Appropriate Uses for Flash

I am currently preparing for my session at FITC San Francisco where I will talk about all of the change that is currently happening in our industry. When I say industry I am not talking solely about Flash, but rather web development as a whole. The mobile explosion is providing us with lots of exciting new opportunities, but at the same time it is making things a whole lot more complicated. Moving forward, the mark of a true web professional will be knowing when it is appropriate to employ the power of Flash and when a different technology might be more appropriate. This means you will need to start educating yourself on these alternative technologies if you are not already doing so.

In reality, the situations where using Flash is appropriate have not changed all that much. What has changed is that we can no longer get away with misusing Flash anymore. I’m sure lots of us, myself included, have been guilty of that over the years. When people do this it actually hurts Flash as a technology and makes it much harder for us to convince people about its real benefits.

Flash has always been there to allow you to go beyond the functionality that the browser enables and this will continue to be the case. Video is a great example of this. Once all browsers can support HTML5 video it makes perfect sense for simple video playback to done outside of Flash. But if you want more advanced video features then you will choose Flash. On that note, we are working on some video stuff right now that will blow your mind. More details on that soon.

So why am I saying all this? Well I am planning on providing some tutorials and blog posts that focus on situations where using Flash might be a mistake. For instance, I am planning a tutorial showing how to do a basic photo slideshow using jQuery. Two photos fading into one another is a good example of where using Flash would be overkill. You will be much more successful in your career if you are someone who simply uses the best tool for the job. It’s really that simple. Sometimes that tool will be Flash and sometimes not.

If you want to hear more come to FITC San Francisco as it has the best lineup of speakers I have ever seen at one event. FITC is generously providing readers of this blog with a special $200 discount. Just use the discount code theflashblog when registering.

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