Why flash?

As I’ve been wrestling with actionscript codes, tweens and movie clips for my first two Flash projects in Interactive Media Production, I keep asking myself WHY FLASH? Sure, it’s pretty cool and well, flashy, when entire websites are created using Flash.  But how useful will flash really be in the “real world” outside of Elon iMedia?  I can honestly say I’m not planning on entering an area of the interactive media field where Flash will be essential.  I really can’t imagine any nonprofit who would be really intent on getting a ton of Flash integrated to their website.  Especially on the nonprofits I’m looking to work with- those who specialize in Latin American policy, since Flash isn’t used in most of Latin America.  So beyond my stubbornness that I won’t have much use for Flash, why keep it around?

First and foremost, you can’t deny the awesomeness that is a Flash site.  For instance, We Choose the Moon, an interactive site commemorating the Apollo 11 lunar landing.  This site engages visitors in the history, has some great visuals, and is much more interesting than just a plain website commemorating Apollo 11 with photo galleries and message boards.  Secondly, according to a post on learntodoitright.com, most of the initial problems with Flash- no search engine optimization, plug-ins, slow loading time, have been mostly fixed (In developed countries).

So why is Flash on its way out? Well, Steve Jobs and the folks over at Apple have decided that the iPad and other mobile devices will not support Flash.  Jobs says this is because of Flash’s tendency to cause crashing on Macs, according to an article on Cnet.  Because of Apple’s dominance in the mobile device market, this will probably continue to be the trend.  The same Learn to do it Right article said that another contributor to Flash’s inevitable end is that HTML5 will have the capability to embed video and audio into websites, and that Flash still has a lot of unresolved security flaws and usability issues.

Maybe the end of the Flash is a bad thing for web development and innovation.  As for me, I’m ok with a future without Flash.  So for now, I’m just trying to keep up and stay calm while learning this crazy software.

Here’s what I’m listening to keep my sanity intact: