linux
without Wine. If you know of such an open source application that is
as smooth as Flash for drawing and animating I'd love to hear about
it.

1 comment:

Gina Ferrero said...

Flash is not dead, but soon it will be. It's bad for SEO and overall web design. Just don't use flash

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