Adobe Flash "killed" by free HTML5 tool, Edge

Adobe Edge logo
By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - August 1, 2011.

[Updated with more reactions]

Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) seems to be taking the next step to replace Flash, by releasing a free preview of its new open-standards animation designer. Known as Adobe Edge, the tool uses HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to allow developers to do the same things as they can in Flash. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers foresee a future Flash-free fantasy.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: How many things are wrong with this Photoshop disaster?..

Joab Jackson reports:

Traditionally, designers have used Adobe add snazzy animated and interactive content to pages [e.g.] splash screen pages...videos or...advertisements. ... Over the past few years however...standards bodies have developed a handful of specifications that can be used to make similar rich content...such as HTML5, Canvas tags, JavaScript and CSS...eliminating the need for...Flash player.


[Edge] uses HTML5, CSS and Javascript to insert animated web content directly onto an HTML page. ...Edge permits a developer to change the attributes of an image or an HTML element over a preset length of time. ... The preview edition is available as a free download. Adobe expects to release the final commercial version sometime in 2012...for both Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computers.   

   Cade Metz addz:

...Edge is part of Adobe's ongoing effort to reposition itself [as] Apple has banned Flash from its mobile devices and even Microsoft has put its weight behind...web standards. ...Adobe has begun contributing to the WebKit project as well as the jQuery...JavaScript libraries, and...this is the sort of work that would have gone into the proprietary Flash platform in years past.


...[N]ow it is releasing an HTML animation tool to the public much earlier in the development process than it normally would. The Edge "public preview is available from the Adobe Labs site." ... The preview...will be regularly updated...and it will remain free.   

But Lawrence Latif is disappointed at Adobe's equivocation:

The impending arrival of HTML5 and CSS3 has led many to believe...Adobe's Flash was [dying], however Adobe hopes that by...allow[ing] developers to develop using HTML5 and CSS3, it will save some of the lost revenue should Flash bite the dust.


John Cole, creative solutions architect at Adobe said the firm expected "Flash and HTML5 to co-exist in the long term." ... Cole was not willing to commit further than a 1.0 release...but added "HTML5 is going to be big".


...[C]ustomers need to establish their workflows around particular products. ... [It] doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence...making a half hearted attempt at embracing open standards while trying to keep its Flash software relevant.   

  Meanwhile, Harry McCracken is more pragmatic:

How far will Adobe take Edge? ...[T]he company sounds like it’s being serious and ambitious and doesn’t intend to dumb Edge down to prop up Flash. It says...that HTML5 will be capable of doing most of the things that Flash does today. (Of course, [that's] contingent on browser makers and other interested parties...supporting them in a more or less consistent fashion.)


Some software company is going to come up with the definitive HTML5 authoring package. If Adobe doesn’t pour its heart into [that], it’s opening up a huge opportunity for some other outfit. Even if Flash doesn’t fade away as quickly as some folks expect (and...hope) that it will.   

  David Conrad asks, "What does this mean for Flash?":

It has a timeline-based interface which draws on interface elements from other Adobe tools such as...Flash Professional.


...[G]iven that Apple banned Flash from its mobile devices...and Microsoft is so aggressively adopting...web standards the longer term future for Flash seems uncertain. ...Adobe's move to provide an alternative toolset for its developers seems to be a sensible one.   

  And Kit Eaton goes further:

...[Steve] Jobs is actually winning his battle...much web video has already been switched from Adobe's proprietary and troubled Flash system to HTML5.


Edge is strong evidence that Jobs was right...Adobe has had to release something like Edge so it doesn't get left behind. ...Adobe does stress it's currently meant to be a "lightweight...tool" that complements Adobe's existing web tools. ... But remember, Flash wasn't fully-featured at had more features added over time. ... Adobe in a sense had to launch Edge, to keep a presence in the web design and development game even as the web evolves around it.


Other companies have tried to do this already...but Adobe's tool is most likely to be the definitive one.   

And Finally...
How many things are wrong with this Photoshop disaster?

Photoshop disaster

[Click to see the full image at]       
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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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