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Flash Player Is Not Open = Big Fat Lie; HTML5 Is the Savior

Flash Player is open and SWF is documented

Flash Player is open and SWF is documented
The core of Flash Player is the Tamarin Virtual Machine, which is an open source project under Mozilla. While the SWF file format is not fully open, it is documented by the community on osflash.org. Additionally, there are numerous open source products that read and write SWF files.

The Flash Player’s product direction has traditionally been heavily influenced by the community and their needs. The core language for Flash Player is an implementation of ECMAScript 262, which is the same specification for JavaScript. Flex also uses CSS for styling of components/applications.

Come save us HTML5 in 2022 AD
HTML5 has been in the works since 2004 and is still in “draft”. Its primary intent is to reduce the need for proprietary plug-ins (like Flash Player and Silverlight).

I can definitely see the benefit of not relying on a plug-in for multiple reasons. There is a concern if users will have the plug-in, but the bigger concern is vendor dependence. I think Adobe has the install base issue covered fairly well, yet it should still be a concern for locked down environments. To the bigger concern, I’d say that we already depend on companies like Apple and Microsoft quite heavily and that Adobe is far from a fledgling startup that would be considered very risky. Naturally, I understand to the concern and will help my clients choose the appropriate technology.

The reality is that HTML5 is not coming anytime soon
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, claims that “the world is moving to HTML5″. How is that going to happen Steve when Ian Hickson, editor of the HTML5 specification, expects the specification to reach the W3C Candidate Recommendation stage during 2012, and W3C Recommendation in the year 2022 or later?[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML5]

Should we hold off development for a few years while Google (Ian works at Google) finishes the specifications?

Finally, how many different implementations of HTML5 do you think there will be?. There will most likely still be cross browser compatibility issues to deal with.

Flash Player and Silverlight
I’ll stick with vendor dependence that I can use now over incomplete technology with potential compatibility nightmares any day!

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Rob Rusher is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE), Community Expert, and Certified Instructor (ACI). In his role as Principle Consultant for On3, he leads an Adobe software enablement practice to help his clients build rich Internet applications and to rapidly increase their knowledge and skills to better support their organization's goals. He has taught and mentored the technical teams at Standard and Poor’s, eBay, IBM Global Services, the Social Security Administration, and other Government and Fortune 100 organizations.

Because of his depth of knowledge and long standing relationship with Adobe, Rob was selected to write the Certified AIR training course as well as the ColdFusion and Flex certification exams. Rob has also co-authored four best selling books on building secure, cutting-edge and rapidly developed applications using Adobe AIR, ColdFusion and Flex. He is also very active is organizing and speaking at Adobe conferences and user groups. In addition to growing his software consulting practice, On3, Rob has been building expertise in rich client application development on a wider variety of devices and platforms that extend the applications to change the way we all create and live.

On3 provides consulting, mentoring and training services to help organizations grow their own experts from within. For more information, visit us at www.On3solutions.com. Rob Rusher maintains a weblog devoted to Adobe Flex and other Internet technologies at www.RobRusher.com.