October 28, 2010
Adobe demos Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool
Where there’s pain, there’s opportunity.
Pre-Adobe, I made my living building rich, Flash-intensive sites for Gucci, Coca-Cola, Nike, and other big brands. Doing that job today, I’d be in a jam: How could I create rich experiences that run on desktops (where Flash is the obvious, consistent (cross-browser/-platform) choice) and on iOS devices where Flash isn’t allowed? I’d have to create two versions of a everything–one Flash, and one HTML5*. Good luck getting clients to double their budgets, though, and yet they don’t want richness cut in half.
So, the opportunity: Cut the cost of targeting multiple runtimes & we’ll deliver real wins: more richness for clients, and a competitive advantage for customers.
Check out what engineer Rik Cabanier showed (just a tech demo, no promises, etc.) during MAX sneak peeks Tuesday night:
[You can skip the last minute--unless you happen to want to glimpse William Shatner watching the demo.]
Are you surprised? Don’t be. As I’ve written many times, Adobe lives or dies by its ability to help customers solve real problems. That means putting pragmatism ahead of ideology.
Flash is great for a lot of things, and this week’s demos showed it’s only improving. It’s not the only game in town, however, and Adobe makes its money selling tools, not giving away players. Let’s help people target whatever media** they need, as efficiently as possible.
* Someone will probably start quibbling with the use of “HTML5″ as a stand-in for SVG, CSS3, Canvas, etc. I know, I know. I use the umbrella term in the loose, commonly understood sense: “Flash stuff without Flash.”
** Historical fun fact: Flash Professional used to export Java, as that was the relevant runtime of the day. Tools evolve to meet viewer demands.
Final footnote/disclaimer: I don’t work in the Flash group, so all this just represents my take on what’s possible. Your feedback is of course most welcome.