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By Alex Nino

Do not compare HTML5 with Flash

It has been a while since people started playing around with HTML5, and still nowadays there are some people that come with some comparisons between Flash and HTML5. I am a little bit tired about all this, and to be honest I am totally convinced that HTML5 and Flash are completely different solutions which make everything a bit pointless when comparing both, it is so clear to me what/when to use HTML5 or Flash.

HTML5 is not a threat against Flash

We all remember when Adobe came with Acrobat Reader ages ago, and we all remember people saying things like; this piece of software is not going to be here for long, this approach of showing and printing images and text is something that everybody is already doing and at the end it was all curious, how can a product like Acrobat be accepted in the market? What's my point? Where I am going to is… one single word "consistency". At the present the PDF format is considered as a standard for absolutely all kind of content distribution (and online printing). How can? The answer is so simple; everywhere it looks the same, it can be printed everywhere the same, we all trust on its consistency, so many of us feel the same with the SWF format.

People are confused about HTML5

Last week I got a quick discussion with a couple of developers, they came over to have some beers and ask me for any advice about the best way of doing things in HTML5, unfortunately my answer was; guys I am so sorry I didn't have the chance yet of making an iPhone application. So, they said; but we are not asking you about iPhone, it is more about HTML5 programming itself, and then I said; so why do you want to use HTML5 then? and at then end they couldn't answer my question properly. Basically they couldn't give me any good reason for making "complicated" things in HTML5. You can do with Flash (Action Script) whatever you want much faster than coding JavaScript indeed and considering that the Flash Player 10 propagation is quite high nowadays, so we don't need to be worried about relaying on this web based plug-in (the Flash Player).

HTML5 is here to stay, it is for us, and it is for helping us with that boring monkey job nobody wants to do like building a video player with a scroll slider progress bar and some navigation buttons, or making a basic photo gallery with enchanted options, etc. If you are trying to do something more complicated than that, I am afraid you have to be prepared to waste a lot of time dealing with very annoying things like cross browser inconsistencies, performance issues, plus you never know if that thing will work in new browsers in the future. The main problem of HTML is and will be always consistency; it looks different among browsers when you are dealing with advanced features, careful, it could be a big pain, keep it simple if you want to sleep well.

Errr, I would like to say that I am against people trying to make capture Forms in Flash using comboboxes, list, grids, etc… guys! For such things use HTML, in my personal opinion Flash has been created for satisfying our highest levels of creativity, making things intuitive, smart web apps. Additionally I would like to say that there is no reason for me making complicated things in HTML5, and if the reason you have is because of iPhone, you should look for a different solution, say Objective-C, C++. HTML5 is sitting on a very top level of the hardware architecture and processing work flow, JavaScript doesn't run as fast as you may need it in browsers, even slower in mobile devices, so, do not try to do complicated things with it, do not punish yourself.

A good comparison between HTML5 and Flash

A while a ago I wrote a very simple article speaking about Verlet physics, plus mixing it all with Spline Curves, it was about a Balloon movement algorithm, remember? Well here is the flash article in case you would like to have a go with it, Balloon Flash Version.

This time I tried to remake exactly the same piece of program in HTML5 so people can have a better understanding about it, using same logic, same work flow, and same algorithms. I did a quite big research about HTML5 before starting with it but unfortunately once I got it run, it couldn't reach the same performance of the Flash Version. I have tested it on different browsers, in the best scenario (using google Chrome) HTML5 runs about 4 times slower than Flash, I also tried running it iPhone4 and compared with HTC Desire,it runs in iPhone4 about 8 times slower than HTC Desire, of course HTC running it in Flash. I haven't tried it yet in iPad, do you have an iPad? Let me know how it runs like.

Here we are! same Balloon HTML5 version.

and the original version Balloon Flash version.


Alex Nino - YoAmbulante.com

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9 Responses to "A good comparison between HTML5 and Flash"

said this on 28 Feb 2011 9:41:16 PM CDT
Hi this is dolly here.
Yes I totally agree with u that HTML5 is a language for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web, a core technology of the Internet. It is the latest revision of the HTML.

said this on 18 May 2011 4:47:00 PM CDT
Dolly you suck

Muhammad bin Yusrat
said this on 06 Aug 2011 5:23:34 AM CDT

Andre | Flash Cms
said this on 04 Sep 2011 8:40:42 AM CDT
I know you can export flash to Html 5 , but i'm not sure if you can convert all the action script code, at the moment there is only available for AS2 ,here is the link


said this on 03 Dec 2011 11:21:08 PM CDT
So what do we do when we need to create an app to reach a wide audience and we can't make separate iApple, droid, and flash versions?

said this on 03 Jan 2012 9:02:56 PM CDT
IMHO you've got the right anwser!

p cameron
said this on 31 Jan 2012 4:11:43 AM CDT
Great summary, and I totally agree. You cannot really compare Flash with HTML5. I am sure if iPhones and iPads ran Flash there would be no discussion. Apple have a lot to answer for in this respect. I am designing e-learning and Flash allows me to get stuff across far more effectively and consistently than any other on-line technology.

flash enthusiast
said this on 23 Nov 2012 9:14:00 AM CDT
yes totally agree, I have been finding alot of html5 sites are very slow and sometimes have annoying floating boxes that pop up in front of blocks of text and get in the way and won't close.

said this on 31 Jan 2013 5:10:29 AM CDT
"Do not compare HTML5 with Flash" it should be since they are not related!

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