network graph / html5
March 26, 2010
As a follow-up to the posts a few months back on the future of Flash, here’s an interesting development: Network Graph is now written in HTML/CSS/JS using the Canvas element. According to the developer, it took around 4 days to re-implement the Flash version’s feature set, and is working reliably since deployment after the rewrite.
The linked blog post is a pretty good summary of where the current Flash/HTML5 debate is at. Advantages boil down to a) improved performance (especially on Linux/Unix-based OS’s), b) usability (better pointer control, keyboard input), and c) easier debugging of HTML/CSS right in the browser using Firebug or equivalent, and challenges center primarily on having to independently handle a bunch of stuff that Flash does for you (clipping, fonts, etc). I imagine much of this stuff will be solved by the frameworks and libraries, and many of the current development experience’s rough edges will be smoothed out.
For product and development leaders and management teams at expansion stage companies who are trying to plan whether or not to use Flash in new dynamic site content, it’ll be key to keep an eye on both the browser version usage percentages and qualitative writeups of the developer- and user-experience like the one above.