©Copyright 2011 Kelly McCormack. May not be reproduced or transmitted without prior approval
updated 09/19/2011

Is Flash Dead?

According to most people who really know Flash, including me, the answer is no!

I first came across Macromind/Macromedia Director in the mid 90’s in a Computer Mediated Art class in college. It was an amazing piece of software- the ability to integrate images, animation, sound, and even video into a multimedia art project? without writing the software from scratch? And author a CDrom of the content or even put it on this new “web” thing for the world to see? That was Director and its web-counterpart, Shockwave. A competitor called Future Splash became Flash with a 1996 acquisition by Macromedia, and the Director and Flash applications were under one roof. Adobe then bought Macromedia in 2005.

Now it’s 2011. HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript are here, or on the horizon depending on the details, promising to do more of what has previously been relegated to Flash: animation, interactivity, video. That, along with the release of Apple’s iPhone/iPad devices, which do not support Flash, made this such a hot topic.

So is there still a place for Flash?

Yes. Flash has a place not only in the browser window, but for many niche uses like computer-based training and application development delivered through web browsers, on desktops, and in mobile devices. The combination of the vector-based graphics engine, animation tools, audio and video support, and ActionScript 3 programming language allow Flash to do many things not possible with other technologies. In other words, what Flash has always been good at, it’s still the best at. By “best” I mean the most powerful platform with the widest audience. While those other technologies catch up in some ways, Adobe is not standing still with Flash development, either.

For more opinions and details on the subject, check out these links:

Here’s what Apple’s Steve Jobs said in April 2010:
http://www.apple.com/hotnews/thoughts-on-flash/

May 2010
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/05/18/html5-and-flash-why-its-not-a-war-and-why-flash-wont-die/
http://www.jumpeyecomponents.com/blog/tag/why-flash-wont-die/

July 2011
http://www.forbes.com/sites/fredcavazza/2011/07/17/why-opposing-html5-and-flash-is-a-non-sense/

And good old Wikipedia has some good notes as well:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_HTML5_and_Flash