The Shift from Flash To HTML, CSS, And JavaScript – Is it Really that Important?

Use of Flash for building websites was a common practice during the 2000s. However, back in those days, browsers failed to support Flash which required visitors download the plugin. Browsers couldn’t go to SWF for reading content. This negatively affected SEO & accessibility of website.

iPhone was released in the year 2007. This high end phone failed to support Flash. By the year 2015, Google relocated YouTube videos to HTML5. Two years later, Adobe made an official announcement stating it will stop operating on Flash by the year 2020. The major reason behind Flash having emerged as popular software among people is its ability to do things JavaScript, CSS, and HTML failed at. Today, the web standards have evolved for good.

A lot that could be done only using Flash can be done today without the software. We can do a lot today that was previously only possible with Flash. Top freelance front end developers
have claimed that there are a number of revolutionary that can be now done without Flash.

Videos can be fixed at a specific position using CSS. It will also fill the screen. Media queries will set video at as ‘centered’ to ensure accurate aspect ratio.

Gaming and Interaction

One of the major things people liked about Flash is its incredible expertise at gaming and interaction. Founded in the year 2001, the renowned Miniclip website hosted a huge range of Flash operated games. Valued at around £900 million in the year 2008, the website is still going strong.

Just A Reflektor

This interactive music video site challenges and exceeds Flash capacities. Using a wide variety of web technologies, one can easily interact with video using preferred mobile device. Webcam can also be used to help user actually appear in the music video. This website effectively uses advanced web technologies for creating interactive music videos.

Cube Slam

This is one of the classic examples of amazing web-based Chrome experimentations online. The game uses open technology such as WebRTC allowing users video chat and play game in the browser. In earlier days, Flash was widely used for video chat. However, it had several drawbacks when compared to the technology WebRTC. It was dependent on Flash plugin and demanded a media server. It also posed several security problems and gave poor performance.

HTML5 Game Engines

These days, several JavaScript and HTML5 are available. WebGL (Web Graphics Library), an API developed in JavaScript allows for interactive graphics (both 2D and 3D) within the tag <canvas>.

Responsive Web Design

The major disadvantage of creating websites in Flash these days is absence of media queries. People are using tablets and mobile devices these days more than desktop. Hence, to be able to create brilliant user experience, it is important to develop a website which can be accessible easily on all modern devices. Flash may fail to load on most devices. In case, it manages to load, it will break width of viewport or scale to become unusable. Use of media queries such as with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML will make it easier to create responsive layouts.

ActionScript against JavaScript

The ActionScript is largely used for Flash. Hence, it poses similar drawback related to SWF files and necessitates Flash plugin. Alternatively, JavaScript is freely available in almost all of the contemporary browsers.

Collaboration

Collaboration is easier with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML, and several other languages for coding. Both Git and GitHub ensure easier collaboration. For instance, if you wish to edit HTML of “Author Template” of a magazine using GitHub, simply click on “Fork” button to create file versions (repository) under your own name. Thereafter, you can make any adjustments and submit pull request. So the magazine owner has the capability to evaluate your pull request. Thereafter, he can reject or accept it accordingly. If the owner accepts the same, code will move to main repository.

This technique is useful because it lets you take backup of your work. So it is easier to return to preceding versions of work and ensure easier collaboration. When team members finish working with their own respective sections of website (JavaScript or CSS), you may review changes and then pull them as required.

The same would be very tough in Flash. It is also very confusing. On the other hand, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript allow you to conduct “diff” on code so that you can compare and then review code. You can also choose specific code chunks or add comments to review further.

Summary

Flash was the backbone of building websites, a few years back. However, with official announcement made by Adobe for dropping Flash support has raised concerns. It may create havoc if many millions of Flash websites were lost. A shift to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is the best solution in hand at present.

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