Upon arrival at this year’s Developer Developer Developer event I knew I was going into the hornet’s nest. It’s not easy trying to go unnoticed at these things you know, especially when you’re the only Flash developer there amongst a crowd of several hundred soulless dot net geeks. Somehow they can just tell you’re different, as this poor Flash developer found out to her cost at last year’s DDD event.

Desperate to avoid a similar fate I enlisted the help of a few dot net peeps I work with who were also going along and who promised not to alert the others to my presence. Basically MacDog told me the best way to fit in was to go unwashed for a whole week and then make snide remarks on the day whenever anyone mentioned Adobe or Flash. He’s been following this code of conduct for several years now and it seems to be paying off for him, although he does have to keep the windows open at work to get rid of the smell.

His advice worked and if the truth be told I kinda got more into it as the day progressed, even randomly adding in some guttural barks and yelps of delight whenever anyone mentioned HTML5.

In fact first up on the day was Craig Nicol with HTML5: The Language of the Cloud? He gave a whirlwind tour of some of the new features of HTML5 including Canvas support and video playback. Of course just about everything he demonstrated had a list of caveats attached to it and the demonstrations on offer weren’t anything I hadn’t seen before, but it was a good presentation and served to highlight the many great things we can expect from HTML over the next few years.

I’m hoping to find some time to tinker with HTML5 at some point, it’s just a pity I’m going to have to go back to using JavaScript rather than ActionScript 3. I remember the dark days of ActionScript 1 and find it quite startling that web browser implementations of JavaScript have barely evolved.

By far the most entertaining presenter on the day was George Adamson. His session was billed as a fast-pace introduction to JQuery and he promised to avoid boring slides. Well George kept his promise and delivered the best introduction to JQuery you’re likely to see in under 30 minutes. For those Flash devs who don’t know, one of the many things JQuery can do is let JavaScript developers create cool programmatic animations in a very similar manner to APIs like Tweener and Greensock.

So why the heck am I telling you all this? This is a Flash blog right? Well of course it is, but the simple fact is that as HTML5 continues to standardise, many of the tasks that would normally have been done in Flash will most probably be implemented in HTML5 and JavaScript. But whereas the very mention of HTML5 or Flash seems to polarise people I say let’s embrace all these technologies. As developers we shouldn’t be picking sides, rather selecting the correct technology for the job.

As a Flash developer my skills are transferable. I know ActionScript inside out and I’ve been using tweening engines such as Tweener and Greensock for some time. Working with HTML5 video and rendering pixels to the Canvas shouldn’t be that difficult. So to everyone out there in the Flash community, embrace HTML5. Let’s flood the web with HTML5 version of the banner ads we used to do in Flash and watch as everyones browser slows to a crawl. It’ll be no time at all before everyone is banging on about how slow HTML5 is and how all it’s good for is producing banner ads. Before long they’ll come flooding back to Flash 😉

Seriously though, I really enjoyed DDD and hope to be back next year (if they’ll have me back after this post that is :-)). A big thanks to all the presenters and to Glasgow Caledonian University for hosting the event.

  1. Many thanks for your kind words Christopher!

  2. No problem George. It was a great presentation.

    Christopher (Author)