October 27, 2010

Eye-roll o’ the day

In response to Adobe demoing a new HTML5 authoring/animation tool, I’ve seen a few comments like this:

“Adobe could have been pioneering this about 6 years ago, but better late than never!”

Here’s the thing, guys: I came to Adobe ten years ago specifically to build a Web-standards-based animation tool, LiveMotion, because we were told that ubiquitous browser support for SVG & more was right around the corner.  And even before that, Macromedia and Adobe had both deployed timelines (in Dreamweaver and GoLive) for animating with JavaScript, DHTML, SMIL, etc.  Point is, some of us have been working for a long time to make things better, and it’s nice to see browsers* making such efforts more viable.

So, please excuse me if I get a little peevish in response to some of the righteous finger-wagging.  Thanks for your understanding.

*By the way, speaking of finger-wagging, Adobe isn’t just waiting for browsers to get better. More on that in a bit.

Posted by John Nack at 3:19 PM on October 27, 2010

Comments

  • Julian Kussman — 3:57 PM on October 27, 2010

    Hay! I’m famous!

    I think people just get nostalgic for when they were young and still learning. Every new thing you found out Adobe had a product for amazed you no matter its limitations. Once you ‘catch up’ and you’re up to date with all the latest features in the newest CS, it’s harder to be amazed.

    The main point of my tweet was that because Adobe couldn’t get anywhere with the browsers standardizing 10 years ago, it went heavy into Flash because it was something it could control.

    [If by “control” you mean “actually make progress with,” then yeah. Customers couldn’t just wait forever for the browsers to get it in gear. –J.]

    But a lot of effort also went into working with browser manufactures to get Flash to do each new whizbang thing it did at the time.

    Obv. I wasn’t in on the decade-old dealings but it seems if Adobe could have dug in ($$$) harder, everything we have now (jQuery, fast JS, CSS3) could have come a little earlier and who knows where we’d be by now.

    • imajez — 4:55 PM on October 27, 2010

      The way I looked at Flash was that is gave the designer control, not Adobe and stopped your work being bodged around by half baked browsers. Designing for the web using HTML and having crappy browsers rendering your work vaguely and inconsistently is rather frustrating and if you liked Typography, it was like sandpapering your eyeballs. And I doubt HTML5 will make the browsers any more consistent.

      • J. Jeffryes — 8:57 PM on October 27, 2010

        No one would be complaining about Flash if it hadn’t become a buggy, processor devouring beast. I’d much rather the energy put into things like 3D be focused on improving the IDE to prevent rampant bad AS and making it run more efficiently.

        And while I totally understand why Adobe went to Flash back when standards were almost non-existent, it would have been nice if they’d gotten on board the HTML5 band wagon several years ago, instead of dragging their feet and clinging to Flash when it was clear the world was moving in a different direction.

        For what it’s worth, I say this as someone that’s been a Flash designer/developer since Flash 3. I still use Flash, but less and less as jQuery and HTML increasingly take its place, both things I don’t need Adobe tools to use.

  • Terri Stone — 4:09 PM on October 27, 2010

    It’s unfortunate that anonymous commenters aren’t made to walk a mile in your shoes before they snark. I appreciate what smart, creative people like you contribute, and I know many others appreciate it as well.

    [Cheers, Terri–very kind of you. –J.]

  • mkbatman — 4:27 PM on October 27, 2010

    when I am able to produce a solution that crosses all browsers without a plugin, I will believe it. And lets not forget devices, AdobeMax has been demoing some AMAZING stuff, I just wish everyone one else would wake up, smell the flowers and get on board. I just have visions of the nightmare that DHTML was. Positive thinking, thats what we need. That and some serious working groups in the standards sector. you can do it !

  • Jonathan Knorr — 4:45 PM on October 27, 2010

    I will say that I am quite excited about the HTML5 authoring tools and a willingness by Adobe to continue to pioneer and play ball at any cost. Not that there is a choice if you want to be relevant, but I think that Adobe has showed a willingness to pull their pants down to make their supporters happy… and we have all been there. HTML5 is valid, as much so as Flash (which has pushed the internet forward and is now being victimized). I am sure it is frustrating to be a company innovating in the creative and dev space for such a time to then take on criticism at least partially because “Apple said so”. I am friends with Julian, and I can say that I have never seen a more devoted Adobe/Apple head + this year may be the first MAJOR time when Adobe/Apple tiffed in public. I am sure it was very hard for him to say anything bad about Adobe, so take that for what it is ;) Keep up the good work!

  • imajez — 4:49 PM on October 27, 2010

    Please tell me you’re finally joining forces with Opera, so the browser the others steal all their ideas from and implement rather poorly will finally get some kudos and for once some decent marketing.

    I also find it odd that Opera gets dismissed because of low market share – which was on a par with that little known computer company Apple with regard to market share worldwide.

  • Alton Marsh — 5:47 PM on October 27, 2010

    Worry not, John. Web pundits have opinions because they don’t have facts. Opinions aren’t as much work, and provide satisfaction faster, like eating a candy bar and skipping cooking a meal. And to the snark warrior, no, a shallow insult isn’t the basis for fame.

  • Richard Earney — 11:38 PM on October 27, 2010

    For a lot of the commenters here it seems that the term HTML5 is a code equivalent of Flash or animations. It isn’t. It is a more realistinc HTML.
    CSS3 is the bit with animations, drop shadows, border-radius etc etc.

  • John C. Welch — 4:55 AM on October 28, 2010

    Are you surprised that this fauxtroversy has taken a life of it’s own?

    Adobe, gobs of pundits on both sides, along with Google to a slightly lesser extent, and Apple to a far lesser extent has made sure to keep the OMGFLASHvHTML5 war as pumped up as possible, all the while bemoaning the war. “We hate all the bad feelings even though FLASH/HTML5 IS THE ONLY TRUE WAY AND OTHERS ARE WRONG”. I mean, look at any site that shows actual, real deficiencies in either in an honest way: If you show problems with Flash, you get Dowdell in the comments blaming everything but flash. “Clearly you have been installing beta versions, or pre-release versions…”/”Well, you have to WAIT for the content to be REENCODED for mobiles. You can’t just expect to use existing content” If you point out problems in HTML5, you get their versions of Dowdell saying almost the same kind of thing: “CLEARLY your code is suboptimal/you aren’t using a good server/you’re too stupid to browse a page right/blah”

    The best part of course, is that you can take any statement from either side, do HTML5/Flash word swaps, and the statement is just as coherent, only opposite in meaning.

    I was glad that for the most part, all of Adobe’s hot air on the subject came from the board room and the Flash team evangelists, and that the rest of the teams seemed to shrug and keep doing good work. It was nice to see that there are still adults at Adobe who are smart enough to not get caught up in pissing contests.

    But if you’re going to get angry at stupidity on the internet…hey, I know a fine podcast you can guest on, it’s built around being angry at the stupidity on the internet, and it never, ever, ever runs short of material :-P

  • Michael Wypasek — 5:30 AM on October 28, 2010

    I couldn’t help but notice that you mention LiveMotion. I can still get it to run to a limited degree on my Mac under Leopard, and when I can use that instead of Flash, I much prefer it. And when I was watching the video I thought “gee that seems a bit like a modernized LiveMotion interface.”

    Interesting to see your dreams from 10 years ago slowly coming to fruition John?

    [Hey, whatever it takes. Flash Pro implements features we did 10 years ago and people cheer. Same goes for Photoshop finally doing things that Fireworks pioneered a decade earlier. It’s all about getting features to people in the context, and at the time, they’re willing and able to accept them. –J.]

  • KC — 7:36 AM on October 28, 2010

    I loved using LiveMotion. It was so much more Adobe-like and intuitive. Too bad the dumbf***s decided to go with Flash.

    “Adobe-like” and “intuitive” are the last words anyone would use to describe using Flash…

    • Paul Sydney — 2:48 PM on October 28, 2010

      Same here, I loved LiveMotion, and to be honest GoLive, it was so simple. Sniff good times, sniff.

      Now while we are going down memory lane… I miss Dimensions!

  • Jay Myers — 7:25 AM on October 29, 2010

    *** By the way, speaking of finger-wagging, Adobe isn’t just waiting for browsers to get better. More on that in a bit. ***

    Please tell me Adobe’s not creating another browser?

    [No, just improving the existing ones. –J.]

    And that this comment was primarily directed at the new HTML 5 stuff you all are doing.

  • mankis — 4:05 AM on November 02, 2010

    I’am not going to use HTML5 until the browsers get better. My old flash web sites look same today as they did then, on every browser. I have seen some great HTML5 sites but they were completly viewable only on one browser (Google Chrome).

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