Wednesday, November 19th, 2008
As it is Adobe MAX this week, there is a lot of talk about the Flash platform. How does this relate to the Open Web? Well, it turns out that Dion and I have been discussing how Flash can join and become a part of the Open Web.
Dion kicks things off with his blog post “The Flash Platform: How Adobe could join the Open Web to take on…”. He first talks about how developers see Flash today versus other options:
Adobe (via Macromedia) has traditionally been a Web designer company, but developers haven’t jumped in to the same degree (note: not to say they haven’t been wildly successful!). I think that the perception is something like this:
Dion discusses how Adobe has an opportunity to position themselves relative to Silverlight much more strongly in the Open Web camp:
With Silverlight making a huge charge I worry about a world where you have “Best viewed in Silverlight and IE” (which in fact is “only viewed in…”) and people often ask: “But isn’t Flash just as bad?”
Adobe has an opportunity here. They can move to the right and Flash could become strongly in the Open Web camp. Then we would all be stronger as we come up against Silverlight :)
The next logical question related to this is open sourcing Flash:
The conversation tends to end up with opensourcing Flash, which I think will happen at some point through necessity, and the sooner the better (for everyones sake). Flex has a loyal base and has some open source help, but hasn’t gotten the love that it could get because it sits on top of something that isn’t open source itself. It is hard to get excited about an open source tech that sits on top of the same vendors proprietary platform!
I agree with Dion that open sourcing Flash and having it join the Open Web camp is a very compelling idea. Open source would just be the first step, though, so following up on Dion’s post I put together an editorial titled “How Flash Can Integrate With The Open Web”:
As Dion points out open sourcing Flash is one big part of making this happen, but another huge aspect would be to have Flash and Flex integrate better into the web stack and be less of a ‘black box’ on the screen…The important point is to integrate Flash and Flex more deeply into how the Open Web works:
- Cross-Platform Standards
- No Vendor Lock-in
- Anyone Can Innovate
- Powerful, Universal Clients
- Open Source Implementations
- Mashable, Searchable, and Integrated
I give a list of suggested ways to do this; the important thing is to have Flash integrate more deeply — these are just some suggestions to kick things off. Here are some of them; click on them to read more in-depth how this might work:
- Directly push Flex and ActionScript to the browser and Embrace View Source
- Integrate with Bookmarking and History
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Browser
- Hyperlinks Are Your Friend
- Embrace REST and Readable Remoting Protocols
- Embrace SVG
- Integrate With HTML and CSS
- Make Friends With HTML 5 Video
- Support Both Documents and Applications
- Start Working with the W3C and IETF (and/or the Open Web Foundation)
I wrap up with a conclusion:
At the end of the day Adobe is a tools company, a really damn good tools company actually. Doing the above should allow Adobe to continue creating powerful tools that help authors and content creators while expanding the size of the market they can target.
The above list was just a suggestion to kick things off. The real focus is on having Flash integrate into the web stack better itself (and evolving both Flash and the web stack themselves into the future).
How do you see this happening?
Posted by Brad Neuberg at 6:00 am