Adobe’s Flash has been go-to for years. I’ve viewed Flash content. I’ve even produced my own do-it-yourself videos using Flash. Enabling high-def and full-screen Flash-based capability, on YouTube.com, has definitely improved that user experience.
There’s a darker side to the Flash infrastructure, that I suspect is driving a move away from this once-strong, pseudo-standard, over to HTML5.
Could there be a mobile app vs. mobile Web app blaze on the horizon?
I’m a Linux guy, through and through. Over the last decade, I’ve written hundreds of Linux technical how-to articles and application reviews, for large-scale tech media sites and several big industry print magazines. I’ve installed countless versions of Linux and desktop applications. Mozilla-flavored browsers, OpenOffice.org, various forms of Ubuntu have been my close friends for a long time. Most installs have gone smoothly… well, except for the usual things like the Nvidia drivers… and Flash.
I never could do much about the Nvidia drivers, because they were closed-source, proprietary, and absolutely necessary for the operation of my multi-core Intel-based notebooks. Fortunately, my accelerated Nvidia chips usually only required a simple late-model update to a new driver, after a new Linux system build, to put everything back on track. I grudgingly took the time, because I enjoyed having cool 3-D animations, multi-window spinning desktop cubes, and resilient, stretchy on-screen windows.
Flash for Linux has always seemed like a half-hearted effort on Adobe’s part. It’s been unpredictable. I never knew exactly when it would break. Sometimes it would work, sometimes not. I simply am not going to spend half a day researching why Flash stopped working after this or that upgrade by Firefox. Why does it work with the latest version of the Chrome browser, without fuss?
Lack of reliability and support have troubled Flash, since the beginning.
I think Adobe has read the writing on the wall, because support for Flash has just become infinitely more difficult with the proliferation of mobile applications on mobile devices.
It no longer makes sense for Adobe to try to write code for desktops (Windows, Macs, and Linux), tablets (Windows, Android, and iOS), and smartphones (Windows, Android, iOS, and others). Yes, I know it’s supposed to seamlessly work across all platforms.
Pushing movies and animations from Flash over to a possibly universal standard, like HTML5, should make it easier for developers to create applications for the mobile world. That’s if they stick with browser-based applications.
The whole ecosystem built around mobile, non-browser-based applications might be a different story, according to Rafe Needleman of ZDNet. His “Will HTML5 Kill Mobile Apps?” story suggests that getting rid of Flash in favor of HTML5 is bad for “app store”-based software.
Perhaps, the demise of Flash and ascent of HTML5 will clear out some old undergrowth and create exciting new opportunities.
As the Dice Mobile Development Guide, my job is to get the community talking with each other. So, here are a few questions to break the ice.
- Will mobile developers immediately move over to become mobile Web developers?
- Will the “app store” model of promoting and selling software be eliminated because of HTML5?
- Does a “pay wall app store” make any sense?
- As manufacturers ramp up horsepower in their mobile devices, will all apps eventually live strictly on the Web?
- How will developers get paid, with any or all of these schemes?
Now it’s your turn to throw either water or gasoline on the bonfire. Just keep it civilized.