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Interactive HTML5 as flash banner replacement


HTML 5 is the new version of HTML.Like previous version of HTML this specifies the structuring and presenting content on the World Wide Web. But what we will roughly refer to as HTML 5 in this articles is actually the whole web technology stack (HTML 5 + CSS + JavaScript) and not only of the markup language.

So when we talk of HTML 5 we have a programming language JavaScript ( like flash ) a set of api and JavaScript frameworks and the new multi media features of HTML 5 like drawing graphics ( using the <canvas> ) , play audio( using <audio>) and video ( using <video> )

Features of HTML5 for supporting Media

HTML5 has added new features to HTML . To have a complete overview of HTML 5 and its features please visit

But the tags for media support which are very important are

  • <video> tag

The video tag defines a video or other video stream.

<video src="/myVideo.ogg" controls="controls">
Video Tag Not Supported

  • <audio> tag

The audio tag defines sound, music or other audio streams

<audio src="/myMusic.ogg" controls="controls">
audio Tag Not Supported


  • <canvas> tag

The canvas tag is used to display graphics. Canvas is just a container. One can use JavaScript to draw in the container.

<canvas id="drawCanvas"> Canvas Tag Not Supported </canvas>

<script type="text/javascript">

var drawingcanvas=document.getElementById('drawCanvas');

var drawingcontext= drawingcanvas.getContext('2d');




Web Development trend towards open technology

Web development is certainly moving towards open technologies and non proprietary standards like HTML 5. Moving towards open technologies becomes necessary for the developers specifically at client side technologies as they do not have control over it and are depended on what the client is using ( e.g. the client might be using IE on windows , or might be using IPhone to access the website ) . In such cases open standards and software are a better bet than a proprietary technology like Flash.

It is seen that JavaScript frameworks like Jquery etc are continuously replacing flash at least in things such as animated menus and basic web animation. So basically web developers are now using Flash at least for lesser things than they used to use it a couple of years earlier.

Software giants like Microsoft (which have there own proprietary Silverlight ) are also embracing open software like Jquery and are also going to make it a part of visual studio.

So with the in a war of flash (a proprietary technology) competing with HTML5 (an open standard), HTML5 (the complete stack) has a much better chance of winning till the features both provide are similar.

Also HTML 5 is render directly by the browser (flash is rendered through the flash plug-in), in case there are any bug in it they can be directly fixed by the browsers. The browsers don’t have to wait for adobe to fix the bug in the flash plug-in.

YouTube launches support for HTML5

  • One of the biggest site using Flash would be youtube . You tube launched support for HTLM5. The support is limited but this is a huge step towards HTML5.

Screen shot of youtube without a adobe flash plug-in

No flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads

There is no flash support on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Apple has rather given support for HTML5 on iPhones, iPods and iPads .

Steve jobs have shared his thoughts on flash and the reason behind not using as flash being a propriety technology and only adobe controlling it. So apple wanted to use open standards in their products ( i.e. on iPhones, iPods and iPads)

You can read a detail reasoning given by Steve Jobs for this decision on -

Flash offers things that open web don’t offer (may be also not in coming years)

The HTML 5 (stack) is good for basic animations. But capabilities of Flash are still unmatched by far by any combination of open standards for higher end animation and interactive capabilities.

Javascript also is very processor intensive currently. So here also Flash presents a better solution for the sites which have a lot of animations and high interactivity like gaming sites etc.

Flash has a more than just video, flex currently provides a very rich programming model and create very rich interactive web applications.

Also the Action script engine is very robust and efficient which contributes to the popularity of Flash.

Developers can only move if the users move

One another major hurdle in HTML 5 replacing flash is the developers can use these new standards only if the users of the web sites move to software which supports these new standards. Still a lot of users use IE6 to access websites which is quite an old technology.

Though backed up by big software players HTML 5 video is also not mature enough still.

Tools to create rich content for authors

There are a lot of tools associated with flash to create rich content in flash. Some of these tools are specifically built and marketed by adobe itself. Such tools support is currently lacking for HTML5. This might not be a problem for developers. But authors who are not developers it would be a big problem if such tools are not present or easily available.


With all the factors mentioned above HTML5 ( stack ) at least in the recent years will replace flash for basic animation , but flash would still be a dominant technology for high end animation and interactivity applications on net . Total replacement of flash by

HTML 5 in recent years looks highly unlikely unless some combination of open technologies can provide all sets of features provided by flash.

But the use of flash will surely diminish as HTML 5 can do more and more things (like use of flash to do basic animation is greatly reduced) and if Adobe has to keep flash in the race against HTML5 and other open technologies it will have to continuously improve Flash and provide better features and capabilities the open standard can provide.




-1 #1 Guest 2010-08-19 02:45
Impressive features of HTML 5, it can indeed stand as replacement for flash but it still needs development and having it supported by YouTube will make it more known to users.
-1 #2 Guest 2010-09-27 23:45
This should be an amazing addition to the iPhone Safari system! :lol:
+1 #3 Guest 2011-11-29 02:53
can't wait for it to finally get rolled out properly :)
+4 #4 Guest 2012-04-15 10:11
There is still the need of an agreement(specs ) of how HTML banners will run, how about clickTAG and clickTarget?
-1 #5 Guest 2012-04-20 06:40
One other reason why Mac dropped support for flash is because It is buggy, and can eat up resources

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