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Should we start writing Flash's Eulogy?

I have put a lot of thought into this over the last few years as I have always been torn when it came to the future of the web. This subject takes me back about 8 years ago when I was teaching Web Design and Development in Conestoga College's Advertising program. I remember asking my students what they thought the future of the web would be like.

Then I remember when they asked me this same question and I spewed off about how it was going to be a multimedia cornucopia with Flash holding the reigns and defining how content will be presented. I never considered myself to be much of a clairvoyant but boy-oh-boy, was I wrong!

So, I'll ask the question now - is Flash technology headed for the same destiny as the good old crash your browser and lock up your computer Java Applets that were prevalent years ago on the web? The short answer is no. Flash does have some redeeming qualities and uses, but not to the extent that I (or Macromedia/Adobe) thought it would.

The days of Flash intros and full scaled Flash website's are no longer relevant. People are too busy to care about cool animation effects when they go to your intro page; they just want to get to the meat and potatoes of your content. They also don’t care that your navigation links rotate when you place your cursor over them or that your text fades from one page to the next. Well, at least I don’t.

Am I biased against Flash? No actually, quite the opposite. In the early years of my career I was a self-described "Flash Guru". I was constantly pushing the envelope and looking for any and every opportunity to use this technology all day, every day. So what happened?

I eventually broke from my idealist ways and realized the truth, Flash is archaic. It is difficult and time consuming (which translates to expensive) to design and develop with. Also, it certainly doesn’t help a website's search engine ranking as most of the content is not easily indexed. The average client website doesn't require use of Flash to get their message out there.

So, did Apple's refusal to support flash on its mobile devices cause the imminent death of Flash? No, but it did help to put a few extra nails in the coffin. Macromedia also added a few nails of its own by wanting to charge clients for the plugin rather than giving it away free like they had for the PC. (source)

Bottom line, Flash is not dead, nor will it completely die off. It has some excellent merits when it comes to multimedia based (music/animation/video) applications for which HTML5 and jquery were not developed to do. Flash will always have its place and use. I mean, how else can I build my “dream” car on Porsche’s website.

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