I’m agnostic when it comes to programming languages. I’m a former photo editor who now designs websites for the user/client experience, but I have no vested interest in any one programming language.
When I set out to start building sites I had certain requirements for the design and function. Flash was the only language that afforded these requirements. If another, better language comes out that meets these requirements, I would switch today.
Some people are saying HTML5 is a great new language to build sites with. Unfortunately it doesn’t meet several of my requirements.
1. Support for fonts – Art Directors love typography. It is important that our users can load high quality magazine and advertising fonts in their websites. In HTML5 you can only use a handful of web safe fonts
2. Scaling – The cornerstone of our design is the image scaling. It allows us to display images easily on monitors from 13″ – 30.” HTML5 does not support scaling.
3. Browser Independence – It’s important that our sites look the same in browsers built 10 years ago (IE7) and browser released today. HTML5 is not supported by most of the browsers people are using today.
4. Video Independence – It’s important that video on our sites displays correctly in every single browser. HTML5 requires that you encode your video in several different formats if you want it to show up in different browsers.
So, whats all the fuss for HTML5 all about? Apple decided it would not support flash in its hand-held devices (ipad, ipod-touch and iphone). But, guess what? That’s actually fine, because my requirements are not applicable on a hand held device, because it’s a fixed platform. We actually already build our iphone and ipod-touch mirror sites and our soon to be released ipad sites in HTML and will switch to HTML5 when it’s released (oh, and it’s not even been released yet so one more strike for the desktop experience).
Many experts think Flash will never be replaced on the desktop, because we’re long past the point where anything can be agreed upon as a group on the internet. You can be sure of one thing though, if anything does replace Flash as the de facto standard for a rich media experience on the desktop, we will adopt it.
PS- No matter what we will benefit from all this as Adobe makes major improvements to flash.
UPDATE #1: I found this statement from Hulu, a joint venture owned by NBC, ABC and Fox, is along the lines of what I’m saying here:
An Aside on HTML5
Those are the highlights of our new player. Before we move on to the other updates to our site today, let me address a related topic that’s been in the news a lot recently: HTML5. Plenty of users and members of the press ask about this topic all the time.
When it comes to technology, our only guiding principle is to best serve the needs of all of our key customers: our viewers, our content partners who license programs to us, our advertisers, and each other. We continue to monitor developments on HTML5, but as of now it doesn’t yet meet all of our customers’ needs. Our player doesn’t just simply stream video, it must also secure the content, handle reporting for our advertisers, render the video using a high performance codec to ensure premium visual quality, communicate back with the server to determine how long to buffer and what bitrate to stream, and dozens of other things that aren’t necessarily visible to the end user. Not all video sites have these needs, but for our business these are all important and often contractual requirements.
That’s not to say these features won’t be added to HTML5 in the future (or be easier to implement). Technology is a fast-moving space and we’re constantly evaluating which tools will best allow us to fulfill our mission for as many of our customers as possible.
The Google Chrome Browser now has Flash built in: