Archive for May, 2009

Consequences of the trend toward a richer web

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

This post is a response to a recent ZDNet article– folks have recently been talking about HTML 5CSS 3 and JavaScript 2 (Web Trek: The Next Generation) “killing” Flash. I agree that what we call “rich media” today will be incorporated into these web technologies tomorrow, such as browser-based audio and video. I believe that this will continue for as long as our culture can refine its expectations of “rich media”. But this is not the same as killing Flash.

Flash exists because it can deliver an experience today that cannot be delivered with standard web technologies. If the standard web expands on what it can deliver (and it will), then so will Flash (and it will!). Audio, video and simple animation may soon be HTML based, but it will take longer for the HTML standard to implement 3D graphics, sound manipulation and pixel shading. There will always be a richer experience than HTML, and Flash will exist for as long as it can deliver that experience.

And another thing! Say the committee in charge of JavaScript puts together a draft for a standard system for in-browser audio manipulation, as mentioned above. With today’s way of going about things, that system would need to be separately implemented in each web browser on the market, wouldn’t it? So a future justification to choose one browser over another may be that the one has better sound manipulation than the other. But the reverse may be true for some other element of the user’s web experience, like 3D graphics. (more…)