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Vootie's picture
1598 pencils

Flash is Dead. Long Live Flash.

How is life treating you in the post-Flash era? Has your online experience become richer as a result? Are more things possible? Is the Web a more beautiful, inspiring, creative place to hang out? I ask myself these questions from time to time, usually when I stumble over one of the increasingly rare designers or developers who have created something worthy that's Flash based and doggedly maintain it. I had that experience recently when checking out the one2edit service, which makes it possible to review, edit and deliver InDesign documents online.

The service is designed primarily for corporate marketing communication departments, creative agencies and prepress service providers, although its ability to allow the editing of InDesign documents online without having to purchase InDesign itself opens up its use to those outside the design community — for example, translators can apparently integrate it into their workflow with their own specialized tools, such as Trados. Since you can protect layout elements such as logos, fonts or colors, while assigning defined elements such as text frames, paragraphs, words or images for editing and review, clients and partners can safely review, tweak and approve defined elements while the rest of the document remains protected, prior to export as a press-ready PDF. Pretty handy, when you think of it.

And yet, one2edit relies on a technology that some will dismiss in advance — Flash. You have to feel bad for 1io, the developer. It was tough enough having Steve Jobs try to put a stake in the heart of Flash. And things only got worse when Adobe announced last November that it was discontinuing Flash for mobile devices. Handled ineptly, many interpreted the announcement to signal the end of Flash for the desktop, as well, which was not the case. And just last week, Adobe announced that it would not provide Flash Player support for devices running Android 4.1. Ouch.

My hope is that 1io, and developers like them, will hang in there and continue to develop services of value to the creative community, whether they use Flash or some other technology. If HTML5 can do the job, great. If not...

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on August 27, 2012.

KEXINO's picture
2 pencils

Basing a web service around a proprietary runtime environment such as Flash or (even worse) Java is always going to be risky. Developers should have seen the writing on the wall as soon as Steve Jobs came out against Flash.

This is one reason why our online translation/localization portal, QARTO uses HTML for the user interface. As well as allowing for a consistent user experience whether accessing the system via the desktop or mobile device, it also makes things easier when integrating with 3rd-party systems from an API standpoint.

FYI (and without wanting to turn this into a plug) as well as Adobe InDesign QARTO also ingests MS Office docs (Word, PowerPoint & Excel), QuarkXPress and even Adobe Illustrator files. We can also enrich and multipurpose the content for tablet publishing applications (iOS and Android).

CEO of KEXINO, a marketing services company for start-ups and SMEs.

Creativebits is a blog about Creativity, Graphic Design, Adobe, Apple and other related subjects.

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