Why HTML5 Will Not Kill Flash, or, Flash vs. HTML5

Why HTML5 Will Not Kill Flash, or, Flash vs. HTML5

Date: 12-22-2011
Why HTML5 Will Not Kill Flash, or, Flash vs. HTML5

There has been a lot written about Flash vs. HTML5, but it's sort of a wonky consideration because they are really two different things. Keep in mind that Flash has a very very deep installed base of users who have built up entire industries based on Flash technology. The advertising industry relies on Flash for all rich media ads. YouTube relies on Flash ('nuff said). Enormous segments of the gaming industry rely on Flash. Simply, HTML5 will not automatically cause all these entrenched industries to switch to HTML5 anytime soon. By the way, when we compare Flash with HTML5 what we really are comparing is Flash vs. HTML5/SVC/CSS3/Javascript together. You need all of these to start to do what Flash does.

But beyond the inertia of the installed Flash base of users, quite simply Flash and HTML5 are two different things. Flash is a wonderful technology that NEEDS HTML to function in a web page. You don't need to decide to use one or the other, and both technologies are so deep that they will likely coexist for a long long time because they both do some things better than the other.


credit: taterboy.com

Maybe way way into the future there will not be a need for Flash, but for the foreseeable future, Flash is here to stay. Here are a few reasons why:

  • HTML5 is technically just a spec right now, it's not due for official publication until 2014
  • Google it yourself and see what developers are saying about whether HTML5 can replace Flash
  • Less than half of all browsers do not support it right now, as they are not yet HTML5 compliant
  • Flash has a very deep set of GUI tools for building and creating visuals and interface controls (thanks Macromedia and Adobe)
  • Flash has been around a LONG time, HTML5 is barely infantile just yet
  • Flash has superior advanced video streaming and user interaction features available
  • Flash has superior tools for animating vector-based objects
  • Google has built Flash into the Chrome browser so there is no need to download a Flash player, which makes it more transparent, ala HTML

None of this is to say that we don't love HTML5 and it's new features, and CSS3. Together they can work wonders. But Flash will be with us for quite a while kids.


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