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In the days when the Flash technology has finally become an integral part of the Web, it offered the capabilities that were simply missing in the browsers. Fundamentally, the situation has not changed even today. Flash still offers the features not supported by the browsers. However, these are a bit different features now. But the functionality that once has made Flash popular is gradually accommodated by the browsers.
Here we will discuss the practical issue of porting Flash application features available in most browsers to the platform not supporting Flash. And here we usually have a WebKit browser.
The most reasonable approach would be to port the application manually. However, this is not always appropriate if you have lots of multimedia (in such a case, Wallaby or Swiffy is more advisable).
Wallaby Technology preview
The tool has been compiled as an AIR application (available on Windows and Mac).
- Clean and neat SVG and HTML code
- Wallaby needs a JQuery library, although it is used minimally (however this is not a problem if you are already using JQuery in your project)
- Not easy to refine the functionality.
This is Google’s online service. The restrictions are the same: SWF 8 and ActionScript 2. The code is generated based on the compiled SWF file. The result is sort of a unified pseudo-format. To display graphics, inline SVG-elements are used, and the behavior is described by a JSON array executed by a separate JS-runtime. Unfortunately, this approach does not allow you to effectively refine the result obtained. However, by Swiffy you can quickly migrate your Flash banners to WebKit.
- Creating code from SWF: handy, if the source code is lost
- More adequate result.
- It is a “platform in a platform” situation. You have a runtime file and a separate script. This is not optimal, yielding low performance.
- Functionality is difficult to revise.
The Third Way
It is not always the best choice to export all the graphics to SVG. By themselves, WebKit CSS features allow you to imitate many Flash design options, not supported by SVG animation. So it is sensible to use HTML and CSS for simple geometric shapes with solid or gradient fill.
- The maximum quality of porting.
- Choosing the best options of animation and logic.
- Long and labor-intensive porting.
However, you should not expect 100% transfer of Flash application functionality to WebKit.
Here are the pros and cons of (HTML5 + CSS3 + SVG) against (Flash) in general:
- (HTML5 + CSS3 + SVG) are available where Flash is not supported. First of all, this applies to the Apple portable devices. In such devices, the potential of these standards is most fully revealed.
- When the application complexity becomes the same as in a Flash project, it may well be possible that the gain in productivity has already been lost.
Finally, here is an interesting A4 comparing Flash and HTML5 that might be helpful to choose a proper technology. In our view of the current technology, HTML5 can be used to get a quick result and a maximum coverage of mobile devices, and Flash should be used to have the maximum quality of results (smooth, nice, sophisticated animations and interactive video applications).