Unless you follow me on twitter (@flashfreaker), you’re not privy to my growing concern with the perception of the Adobe Flash runtime by many standards-based members of the web community. With yet another move by Apple to be the guardians of the “open web” with its announcement of the iPad yesterday, there seems to be more fuel for the anti-Flash camp and a call to action for those who use Flash or any other 3rd party plug-in to voice our opinions. Most of this anti-Flash chatter relegates Flash to an under-performing video player and stresses that the HTML5 <video> tag takes care of all video needs for the Internet. Ergo, the world wide web no longer needs Flash so let’s just get rid of Flash content all together. I’ll start my defense of Flash by doing a less-than-comprehensive review of where Flash content is employed on the Internet:
- Banner ads: Most advertising on the web has relied on the small file size (well, hopefully it’s kept small) of Flash SWF files to deploy ad graphics, including micro sites for product demos. With chatter I’m seeing on twitter, I’m getting the impression that many people believe web ads will just “go away” and good riddance. While I’m not a fan of annoying banner ads (and most of them are, indeed, obnoxious and annoying), I’ll take the lesser of all evils and suffer a small Flash SWF eating up a minor portion of my bandwidth than some other multimedia format. Future without Flash prediction? Banner ads could turn into video ads that are much larger in file size and data transfer than the equivalent animation/experience in a Flash SWF. Poetic justice, perhaps, for the already crippled AT&T 3G network that the iPhone uses for its open web experiences.