It seems that Adobe hasn’t been appreciating the treatment it’s been getting in the media lately, which some particularly critical responses spurred by news that Apple’s iPad wouldn’t boast Flash compatibility.
Indeed, so negative has the response been that Adobe’s own chief technology officer, Kevin Lynch penning a blog, now posted to Adobe’s Featured Blogs, extolling the virtues of Flash and, without ever damning HTML5, subtly indicating that he feels it’s nowhere near as widely applicable as Flash when it comes to dishing up content. Indeed, Lynch is fairly forward, making the Apple connection himself early in the blog post when he says,
“Some have been surprised at the lack of inclusion of Flash Player on a recent magical device.
Ironically, Flash was originally designed for pen computing tablets, about 15 years before that market was ready to take off. Flash exists now only due to its finding an alternate route in its use – first filling a niche on the Web by enabling low-bandwidth vector graphics in the early days and then rapidy adding new capabilities over the last decade.”
Indeed, it’s very much a history of Flash and how the platform has grown into something that, for many, augments HTML, until it gets into the nitty gritty of what Flash will need to do if it is to keep up with a world that’s rapidly getting itself into mobile web in a big way, necessitating the development of Flash players for multiple different platforms running multiple versions of different mobile operating systems.
Lynch continues to say that,
“Adobe supports HTML and its evolution and we look forward to adding more capabilities to our software around HTML as it evolves. If HTML could reliably do everything Flash does that would certainly save us a lot of effort, but that does not appear to be coming to pass. Even in the case of video, where Flash is enabling over 75% of video on the Web today, the coming HTML video implementations cannot agree on a common format across browsers, so users and content creators would be thrown back to the dark ages of video on the Web with incompatibility issues.”
It’s looking like this could well be a long year for Adobe. While it might be serving up 75% of the video on the web, YouTube has already moved to offer HTML5, so clearly there’s a market there, regardless of whether or not it’ll throw us into the dark ages of video on the web.
Still with any luck Flash on mobile devices will really take off for them and it’ll all work out.