Anyone want an interesting read? Check out the comments on this article on Lee Brimlow's blog website.
It started off talking about the lack of Flash support of the iPhone, and quickly degraded into name calling from the Flash-Sucks side to the Flash-Rules side, and back again. While most of the arguments are truly interesting, I also found it amazing as to how passionate the debate became. Full props to Lee for being able to moderate what I'm guessing was not a fun job.
Being a Flash developer, one might think I am biased; but my take for what it's worth, is that although it is inevitable that any language, in time, will give way to more powerful languages, in regards to Flash, that is not eminent.
The arguments against Flash seem to be as follows:
- HTML5 has native Video Support so Flash is no longer needed.
True it does have Video Support. However, even if HTML5 takes over as the standard for Video playing (which is unlikely soon, as battles reminiscent of the 90's browser wars are developing over which video standard to support. Plus, open standards are notorious for taking forever to figure things out), there are still a lot of things that Flash will still be the easiest to do in, as Flash will continue to advance as the browsers fight it out about standards. Yes, you could try to build a walking AT-AT walker in CSS, or have stars dancing (Safari only) around the page using HTML5, but why would you want to? As a true OOP language, which possibly some HTML and CSS developers are afraid to learn, it is so much easier and faster to do it in AS3. Flash is simply capable of more. It isn't just about Video. Try doing any of these in HTML5...
- Flash is a processor hog
In the cases of bad development, yes that is true. But bad development in any language is a processor hog
- Flash is annoying Advertising
Yes, advertising can be annoying. But it is advertising that is the lifeblood of the internet. If Flash disappears, another technology would come along to replace the advertising. Flash right now is the best way to code those advertisements, as it is specifically designed for handling video, interactivity, animation, databases, and everything else you could need for coding and tracking Rich-Media advertisements. And I might add that Apple, despite Steve Job's recent announcement that Flash sucks (I'm paraphrasing of course), uses Flash to display it's commercials on banner ads.
The other thing I would like to mention is that there will always be arguments to use one language over another. Not just Flash vs [insert name of technology here], but in other areas as well. When things like Silverlight and Unity get more popular, Flash will not die. It simply will give a developer more options to choose from depending on the project's needs, the developer preferences, and the language advantages.
Flash is a great option for doing certain things when done right, and will be around for a while to come. .NET does not die because of PHP or Java, or vise versa. They are tools to choose from.