Thursday, 9 February 2012

Flash is Dead, Long live AIR

Gravestone Generator

If you're on my blog, you probably belong to the group of us who appreciate Flash as a rapid development platform that just works, if you understand what you're doing.

If you're a Flash hater, you will no doubt have been delighted to read Adobe's latest press release, with yet more troll fodder.

So, where does that leave Flash actually? It will no longer be attractive for advertisers, as they want maximum reach, which will leave it to game developers, and serious application developers. Perfect.
Drop the ads you don't like in Flash, download the apps and games you do like as AIR (though you'll never even know what language they're written in, right?)

What about advertising? We all love free content, but how will websites pay the bills?
Here's a message to all the Flash haters, which I admit is a large, or at least very vocal group:

Prepare to become HTML5 haters.

Advertising pays for content creation, advertisers compete for your attention. Everything you hated in Flash will now be created in HTML5, and here's the rub, you won't be able to turn it off any more. You won't be able to disable or remove the plugin (not many flash haters actually do remove the plugin, strangely. Make your own conclusions).

As for flash developers, should we drop flash and become "interactive developers" as some Flash evangelists would have you believe? Considering the new firepower Flash 11 has got, it's never been a better time for actually making flash apps and games. The distribution model is changing, and definitely if you are a banner ad designer you should be jumping ship. For those of us that develop applications, Objective C or Java would make sense, to keep with the times and go mobile. But wait, why not just use AIR?
At this moment AIR with hardware acceleration hasn't been released, and despite all my efforts I haven't found even as much as a target launch date. But it is in closed Beta, and Adobe are showing it off  so why not stick it out, the last 10 years might not have been a complete waist of time after all...