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Why the Flash Hate?
by Bill Kalpakoglou posted Mar 18th, 2010 at 12:05am
Along with this praise however, I've seen a lot of bashing and a “ding dong the witch is dead” attitude towards Flash which I just don't understand. A Twitter comment by a well-known CSS website declared in a recent tweet “Good to see the pending death of Flash. Designers should be using CSS anyway!” Really? To me these types of ridiculous comments sound a lot like if carpenters were to say everyone should use hammers because they're better than saws.
So I just wanted to share my thoughts on this and similar views based on my own web design experience and time spent just surfing the web. Flash started out as a humble animation program that grew over the years into a full-fledged development environment. With the advent of Actionscript 3, it had turned into a tool that not only animators and designers could use, but hardcore programmers as well. Complex games, interactivity, and communication with data servers were showing up more in SWF files everywhere, and the capabilities of what could be done when the marriage of design and flow of information was downright beautiful. Because of Flash, video sites like YouTube and Hulu changed the web. Never did anyone say that Flash would or should replace HTML on the web.
CSS truly opened doors for the ambitious designer who wanted to replicate the “put it anywhere” feel of desktop publishing programs and created a lot more flexibility for styling HTML and creating some stunning sites that were fully recognized by search engines. But until now if you wanted to add animation, movies or sound to your site your options were limited and you probably chose Flash. There's no denying the beauty of some of these CSS sites but there's also no denying that there are just as many sites using Flash heavily that are just as breathtaking. We've all emailed a friend a URL saying something like “Dude, check out this site. It's so cool” and as I think back over the years I think the ones I sent or received were usually Flash sites.
So why the hate? The problem with bashing one technology over another, especially in this case where they're flat out different tools, is that more often than not you find that people defend what their familiar with instead of weighing which tool is best for the job. When conceptualizing a website, it's our job as designers and developers to weigh the pros and cons of all the technologies available. When someone comes to me and says they want to create a site with a lot of movies and music, I'll choose Flash because it's still the best tool for the job. Conversely, I'm not going to make a text heavy site in Flash because search engines wouldn't see it too well (although they're working on it).
On Dec 14th, 2010 at 1:03pm, Bill Kalpakoglou wrote:
More HTML 5 and Flash news to come!