According to web giant Adobe, 85% of the top websites on the internet run Flash which seems like an incredibly high number. This got me wondering just how HTML 5 is shaping up against Flash and can it ever be a serious competitor?
Evan’s Data, a web statistics company recently polled 1,200 web developers about their usage or planned usage of HTML 5 and the results were quite surprising. From the looks of things HTML 5 is starting to gain big traction with more and more web design companies who are making the switch away from Adobe Flash.
By country, here is the percentage of developers who have committed to HTML 5:
- Asia: 58%
- USA: 43%
- Europe: 39%
- Middle East: 39%
- Africa: 39%
Evan’s data added that respondents who said they were planning the switch ‘soon’ would take the total figure to roughly 75% of all web developers quizzed.
Benefits to HTML 5 over Flash:
- Improved video support, no extra codecs or 3rd party plugins are required which make is incredibly easy to embed video into your websites.
- HTML 5 has support for Geo Location support.
- More intuitive forms. Many enhancements to input text / search boxes. Easier to validate data.
- Offline Cache for applications. This feature allows developers to specify which items are cached in a user’s browser and which are not.
- Client Side Data Base. This handy features allows a web developer to save data client side using a real SQL database.
- Works on iOS devices. Flash is banned from the Apple app store with Steve Jobs once remaking that it was ‘old history’.
- Lightweight frame work. Flash is slow buggy and a battery hog on mobile devices unlike HTML 5 which is far more light weight.
Benefits of Flash over HTML 5:
- Provides native support for animation and interactivity within a webpage, (something, despite popular belief, HTML 5 is incapable of doing).
- Adobe Flash has hordes of developers already in existence purely because of how mature it is as a platform, that and it is relatively simple to learn the basics.
- Plugins! Flash has an established array of plugins at its disposal which, once familiar with can help to speed up development.
- Action Script 3. Action script is a powerful scripting language.
- Database integration / business support. Flash integrates incredible well with XML / PHP / SQL databases and is already long established in a lot of places and generally works well for the job.
I’m really struggling here to put Flash in a good light but I am honestly having troubling thinking up more benefits to Flash than HTML 5 other than, “it’s a more established platform”. From the looks of the above though it won’t be long until Flash becomes more and more obsolete although it still has plenty of life in it yet. Change is coming…. Slowly.
About the author: James has been a web designer for over twenty years and runs the web design site http://sussexdesigns.co.uk.