Tyler M, March 18th, 2010

Shotwell Battle: Flash vs HTML5

No wait, this isn’t a battle. I promise. Okay maybe a little bit.

Flash has brought great interactive abilities and graphical innovations to the Web. Now that HTML5 is supported by the latest versions of the major (certainly all the important) browsers bringing standards-based transformations, filters and effects to coders’ hands, does that make Flash irrelevant?

Marc and I agree that both Flash and HTML5 can do amazing things for the Web. Flash has been around the block a few times and with huge sites like YouTube (and all the other video sites), Flash gaming sites, demos and some really crazy portfolio out there proving how deep is the palette of the Flash designer/developer, it’s not going away any time soon, despite Apple’s recent lob of the trebuchette. We’ve even been hired to build a few Flash banners and sites recently, probably ones that would take us forever to figure out how to do in HTML5, if they’re even possible without Flash.

So now that I’ve shown you how open my mind is, I want to close yours a bit on how cool HTML5 is and get you thinking about a World sans Flash.

Since my first Flash example was YouTube it’s only appropriate to show you how we can now do a proper video player in HTML5, especially since this was the one I most doubted could be done without Flash. How cool is that???


Next I mentioned Flash Games. I’ll tell ya, there’s something about the convenience and wackiness of the Flash gaming world. It’s impressive. Check out this one for example. So what about HTML5? Can we do HTML5 games? Can we find a sexier name for them than “HTML5 Games?” I found an example of the classic brick breaker game built in HTML5. Sadly our HTML5 gaming brand name seems to have stuck already. Very unsexy.


Next up is a little drawing application I found. No Flash. I couldn’t believe it. Super smooth, all tied into the browser. No wonder Google thinks it can pull off an entire operating system in a browser.


I’ll post a few more here as I find them, in the mean time A List Apart (built in ExpressionEngine!) pointed out:

I’ll go so far as to assert that most technological advances are born from something that would be good for people using it. When we put stock in technology and try to be creative for creativity’s sake, we almost always repeat our mistakes. When we try and solve problems instead, we force ourselves to care. Innovation is a natural side effect.