While working on updates of the admin-screen of Autoptimize, I wanted some checks on the URL a user can enter for a CDN. At first I thought I’d do some jQuery-based validation but then I came accross a page (on StackOverflow I guess) that mentioned the new input types and the use of validation patterns, so now I just have this beauty in place;
Imagine you run WordPress with English as default language, but some posts are in another language. Dutch, maybe? Up until a couple of months ago, you wouldn’t really notice anything about that setup. Google might be slightly confused, but us bloggers aren’t really into SEO anyhow, no? But with the release Safari 5.1, Firefox 16 and especially Internet Explorer 10, support for CSS Hyphenation became (somewhat) widely available and if your theme (WordPress TwentyTwelve or its performance-optimized 2012.FFWD child theme for example) has support for in the CSS, your hyphenation would yield weird results because of the fact that the browser uses the language attribute in the HTML to decide which dictionary to use. The solution, if your theme is HTML5, is to add the lang-attribute to the article-tag if you have something to check the language with. In my case I just had to copy TwentyTwelve’s content.php and change line 11 into:
I’ve always enjoyed riding the Firefox-bandwagon and that hasn’t changed, even though Google Chrome seems to be the browser of choice amongst the cool kids nowadays. And if only because I’m a faithful guy, I’ve been running Firefox Mobile ever since I bought a Samsung Galaxy SII as well. Sure it doesn’t do Flash, but I’m not that Flash-inclined anyway. Now, I haven’t met too many people that use Firefox Mobile and indeed when reading about mobile browsers, Firefox is rarely if ever mentioned. But what if I told you that Firefox Mobile is by far the best browser on mobile when taking performance, features and security into consideration? I won’t beat around the bush, here’s the pretty objective data.
the hardware is pretty comparable; all dual-core CPU’s and plenty of RAM.
higher is better, except for Sunspider which measures time (in microseconds).
I’ve got no screenshot or URL of the google v8 test results on my phone, but I’ll be glad to reproduce.
html5test is an indication for support of “modern” browser features (html5, css3 and much more).
the features of the browser GUI arent’t measured byhtml5test, but I’m pretty pleased with Firefox Mobile in that respect as well; great tabbed browsing, plugins (including noscript!), sync-ing of all relevant data between desktops & mobile, …
I added Opera Mobile and Dolphin HD to the list. Opera’s not too shabby but not a winner either?
And last but not least; as Firefox Mobile isn’t native and since it’s on the same (crazy) rapid release cycle as the desktop-version, I consider it to be a lot more secure when compared to the slow evolving, rarely updated native browsers in Android and iOS. My advice; if you’re an Android-user and you’ve got a recent handset or tablet, you really should consider switching to Firefox Mobile. It’s the best mobile browser no-one is using! Except for you?
Business Colleague: I would like a personalized dashboard with some nice-looking charts in my web application. Web Development Partner: No problem, we’ll do it in Flash! Business Colleague: No, we want this to work on the iPad too!
The year technology-agnostic decision-making business people started telling suppliers not to use Flash, that was the year Flash became irrelevant and “the open web technology stack” (somewhat incorrectly marketed as HTML5) took over.
Some people seemed all too happy to dismiss my post as being plain old Flash-bashing. Sorry to disappoint you, but I”m not saying Flash is evil or that it will (or should) disappear altogether. Next correction: I do have Flash player installed and in general I do know if a application is made in Flash or not. Heck, the web has been my job for more than 10 years now and Flash has been a point of interest for quite some time already. And yes, there indeed are innovative web applications and games that are build in Flash. That being said, I do think (because of accessibility, SEO and some more philosophical reasons) it’s best to avoid using Flash to develop a site’s core functionality if the same can be achieved with non-propriety, standard web technology.
It’s not about Flash vs HTML5
“The only constant is change” and that’s all the more valid on the web. Flash has an important role to play in this respect, having pushed the boundaries of web-based UI’s for many years. But as some of the cutting-edge features that once were only available in Flash, can now be created more efficiently using non-propriety technology, there’s a shift towards the use of those open web components (e.g. the Flash carousel on National Geographic website that was shown in the Adobe video from my previous post has been replaced by a JQuery implementation). I believe (and that’s what the previous post was about) this trend will continue in 2010 because of features of HTML5, CSS3, canvas, … becoming available to a wider audience either natively (in new browsers) or through libraries that provide cross-browser compatible implementations. And yes, I’m afraid that in my book that means Flash will become less relevant (“irrelevant” in my previous post being an obvious hyperbole).
Despite great efforts by Adobe, Flash on the mobile web (i.e. in a browser, non-browser implementations are irrelevant in the discussion about “open web vs flash”) remains almost non-existent. The fact that Apple continues to refuse Flash for the iPhone only makes this worse, due to the seemingly untouchable “game-changer” status of their phone and due to the fact that more than 60% of all mobile pageviews originate from their mobile devices.
To sum it all up: when Adobe Flash evangelist Serge writes “Flash Player has it’s place on the web today and in the future” I can only agree. But I’ll bet you that place in the future will be less prominent than the one it holds today.
My 2nd prediction for 2010 (the first one being ‘offline is the new online‘): the glory days of Flash are over. The reason for this is twofold; the mobile web and the strong advances “open web” technology is making.
Open web moving in, fast
Adobe’s answer; mobile banners & deploy to Appstore
So with a Flash-less mobile web and with strong browser-native competition for both multimedia and graphics on the “normal” web, how does Adobe see it’s future? Well, they plan to roll out “iPhone packager for Flash” in CS5, allowing any Flash developer to publish to the AppStore, but there’s still no news about in-browser Flash on the iPhone. For non-Apple devices, Adobe is boasting a preview version of Flash 10.1 in a mobile browser (the Android 2.0 browser on Google Nexus One in this case) with this promo video;
I don’t know about you, but somehow a sub-par game, web video and banners don’t convince that Flash has a bright future ahead. Not on mobile and maybe even not on the open web as it’s shaping up to be. But maybe you think Flash will remain in the spotlights despite all of this? Why? Let us know in the comments!