HTML 5 Is The New Flash : Wait Its Way Better


This is a post by Anuj Srivastava, a systems engineer based out of NCR, India. Anuj is a frequent blogger and owns Blog To Bollywood, he is a WordPress geek and a Passionate Techie on STL.

Is HTML5 a graveyard for Flash ?

Remember the days when you saw something in Flash and thought – “wow, that’s just stunning”, while HTML was like a classic plain dish without any extra offerings? But things have changed dramatically over the years.

How was Flash able to conquer our web experience? Apart from being a design success, Flash was chosen over HTML in and around 2006 because of being more stable, better with performance, and browser independence. And the once ” loading… ” phase of a flash site was over, we were presented with a graphically advanced interface with embedded videos, audios and text with animations. Adobe’s flagship product Photoshop brought Adobe fame and Flash took Adobe to the masses.

So, how was HTML5 able to make the cut in 2011? Well first and foremost HTML is free and open source. When features like embedded video/audio capabilities and simplicity of implementation surfaced with HTML5, those looking for a more optimized web interface that could load in almost no-time with features that flash offers, were the first to make a transition.


HTML5 based content.

HTML5’s compatibility with mobile and tablets was like the last nail in the coffin for Flash, this was when Flash had refused to extend support to the mobile platform. The more a website is cluttered with plugins the slower it goes and HTML5 provided all the features built-in thus reducing the demand for flash plugins. One more interesting thing is that HTML5 provided compatibility to Flash content (i.e. the .swf format) through simple plugins such as the Google swiffy.

In the present scenario, Flash won’t perish as it is still the best offering for creative websites that carry a certain theme and demand some time from visitors in exploration. Some examples are website solutions for movies, games, educational content and interfaces.

HTML5 was able to upgrade the classic look and feel of web content that non-flash websites carried and paved the way for web based solutions on educational content, personal blogging, news, content management systems and a whole lot more. HTML5 is popular with almost all kinds of web interfaces available today.


Flash based content.

HTML5 based websites are performing well in a domain where flash was the only player a few years ago. In terms of features I would say that both are highly competitive and feature rich. Flash is here to stay but slowly its presence is decreasing and we will see HTML5 being explored more due to the reason that it provides a simplified web solution and is a cost effective way for SMEs to choose a web presence.

If you are looking for a solution to your web based needs, consider exploring HTML5 and let us know in the comments, how it went for you.


Firefox OS : Legend Killer?

It takes a “Legend Killer” to kill a legend. Ask WWE Superstar Randy Orton.

In the last few years Apple and Google have dominated the mobile space with such consistency and such control that it has become almost unreasonable to expect someone else to even have the audacity to hijack their space. All that might change in the next couple of years.

It is no secret that great software can propel even the average hardware to insurmountable heights. Some experts believe this is exactly what benefited scores of smartphone manufactures via Google’s Android OS. Google shares its Android OS with 50 plus manufacturers and that is precisely the reason why Android holds more than half the share in the smartphone market. Apple on the other hand have their proprietary iOS which powers their own devices. From the iPhone to the iPad everything runs on the iOS.

History has therefore proven that if someone wants to play with the idea of establishing themselves in the smartphone space, they need a top notch software to help them do it. To be more precise, they need an Operating System that can spark an ecosystem if its own. That is exactly what iOS and Android do, and that is exactly what the rest of the world has so far failed to do.

Enter Firefox OS.

Some of you are thinking, that is the browser right? so they are coming up with their own OS, big deal. Believe you me, it is a big deal. I will stick my neck out and claim that it in fact has the potential to be bigger than iOS and Android put together. If ever there was going to be an OS that had the potential to go on and dominate the mobile space forever – This is it.

The reasons for such brave/hypothetical speculations are as follows:

  • Mozilla the owners of the Firefox brand have been the driving force behind the quest for making open source become the be all-end all of the web, or Web 2.0 for those in love with hysteria.
  • For the uninitiated, Mozilla is a non-profit organization born out of the browser wars about 15 years ago. They have it in their blood to promote everything open source and the world respects them for that. They fosters the collective development of open source web applications.
  • They are a much loved organization among developers and end-users alike. And that just hits the nail on the head.

When I talk about an OS building an ecosystem of its own what I mean is this:

  • HTML5, a term the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) use to collectively describe the next generation mark-up language along with web technologies such as CSS 3.0, Javascript etc is without doubt the future of the web. And the web is without doubt the next computer. If you use utilities like online document creation and sharing, store your data on Google drive and other cloud storage solutions, give interviews on Skype and play games on your browser instead of booting it from a CD, you know what I mean when I say the web is the next computer. (Read Google’s Chrome OS).
  • The next set of mass developers are going to be HTML 5 developers, and if you know anything about the industry you know that developers basically run the world. HTML5 has low entry cost for web developers compared to Android’s Java and iOS’ Objective C. And this new OS, an open source OS run by a company that epitomizes open source and promotes open web standards gives this massive community a huge platform to build unfathomable amounts of hysterical apps – You get the point.

In the Mobile Web Space HTML5 is the real Game Changer!

Everything will be an HTML5 application, including the default Web browser, email app, social-networking clients, and games. Even the phone’s dialing capability will be built as an HTML5 app. – Geoff Duncan, Digital Trends.

A brief introduction to the Firefox OS before we move forward – The Firefox OS will launch in early 2013 and will power the ZTE and TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) devices running on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon™ processors.

According to Mozilla’s official blog

Leading operators Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefónica and Telenor  are backing the open Firefox OS as an exciting new entrant to the smartphone marketplace …. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telefónica’s commercial brand, Vivo.

There is a very special point about the Firefox OS that I would like to highlight – this OS is built on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” project. That project aimed at unlocking many of the current limitations on developing for the mobile web, in the process allowing HTML5 to access the underlying capabilities of a phone which were previously only available to native apps and which is still the reason why developers for the iOS and Android can build awesome native apps but end up building average web apps which are no more than poor cousins of the native apps.

Mozilla’s “Boot To Gecko” project has transformed into the Firefox OS.

All that might change now thanks to HTML5 bridging the gap between the native and the web apps, and in a year’s time you might want to thank Mozilla and the “Boot to Gecko” project for this turn around.

Hope you now know why Mozilla’s Firefox OS is more than likely to be the next big thing. All hail independence to developers and consumers from Apple’s proprietary software and forced Google integrations on the Android platform. Go Firefox!