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HTML 5 As a Viable Alternative To Flash?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the frameworks-should-be-open dept.

The Internet 541

superglaze writes "Jon von Tetzchner, Opera's CEO, has claimed that the open standards in HTML 5 will make it unnecessary to deliver rich media content using the proprietary Flash. '"You can do most things with web standards today," von Tetzchner said. "In some ways, you may say you don't need Flash." Von Tetzchner added that his comments were not about "killing" Flash. "I like Adobe — they're a nice company," he said. "I think Flash will be around for a very, very long time, but I think it's natural that web standards also evolve to be richer. You can then choose whether you'd like [to deliver rich media content] through web standards or whether you'd like to use Flash."'"

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My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058191)

Yeah, video and sound are two biggies that HTML 5 needs to get correct. No doubt about that.

But as someone who's thrown together more than a few web applications in my time, I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about--the datagrid element [w3.org] .

Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is <table>. Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down!

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page? Hell, it's almost always the next thing to follow <body> on my pages. And you know the code I write to interact dynamically with that table is a bitch. An unmaintainable mess. Yeah, there's probably some library out there I could use to simplify that pain but it always comes down to me messing around with advanced Javascript code trying to squeeze some more functionality into the user's interaction with that table. "Oh, I want this box to highlight red when this happens!" a user might say. Everyone wants a "simple table" with Google Spreadsheets functionality.

So we switched a whole project to Flex once. Yeah, Flex. Free [slashdot.org] right? Not if you want the datagrid [adobe.com] !

Advanced DataGrid component -- The Advanced DataGrid is a new component that adds commonly requested features to the DataGrid such as support for hierarchical data, and basic pivot table functionality. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

Need to fork over cash for that gem. Oh, you can drone on and on about "vendor lock in" and "hidden costs" with Flash. Don't matter. Customer is king.

My only hope is that HTML 5 presents a competitive datagrid with pivot table functionality. From their specs:

The datagrid element represents an interactive representation of tree, list, or tabular data.

HTML 5, I await you with open arms, hope and understanding. Improve the table element (if possible) and create a solid datagrid element. Deliver me from Flash.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058293)

Datagrid or not, if your site requires flash for anything other than playing sound or video files, then it is more than likely I will not spend much time there.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058573)

Its about time. Down with Flash.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (5, Insightful)

koala_dude (1104777) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058299)

"Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is . Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down!...When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?" Whoa, I haven't done than since IE4 / Netscape 4.7 days. I use tables for tabular data, very rarely for layout. I'm quite positive I'm not alone in this. While there are a number of Javascript-based datagrid controls available, it would be good to have some sort of standardized control as part of the standard definition.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058405)

How do you handle centering objects vertically inside divs?

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058557)

Display: table

it's ugly, but at least it doesn't falsely imply you are about to display tabular data.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (2, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058727)

vertical-align: middle;

Or how about:
margin-top: auto;
margin-bottom: auto;

Should I go on?

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (2, Insightful)

xonar (1069832) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058849)

In my various attempts to use vertical-align: middle; it's never worked :/

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058857)

Sure, keep going. I just tested in Firefox and neither of those work.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (0, Flamebait)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058917)

Depends on if you're trying to center an in-line element or a block element. And are you applying the attributes to the container or to the item to be centered? I've used them both and I don't really run a free tutorial shop. Just making my point and moving on.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

dingo8baby (1262090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058741)

css line-height property. Seriously, slashdotters are exulting table-based layouts? There is nothing, repeat nothing that you can't do with css and tableless layouts*. *using a standards-compliant browser. Fuck you IE6!

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058889)

It's not about whether something is possible, it's about whether it is better. Sometimes table based layouts are a lot easier, so use them. Your attitude reminds me of people who use flag variables in order to avoid GOTOs. Technically it works fine, but.........why not just jump?

Oh, and right on the IE6 thing.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058923)

Incidentally, CSS line-height sucks for centering items inside a div. If you're going to do that, you might as well just use absolute positioning.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (5, Informative)

Mordac (1009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058311)

When was the last time I didn't use a table tag on a page? Uh, today... the day before that, and before that.

I use tables rarely and only for displaying data, never for formatting a page. I stopped using tables for design years ago, that's why we have CSS.

I think its time for you to stop using tables for design. Tables lock your user into your content via your specific design. Flexibility and accessibility requires properly formatted CSS with divs and spans, knowing how to use floats and relative positioning.

But yes, datagrid element will be great.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Insightful)

hesiod (111176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058431)

CSS has some nasty cross-browser problems that tables do not, making them far easier than CSS for many things, assuming you can do them in CSS at all.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Informative)

ericlondaits (32714) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058577)

TABLES have nasty cross-browser issues when combined with CSS, and it's ridiculous to program without CSS for formatting. I recently had to return to my old table-layout ways for an HTML newsletter (HTML mails have to be done the old fashioned way because CSS support in mail programs and webmails is 'less than stellar') and experienced long lost pain and anguish from it.

I used to do real complex layouts with tables, graph paper and a simple text editor (even before Photoshop sliced images for table layouts) and I'm glad I have CSS now. The only exception would be using a table with a single cell for vertical alignment now and then, but that's just a small hack. Everything else can be done simpler with CSS.

As for the main topic, I say: not yet... I'm all for replacing Flash with DHTML and do so every chance I get... but it's still to slow and jerky compared with flash animation for smooth scrolling and fx.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058549)

I don't understand this statement "Tables lock your user into your content via your specific design" in that, how else are they going to view it? I've seen some very convoluted non-table layouts before, and I'd have to say, if they user was allowed to see that data outside the design constraints of the designer's work, it would be much more difficult to use. Maybe you are referring to how using tables makes it harder to update the layout, look and feel of your data on your site. I can sort of see that, but again, only if done right. A table layout is far superior to a CSS layout that is not thought out. Just so everyone knows, I've not done a table layout in many moons, but I remember it being sometimes easier to put together in a hurry because you didn't have to think of the ramifications of everything you laid out. I still use a table to center content in a page on occasion if the content area has to go along with the page background, because between IE and Firefox (and other browsers, but those are the big ones I design for), using margin: auto; doesn't exactly center the same across browsers. It'll be off by a few pixels in one browser and not another, which can get quite annoying. If I am not matching the centered content with the background on the body, then I don't bother though, and I only use tables for data representation as well.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Insightful)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058875)

I don't understand this statement "Tables lock your user into your content via your specific design" in that, how else are they going to view it?

Through a screen reader [wikipedia.org] , maybe? In which case your table layout will completely fail, because screen readers expect the contents of TABLE tags to be, you know, tabular data.

You need to understand that blind and vision-impaired people will be among those "viewing" your page, and design accordingly. [diveintoac...bility.org]

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Interesting)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058751)

I'm with you on the WTF about the "tables everywhere" rant. Just because eldavojohn is stuck in 1996 doesn't mean everyone else is. Some of us read and understood Chapter 10, "Floating and Positioning," of Eric Meyer's Cascading Style Sheets, The Definitive Guide [amazon.com] .

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058325)

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

I haven't made a website with a table-based layout in seven years. The only thing I use tables for nowadays is presenting tabular data.

In fact, just thinking about table-based layouts made me feel a little sick.

Of course, I've also been incredibly lucky in that I don't have to support IE, so the stuff I do in CSS actually works. (Just thinking about supporting IE made me feel a little sicker...)

-:sigma.SB

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Interesting)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058401)

Hold on.

You don't have to support IE? I must know what this job is. Please? I do not wish to become known as the IE Developer Serial Killer. What do you do for a living? Seriously. I would take a 20% pay cut to not have to support IE.

Aero

P.S. I can't believe anyone still uses table for layouts. GP is a troll.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Funny)

mustafap (452510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058665)

>You don't have to support IE? I must know what this job is. Please?

He works for the FSF.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (4, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058861)

He doesn't have to support IE, but he does have to hand code his pages using emacs.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

BlitzTech (1386589) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058699)

I'm with aero2600-5. Where do you work, and how do I get your job / a job similar to yours?

Not having to support IE must be sweet, sweet bliss...

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (2, Insightful)

DeafZombie (1144079) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058331)

But as someone who's thrown together more than a few web applications in my time, I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about--the datagrid element [w3.org] . Now, I know a lot of people are going to argue with me, but the most important tag in HTML is <table>. Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down! When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page? Hell, it's almost always the next thing to follow <body> on my pages. And you know the code I write to interact dynamically with that table is a bitch. An unmaintainable mess. Yeah, there's probably some library out there I could use to simplify that pain but it always comes down to me messing around with advanced Javascript code trying to squeeze some more functionality into the user's interaction with that table. "Oh, I want this box to highlight red when this happens!" a user might say. Everyone wants a "simple table" with Google Spreadsheets functionality.

Well, although I am not one of the people who thinks people who use tables for layout should all go to hell, I do prefer to NOT use them. I can say that I've written a few web apps myself (and still do) and use tables only for data representation. And I am comfortable to say I am not alone... take a look at, for instance, /.'s source. Another beautiful example of tableless layout can be found at Zen Garden [csszengarden.com]

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058721)

Well, although I am not one of the people who thinks people who use tables for layout should all go to hell, I do prefer to NOT use them. I can say that I've written a few web apps myself (and still do) and use tables only for data representation.

For layouts, CSS is nice, and you can avoid tables for the most part. What I'm curious about - and it's not a rhetorical question, I would love to hear techniques - what do you use for complex forms? Myself, I still compartmentalize everything in tables. Using CSS to lay out forms is fine for simple "label, input, linebreak" type of forms. However, if I have to lay out something like an address form, I like street 1 & 2 on their own lines, and city, state, and ZIP on one line. Now, I can see using CSS for that, but as the form grows (and grows more complex), I use a table to keep certain elements lined up.

What are some CSS-only techniques?

Disappointed. (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058343)

I'd like to talk to you about what I'm really excited about--the datagrid element.

I'm disappointed. I read that as the datagirl element, and I figured the link would take me to some lady's web design howto page, filled with examples, essays, rants, etc.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058383)

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

About 6 years ago, if not more?

The table element is to display tabular data, not for the layout of websites.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058437)

You make it sound like tables are more important then they really are. The reason why html 5 can make flash obsolete is because of the video tag, not because of the grid element that you'll obviously misuse by judging your comment:

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page? Hell, it's almost always the next thing to follow <body> on my pages.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058439)

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

I do that all the time. What decade are you living in?

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058465)

Are you for real? /. does not use any tables for example. Pretty elaborate and flexible layout even (though not the greatest perhaps).

This page http://www.coolwebsitelistings.com/ [coolwebsitelistings.com] , a first result searching for cool websites only has one table with 3 columns.

Table hell is old school I think.

I hardly ever use tables for layout (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058499)

When's the last time you laid out a site without a table element on every page?

Dude, I hardly ever use tables for layout. I'm not religious about it: now and then it's the practical choice. But such cases are few and far between. My blog, my development pages, my research - table free. Why? As you said, they add complexity: with all those tags they're a pain to implement and maintain.

If you learn enough CSS, most tables just melt away. Sometimes CSS is the pits and I wonder at the twisted minds that came up with the W3C box model. But usually, it's awesome. Often when using OpenOffice I wish I could drop down into CSS. Not infrequently, the formatting I want is a snap in CSS - but impossible in OO.

As for HTML, you know what I use most? Paragraph tags. And lists. Lots and lots of lists.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

DarrenBaker (322210) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058567)

Why, oh why, can I not mod parent higher than 5?

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058819)

Because you posted in the thread, thus removing any mod points you spent?

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058571)

VIdeo is not for HTML5 to consider really, other than how it is attached. VIdeo, IMO is solved about as good as it can be with MPEG4/H264 which is a near universal format that I can watch on many, many devices without the use of Flash. Flash in fact can use H264 videos.

Granted some application handler is required for any video ... is this what you refer to? Who should handle the universal video decoder plugin? That's outside the scope of an HTML5 spec IMHO.

It's a great point to ponder however --- right now it's locked into either Flash or Quicktime as the two leading ways to receive video content on the web. Good vs. Better? Good vs. Evil? OK vs. WhoCares? Lot's of cameras use some components of Quicktime to handle video.

Then again, the video codecs will evolve with time too ...

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058599)

You're right. A real data grid that supports data entry and some basic formatting is essential for building any data-intensive application.

I built and still use a 'smart terminal' browser-like front end for the applications my company writes. It's main 'flashy' component is a nice data grid that allows us to build apps using a web-like, thin client architecture but with a desktop-like look and feel.

At various points over the years, I've considered rewriting the front-end to host the functionality in a standard web browser. And always, the bottom line was that you couldn't duplicate what my grid provides, so it wasn't worth it. I always figured somebody would make it possible at some point, and that's a good thing. Hell, I'm surprised Microsoft's never made an 'Excel' component you could code to in IE. But it's certainly better that it be part of HTML 5.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

manifoldronin (827401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058697)

HTML 5, I await you with open arms, hope and understanding. Improve the table element (if possible) and create a solid datagrid element. Deliver me from Flash.

That all looks good on paper. My concern however is that any element that's sufficiently complex and insufficiently spec'ed will have subtle differences between render engines.

That, and a certain market dominant browser vendor's track record of arbitrarily interpreting w3c standards.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058761)

Although a bunch of people here are touting the use of CSS to replace tables, you just can't replace all table formatting with CSS. Somewhere on almost any site is an unavoidable pile of tables that are a bitch to work with, because they're better supported than advanced formatting via CSS.

A better, more in-line solution is sorely needed. And hopefully all of the browsers will support it properly from the start, so we don't have to deal with a million different redundant "border=0" type entries.

Plus, CSS for formatting is a lot more difficult to learn. A LOT more difficult. I'm no web developer but I can make a real decent looking web site with tables, and I use CSS for text formatting and styles but I still have a real hard time using CSS for anything other than that.

Anyways, I'm 100% there with you. I eagerly await a better table system.

Tag to turn stuff off (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058795)

I'd rather they create a tag to help ensure that stuff is off between the enclosing tags. This will help a lot for security.

The way HTML is currently is like a car with hundreds of "Go" buttons, but not a single "Stop" button. To stop, you have to make sure all the "Go" buttons are not pressed. Worse, once you figured out how to disable/escape all the "Go" buttons, the W3C or some browser maker creates a new bunch of "Go" tags...

Example of how the tag could work:

<guard sig="randomhardtoguessstringhere" allowonly="safehtml">
all active stuff disabled here, only "safehtml" - a subset of HTML allowed.
</guard sig="hacker's failed attempt to break out">
active stuff still disabled here
</guard sig="randomhardtoguessstringhere">
active stuff re-enabled.

This sort of thing is helpful for sites that need to display 3rd party content (for example webmail). While they still should disable all the "Go" tags, this allows them to add a second layer of protection in case something slips through.

It also helps if in the future there is HTML7 and there's a new unsafe tag or feature introduced that they and their escaping libs are unaware of.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

ToasterOven (698529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058809)

Every single graphical trick done to either speed up or sexify your web site is done with tables inside tables inside tables--it's tables all the way down!

Apparently, you've never visited the Zen Garden [csszengarden.com] .

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058867)

So we switched a whole project to Flex once. Yeah, Flex. Free [slashdot.org] right? Not if you want the datagrid [adobe.com] !

Advanced DataGrid component -- The Advanced DataGrid is a new component that adds commonly requested features to the DataGrid such as support for hierarchical data, and basic pivot table functionality. Available only with Flex Builder Professional.

The free Flex framework framework does include a Datagrid, which is like an excel spreadsheet table.

  The Advanced Visualization and Charting package includes an Advanced DataGrid which, as best I understand, allows for grouping data in a hierarchy.

  Adobe's model appears to be focusing on the tools--where they make money--and hoping the community will provide more components.

Re:My Kingdom for a Datagrid Element! (1)

alexj33 (968322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058921)

Deliver your people too from the postback-happy .Net Datagrid and gridView.

I'll say it, then. (5, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058195)

Kill flash. Kill it stone cold dead.

Re:I'll say it, then. (1)

dingo8baby (1262090) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058765)

I agree whole-heartedly. Flash is a resource hog. jQuery FTW!

Re:I'll say it, then. (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058771)

And replace it with Silverlight.

Hehe, seriously, how would you make all those fancy movie websites, e.g. http://www.everybodypays.com/ [everybodypays.com]

There is no way around flash (certainly not with CSS/HTML/JS) for certain forms of representation.

Options (3, Insightful)

aero2600-5 (797736) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058197)

More options is always a good thing.

But I can't imagine HTML 5 being capable of something like this [nin.com] .

Aero

WARNING (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058247)

Link requires Flash plugin, it crashed my toaster.

Nor should it be.... (2, Interesting)

wowbagger (69688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058321)

"But I can't imagine HTML 5 being capable of something like this [nin.com] "

Nor should it be. That's like saying my car should be able to traverse water too. There are tools for crossing water and tools for crossing land - and they are usually different.

But for simple "Here's a video of my cat yodeling" or "here's a sample of the music file you are about to download" you SHOULDN'T need a plug-in any more than you need a plug-in to view a picture (with apologies to the Lynx users among us).

However: there is no way HTML5 will replace Flash even for those sorts of applications until a large enough set of installed browsers can properly handle HTML5 that webmasters can safely ignore the hold-outs - and even if a large meteor were to strike a certain city in the American northwest that installed base will be quite some time in coming. Flash already has that installed base (modulo the iPhone and a few embedded devices).

Now, if you can make it such that HTML5 can be used to ram annoying advertising down our throats while denying us the ability to save the content we WANT to save - well then, I predict adoption to be swift and sure.

Re:Nor should it be.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058479)

RTFS at least.

The entire premise of the article is that they are saying that HTML 5 should be able to do that. Also, the two "simple" examples you give of video and sound are not things HTML 5 can do.

Re:Nor should it be.... (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058815)

If there's a forked version of Lynx that includes this http://aa-project.sourceforge.net/gallery/ [sourceforge.net] you could still view pictures. I can't tell if anyone's done it yet though (my quick search didn't find any.)

Re:Options (5, Informative)

hesiod (111176) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058485)

Except for the music controls, just about everything on that page can be done with current HTML/CSS/JS now.

Re:Options (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058779)

I was just thinking that. I went and made a mix account just to check if there were some kind of cool flash based audio tools in there somewhere.

Nope. HTML absolutely should be able to do that. It probably could be done (in extremely crappie fashion) right now using a frame with an embedded background mp3.

Re:Options (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058611)

All you need is the audio tag. Which HTML 5 should support.

Everything else can be done in AJAX/CSS/Javascript

Re:Options (2, Informative)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058919)

That is nothing. Like everyone else said, you can do everything except the music control without HTML5 (though 5 might make it easier).

If you want to see what HTML5 can do, look at this:
http://www.w3.org/2009/03/web-demo.xhtml [w3.org]

and this:
http://standblog.org/blog/post/2009/04/15/Making-video-a-first-class-citizen-of-the-Web [standblog.org]

Admittedly, these are not exactly real-world use cases, but they do show the potential.

"A nice company"? (3, Informative)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058209)

"I like Adobe â" they're a nice company,"

Has he actually used any of their stuff? Apparently not. Also, according to my friend who works in a Flash coding shop, they can real pricks occassionally.

Re:"A nice company"? (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058389)

Adobe gave us PostScipt, PDF, and SWF formats as open standards, that alone gives them the nice company seal from me =)

Re:"A nice company"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058525)

SWF I'd like to punch them like a certain monkey for. The others are fine though.

Re:"A nice company"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058633)

Just hope that don't ask the FBI to arrest you.

Re:"A nice company"? (1)

koiransuklaa (1502579) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058747)

...for some values of "open" and "standard".

Re:"A nice company"? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058691)

I think Adobe is a pretty cool guy. eh makes proprietary formats and vulnerability-ridden software to read those formats and doesn't afraid of anything.

All I need to know about HTML 5 (4, Funny)

Jorkapp (684095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058221)

<first post />

Someday maybe. (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058229)

How long until HTML 5 is supported in every browser?
The "good" thing about Flash is that it is a plug in. Flash can be added to just about every browser by downloading a plug in.
HTML 5 will take a lot longer to get into every browser.
I really don't like Flash or plug-ins but in this case it is an advantage and will be for a long time to come.
Oh and NOBODY except Slashdot will write to a standard that IE doesn't support.

Re:Someday maybe. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058361)

How long until HTML 5 is supported in every browser?

Now. HTML 5, unlike XHTML, was built to be pretty much how real web browsers render.
Feature X and Y might take a while though.

Don't be so sure (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058387)

With IE down to 65% or so, 20% of that being IE 6 users, and dropping at 5%/year the days of IE support being a necessity may be numbered.

Re:Don't be so sure (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058473)

Dream on.
Even if IE is only 20% Support will still be mandatory at least of good web designers/programmers. You don't lock 1 out of five people out of your site. It doesn't matter if that 1 is on IE or FireFox.
But I don't really think that IE is down to 65% I could be wrong but that sounds very low for a world wide number. If it is true then great but IE support will be an evil we have to live with for a very long time.

"good" thing about flash is you can shut it off (2, Interesting)

guidryp (702488) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058639)

Flashblock to the rescue right now.

If they make aggravating crap out of of standard HTML, then it will likely be harder to shut down.

Re:"good" thing about flash is you can shut it off (4, Informative)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058821)

Why? You can already disable blink, javascript, images and many more "standard" elements.

Re:Someday maybe. (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058661)

The "good" thing about Flash is that it is a plug in.
Why can't HTML5 be implemented as a plug in?

Re:Someday maybe. (2, Interesting)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058711)

Flash can be added to just about every browser by downloading a plug in.

Really? Please send me instructions for adding Flash 9 to the Opera browser running on my Wii, or the browser running in my Android G1 phone. I think you mean "Flash can be added to just about every browser running in Windows or MacOS on an X86," which is a considerably smaller set of supported devices. The PC has peaked; the future is internet appliances. When will people stop assuming browser = PC?

Vectors? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058275)

The article doesn't say html 5 will have some sort of mechanism in place to manipulate and display vector art. Until that happens, Flash will be king for the sort of content that relies on vectors as opposed to rasters/bitmaps.

Re:Vectors? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058289)

SVG

Re:Vectors? (1)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058627)

So what is SVG supposed to be?

Hey Microsoft (4, Funny)

Chlorine Trifluoride (1517149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058283)

We were just thinking that, if you were to hold off on implementation of HTML 5 in MSIE, we might, uh, contribute to your re-election campaign.

Sincerely,
Adobe

Flash uses (5, Insightful)

Parker Lewis (999165) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058315)

In current days, Flash is only used to:

- Casual games;
- Boring add banners, like "hit the monkey";
- Video players;
- Webpages menus, when the designer has no know-how to use CSS/Javascript.

Excluding games, all uses can be replaced by web-standards (even videos, in next-generation browsers).

Re:Flash uses (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058467)

file uploading. There are hacks (posting into an iframe and monitoring via ajax) to do it with html, but they're not as clean and require you to do extra work on the server side.

Re:Flash uses (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058811)

Rich internet applications that can be developed in a fraction of the time it would take with the giant clusterfuck hack that is HTML/JS/CSS.

Re:Flash uses (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058851)

"- Webpages menus, when the designer has no know-how to use CSS/Javascript."

I disagree.

Flash is a wonderful tool for designers. They can create web sites exactly like they want.

Converting their initial design to HTML/CSS means a considerable waste of time, plus they always have to make tradeoffs because that feature isn't cross-browser and that other one requires high javascript skills.

Or they have to work with someone else. A guy that spends days trying to convert a design made with Photoshop into HTML/CSS. And the result is often not comparable. And the poor designer depends on the HTML/CSS guy, he can't change a single button in seconds by his own.

Two paths are currently drawn. The first one is HTML5/CSS3. It has some advantages over Flash (mainly: accessibility), but from a designer point of view, it's utterly complicated, it just doesn't exist yet and in its current state, it doesn't even compare to what Flash was 5 years ago.

The second path is drawn by products like Adobe Catalyst and its Silverlight counterpart (sorry, I forgot the name). I saw a demonstration of these and it blew my mind. A designer can finally take over what the final result will look like. He can make an all working draft of the web site right off Photoshop. I couldn't imagine how long it would have taken to create the same result as the demo with HTML/CSS conversion + Javascript + cross browsers testing.

Both paths are interesting. But just as argentic photography and assembly coding are now niches, HTML/CSS could also slowly die. Because people just want something quick, easy, convenient, accessible to non-techies as along as the end result barely works.

People usually don't like Flash for 3 reasons:
- because they only associate Flash to intrusive ads or to badly programmed stuff.
- because they never actually used Flash / Flex
- because they swear by FOSS. "Flash sucks, it's proprietary". But to tell the truth, Flash shows a failure of opensource. The Flash format isn't closed at all. There are even excellent languages+compilers that produce Flash files, the best example being haXe. And there have been several attempts at making opensource Flash players but they all failed. Oh of course, Swfdec and Gnash can barely play Youtube videos, but they are far far far from being replacements for Flash 10, yet Flash 9.
Company A releases a product only for some OS and only closed-source. Fair enough, that's its own choice and right. But they release specifications. FOSS crowd grims "grmbl, doesn't work on OpenBSD, grmbl, doesn't work on HaikuOS..." So what? Just like 99.9999999% of commercial software out there, because companies don't make people work without giving them a salary. So they expect ROI. This is not rocket science. Anyway, FOSS crowd is like "ok, fear Adobe, we're working on open-source players". Hope make people happy, but these open-source players just don't compare with Adobe's, and there's a long road before they do. So what? Instead of acknowledging the failure, FOSS crowd is like "ehm... Flash sucks, it's proprietary, it should be avoided, let's reinvent the wheel..."
Meanwhile, Adobe keeps improving it. The Flash VM isn't a bad piece of technology, and stuff like Alchemy are quite exciting.
I really think that points of views would have been different if a great open-source Flash implementation existed. People would describe Flash as a wonderful cross-platform VM, GUI and Toolkit. It would have been ported to every mobile device. Everybody would enjoy it. Except HTML/CSS guys who can't code nor design, and who would have to convert, just as argentic photographers had to learn how to use Photoshop.

Sure, but Opera is busted? (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058339)

Opera preaches standards left and right, but the real problem is nobody follows then except Opera. Therefore Opera doesn't work like all the other browsers. I love Opera for the most part and I use two browsers all the time. I would only use Opera, except for the fact that so many websites don't function properly in Opera. (Mostly javascript and css are the issue)

Once Opera functions like all other browsers, I will listen to what Jon has to say.

JavaFX (5, Informative)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058349)

JavaFX may be trailing Flash and Silverlight, but it's the only RIA framework that has a snowball's chance in hell of being open sourced.

It supports charting, animations, and rich media. Version 1.5 is rumoured to have support for complex form controls, just like Flex.

What's more, it's totally integrated into the Java Virtual Machine, meaning it can use all of the Java class libraries. It even has a mobile component, meaning it's possible to port applications between the desktop and supporting mobile platforms.

To me, this single runtime sounds like a much better alternative that the kludge that is HTML/CSS/JavaScript/AJAX support a multitude of IE6/IE7/IE8/Firefox/Safari/Chrome/Opera browser runtimes, especially if there's no framework behind them.

In MOST ways you don't need Flash (5, Insightful)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058367)

"In some ways, you may say you don't need Flash."

I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture. Not a stream of pictures. Not a mosaic of pictures. Not a slideshow of pictures. One picture.

WTF? You're telling me it's easier to code a Flash object to display that one picture than it is to throw in a link to the picture? Seriously?

Then you have those sites which insist on having their front page as Flash-only. Brilliant. Just brilliant. How the hell am I supposed to find anything on your site if there is no way to save that link for future reference?

Flash is ugly, slow and just plain annoying. Almost as annoying as punch the monkey. Web designers who rely on Flash to do their work should have their knuckles pounded with a five pound cast-iron doorstop dropped from a height of ten feet then made to punch a punching bag.

Hopefully HTML 5 will cure the web of this illness.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058607)

I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture.

Most of the time I've seen this done it's to prevent casual downloading of the picture. If you put the image up in straight HTML, anyone can Right Click->Save Image As. If you embed it in a Flash object, it's much harder to grab the image.

Unless HTML 5 has a way to prevent casual copying, that usage is not going away.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (5, Informative)

Miffe (592354) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058621)

The reason people do this is is to stop you from right clicking on the image and saving it.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28058843)

Repeat after me:

If you can view it, you can save it.
If you can view it, you can save it.
If you can view it, you can save it.

Why do developers (or their taskmasters) not know this.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058911)

I wouldn't be too sure that's the only reason (thought that does make sense). I ran across a guy a little while ago that thought you needed flash to make a picture change when the mouse rolled over it. And he called himself a "web programmer." He had never heard of mouseover. No idea what it was. He made good web programmers look bad by association, as most people (his customers anyway) have no idea what he was saying was utter crap.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (3, Funny)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058673)

Flash is ugly, slow and just plain annoying.

That's stupid. Flash is great. Flash is the magic that makes youtube possible. I'm all for replacing it with HTML5, but it still is one of the most important pieces of the web.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058685)

I can't tell you how many times I've come across a site which uses Flash to show a single, individual picture. Not a stream of pictures. Not a mosaic of pictures. Not a slideshow of pictures. One picture.

I've heard some people say they do this to prevent picture stealing because people were turning java script off on their browser and could right click on their site.

I explained they could just hit print screen, but I think it was lost on them.

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058853)

I explained they could just hit print screen, but I think it was lost on them. Sure, but then if the image is smaller than their display resolution, they need to crop it. If it is larger than their display resolution, then they don't have the whole image. The people that really want to make it hard for you to copy their images are the ones publishing in much higher resolution than your display. My argument was that Flash is often used to let people stream videos but not save them, but ultimately anything can be copied just by pointing a camera at your monitor and a microphone at your speakers. (Some loss of quality may occur.)

Re:In MOST ways you don't need Flash (2, Insightful)

JoeytheSquid (1460229) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058885)

Don't just blame the designers, plenty of times it's the clients too. I've been a web designer for the last decade and to this point I've never once built a "Flash website". However I get asked to do this several times a week. In fact I just walked out of a meeting where the client wants one of those live video gimmicks where the spokesperson walks onto the screen and starts speaking, "Hello and welcome to our website." Because everyone loves talking websites, am I right?

As a developer this leaves me with two options. I can roll over, take the extra cash and add in the bells and whistles or I can try to keep the project grounded and focused on things like content, usability and SEO. The problem is you can only argue the point so much and, I'm sorry, but usability, just isn't sexy. Moreover when I refuse to give the customer the giant animated American Flag with their favorite Toby Keith song playing in the background, they'll shop around until they find a developer who will.

So the next time you come across an obnoxious website, curse not only the developer who built it, but also the client who approved it. :-)

Viable alternative is redundant (0, Troll)

Crafty Spiker (1225838) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058391)

If it's not viable it's not an alternative.

Re:Viable alternative is redundant (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058613)

I dunno, people keep talking about Linux! *rimshot*

(Seriously, that was a joke, not a troll or flamebait)

Adoption beyond Flash (2, Insightful)

Tronster (25566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058425)

HTML5 has a lot of potential, but adoption above and beyond Flash (or Silverlight, etc...) will depend on 2 factors:
1. Implementation Penetration
2. Authoring Tools

Flash's strength is in the tools more than the language(s), Actionscript and MXML. For every 1 Flash "programmer" I meet, I know about 10 people who know Flash well enough to make graphics and simple script work on the time line.

If a majority of the browser users have HTML5 support, and a killer app exists for editing content; I would then put weight towards the possibility of HTML5 trumping Flash.

Don't need Flash? (4, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058537)

I kiid, kiid. I like Adobe -- they're a nice company... for me to poop on!

</triumph>

already available (2, Interesting)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058545)

We've always been able to embed videos in web pages. The reason places started embedding them in flash was to make it more difficult to save/view the videos without loading up the whole page and/or to let them force ads before or after the video. And partly just because flash web "design" people only have one hammer so every problem looks like a nail.

Re:already available (4, Insightful)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058647)

Don't twist history. The reason flash took over web video is because vistors tired of WMV/QT codec hell.

Really? (2, Funny)

Osmosis_Garett (712648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058563)

Why not just get in line over there, behind Silverlight, GoLive, and the rest of the systems that were going to 'kill flash'.

LONG time (0, Redundant)

WPIDalamar (122110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058749)

Most sites are developed for IE6 compatibility nowadays. With that in mind, I can't imagine the industry widely accepting this within the next 5 years.

Ignoring the 800 pound gorilla (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058807)

It's unlikely Internet Explorer will die any time soon. So unless the Microsoft developers somehow magically start putting together a browser that is current in support of web standards, Flash and its brethren will never die. It doesn't matter how great the HTML5 support is in Gecko (Firefox) and Webkit (Chrome, Safari) - as long as IE continues to lag, we're stuck ("we" meaning those of us who code pages for the real world).

SMIL? (2, Insightful)

cxreg (44671) | more than 5 years ago | (#28058859)

Isn't this was SMIL was supposed to deliver? Is that dead now?

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