Adobe authoring for “HTML5”

Jeffrey Zeldman, today: “Adobe has a brief but golden opportunity to create the tools with which rich HTML5 content is created. Let’s see if they figure that out.”

Best resources:

  • Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, June 2009, when asked whether Adobe Creative Suite will support “HTML5” features, replied that Adobe is “clearly supportive in terms of making sure as HTML 5 is evolving that we will support it in our web authoring tools”.
  • Update: Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch, on Feb 2: “Adobe supports HTML and its evolution and we look forward to adding more capabilities to our software around HTML as it evolves.” (However: “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.”)
  • Adobe Creative Suite already produces FXG:

    “FXG 2.0 describes an XML-based graphics interchange format for the Flash Platform. FXG contains high-level graphical and text primitives that can be used to create, group, transform and visually modify basic vector and bitmap shapes. The FXG rendering model follows very closely the Flash Player 10 rendering model and exposes all graphics capabilities of the Flash platform as well as offering expandable support to accommodate future capabilities of the Flash Player. The specification below dives into the technical details governing every element of FXG 2.0….”

    More on potential applications from John NackMark Anders has background on the application goals… AdobeTV has tons of perspective and tutorials. Kevin Suttle described a smoke demo of potential tool integration, but even today you can use FXG for CANVAS and SVG. It’s a mystery why this has been ignored.

  • The best resource is likely… Creative Suite 4! Every tool already produces HTML’s various files. Even has VIDEO support, at least of the H.264 persuasion. You know down deep that Adobe tooling is already a key component in HTML workflows, and there’s no reason by this point for that to change. Your challenge is more to clearly identify what specific changes you need in your own overall work… that’s easier for us to target than just a broad “create the tools with which rich HTML5 content is created”.

Future versions of Adobe Creative Suite? It’s a big software effort, often on a two-year cycle. I know they’re adding “HTML5” features for the next big release, but we don’t yet even know the runtime engines which will render those new HTML tags — it’s hard to get extensive. As John Nack said the other day, “Adobe makes nearly all its money selling authoring tools that target great runtimes.” Tooling needs to follow implementations… once consumers possess a capability, then content creators can begin to rely upon it. It’d be hard to satisfy all expectations at this point.

Ditching SWF and turning the Flash Professional authoring tool into HTML? Why? What would you do for a movie clip? The application and its interface are already designed against a set of capabilities… you’d have to yank features out and retool the UI after suddenly changing the foundation. A rousing slogan, but think it through.

A short and sad final note, after reading tons of debate the past few days: When you say other things shouldn’t exist — when you seek to kill others, rather than discover what you yourself can be — the rest of us have problems finding ways to tolerate your intolerance. Please, let yourself open up.