Was HTML5 overhyped or just made into something it wasn’t?

October 25th, 2010

Back in April, when Steve Jobs said Flash wasn’t going to be on the iPhone and iPad, the anti-Flash people came out in force and had everyone believe technologies the used plug-ins, like Flash and Silverlight would be gone from the web in a couple of months. And as great as some of the features of the HTML5/CSS3/JS combo (because you need all three to do anything worthwhile) are, it’s become apparent that it’s going to be a while before we can recreated the interactivity that HTML5 was being hyped to replace.

After a couple of weeks of the arguing between the HTML5 vs Flash sides, I came to realize there was was more than one group hoping for Flash’s death, one side was the people who hated how Flash video ran on their Mac and that’s all they cared about, not that HTML5 video has proved to run that much better so far. Another was the people that didn’t like that Flash was proprietary and preferred HTML5 simply because it was open source. And a third group was the Apple super fans that just seemed to parrot whatever Apple was saying about Flash, I saw numerous instances of people who’d never even built a website talking about why Flash was “bad”.

I’ll admit, I saw where the tide of the web was turning and I was excited for some of the things that we’d be able to do with the new HTML5 tags like canvas and video. I’ve spent a lot of time lately working with JavaScript which has turned out to not be as horrible as I’d thought it would be. But as I spent more time with it, especially with the canvas tag, and as I looked at more and more HTML5 demos, I began to see the the things that were being created and the people were get excited for, where the same stuff people got excited about being made in Flash seven or eight years ago.

Today, Adobe announced Adobe Edge prototype tool, which is a tool you can use to build HTML5 animations using CSS3 and jQuery. While this is really cool and is something that I’ve said the web development community needs to realistically be able to use CSS3 animations. But at the same time, they announced the Molehill 3D API for Flash which allows a developer to make a true 3D game in Flash. I have to say that I was pretty impressed by the demo Adobe has of a racing game.

And I think these two demos are perfect examples of what the future holds for both technologies. We will be able to stop using Flash for the flashier elements that we want to add to a website and use Flash for more specific online experiences and for games that look like they could be PS2 level, which isn’t that bad.

I think the situation here is that HTML5 was the new buzzword, people who didn’t really understand started hyping it and it all got a little out of control, especially with the W3C saying that HTML5 isn’t ready yet and developers should hold off. Some of the things that will make HTML5 great in the near future still have some bugs to work out, like the video tag which lets the visitor download the video, something Flash video doesn’t and would definitely be a turn off to TV networks who have their shows on the web. And, one of the big complaints against Flash video was how much it worked a computer’s processor when viewed full screen, but I can’t really see HTML5 full screen video being that much better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *