Tuesday, February 16. 2010
...or why HTML 5 will fail as replacement for Flash (at least for the next years).
But first let me make clear that I am not a fan of closed standards and closed source. I love Open Source and I use Open Source software wherever possible. However sometimes it's better if there is one instance that has the control not just over a format, but also about the interpreter and renderer.
With the announcement of Apples iPad a big discussion started regarding the non-existence of Flash on it. Steve Jobs responded. He claims that Apple won't support Flash since they claim it's buggy and responsible for a lot of crashes on Mac OS, but what really makes me upset is that sentence:
No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML 5.
Also in blogs postings that talk about this topic several people mention that HTML 5 will be the future and that no one needs Flash.
Bullshit! Will people never learn from the past?
The History of Problems With HTML
Some years ago CSS 2 was praised for being a solution to layout and styling nightmare we faced with HTML 3. But ever created a complex page with HTML 4 and CSS 2? And then tested it in different Browsers? If you did that and claim that you never had experienced difficulties due to different behaviors of different browser you're a liar. Because either your page was a really simple page or you had difficulties.
These problems are nothing new. They are existing since HTML 3 and became worse the more complex HTML got and especially since Microsoft did not care about the W3C standards and started to interpret HTML their own way. But also other browsers had their own behavior - intentionally or not. HTML designers are used to hefty workarounds to make a page look like it was intended in all browsers.
What about HTML 5?
A little excerpt from an article on Wired:
Opera and Safari have been pioneering HTML 5 support for some time, but Firefox and Google Chrome aren’t quite as far along with their HTML 5 support (although the coming Firefox 3.5 will close the gap considerably). Internet Explorer 8 is somewhat further behind, though it too incorporates a few HTML 5 features.
[Highlighting added by myself]
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