The company says EDGE, currently in pre-beta stage, is meant to co-exist with Flash, not replace Flash entirely. Adobe’s Group Product Manager for Web Pro Segment, Devin Fernandez, says that even though the company will focus on developing tools that support HTML5, it will also continue to support Flash and AIR.
The company already displayed its commitment in moving toward the new generation of web technologies a few months ago, when they launched some sort of a precursor to EDGE called Wallaby, an experimental tool with a simple interface that lets you convert Flash files to HTML5.
While tech experts all over the world argue that Flash will eventually give way to HTML5, Adobe’s VP of Design and Web Engineering, Paul Gubbay, says (and rightly so) that it still a lot of work to design HTML5 content and make it work across multiple platforms, which is why there is a strong demand for tools like EDGE.
Back in April 2010, Flash had been criticized by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, for being too buggy. Jobs also said that as the world moves into the post-PC era, new technologies and standards will need to be adopted. So, it was ironic when the Financial Times announced that it had built its new mobile app based on HTML5. It sparked speculation in the tech world that HTML5 could well kill Apple’s own App Store.
What is HTML5?
HTML5 is basically a whole new generation of the age-old language called HTML, which is used to design web content ever since 1990. HTML5 is based on all-inclusive idea to develop a set of standards that makes everything on every website run across all possible browser platforms, desktop and mobile.
Even though HTML5 has been demonstrated for use in building animations, it still doesn’t deliver an experience that is consistent across a majority of browser platforms. Developers cannot completely rely on HTML5, because a lot of users still depend on Flash for interactive content, especially the ones using Microsoft XP and older versions of IE.
XP does not support any advanced versions of IE than IE8, so designers can’t take advantage of a whole host of capabilities built for HTML5 in IE9. Moreover, Flash support comes integrated within Google’s Chrome Browser and Android OS.
In other words, Flash will not die overnight; it will age away gradually.
Technical Details of EDGE
Adobe EDGE is essentially a timeline-based multimedia authoring system with an intuitive user interface, fast startup time and ability to import various file types (such as SVG, PNG, JPG and GIF) and use them for styling existing HTML pages with CSS3.
EDGE allows designers to select from 25 built-in easing effects and add animations to existing HTML documents, while preserving the integrity of CSS-based HTML layouts. In a lot of ways, working on EDGE would be similar to Flash; the designer essentially manipulates the properties of various objects he is working with.
The software builds upon HTML5 output already present in CS (Creative Suite) 5.5. So, your final project on EDGE will be able to run across multiple browser platforms like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE9 and others.
EDGE preview can be downloaded from Adobe Labs.
==== About The Author ====
Navin Israni is an engineering graduate who calls himself a Teaching and Technical Writing Enthusiast. He is passionate about bringing everyday technology and the news around it to the language of the layman. He has previously written for onlygizmos.com for a short period of time and has also published his own engineering course book on Systems Programming and Compiler Construction (SPCC). He writes a personal blog at logicalself.blogspot.com can be reached through email at [email protected]