The demand for interactive web applications is growing continuously owing to their substantial business impact. Feature-rich UIs and rich internet applications are a norm today – and the one technology favored by most to make this possible was Flash. However, with Flash being flawed security wise, its incompatible relationship with search engines and its resource hogging nature, it was only a matter of time that this technology was replaced by something that is not prone to exploitation and did not drain out the smartphone battery in a flash (pun intended).
Adobe recently announced the end of life plan for Flash. Even though this will come into absolute effect only in 2020, it is time to look at smarter alternatives to build interactive web applications. Here’s a look at a few great options.
HTML5 is emerging as the revolution the internet needed and has been getting industry support through widespread adoption. While to some it might seem like a mysterious creature, HTML5 is easy to understand and makes creating accessible sites far easier because of semantics and ARIA (a W3C spec used to assign specific “roles” to elements in an HTML document). HTML5 also provides great audio and video support and eliminates the nightmare of ensuring that media elements are playing correctly for developers. HTML5 allows developers to write clear and descriptive codes easily. The semantic code helps in separating the meaning from content and style. With HTML5, the end users don’t need to download plugins to view media elements. The foundation of HTML5 web applications is semantically accurate. This means that codes are standardized and readable and hence, great for search engine bots – this helps these applications get better search engine ranking. Finally, HTML5 can be accessed from any device and the audio and video files are less taxing on the mobile device batteries.
CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets) is an independent language that is compatible with all browsers and deals with the look and style of the content of the web application that is written in the markup language. It is also platform-independent and provides components that help designers create design elements very easily. CSS3 is made up of small modules such as Selectors, Box Model, 2D/3D Transformations, Backgrounds, Color Box, Text Effects etc. thereby making applications using this technology easier to use and simpler to develop and hence, facilitates speedy development. CSS3 allows ease of coding and provides designers the options to create beautiful, feature-rich and aesthetically appealing web applications. It also allows easy image integrations including 2D and 3D images, allows easy inclusion of videos and animations and makes it simpler to modify and customize images – this makes handling of graphics and photos easier and more efficient. CSS3 users can avoid the use of complex code as it does not demand scripting and also makes the testing of individual components easier. Being semantically accurate also gives CSS3 web applications get better search engine rankings.
Flash was a valuable tool for web application developers for a long time…and now it is time for some change. There are quite a few options to choose from and looking at how feature rich, how easy to use, and how comprehensive the technology is a good starting point for making this decision.