So Long Flash...

I remember almost ten years ago, when one of my first computing and IT mentors said me Flash wasn't the future, Flash was the present. Flash still is the present. When I guessed Flash reached the top Macromedia gave a step further and launched the FLV format.

FLV was what brought YouTube to life. Let's agree it was one feature to the present, not to the future. But are Flash days numbered? Probably not. It's very hard to detach of a technology so absorbed as Flash. Check out the benefits and needs of IPv6 and the wide difficulties of putting it on scene.
Many of discussion about that is because Apple products are not supporting Flash. A lot of reasons raised to explain that. In parallel Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) is going to support HMTL5. Even so they aren't giving up Flash. I think the discussion about Apple's opposition to Flash have two main and different branches: Technical and Market.

Steve Jobs has said they are dropping Flash because it's a obsolete and buggy technology. Clearly Flash has security and performance issues. But what hasn't? Apple said the Flash need of mouse cursor is an obstacle to Apple touch-screen devices. They also say HTML5 is the future because of video tag.
Let's put clearly: Flash is not only about video. HTML5 and AJAX made possible do a lot of things were Flash field before. What does Flash supply now a days? Let focus on three: Dynamic Interaction, Eye-candy Layouts, and Vectorial Animation. AJAX made clear there is no need to Flash plays the Dynamic Interaction role. Eye-candy Layouts can be provided by CSS and good HTML design. I see little obstacle to vectorial animation doesn't be delivered as video format or with AJAX. The one reason I see is better render in different screen sizes and formats. Adobe can work around touch screen issues, as well. So let's put apart the relation what flash provides and web video delivery.
I guess we can balance the discussion with the Market perspective. Performance and security issues, video demand toward HTML5 and touch screen issues are not impediment. Apple does not want something enabling the experience you only could have on their devices. That is Flash does, it let you have the same experience on any browser, any operational system, any device. Paradoxically IE9 HTML5 support lets people to get the same taste on their PCs and their mobile devices.
When Apple argues they can use devices MP4 H264 hardware decoder to improve performance they forget to say HTML5 doesn't say what kind of support video tag should give. Firefox is giving OGG support. It is Open Source format, but present versions don't play MP4 H264 videos... In some way HTML5 pushes Apple, Microsoft, Google and others to develop based on open standards, in other hand the web video revolution may be a standoff.
Particularly, the technical arguments to abandon Flash are weak. Apple doesn't want to follow a standard path, they just want to avoid you reach the experience they propose in rival devices. They want you be attached to iTunes to taste music and video.
Anyway is too soon to bury Flash. There is a lot of people skilled to develop on the platform, the developers aren't going to rip off abruptly Flash from their utilities set. HTML5 is under discussion as well. Before Flash lose its role on the web world two other players must give a step each: users and developers. Both need to adopt HTML5, but the thing is users and developers usually don't walk in synchronism.
About users role, I guess people only know about Flash because when they get in a site like YouTube the browser warns they need Flash plugin. Users are most interested on features, not how they show up. They are used to Flash way to deliver video, animations, interaction, but they have zero fidelity to the technology, they just want the features.
One thing for sure, the technical issues aren't killing Flash, market is. Since market is Advertising, I guess Apple is doing a great job making people to believe Flash is a obsolete technology. People get alienated by Steve Jobs opinion. He and Apple have their reasons to want Flash out of their platforms. Flash is going to became obsolete only when Adobe give up its. Flash is the present and it is going keep here for some time.
It's nice it is emerging options to Flash out there. I guess while it remains gaps between what Flash and its rivals provide, Flash will prevail. Other nice thing related options is you don't need to buy iPod, iPhone, iPad, nor any iPple product. There are options trying to cover as most support as possible and let you decide what is best.
Backing to begin: Sadly and surely Flash doesn't look like being future anymore. About ten years ago Flash seemed as future, but was present, even today, it still is present.

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