November 22, 2010

So, what has Adobe actually done for HTML5 lately?

Oh, y’know, only little bits here and there. :-)  Here’s a quick recap from just the last ~6 months. I’ve bolded/italicized the bits I find most interesting.

Posted by John Nack at 9:34 AM on November 22, 2010


  • William Beem — 10:12 AM on November 22, 2010

    If it’s done, why do you keep bringing it up as a Flash/HTML5 issue?

    I didn’t even really think much about a “this vs. that” issue in this post until your final comments.

    [That’s great, then. Maybe I’m hallucinating/paranoid/whatever when reading ongoing pillorying of Flash in Mac publications, framing everything as “Adobe bad, everyone else good.” As I’ve said many times, it’s perfectly fine to criticize Flash. I just get sick of the zero-sum ideology.

    I stuck in that comment so that people wouldn’t misread this post as “Haw haw, Flahs got PWNED, Adobe surrenderz!” I wanted to make it clear that one thing doesn’t have to come at the expense of the other. Adobe will work on making the best possible tools that target multiple runtimes so that customers can mix/match tech as needed.

    By the way, John C. Welch should be stopping by any minute now to harangue me for “fanning the flames of a non-troversy” or words to that effect. Great; I would be delighted to be wrong, to learn that people really understand Adobe’s outlook and objectives, and that just a few strident voices are distorting the record. –J.]

  • CDELL — 10:13 AM on November 22, 2010

    Some of these are good,

    “Demonstrated technology for converting Flash graphics and animation to HTML5”

    This however is horrible, anyone who thinks that idea is worthwhile is a complete imbecile. Flash style animation is exactly what should be made in Flash, no one is saying it shouldn’t be.

    [Seriously? I mean, really? Really? –J.]

    We’re just saying video players and web apps should be HTML5, the sooner Adobe realises this and stops wasting time on the Application developer side of Flash and starts giving us some animation tools that actually WORK, the better.

  • Mark — 10:17 AM on November 22, 2010

    REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

    XERXES: Brought peace?

    REG: Oh. Peace? Shut up!

    Life of Brian

  • Mordy Golding — 10:39 AM on November 22, 2010

    I can give you a “Hoo Ha!” — will that work? :)

  • Philip Hutchison — 11:26 AM on November 22, 2010

    i’m a regular reader of your blog, and i’m happy to see that Adobe is doing great work with HTML5, but I’m also getting tired of the ‘us versus them’ discussion. i think most people don’t care, so long as whatever they’re using works. from what i see in the blogosphere and twitter, it’s really just a small percentage of fanatics on either side of the fence doing the shouting. my ears hurt.

  • Joel — 12:05 PM on November 22, 2010

    John, just a quick “Amen!” for you. I am too busy doing Flash animation and app work right now for anything more. I keep waiting for Flash to finally die like everyone keeps telling me it will, but my backlog keeps getting bigger and bigger, with Android apps being especially popular this holiday season.

    Seriously, what kind of masochist do you have to be to work with HTML5 for anything cross-browser and public facing right now? They don’t call that the bleeding edge for nothing…

  • Alan Hogan — 1:55 PM on November 22, 2010

    Hardly a canard, according to Hixie as of only 9 months ago:

    [By no means read the other side of the story. Just keep repeating what you want to be true. (I didn’t even mention Adobe’s efforts to help develop the standards, lest we get into a bunch of the WHATWG-related harangues.) –J.]

  • Rich Morey — 2:00 PM on November 22, 2010

    I’m glad for the HTML5 tools Adobe has developed — it would be nice though if they created similar add-ons / plug-ins for older versions of their products. I have the CS4 line, for example, and would love to have the ability to generate HTML5 from Illustrator but I’m not going to upgrade to CS5 just for that.

    [I hear you, but doing dev work costs money. –J.]

    • Rich Morey — 9:17 PM on November 27, 2010

      I understand (as a developer) that dev costs money – but it feels a little to me that Adobe is doing a disservice to some of its customers with the attitude of just developing add-on’s for the latest products. I work in a fairly large corporation and have to make a case for any software upgrades and we have typically skipped the “odd” versions (moved to CS2 from the last “non CS” versions of AI, PS and Flash, and then to CS4. Given the generally predictable 18 month product release cycle, Adobe can’t realistically expect that every customer is going to upgrade to the latest product version. And I don’t think it is unrealistic for end users to expect Adobe to “support” products (via patches, upgrades, add-ons) through more than one release cycle.

  • Eric — 11:28 PM on November 22, 2010

    Okay, great, now we have all these great tools. How about some books to show us how?

    Oh wait, you mean we have to learn something?

  • fjf — 11:31 PM on November 22, 2010

    Forget about HTML5. How about the dogs breakfast that constitutes Adobe Reader?
    I go to access a PDF from the web. The PDF reader in Firefox no longer functions. I am forced to update to X. To download X I have to download an Adobe DLM. Adobe wants me to also download a McFee “anti-virus solution.” Adobe cares not that I run a corporate approved AV solution. Adobe cares not that its forced download interferes with client communications. Adobe cares not that it DLM just cycles me back to the ame page after multiple reboots of FF, multiple downloads and uninstalls, reinstalls of the DLM. And when I go to download direct I get told I have a higher level product and therefore cannot download the download. And if I try and update using the Check for updates button in Acrobat pro, well, well, well there are no updates. So please someone relieve the web of the need to use Adobe reader or acrobat. We need a platform agnostice web standard that is not under the control of a single corporate entity that cares more for its own well being than its impact on its customers.
    And to add insult to injury, the TS page states to click on the Acrobat direct download link you get on the “Thank You” page once the download completes but there is no possible way to get to that page.

  • fjf — 11:33 PM on November 22, 2010

    And John, if you object to my commenting here, you let me know of some other way of getting in touch with the right folks. Appreciate your work. Wish the rest of Adobe functioned / operated in the manner you appear to attempt to implement.

  • Fred — 2:43 AM on November 23, 2010

    Dear Christ – stop being so passive aggressive!

    “By no means read the other side of the story”? “Keep repeating what you want to be true”? The guy just linked to a public article where the HTML5 maintainer publicly called out Adobe for holding things back – that’s ALL he did.

    [No, he was continuing to repeat outdated, unfair accusations, demonstrating either ignorance of the issues or an unwillingness to deal with them. –J.]

    Treating a commentator like that simply for linking to /someone else’s/ experience of Adobe’s HTML5 efforts is even more blatantly inflammatory than the actual content of your post.

    [It is HILARIOUS to me that my saying, “let’s stick a fork in the “Adobe doesn’t like/doesn’t support HTML5″ canard once and for all,” is “blatantly inflammatory.” *Hilarious.* Here’s what I hear: “Let us talk whatever ignorant, sanctimonious, counterproductive bullshit we want, and if you EVER dare try adding some balance to the conversation, we’ll scream ‘Stop being so inflammatory! Stop telling us things that contradict the narrative we’ve been given!!’ Just take it in the neck and SHUT UP!!” Now *that*, to me, is inflammatory. –J.]

    Not to mention the guy in the link is the guy dealing with Adobe’s HTML5 “standards work” so is in a far better position to have an opinion on the quality of that contribution than you are.

    [As are the others to whom I linked, but we have to ignore non-compliant voices, right? Sorry, but you picked the wrong guy to bully. –J.]

    • Matthew Fabb — 7:56 AM on November 23, 2010

      Fred, as in the link John provided, Shelley Powers from the HTML Working Group, who works on HTML5 and is not associated with Adobe in any way thought that Ian Hickson was way out of line. In the end he was just stirring up trouble because of politics between the HTML WG and W3C.

      Ian Hickson then later said he was mistaken about his initial accusation of Adobe:
      Yet people like Alan still bring up this point.

  • Leonard Rosenthol — 4:46 AM on November 23, 2010

    fjf – PDF has been an international standard (ISO 32000-1) since 2008. How much more of a “platform agnostice web standard that is not under the control of a single corporate entity” can you get??

    As for your problems with installing Reader X, you can opt out of the anti-virus when you choose to download the product. there is also a direct FTP-able installer as well.

  • Jeremy Chone — 9:28 AM on November 23, 2010

    Good recap of Adobe’s effort in HTML5. Looking for more, there are so much Adobe could do in HTML5 (and even HTML4), I feel and hope this is just the beginning. Here are some wishes for Adobe Photoshop:

    Jeremy Chone’s three HTML5 wishes for Adobe Photoshop:

    1) Easy way to make sprites for css. In short, we need another “slice” tool, that would not slice but allow to put images in a grid so that can it easy be reference in the .css. Right now, I use my own “text based” grid.

    2) A way to export Layer’s filter to CSS3 and even IE7/8 mode. At the beginning it could be just a text output in a dialog so that we can cut and past it into css files. The dialog could have checkbox for “webkit” “mozilla” “IE7” “IE8” “IE9”, and standard (without the -yyy- prefix)

    3) An easy way to do a CSS3 border image (9-slice scaling).

  • Jaddie Dodd — 1:31 PM on November 23, 2010

    Amen, Sir John!

    Y’all have been busy.

  • John C. Welch — 2:43 PM on November 23, 2010

    [(Aaaaand, here he is, right on cue. :-)) –J.]

    Funny how many C-level Adobe people keep pushing this. Your CEO, your CTO.

    [Pushing what, exactly? That Adobe is dedicated to making great HTML authoring tools? Or that they believe that customers should be able to view the whole Web? –J.]

    Maybe they could also stop pumping this up every time they’re interviewed in public.

    [What is “this”? I assume you mean “conflict between Flash and HTML,” which is manifestly not what they’re “pumping.” (Have you actually read what they’ve said?) They’re saying that both technologies have valid uses, but you’re hearing that as outrageous flame-fanning. How dare they. –J.]

    One might think that they have some vested interest in keeping the nontroversy going.

    [No, they (and Adobe customers) have a vested interest in not letting Apple’s disallowing Flash on iOS render 15 years worth of customers’ investments in Flash instantly worthless,

    Maybe you should say what you want, John: Adobe should never speak up in defense of Flash, should simply roll over and agree with whatever Apple says, and that the consequences for bucking the party line will be pillorying on grounds of causing “nontroversy.” –J.]

    • Phil Brown — 6:00 PM on November 23, 2010

      Funny, John C., how you want it all to stop, so long as Adobe stops first…

      It won’t kill you not to get the last word, you know :-)

  • David — 6:49 PM on November 23, 2010

    Wake me when something interesting happens.

  • melgross — 7:16 PM on November 23, 2010

    Look, this is a complex issue. Both sides see a threat in the other’s positions, and products.

    Adobe makes a lot of money from Flash, and Apple makes even more money from their own products. Apple feels that Flash, which is a proprietary product, will hurt iOS development, and it hasn’t performed well, or at all on mobile products, almost four years after Adobe said that getting it in the original IPhone would be easy, and would take about six months. If that were true, we would have Flash on the iPhone, but as time went by, it became less viable, and HTML 5, which is a standard, if an evolving one, was the direction in which they went.

    I’m happy that Adobe sees the inevitability of HTML 5. While that won’t earn them as much as Flash, and won’t allow them to “own” the Internet as much as they would like, it will work out better for everyone.

  • John Dowdell — 1:09 AM on November 24, 2010

    Thanks for rounding up some of Adobe’s most recent easements to HTML publishing, John.

    Bruce Bowman just announced some changes to BrowserLab, now offering renditions for some of the more popular beta browsers:

    Browsers have supported third-party rendering engines for as long as they’ve supported JavaScript. It will always be easier to target a common capability than one each vendor has to reimplement from scratch… always more incentive for improvement in a universal engine than a regional one. SWF and HTML, complementary then, complementary now.


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