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Flash-to-HTML5 Translator: Smart But Not Pretty

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the maybe-it's-the-glasses dept.

Graphics 77

snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister takes a first look at Wallaby, Adobe's experimental tool for transforming Flash content into HTML5, and finds the tool an interesting idea with little yet to offer. 'Wallaby engineers have made sound decisions in designing the tool, but what you actually get when you convert a Flash project to HTML5 is extremely limited,' McAllister writes, in large part because many Flash features are not supported, leaving developers to add their own interactivity with jQuery."

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77 comments

Oh boy! (5, Funny)

Stratoukos (1446161) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446876)

Oh boy! An article from InfoWorld.

Let me just click the print button and watch the karma pour in.

http://infoworld.com/print/154011 [infoworld.com]

Re:Oh boy! (1)

devxo (1963088) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446932)

Ugh, I find the original page much better to read. Print version has way too wide text to read on computer screen and is missing styles and paging.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447136)

Personally, I kind of expected to see something other than text.

There were no code examples (just explanations of the code), no images for comparison, nothing but a wall of text.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447974)

Unfortunately, the Flash files I used weren't created by me, so I couldn't publish screenshots for comparison for copyright reasons. As for code snippets, they tend to turn off more people than they pull in. In either case, though, what you'd see wouldn't be terribly enlightening. A screenshot from Firefox or IE would reveal... a big white square. A screenshot from Chrome would look a lot like the original Flash movie; what you wouldn't see is that the animations and controls aren't working right.

As for code samples, what JavaScript is generated doesn't do much more than handle rollover states and give you a starting point from where you can write the JavaScript interactivity yourself. The generated jQuery function looks like this:

$(document).ready(function() {
        $('.wlby_sprite').each(function()
                { this.addEventListener('webkitAnimationIteration', function(evt) { wlby_loop_children(evt, this); return false; }, false, false) });
        $('.wlby_sprite, .wlby_graphic').each(function()
                { this.addEventListener('webkitAnimationStart', function(evt) { wlby_activate_children(evt, this); return false; }, false, false) });
        $('.wlby_fs').each(function()
                { this.addEventListener('webkitAnimationEnd', function(evt) { wlby_activate_sibling(evt, this); return false; }, false, false) });
});

And that's it. The generated HTML looks something like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<!-- Created with Adobe(R) technology -->
<html>
    <head>
        <meta charset="utf-8"></meta>
        <link href="Final_Infographic_v7-CS5.css" type="text/css" rel="stylesheet"></link>
        <script type="text/javascript" src="jquery-1.4.2.js"></script>
        <script type="text/javascript" src="Final_Infographic_v7-CS5.js"></script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <div class="wlby_movie">
            <img src="Final_Infographic_v7-CS5_assets/svgblock_0.svg" class="wlby_1"/>
            <div class="wlby_2 eat_mc">
                <!-- Start of symbol: eat_mc -->
                <div class="wlby_button">
                    <div class="wlby_button_normal">
                        <img src="Final_Infographic_v7-CS5_assets/svgblock_1.svg" class="wlby_3"></img>
                    </div>
                    <div class="wlby_button_hover wlby_button_active">
                        <img src="Final_Infographic_v7-CS5_assets/svgblock_2.svg" class="wlby_3"></img>
                    </div>
                </div>
                <!-- End of symbol: eat_mc -->
            </div>
... and so on. This just repeats for every symbol in the Flash movie, for about 1,700 lines. (I would post more, but the /. comment filter is telling me there's too much whitespace and repitition.) As I mention in the article, there is no text in the generated HTML; all the text is rendered as SVG, and if you don't have the right fonts installed, it will render using system default fonts (and that's how it will look to everybody, from then on). In other words, because the functionality of the output is so limited, by definition there's not much to see in the code -- hence the explanatory text.

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447556)

Is your browser maximized? What are you own? A netbook? Or are you just too fucking stupid to resize the window...

Re:Oh boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447648)

Is your browser maximized? What are you own? A netbook? Or are you just too fucking stupid to resize the window...

Sheldon Cooper?

** holds up sarcasm sign **

Re:Oh boy! (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447802)

I agree the web-version is better readable than the print-version, but in my view this mainly has to do with the line height being too small in the print version. There's almost more horizontal spacing than vertical spacing, which makes the article very tiring too read.

If you think the lines are too long for comfort, you're simply setting your browser window too wide.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448210)

You should try Readability. They have an addon now for some reason, but the old bookmark version is still there: https://www.readability.com/bookmarklets [readability.com]

It makes any page readable (if it can figure out what the content is).

Re:Oh boy! (2)

bride_of_excession (943938) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446976)

watch the karma pour in.

You get karma in liquid form? I always seem to get the powder...

I like the bit about how "many Flash features are not supported" in HTML5. Doesn't strike me as a self-serving adobe-planted thing, oh no, not at all.
No. I said no, not a bit.

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447150)

I like the bit where blatantly changed the quote to make it look like some self serving adobe planted thing, when in fact it never claims that many Flash features aren't supported in HTML5, only that they're not supported by the first release of Wallaby.

Re:Oh boy! (2)

Firehed (942385) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447360)

Well, in fairness, it's not Adobe's fault that you can't access connected devices (camera, mic, etc.) via HTML5. Yet [stackoverflow.com] .

Re:Oh boy! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448310)

If it was the only part of flash not supported we could live with it. I can actually live without flash. I actually do. But still...

Moderation (1)

bazald (886779) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447060)

I wish I could mod you -1 Funny.

Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446922)

Because that's all I want or care to know. Homestar is pretty much the only thing I need Flash for anymore. And yes I know that Smokescreen [smokescreen.us] exists but this sounds much better.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447082)

Homestar is pretty much the only type of content that you really need flash for. For everything else, it should be completely avoided.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447194)

What about redtube?

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

Timmmm (636430) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448176)

Video tag. If they ever sort out the codec thing.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (2)

organgtool (966989) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447760)

Homestar is pretty much the only type of content that you really need flash for. For everything else, it should be completely avoided.

Thank you for saving me the trouble of determining what I should be viewing. There may be a position opening up for you in the future as CEO of a large company in Cupertino.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448736)

Games in HTML5 are still pretty awful by and large, and browser incompatibilities make the experiences inconsistent. You still need Flash for the sound effects, so why not just use Flash for the whole thing? I guarantee you the end results will be better.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#35450030)

you can do html5 sound effects without flash.

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447304)

Except that H*R hasn't seen consistent updates since over a year ago. It's dead, and may it rest in peace.

("Shut up, lady! Peaceful is not how I roll.")

Re:Does it support Homestar Runner? (1)

supersloshy (1273442) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447570)

Except that H*R hasn't seen consistent updates since over a year ago. It's dead, and may it rest in peace.

("Shut up, lady! Peaceful is not how I roll.")

If I'm not mistaken, they released three updates in the past year: A Decemberween special, an after-Decemberween Halloween special (they joked about how they were a little late), and the April Fools Day toon last year. That's not counting the sales and other related things. Matt Chapman and Craig Zobel have been busy writing a movie called Monster Safari and a new site called Ron Planet [ronplanet.com] .

Amazing (3, Insightful)

farlukar (225243) | more than 3 years ago | (#35446944)

A translator from one top-heavy system to another is not pretty. Who'd have thunk it?

Re:Amazing (0)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448152)

A translator from one top-heavy system to another made by the company that has a vested interested in the source system, which happens to be proprietary, is not pretty. Who'd have thunk it?

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448972)

Adobes interest is in content creation tools. I bet they would love to have defacto HTML5 -toolchain if they could. Photoshop edits photos that end up as JPEGs and it's still quite popular.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450876)

A translator from a companies system to an external system that they have no real interest in working, does not work very well ... hmmm...

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35451498)

Except even well-coded, native HTML5 will almost undoubtedly turn out to be slower than Flash for a number of reasons.

Anyone who can't see through Apple's absurd claims that Flash is being intentionally "unsupported" for 'speed' reasons is completely blind to Apple's underlying revenue motivations.

The App Store is a cash cow. Flash is a threat.

HTML5 is a side show.

Stop teasing us! (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447012)

"Hey, here's a cool new idea you'll love... too bad you can't actually use it yet."

Re:Stop teasing us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447222)

I assume you're referring to HTML 5?

Re:Stop teasing us! (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448320)

I do use HTML5 as well as CSS3 on a daily basis.

Re:Stop teasing us! (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448694)

No, I'm referring to the not quite even half-finished Flash->HTML5 application mentioned in the article.

Re:Stop teasing us! (1)

catd77 (1743104) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448174)

HTML5 is already being used with Chrome and Firefox 4, and the IE9 beta.

We need to find (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447130)

A dingo. Spare me the annoying ads on the iPad.

How is this different from FRASH? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447192)

That's one feature offered by jailbreak iphone/ipad

Works about as well as Google Translate. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447270)

We need to encourage people to start writing in HTML5 natively and stop trying to bandaid everything.

Re:Works about as well as Google Translate. (2)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447596)

Great idea, I'll just fire up one of the many widely used and well supported HTML5 authoring applications...
Oh wait...

Re:Works about as well as Google Translate. (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447852)

Oh wait what? What kind of obscure editor are you using that a HTML5 syntax highlighting plugin hasn't been developed yet?

SVG on a timeline? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448298)

That depends. What timeline-based graphical SVG editor do you recommend? Are KToon and Synfig any good?

Re:SVG on a timeline? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35450360)

What makes you think SVG is HTML5?

Re:SVG on a timeline? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451794)

What makes you think SVG is HTML5?

Because the article is about a piece of software that translates Flash to HTML5 plus SVG.

Clean HTML (4, Insightful)

sdguero (1112795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447284)

FTFA:
"the generated code is clean and concise -- far superior to the Save as HTML feature of Microsoft Word, for example."

Hahaha, not really saying a lot there buddy. My dog can write better HTML than M$ Word.

Re:Clean HTML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447520)

But can your hound deliberately write html code that works on IE and breaks on many other browsers?

Re:Clean HTML (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447602)

Apparently his dog works in my office!

Re:Clean HTML (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447584)

Sure, but at least M$ word doesn't piss on the floor!

Re:Clean HTML (1)

Bratmon (1649855) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447930)

Sure, but at least M$ word doesn't piss on the floor!

Usually.

HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447482)

I've always been a bit frustrated that the community has been a bit shaky about distinguishing HTML5 as a video platform and HTML5 as a platform for building interactive applications. In the former context, HTML5 seems like a sure winner, especially given that flash for video was really a hackish (but necessary) expedient and not a great design choice. In the latter case, however, I have yet to see good examples of the sort of deep web applications in HTML5 that you can build with flash, to the extent that it makes me skeptical that HTML5 really is a replacement for flash for that purpose. Certainly no one has demoed anything nearly as sophisticated as Farmville (leaving aside the, ahem, merits of that particular insipid application) but I'm willing to imagine that's a matter of time.

IOW, I think there's a bit of confusion about where HTML5 is going to replace flash and where flash may remain (perhaps unfortunately) as the best solution.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447664)

A quick search net me: http://glacialflame.com/ [glacialflame.com]

It's a work in progress, but considering that HTML5 isn't standard or ubiquitous... I find it interesting that they've done so much in such time.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447744)

That's partly what Silverlight is for, though

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448196)

That's partly what Silverlight is for, though

Silverlight has all of the same drawbacks of Flash in addition to not being supported by as many platforms. There is basically no reason for anyone to use it unless by doing so they can get Microsoft to give then a bag of money, and even then you have to seriously weigh the cash against losing the ever-growing number of non-Windows customers.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447834)

I have often wondered if packaging movies what a major profit center for Flash, and this is why there is so much competition for alternative movie encapsulation schemes. For instance, Silverlight provides similar functionality but encapsulating movies for Netflix seems to be it's claim to fame.

About the only other advantage that Flash has is that most browser will run Flash content without explicit permissions, and the Flash setting do not allow the opportunity for the user to hold Flash content until wanted. Of course, most browsers have Flash Block as a plugin, and sliverlight does not have such a plugin, so this may mean that Silverlight will win that part, that is the ad part, of the market in the coming year.

So here is my question. Without movies, without ads, is there actually enough of a market for Flash to support development? And outside of these markets, are there actually a large number of applications that genuinely could not be done using open standards and non proprietary tools. That is, as much as some would like to say that Flash is not about movie DRM and ads, is such an assertion really true.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448244)

Of course, most browsers have Flash Block as a plugin, and sliverlight does not have such a plugin, so this may mean that Silverlight will win that part, that is the ad part, of the market in the coming year.

That seems highly unlikely. The lack of an equivalent to Flash Block is due to the unpopularity of Silverlight. If ads are delivered using Silverlight then the large plurality if not majority of people who don't have Silverlight installed won't see the ads, which defeats the purpose.

Moreover, even assuming a sufficient critical mass of people eventually install Silverlight that advertisers will be willing to ignore users without it, it will take about thirty six seconds after advertisers start using it for ads before someone releases Silverlight Block for all major web browsers.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448322)

Without movies, without ads, is there actually enough of a market for Flash to support development? And outside of these markets, are there actually a large number of applications that genuinely could not be done using open standards and non proprietary tools.

What technology other than Flash do you recommend for producing something like Homestar Runner, Weebl and Bob, or most of the tons and games on Newgrounds?

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447876)

I and many others have already posted up techniques and demos showing how to do music/sound mixing, async input, scrolling graphics and many other things in HTML5. (Though there are a few extra features that would be nice, like allowing sound mixing directly in AUDIO elements without needing to make a javascript class to manage them)

It's as capable as flash, easily, the current downside is there is no editor that's as "easy" for non-coders to use as Adobe's flash suite.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447912)

Certainly no one has demoed anything nearly as sophisticated as Farmville (leaving aside the, ahem, merits of that particular insipid application) but I'm willing to imagine that's a matter of time.

You serious? There are plenty of HTML5 games and applications much better than Farmville. Farmville of all things! At least use decent flash games.

There is even an RTS done in Canvas that was posted on here a while back i'm sure. (somewhere at least, anyone remember the name?)
WebGL-enabled games for Canvas, Quake(2 at that) was ported to that. That instantly beats any and every Flash game there is, period.
Quake 2 WebGL on google code [google.com]

The converter was probably gimped on purpose so people stick with Flash.
Most of the stuff can be converted directly from ActionScript to JavaScript. Some other in-built stuff will need to be added by them if they want to make any sort of decent conversion tool. (which they have done to some extent if i read over it correctly by converting some functionality in to CSS3 transforms and stuff like that?)
Hell, they might as well just get in touch with JQuery people and ask permission to embed JQuery in to the tool to make it less of a hassle to convert stuff over since JavaScript is, sadly, missing a bunch of useful functions.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448162)

You know, Flash has been used to interpret binaries and run those, and its ability to be programmed in C++ allowed for good ports of, for example, Quake. Admittedly, not Quake II.

However, the next version of Flash Player (11) will have native speed of video on all platforms, and include OpenGL/Direct3D

How does the javascript/HTML5 deal with protecting content and code, other than by obfuscating?

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448282)

The converter was probably gimped on purpose so people stick with Flash.

Maybe, but I don't really see the point of that. They probably just haven't spent enough time polishing it yet.

Adobe wants to promote Flash so that people will buy Flash Creator. But the output format is irrelevant to them. If people want HTML5, it's in their interest to make Creator output HTML5 -- because all they care is that people are buying Creator.

Re:HTML5 for Video versus HTML5 for interactivity (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448704)

The converter was probably gimped on purpose so people stick with Flash.

I doubt that. It doesn't really make sense. If I'm given a tool that outputs crappy HTML5, I already know I have the option of writing HTML5 by hand. Why would I create content in Flash, then export it to crappy HTML5, instead of just implementing the same content in HTML5 myself (if HTML5 is what I want)?

Most of the stuff can be converted directly from ActionScript to JavaScript.

Not really. Or at least, it's not necessarily easy to do. ActionScript and JavaScript are different enough now that it's not a one-to-one translation. Adobe may manage it in the future, but there's probably not too much incentive, given that Adobe really still wants people to use Flash. I wouldn't call that "gimping the tool on purpose," though; it would be a significant investment to achieve what you're suggesting.

Hell, they might as well just get in touch with JQuery people and ask permission to embed JQuery in to the tool to make it less of a hassle to convert stuff over since JavaScript is, sadly, missing a bunch of useful functions.

If you read TFA, you'll see that's what they do. Every time you run the tool on an FLA file, it drops a copy of the jQuery library into the output directory. And they didn't even have to pick up the phone to do this, because jQuery can be licensed under the MIT license, which is commercially-permissive and allows re-use even within proprietary software.

Went to TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447554)

More like Neil McAlien-looking dude, fer cripes sake.

His column should be called Natal Exception.

Interactivity with jQuery? (1)

Kaz Kylheku (1484) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447644)

I thought jQuery was for distributing operations over the DOM using a CSS-like element selection syntax.

Maybe they mean "interactivity with Javascript" (which is made easier to program with utilities like jQuery).

Re:Interactivity with jQuery? (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35447764)

I thought jQuery was for distributing operations over the DOM using a CSS-like element selection syntax.

it's not. it's a JavaScript Library that simplifies HTML document traversing, event handling, animating, and Ajax interactions.

Hmm wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35447988)

"many Flash features are not supported". Gee, I guess the iPhone will never have "full" web support then.

The author missed the point entirely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448000)

This article made me cringe. McAllister apparently thinks that Wallaby is a new development (it's several months old, in fact) that magically converts basic interactive Flash content to player-independent stuff (Adobe said that it was for non-interactive content several months ago).

Wallaby is a tool for animators to take existing Flash Professional assets and create web assets that don't rely on the player. This adds value to Flash Professional as an asset creation tool. That's it. That's all. Wallaby's not trying to port Flash content, otherwise it'd accept SWF files as input.

What McAllister should have focused on was that Adobe will create tooling that extends the relevance of their existing products as interest shifts from one technology to another.

Re:The author missed the point entirely (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448208)

McAllister apparently thinks that Wallaby is a new development (it's several months old, in fact)

Only as a demo at Adobe events. Adobe only made the preview available for download this week.

(Adobe said that it was for non-interactive content several months ago).

Really? Strange that Adobe would spend so much time documenting interactivity in Wallaby content [macromedia.com] . (Warning: PDF.)

Wallaby's not trying to port Flash content, otherwise it'd accept SWF files as input.

I presume the main reasons it accepts FLA files only are because A.) they're easier to convert, and B.) SWF is a deployment format, and Adobe is not interested in creating a tool that would allow end users to "steal" content from other people's SWF files; you need access to the original FLA project.

What McAllister should have focused on was that Adobe will create tooling that extends the relevance of their existing products as interest shifts from one technology to another.

I believe if you read the article you'll find that was my conclusion.

Re:The author missed the point entirely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448658)

I'm prepared to nitpick.

> Adobe only made the preview available for download this week.

I'm referring to the tone used in McAllister's second paragraph. He treats this beta release as if it was the first announcement of the technology. There's been a lot of dialogue about Wallaby before the author picked it up.

> Strange that Adobe would spend so much time documenting interactivity in Wallaby content

The steps they provide are for adding new interactivity to converted assets, and not for producing interactive content for HTML5 in Flash CS5.

> I presume the main reasons it accepts FLA files only are because A.) they're easier to convert, and B.) SWF is a deployment format...

CS5 FLA files are compressed directories whose structures are organized in an XML file. It is much easier to write an AIR app that processes assets in a CS5 FLA than it is to write any kind of app that parses a SWF's tags into JavaScript. This has nothing to do with preventing stealing.

We both read the article through and through, but I'm not convinced that you know what you're talking about. Wallaby is an asset converter that may prolong the usefulness of Flash Professional, if it's released; it really has nothing at all to do with the Flash Player. There is a need for web-ready assets that Adobe can serve with an existing product. That is the main point, which McAllister's article completely fails to address.

Re:The author missed the point entirely (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448848)

CS5 FLA files are compressed directories whose structures are organized in an XML file. It is much easier to write an AIR app that processes assets in a CS5 FLA than it is to write any kind of app that parses a SWF's tags into JavaScript.

That's kind of what I meant when I said "they're easier to convert." Sorry I wasn't more literal. As for "preventing stealing," I stand by what I said -- Adobe has no incentive to create a tool that allows third parties to strip assets out of published SWF files.

Wallaby is an asset converter that may prolong the usefulness of Flash Professional, if it's released; it really has nothing at all to do with the Flash Player. There is a need for web-ready assets that Adobe can serve with an existing product.

I must admit I'm pretty confused by this comment. Flash SWF files are "Web-ready assets"... except on platforms where there is no Flash Player. I really don't see how you can claim my article "completely fails to address" this, when it's the entire focus.

From TFA: "More important, content, both in print and online, has long been Adobe's bailiwick -- and as the Web continues to evolve, it's not about to be caught with its pants down. A tool like Wallaby can help ensure that Adobe Flash continues to coexist with emerging standards such as HTML5, while still offering additional functionality where HTML5 falls short."

Perhaps germaine to the conversation (2)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448032)

There is also an open source [github.com] Flash runtime called "Gordon" [metafilter.com] that reads the SWF and executes the animation and events in a <canvas> element.

HTML5 readiness as a Flash replacement (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448080)

Aside from all the unsupported features, what's interesting is the number of broken things that Adobe claims, at least, to be due to browser bugs. E.g.:

"There is a known Webkit issue with complex timeline animations that crashes all Webkit browsers. This seems to increase in frequency with complex animations and on slower devices."

"Prior [to 4.2] iOS versions have known masking issues with Wallaby generated HTML files."

"Zooming in and out can cause odd artifacts in the browser. This is a bug in the browser."

"Masked artwork sometimes displays a faint border around the masked area. This is a bug in the browser."

"[in Safari] A few known animation issues with 'static' content dropping."

also some of the things that they have supported, were implemented by browser-specific means:

"The only supported Webkit browsers at this time are Chrome and Safari on OSX, Windows, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod). Because Wallaby uses Webkit specific animation primitives, animation will not work and has not been tested on other browsers."

So, um... what about HTML5 as the purported Flash replacement, then, if a good chunk of functionality is simply not there or is browser-specific, and even of the stuff that is supposed to work, a lot does not in current browsers, because, apparently, no-one had actually tried it with the level of complexity common for Flash apps?

Re:HTML5 readiness as a Flash replacement (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448360)

What's your point? Flash is old ans HTML5 is young? Was it really necessary to write a 11 line post to make your point?

Re:HTML5 readiness as a Flash replacement (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 3 years ago | (#35449262)

Every time the issue of Flash vs HTML5 comes up on Slashdot, there is a slew of upmodded posts explaining how Flash is already not relevant and should be discovered, and how HTML5 can fully replace any legitimate use of Flash. I'm pointing out that this doesn't seem to be the case.

Re:HTML5 readiness as a Flash replacement (2)

olau (314197) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451284)

Every time the issue of Flash vs HTML5 comes up on Slashdot, there is a slew of upmodded posts explaining how Flash is already not relevant and should be discovered, and how HTML5 can fully replace any legitimate use of Flash. I'm pointing out that this doesn't seem to be the case.

I think it's optimism mostly. A lot of people hate Flash for various reasons, many of them perhaps having to do with its perceived lack of stability, at least on Linux. So naturally people are just waiting for the moment where they can drop Flash without missing out. I'm in that category. :)

But I'm totally with you on readiness - I made an animation example last year, and the conclusion then was that you can't have big images moving in HTML without occasional flickering in any of the browsers I tried, and that included IE, Opera, Safari, Chrome and Firefox (some tested both on Linux and in Windows).

It's a good thing that Adobe has started the process, because it can push the browser developers to actually fix the issues.

And just as I was thinking... (1)

Ian-K (154151) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448418)

...that we would eventually get rid of all those annoying Flash ads.

I mean... have you really seen Flash being used for anything else but ads? Really. Especially those annoying ones that make all sorts of noises until you click them. The good uses of Flash I've seen are very very limited. As a developer there was even a time I was very keen on learning Flex myself. But in the end I'm very thankful Apple chose NOT to support it on their mobile devices.

I'd hate to see those ad-creators have a nice tool in their hands so as to bring their lil annoyances to yet one more set of screens.

Re:And just as I was thinking... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#35448888)

It shouldn't be that hard to adapt Flashblock and the like to stop the canvas tag.

And I expect browsers will quickly offer basic audio defaults so that pages don't blare audio the second they are loaded.

Re:And just as I was thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452398)

AdBlock Plus can already block the canvas element with its element hiding rules.

Re:And just as I was thinking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35449736)

> I mean... have you really seen Flash being used for anything else but ads? Really.

Games? Have you heard of games?

Why jQuery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35448862)

Why jQuery? Why couldn't Wallaby convert, for instance, to SVG? Elements woulds still be clickable, interactive, etc.

As long as it works for converting menus, etc (1)

Mythrix (779875) | more than 3 years ago | (#35451478)

For the stupid sites which make their website navigation menu buttons using Flash, this should be obligatory! Surely Flash menu buttons can't be too difficult to convert.

BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35452040)

Adobe's experimental tool

"Gee, I wonder if Adobe has even near finished making this tool... Oh well, I'll just treat it as if it were a production ready release."

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