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Flash vs. HTML5: The last stand

Paul Krill | Sept. 16, 2016
'Occupy HTML5' movement shows Flash still has ardent support, but the web tool's best days are over

Moreover, instances where Flash could be seen as more flexible than HTML5 have diminished. Even where HTML5 lags, there are benefits in running behind.

For example, while Flash grants default access to capabilities such as the camera and file system, HTML5 requires specific permissions, Drost says. This could either been seen as a feature gap for HTML5 or as a security hole for Flash, which HTML5 closes, Drost notes.

Also, Flash until recently has offered more support for digital rights management than HTML5, but this has mostly been solved except in legacy browsers, he adds.

Flash tooling still superior

Although Flash may be in decline, it will not be going away soon. Though a detractor, Drost still sees Flash hanging around for some time. For one, Flash offers a much better authoring environment, with Adobe’s Animate CC, than anything developed in the HTML5 world, he says.

“There’s no parallel in HTML5. So perhaps the legacy of Flash will live on and Flash the authoring environment still today can export HTML5,” he says.

Adobe, for its part, has embraced HTML5. The company renamed its Flash Professional tool Animate CC and designated it as a tool for developing HTML5 content while continuing to support development of Flash content.

“While standards like HTML5 will be the Web platform of the future across all devices, Flash continues to be used in key categories like Web gaming and premium video, where new standards have yet to fully mature,” the company said late last year.

Adobe as far back as 2010 offered its own HTML5 video player widget, based on the Kaltura open source library.


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