Firefly Imageworks

The Fall of Flash

August 22, 2010
Updated for the Future

Updated for the Future

It may not look like it, but over the last week, this little website has gone through a number of changes under the hood in the name of purging Adobe Flash. But why? I mean, Flash has long since been the bastion of higher functionality and animation on the web, after all. Well, put simply, it seems times are changing.

For a long time, it’s been a slow and sluggish technology on most platforms (particularly Macs). As such, it had become a hated medium for many designers who crave speed and strict adherence to web standards, but choosing to go without it always meant a loss in potential functionality for your website. Quite the pickle.

Recently however, with the advent of HTML 5, CSS3, and a host of other native technologies in recent browsers, Flash has been on the decline. What may historically be seen as the final shove came via Apple when they decided that Flash would not be supported on their mobile devices, the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. Steve Jobs himself even penned a widely publicized open letter on the subject, titled Thoughts on Flash.

What’s this history lesson mean for you? Well, it means that at this stage in the game, using Flash on your website means it won’t look or function correctly on Apple’s products, and – given the decline – it’s entirely possible it won’t work well on other platforms in the future either. Choosing to move away from Flash and adopt stricter web standards as your sole means of delivering content is the safest, most ubiquitous way to future-proof your web presence‚Ķ not to mention, seeing your website run well on Apple’s iPad is a thing of beauty. Trust me. Most importantly, as these web standards have developed, they now do the vast majority of the tasks Flash has been used for already, so the loss in functionality is becoming less and less as time goes on.

So that’s been the goal for Firefly Imageworks this past week: update to standards compliant technologies. That said, there are two exceptions currently: videos posted on this blog and the client login area. However, in both cases, there are – or will be soon – solutions that make each operate correctly on machines that don’t support Flash, so I’m not considering it a major loss just yet.

So, check it out in action! The galleries for design+imaging, web, photography, and the slideshow on the homepage have all been updated via open-source javascript and css based solutions to look and act strikingly similar to their original Flash incarnations. On top of that, I’ve replaced the Flash based font rendering system I had in place, and adopted the CSS3 @font-face standard. But perhaps most importantly (and somewhat unrelated), I’ve added over 20 new images to the photography gallery for potential clients or photography enthusiasts to take a look through. Go give them a whirl and let me know what you think!

  1. These are great addiitions DJ! I hope you can get your hands on a iPad and see how great your website looks on this screen. I hope your customers have the opportunity to appreciate the important changes to the site.

    Even better for the website is for business to see how forward thinking FF-IW is. RESTURANT OWNERS…ARE YOU LISTNEING! Even though SOME mobile devices can support flash, The VAST majority do not. More people than you know are viewing your website from an iPhone/iPad/Android and if, as a potential customer, I view your website and I see a blank page because of some flash montage you have on your home page, I can guarantee you that I will move on to the next business. Please no not underestimate the power of the mobile browser or cheapen the importance of web design such as that found of this website for your business.

    Comment by Colin | August 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

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