Hypertext Markup Language, better known by its abbreviation HTML, is designed to structure web pages. We understand the language as a cumulation of its parts: through a series of elements, text, tags and attributes which define how web content is being translated through the browser. The text is framed within opened and closed-angle bracket tags with programmed values defining its structure. For instance,defines the structure of the title of the web page; the entity between HTML tags being known as an element. Elements also have attributes that assign qualities like colour, size and font. HTML standards employ these components to create enhanced web features.
HTML5 is the latest HTML version and may have sealed the deal in the debate of HTML vs Flash, considering that HTML5 operates reliably in areas where it has previously been struggling in like adaptive rendering, broadening HTML’s capacity manifold. New elements were added to help users manipulate the layout for better SEO with some esoteric CSS qualifiers being eliminated to improve the user experience in general. HTML5 functions have greater audio and video capabilities and have reached the stage of perfect interoperability.
These new features were created with backward compatibility in mind. What this means is that even though HTML5 does away with third-party add-ons, such as plug-ins and APIs, in order to run content code can be embedded within the document text itself, both desktops, as well as mobile users, can have the same interactive experience.
Formerly known as Shockwave and MultiFlash, the Flash platform entered the market 21 years ago, revolutionizing audiovisual streaming. This offered developers a multimedia platform with the capability of manipulating faster vector graphics through a language known as ActionScript.
However, Adobe Flash is not limited to audio and video, and developers use Flash to create interactive websites, develop Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and manufacture animations. Basically, Adobe Flash gave developers the unique opportunity to design an immersive user experience on the web and allowed them to go above and beyond conventional standards.
However, Flash couldn’t be incorporated into mobile platforms, and since people are increasingly communicating in an increasingly mobile way, it is trailing behind in the rat race.
Steve Jobs publicly condemned Flash for its inferiority to HTML5 in the publication, ‘Thoughts on Flash’ which initiated Flash’s descent to obsoletion. Since such a popular operating system like iOS was incompatible with Flash, and since YouTube shifted from Flash to HTML5 for supporting videos, the scales got further tipped in HTML5’s favour.
Even though it is somewhat rudimentary on mobile platforms, Adobe Flash has the advantage of offering incredibly compact file formats, high-quality graphics and short download times that quickly adapt to different browser resolutions and displays. These features, along with a breadth of development investment and legacy support, still pose Flash as an effective tool for creating good user experiences on the web.