Is HTML5 the new Flash?

Okay I am getting back into the game and business of the web design business. I hear time and time again that HTML 5 is the going to take over or Flash. Is this true? I always thought that HTML was just a markup language. How could HTML do what Flash does? Are these people mistaken? Or do I have a lot of catching up to do?

It’s a mainly a buzzword and can mean many different things depending upon which way the wind blows. If you mean the markup it is still mainly non normative and won’t be ready for years to come. Some other technologies that are nothing to do with HTML5 markup also sometimes get dubbed HTML5 by the marketeers leading to even more confusion…

HTML5 has some new features that will replace some functions that Flash is currently used for.
For example HTML5 supports <video> and <audio> tags that let supporting browsers play media directly without the Flash (or other plugin). The term HTML5 is also sometimes used as a convenience to cover CSS3 as well, which does support key frame animations, transitions and 2D and 3D transformations.

I would definitely NOT say that HTML5 (with CSS3 and JavaScript) can do everything that Flash does. There is a trending away from ‘Flash type’ behaviour though, so there is some indirect truth to the idea that Flash use is decreasing and some of that richness is replaced with HTML5 et. al.

Thanks for the replies. I need to see some good examples of this HTML 5 at work.

I don’t think HTML5 alone would/will take over for Flash, but I’ve seen somethings created with HTML5 and JS that I normally would have expected to be made in flash. I know a person using HTML5 and JS to create an in browser lowkey paint. Works to a decent extent too. Just fairly basic.

But yeah, I’ve seen some cool tricks with HTML5

HTML5 may remove flash from the market. But there is a new thing called Flex going around which will cause more danger to it.

I hear this a lot, and there is a lot of confusion out about this.

First, to engg_fahd’s comment: Flex is Flash. Flex is a flexible language which can integrate with many other technologies (typically ActionScript 3). It is packaged into a SWF, which means it is Flash.

Back to HTML 5 vs. Flash.

HTML 5 is a lot better at doing many things. Like Mike said, some things that Flash is commonly used for will be replaced with HTML 5 (namely video and audio). Also, Adobe is discontinuing their mobile browser Flash plugin since many people that tailor sites appropriately for that are just using HTML 5 (since phones now have very good HTML 5 support). However, Adobe is no discontinuing Flash on phones altogether… they are just switching to focus on Flash as apps (via AIR), which makes more sense.

HTML 5 and Javascript can do a lot of things that Flash can do. However, to that regard, HTML 4 and Javascript can as well, but it doesn’t. With the HTML 5 canvas element, it is a lot easier to draw stuff to the screen, but that’s the only real new advantage.

Flash isn’t going anywhere for a long time. It will take -at least- another 5 years before you can use HTML 5 with impunity. In the mean time, Flash will have much better overall availability and is more universally acceptable.

Actually, Adobe (who own Flash) have announced that they are discontinuing support for Flash on mobile devices. In other words they have given up the fight against Iphones/Ipads (Apple refuses to support Flash on their devices).

That pretty much means the end of Flash. It will take a few years but Flash is as dead as VHS video tape.

So what happens next? What standard will win? Your guess is as good as mine.

Tim for Ingenyes