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Open source advocates claim Adobe is showing open source animosity

When it comes to rich media on the Internet today, much of the media is powered by Adobe Flash. Flash has some competition like Microsoft Silverlight, but Flash continues to be one of the most supported rich media applications.

The future of Flash is not as clear as it once was with Google touting the ability to support rich media applications online with HTML 5. For its part Adobe insists that Flash will survive HTML 5 and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen went so far as to dismiss HTML 5, reports InformationWeek.

Narayen said, "[T]he fragmentation of browsers makes Flash even more important rather than less important."

Perhaps the most interesting demonstration that could put fear into the hearts of Adobe and its shareholder is the demonstration by Google at its developer conference of a YouTube prototype using HTML 5 instead of Flash.

Adobe's John Dowdell posted a blog comment in response to numerous headlines and Tweets that called HTML 5 a "Flash-killer." Dowdell called Apple, Google, and Mozilla "a consortium of minority browser vendors" and considered the absence of Flash on the iPhone and Silverlight technology as an endorsement of the technology.

Dowdell wrote, "Silverlight's launch helped boost the popularity of Flash. ... iPhone helped to radically increase the number of phones with Flash support."

Adobe has taken a defensive tact with regards to HTML 5 leading to speculation that the company may be more afraid of the technology that it wants to let on. InformationWeek reports that some readers posted comments to Dowdell's blog calling the advocacy of Flash another sign of Adobe's "open standards animosity."

Adobe is trucking along in the poor global economy, but reported a 41% drop in profits for its last quarter. Despite the decline in profit the stock price remains steady, which InformationWeek believes is a sign that investors see the drop in profits as due to the economy and not issues with the company or its offerings. Strategy Analytics reported in February that MySpace and YouTube were driving the adoption of some forms of Flash. If YouTube movies to another platform it would be a significant blow to Adobe.


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By borowki2 on 6/19/2009 2:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
Agree, though I question what you listed as inappropriate use of Flash. Multimedia contents are Flash's raison d'etre. Why would you use HTML when you can accomplish the same thing ten times quicker in Flash?


By Bubbacub on 6/19/2009 3:17:50 PM , Rating: 5
is flash really that quick or efficient?

it seems to me to be as bloated and slow as anything adobe spit out (e.g. a 900mg pdf writing application!).

my (admittedly old) laptop can happily decode 720P h264 but is defeated into producing a laggy slideshow by a vaguely highish resolution (less than 720p) youtube video. i realise that there is a performance hit for running in a browser with code that runs on multiple oses - i just think that it is a bit excessive - interested to see if html 5 can force adobe to improve the performance of flash


By 67STANG on 6/19/2009 5:26:41 PM , Rating: 3
Flash had its time. Albeit the time it had, it was abused.

As a web developer, I find myself using Jquery for simple animations, and Silverlight for more complex animations (which I don't need most of the time).

I have even moved away from FLV's to playback over Silverlight. The playback is much better under Silverlight, IMHO.

Honestly, who really cares about HTML 5 anyhow? I'm much more interested in the advancement and support of the CSS3 spec than HTML 5...


By borowki2 on 6/19/2009 7:16:21 PM , Rating: 2
By quick, I mean on the development side. The power of Flash is in its authoring tool. Drag-and-drop a few things onto the timeline, add in a few motion tweens, then--viola!--you have something that looks pretty sophisticated. To me, inappropriate use of Flash is when people treat it as full development platform. The dumbest thing I've seen is probably an XML marked-up page layout manager written in ActionScript. It's like, hello morons, it's stupid to embed Flash in HTML only to have it emulate HTML.


By descendency on 6/19/2009 10:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing flash is good for now is those shotty effects using a timeline. As someone who has done a fair amount of silverlight development in the past 6 months, I can say, I will never use Flash/Flex ever again. Silverlight is faster, easier, and all around better for just about everything.

Youtube would be smart to find this out. Video playback quality is better in Silverlight, by far. (at least to make it an option... the player is practically already written for them)

The few things flash still does better are what you described.

Silverlight applets > Flash applets (and Java applets)


By descendency on 6/20/2009 12:07:18 AM , Rating: 3
MSDN is one of the highest quality things in the computing industry.

I hate DRM, but MSDN produces ultra high quality stuff (it was the industry leader in IDEs for a long time, maybe even still today. How many ideas did Eclipse incorporate because they were in Visual Studio? A lot.)


By Boze on 6/24/2009 7:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
I have to agree with the other guy that replied to your comment. For whatever reason, you don't like Microsoft, and there's nothing wrong with that, but to say they don't build high quality software would simply be downright untruthful. If open-source solutions were as easy to use, easy to maintain, and easy to implement as other avenues of creation, then you'd see widespread adoption - and quickly.


By freezer on 6/20/2009 2:54:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The dumbest thing I've seen is probably an XML marked-up page layout manager written in ActionScript. It's like, hello morons, it's stupid to embed Flash in HTML only to have it emulate HTML.


I think you're missing the point. Most often such XML based systems for Flash are definitely not designed to "emulate HTML". These are usually used to control content and components in Flash, and to use some special features Flash allows. Its very easy to handle XML with ActionScript 3 compared to the previous version.

HTML in the other hand was never meant for anything serious in multimedia. For a long time, and still today, it was very hard to make exact layouts with it. It was newer designed from graphic designers point of view, it was newer really wysiwyg.

JavaScript may allow some tricks, but not anything that you couldn't do much more easily with Flash.

HTML is a mess because there's too many standards and too many different browsers which all utilizes these standards differently. This means often hell on earth for designers trying to make things work just like they want.

Flash is good because its fairly consistent in rendering. The plugin runs mostly same on different platforms and browsers (there is small differences however). Flash design tool combined with much more efficient AS3, AIR, PixelBender, Flex etc allow for very interesting stuff for developers.

Silverlight may have future, but last time I checked its version 3 beta had just included features that has been long time in the Flash. Whats the point?


By Doormat on 6/19/2009 5:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
Since I use a Mac at home, I will argue that the Flash software on the Mac is not resource-friendly. I cant even get flash 10 on hulu working properly (not dropping frames) on my Core Duo 1.83MHz Macbook. That chip should be plenty to play the SD video Hulu offers. But Adobe's flash implantation on the Mac is awful.


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