I was in the middle of deciding how I was going to design/publish/host my blog (had been for years) but I finally found something that made me really want to write. So, with the disclaimer of this being my first FULL blog post and the design being a little rough right now, let’s get on with it. This is a response to Is Canvas the End of Flash?, an article Sean Moore (@SeanTheFlexGuy) shared on Twitter. My responses are both for the the author and the commenters.

Ahem. Wow, I know very little about JavaScript, but the lack of understanding of Flash here amazes me. The Canvas tag is indeed powerful, and can do a lot of the same things Flash can do …to a point. And as far as Flash being a “closed technology”, check out Tamarin and the Open Screen Project. Nokia, BBC, Intel, Time Warner, HBO, Palm, are just a few of the major industry names that are partnering with Adobe to implement Flash on a wide array of devices. Adobe is getting more and more open sourced, including using SWFObject inside of Dreamweaver, Flex Builder and Flash Catalyst are built on Eclipse, the Flex SDK is open sourced , the AIR HTML Rendering engine is using Webkit, and BlazeDS is open sourced.

For the comment “the real competition isn’t even Flash, but Flex”, this just proves how little is known about the Flash Platform It is a bit confusing to both Flash Platform Developers and non-Flashers alike, but it should be noted that Flex Builder is being rebranded to have the word “Flash” in the name at some point to help alleviate some of the confusion. The confusion being, that Flex Builder is built on Eclipse but in the end, the Flex Framework is generating ActionScript and publishing to the Flash Player. To the comment “Flash has to die sooner or later.” Why? See everything up to this point to see why the exact opposite is happening right now.

For “…the only real defining factor that sets flash apart from plain Javascript is the ability to manipulate vector graphics.” That’s it, huh? Ever hear of SVG? It’s gonna crush JavaScript. Do you hear how ridiculous that sounds?”. Besides, the author mentioned SVG and has even provided an example.

“One using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) http://me.eae.net/archive/2005/12/29/canvas-in-ie/

For the comment “One ironically using Flash as a bridge: http://www.azarask.in/blog/post/flash-canvas/”. Ironically? Did I mention that Adobe hosts and open sources a Flash-AJAX Video Component? Don’t get me wrong. The real issue here is the fact this Flash vs AJAX/Canvas rift even exists. I LOVE Mozilla and what they are doing to push the browser envelope with Bespin, Thunderhead, Fennec, and Ubiquity. I have a ton of respect and love for John Resig, Aza Raskin, and Dion Almaer, Jeremy Keith and tons of other notable people who are pioneering the new web tech.

I also really love the fact that there are alternatives to Flash. How boring would it be if all content on the web was scripted in the same editor in the same language? I also think we’re missing the point that, no one technology is going to single-handedly take down another. And why should it? We should be working to see what these two powerful technologies can do together and what we can learn from one another to benefit our respective environments and technologies. Remember, ActionScript was based on the same ECMAScript standard as JavaScript. This however, has since changed, but only recently.

The point of all this is not to show how pro-Flash I am or to dismiss HTML5 or AJAX. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what I am trying to accomplish. Both parties use awesome technologies and should keep going on doing so. I am glad we can have these types of discussions and remember why it is we chose the field we’re in. It reminds us just how lucky we are to be doing something we love and getting paid for it. Thanks for listening.

Update - Serge Jespers has written a fantastic post entited “Adobe vs. the Open Web’ ”. Go check it out!