Photo taken by Thomas Hawk
So this Flash vs. HTML5 thing is definitely turning some heads in the web industry. On one hand you’ve got Flash, a time-honored tool which helped propel the Web forward when all HTML did was clumsy tables. On the other hand there’s the spanking brand-new HTML5 spec, which some promise will deliver us from the evil Flash has become. (Disclaimer: yes, I have a Mac, and Flash makes my computer cry.)
Alas, this post isn’t about that struggle, that last paragraph was just for context (phew!). What I’d like to talk about is one of the main arguments people come up with when defending the viability of Flash:
Until there is a tool that allows non-developers to create nice HTML5, JS etc. without the need for code, Flash will still exist.
Ah, the Flash IDE. The sweet calming song of the timeline-based animation, the drag-and-drop magical controls. This stuff is exactly what gave Flash such a bad rep among the Web Development community. Overlooking the fact that these ready-made components are (sometimes) poorly coded, perform terribly and allow for little customization, I’ll try to make my point without sounding like an elitist jerk:
Why are “non-coders” developing websites/web applications anyway?
So I totally sounded like an ass back there. But hey, designers complain when developers try to design their own stuff (and most of the time they fail miserably at it), so why shouldn’t professional designers feel betrayed?. Why shouldn’t developers complain when designers want glossy ready-made controls that wholly trivialize the work of a programmer? As long as we’re at it, let’s allow architects to not only design houses but to engineer them and lay the bricks themselves. That would turn out awesome. No, totally.
What you should take away from this post is that we, as an industry, made up of designers, developers and everything in between, should learn to collaborate. Have this awesome idea but don’t know how to code? Find a programmer that is willing to do it. On the other hand, do you have mad backend skills but can’t develop the whole project on your own? Don’t try to design, just ask one of the many talented web designers out there. Respect the divide, don’t hop all over the place just because jumping is easy to do.