Flash versus HTML 5 canvas

Lately I have been thinking about the latest developments of the web and how that will affect my business. Last couple of years I’ve specialized in Flash development, and it has been awesome. Ever since Adobe bought Macromedia, the development of the Flash platform has skyrocketed to another level. Actionscript became a real programming language and AIR made it possible to easily create desktop programs. Yesterday Adobe made the announcement that Flash CS5 will be able to create iPhone applications. So this makes it very easy to create applications for a wide range of platforms easily, using the same code base.

However, the html5 video and canvas tags are things that will affect Flash, Google Wave will be using html 5 as well. I mean, have a look at this. And looking at some of the comments on the FlashCS5 presentation it is clear that there is a lot of aversion towards Flash. So, does this mean html 5 canvas is taking over? I don’t think anytime soon. And here are the reasons why:

  • Html 5 is not yet fully supported in a lot of browsers
  • Creating rich internet applications takes a different set of skills, and professionals which are doing so now in html 5 are rare
  • The workflow for developing Flash applications has been improved, allowing rapid development of applications.

These are the points I could come up with at the moment, but they all mean that businesses requiring a website with a nice user experience are more likely better of by choosing Flash instead of the html 5 canvas tag. I think the support for the html 5 canvas tag has a long way to go, and in the mean time html 5 will still support Flash.

So, for me this means that I won’t switch any time soon, but I will slowly start digging into html 5 and css3.