The Practical Take on Platforms

theFWA has a great set of quotes from leaders in the creative industry about what transitions like the one from Flash to other technologies really mean. Beyond the rhetoric, these are the tools of a community, and it is the creativity that is the real strength, not the platform. Also, a great Freudian slip in the use of the word “canvas” :

…”The relevancy of Flash and potential of HTML5 both lie in the hands of the creative community. More importantly, the future of the Internet remains a vast and exciting canvas so long as we seek to continually provide the most engaging and effective user experiences possible.”

Jared Kroff, Creative Director, RED Interactive Agency

Flash Optimization for iPhone

Flash’s strength has always been the write-once, deploy anywhere capability of the player. Fortunately this has carried over to the mobile realm reasonably well, although I personally don’t like using Flash (or any plugin, like HTML5/javascript) within a mobile browser since using a smaller screen works best with fullscreen interaction, and multitouch interfaces can present coupling and ambiguity problems.

That said, writing once and deploying as an app to multiple devices come with two prices – an incomplete API, and performance issues. The latter can be greatly affected by how code is written and what techniques are used or avoided, and any source of experimental results, like thie one below, are more than welcome. Still, Adobe has not only persevered but done an amazing job taking up the task of becoming not just browser independent, but mobile independent, leaving much of the quality risks and rewards to the programmers and designers:

Grant Skinner’s Easle for HTML5 Canvas

Moving between Flash and the Canvas object requires a bit of retro 1990’s thinking: Canvas does not have some of the productivity features that Flash has, like Objects and updates – it feels a bit like doing everything in flash using only bitmap objects. Grant and his team have put together a utility that adds this Flash- like functionality: EasleJS. Check it out and let me know how it works for you!

Good Week for Interactive Devs!

The scare this year has been that you, as a developer, would have to choose a platform and focus on it. Noone minds a bit of focus, but the fact that seemingly artificial barriers to re-use of code and effort were being introduced; the mobile platforms were making it necessary to choose a side, because learning all the platforms was a big reach. Blackberry, Android, iOS, Flash Platform, each with its own SDKs, IDEs, frameworks, and of course, time destroying tricks and gothas. But things are looking a little brighter:
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