To Flash or Not to Flash? That Is the Question

To Flash or Not to Flash? That Is the Question(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – In the world of web development, Flash – the multimedia software platform by Adobe – may or may not be dead. But as reported by Frederic Lardinois on http://www.techcrunch.com, Adobe’s Flash Professional is making the debate a moot point by offering a “faster, modular, extensible, reliable, and more focused” version of the popular web development software. Bop Design, a San Diego web design agency, believes the latest version of Flash Professional will put an end to the debate while offering more powerful web development options.

“There’s been a lot of talk lately about the death of Flash,” says Jeremy Durant, a principal in Bop Design. “It all started when Apple announced it would not support Flash for its iPhone due to compatibility problems. Since then, a lot of people have jumped on the anti-Flash bandwagon, essentially consigning it to an early grave. However, at Bop Design we believe the rumors of Flash’s demise are a bit premature.”

When it was first developed, Flash took web browsing to a new level, allowing videos, animations, games, and other rich Internet applications to run smoothly on websites. Yet, the platform does have several drawbacks. Flash doesn’t run very well on mobile devices, which becomes an increasingly bigger problem as more people use smart phones to access the web. It sucks up a lot of energy, causing it to quickly drain smart phone and tablet batteries. And it has to be frequently updated due to security issues.

Despite these disadvantages, Flash has not yet kicked the bucket. Many developers still use it for games, copyrighted videos, and some web applications. But increasingly, developers are using HTML5 with Javascript and CSS3 to do what Flash used to do all by itself.

What’s behind the switch? Mobile devices, of course. Simply put, HTML5/Javascript/CSS3 is much more compatible with smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices. As more and more people browse the web via mobile, the ability to seamlessly integrate with those technologies becomes even more important.

Does this mean web developers should stop using Flash? According to industry experts, it depends on the type of project and the client. As with any project, developers should first consider the needs of the client and then determine which technology will best meet those needs.

In general, developers should not avoid Flash just because it’s the trendy thing to do. And they shouldn’t use HTML5 just because it works better with mobile. Otherwise, they could end up investing excessive hours in making all kinds of compromises to accomplish something with HTML5 that can be easily done with Flash. On the other hand, developers shouldn’t stick with Flash just because they’re comfortable with it.

If developers need to get something done and Flash does it better, they should stick with Flash. Otherwise, it probably makes sense to switch to HTML/CSS/JavaScript, especially if the need to integrate with mobile is high on the list. With HTML5, the content will be more accessible and will work better with today’s search engine technologies.

“HTML5 is a great tool, but it’s still working its way through W3C, the international community of member organizations that articulates web standards to guide the industry,” adds Durant. “And Flash Professional looks like it has a lot to offer, but that remains to be seen. For now, there’s a place in the web developer’s toolkit for both Flash and HTML5. A skilled developer will know when to use each.”

About Bop Design 

Bop Design is a boutique marketing communications firm headquartered in San Diego with offices also in the New York metro area. We express a business values through branding, advertising, design and web design. We also help attract a firm’s ideal customer through search engine optimization and search engine marketing. The marketing firm’s focus is on small businesses that want an external team of marketing specialists to help give their brand an edge in the marketplace. Visit the website: http://www.bopdesign.com.

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