Just posting this so in the annuls of time there’s a marker to look back at and realise at what time the “open web” died (give or take a year).
With all this hullabaloo regarding HTML5 (and it’s associated technologies, whatever they are on any given day) we’ve somehow managed to remove the single best thing from the web, that allowed unified and immersive experiences, across browser and platform.
Flash is dead. There I said it.
As a Flash developer of the past 13 years (I’m now calling myself a Creative Technologist… whatever that actually is 😉 that’s obviously an extraordinarily hard thing to say. And it’s not because I’ve invested so much of my time into learning it, but because there quite simply isn’t anything to replace it.
You’ve inadvertently allowed the complete opposite of what it is you have supposedly set out to achieve; a truly unified open web. With standards that pervade across browser, device and platform. For the only standard you see, was Flash.
I joined the fray back in the day when the big boys at the time (Netscape and Microsoft) battled for dominance. I really cannot believe we’re right back where we started from, but this time with even more fragmentation and hackery than the first time around.
Which brings me to my point (via a shed load of vitriol): As Flash is now dead, and the open web is dead (or dying) in parallel, we’ve somehow managed to get ourselves into quite a bind.
With the stranglehold that Apple and Google have over the mobile landscape (I’ll leave Microsoft out of this… for now), where is the incentive for them to push the web forwards, given the fact that they can’t monetise it.
This chart from caniuse.com/webgl provides fairly damming evidence that the new breed of big boys (Apple and Google) have no intention of providing a unified web for users or developers. Why would they though, and risk cannibalising one of their biggest revenue streams.
So I ask that everyone (consumers and developers alike) open their eyes up to the reality of what’s happened the last couple of years. And that is that we’ve traded something that was free, expressive and ubiquitous for something that involves choosing one closed platform over another. And having to pay for the “privilege” of doing so.
If that’s not madness, then I don’t know what is.
P.S. I’ll be writing a follow up post to this, suggesting a way forwards for the Flash/Air ecosystem.