Post noughties revolution

Adobe would have me, you and your granny think that Flash is Gods gift to us mere mortals, however, it’s web standards that’s rising to the occasion. Motion graphics anytime, anywhere on any device. Some say that CSS, HTML and JavaScript isn’t ready to replace Flash. They say it doesn’t matter because Flash is the number one motion graphics platform, and yet, plenty are giving web standards a go anyway. A little revolution is just what the doctor ordered.

First a reality check. There is nothing out there to replace Flash in the short term. Some incidental work perhaps, but as a main stream technology it stands alone with no real rivals. HTML5 video, despite some early adoption, has a long road ahead of it. Canvas may never really lift off because Microsoft may never support it. Even if IE drops below 50% that won’t be enough for mainstream cross browser adoption. There are some rumours that IE9 will support HTML5’s <canvas> so that we won’t need javascript to hack IE to replicate a subset of <canvas> features. We’ll just have to wait and see.
All this may not matter because the main problem is, in the end, tooling. We don’t have, at present, any software to create animations and cinematic experiences like Flash can. Adobe practically has a monopoly on this front. I still can’t believe that the Macromedia takeover was approved.
Who will rise to the occasion and build some cross platform motion graphics software? The only one who has attempted this is Microsoft with Silverlight. Even though their development tools only operate on Windows they could seize the moment, however unlikely, and enable HTML5 output and gain some front-end developers fans. Switching to windows doesn’t sound very appealing to me personally, I’d rather switch to Umbutu, or catch rabies.

We can see some upcoming software companies taking advantage of the new API’s in Windows and Mac OS X and making their own image and animation software. Many of the components for a viable animation, motion graphics authoring software are already available. Even 3DO’s new API is utilising JavaScript to drive WebGL. A few years ago that would have been utterly unthinkable.
So the question is who will grab the chance of a lifetime and become the next Adobe? For all we know it maybe Adobe themselves. They could already be working on HTML5 only output for motion graphics. If they don’t somebody else will.

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