HTML5 vs. Flash: Webocalypse Now?

Seeing the word Webocalypse reminds me that I’m still a bit perturbed at Engadget’s Laura June and her illogical rant at AMD’s Leslie Sobon.  I made a little time to go back through Leslie’s blog to try to figure out just what she had done to enrage someone at Engadget.

Let’s see.  She’s writes in her authentic voice.  She is courageous, considering her role at a well-known company.  She’s funny and her piece was obviously written with sarcastic jest.  Hmmm.  What’s going on here?  I don’t get it.

Talk amongst yourselves, because I digress.  Back to our current programming.

I’m squinting in another HTML5 presentation, where the guy next to me is having a problem with his iPad.  I have yet to see anyone blog on one of those.  Can you tell I can’t wait for the Slate?

First of all, Eric Meyer looks almost nothing like his media picture.  However, he began his presentation warning us he would overuse the words “web stack” and making fun of Steve Jobs talking about “open” technologies.  All right.  This could be good.  Here’s the summary:

It’s become somewhat fashionable of late to refer to HTML5 and the web stack as a “Flash killer”. The Flash/Flex community, understandably, has not suffered this kind of talk quietly. The ongoing absence of Flash from Apple’s wildly popular portable devices has only fueled the fire. Openness, stability, ubiquity, consistency, and security are all thrown around like the discs of Tron. So what’s going on? Is Flash dying out? Will the web choke on its own complexity? Will we ever stop arguing about all this? We’ll look at where things are and where they’re going, weighing the strengths and weaknesses of each side while making some informed guesses about the future.


Eric A. Meyer has been working with the web since late 1993 and is an internationally recognized expert on the subjects of HTML, CSS, and web standards. A widely read author, he is the founder of Complex Spiral Consulting, which counts among its clients America On-Line; Apple Computer, Inc.; Yahoo!; Wells Fargo Bank; EBSCO Publishing; and Macromedia.

Beginning in early 1994, Eric was the visual designer and campus web coordinator for the Case Western Reserve University website, where he also authored a widely acclaimed series of three HTML tutorials and was project coordinator for the online version of the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History combined with the Dictionary of Cleveland Biography, the first example of an encyclopedia of urban history being fully and freely published on the web.

Author of “Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide” (O’Reilly & Associates), “Eric Meyer on CSS” and “More Eric Meyer on CSS” (New Riders), “CSS Web Site Design” (Peachpit), and “CSS2.0 Programmer’s Reference” (Osborne/McGraw-Hill) as well as numerous articles for the O’Reilly Network, Web Techniques, and Web Review, Eric also created the seminal CSS Browser Compatibility Charts and coordinated the authoring and creation of the W3C’s official CSS Test Suite. He has lectured to a wide variety of organizations including Los Alamos National Laboratory, the New York Public Library, Cornell University, and the National Association of Government Webmasters. Eric has also delivered addresses and technical presentations at numerous conferences, among them the IW3C2 WWW series, Web Design World, CMP, SXSW, TODCON, NOTACON, the User Interface conference series, and now the Web 2.0 series. In addition, he is co-founder and partner of An Event Apart, the conference for people who make web sites.

In his personal time, Eric acts as List Chaperone of the highly active css-discuss mailing list, which he co-founded with John Allsopp of Western Civilisation and is now supported by Eric lives in Cleveland, Ohio, which is a much nicer city than you’ve been led to believe, with his wife and children. He loves music and hates chocolate. Yes, really.

I don’t hate chocolate, but I am allergic to it, so have to limit my exposure to it.  Sniffle.  Most people don’t understand that.  So, don’t be a hater.

As far as his Cleveland, Ohio assertion that it is “a much nicer city than you’ve been led to believe…”  Well, I’ll leave that to you to argue with.

Eric talks about the fundamental design of the Web being connective and consistent and showed early shots of Web browsers (completely unidentifiable according to modern standards).

His assertion midway was that we need to make Web apps simpler and smaller (he and Alex Russell probably get along very well).  He took us through some apps that were less than 10Kb of data.  Very impressive!

The crux of this is that Flash, HTML5 and the Web stack are intertwined.  Everyone will survive.  But, we need to know where to go next.  Again, the smaller and simpler stuff.

The most important call he made was one for a web app store.  Create this one Google!  He ended by calling for peace between the camps (fancy, shiny Web 2.0 peace).  Learn from each other.

Now, I’m trying not to think about what’s happening at UT in Austin as I rush to plug in my laptop and grab lunch.  3 more sessions this afternoon…and keynotes tonight.