8 Replies - 1634 Views - Last Post: 05 May 2011 - 05:46 AM

#1 Ntwiles  Icon User is offline

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JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 22 April 2011 - 11:57 AM

I'm about to begin work on an image gallery, but I want it to feature moving images. I'm curious which would be a better way to go about this; Javascript or Flash?

I'm experienced enough with Javascript to figure this out, and I've never touched Flash before. I've been told that Flash is on the wane and I've been recommended against using it for web development. At the same time though, I would assume that this would be slower and messier if I tried to do it in JS.

Can I get some opinions on this?

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#2 BetaWar  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:37 PM

You could do it in either, as you know.

I would say that you will probably get the best looking and most responsive output when using Flash though. Additionally, you will have the most options on how the images are animated (3D, transitions, simple tweening, etc.).

It really just depends on what you want this to look like. If you simply want to have a thumbnail which displays a larger version of the image when clicked you could simply go with litebox, it has been around for quite some time and accomplishes just that.

On the other hand, if you are wanting to have something interesting like a 3D photo wall, or a sphere of images, or a slider which shows an iTunes-esque image with images on either side tilted back, (and the list goes on) then I would strongly suggest you use Flash.

Either way you go there will be people who can't view your content (they could have javascript disabled in their browser, or not have flash player installed).

Hopefully that helps
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#3 LaughingBelly  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 22 April 2011 - 04:56 PM

There are two opposing forces here.

On one side most browsers are getting hardware acceleration and super optimized javascript engines. The difference between a flash rendered presentation vs a html 5 rendered presentation is very little.

On the other side, people seem to be still hesitant to migrate from flash because of the browser independance they get. They can also hide their script from getting hijacked by the average user for various purposes with easy to use tools like greasemonkey. The amount of churn that html 5 still has ahead that requires standardization is also another factor.

So it is really up to you to figure out what your requirements are and whether going one way or the other makes or breaks the experience now and in the near future.
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#4 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 22 April 2011 - 05:21 PM

My philosophy is to avoid optional 3rd party stuff as much as possible (like Flash). If there is no clear advantage in using Flash, I'd recommend against it.

If you use libraries like jQuery, the cross-browser complications that come with Javascript are pretty much taken care of, and creating simple effects is pretty easy.
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#5 Prototypical  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 22 April 2011 - 08:50 PM

I think betawar hit the nail on the head, it's really about your expectations in certain areas.

If you want the viewer available on say an iphone -- flash is not the right tool. But if that doesn't matter, and you want a more "flashy" gallery, you might want to go with flash.

Jquery is very capable, but if I was doing something a bit more involved I could do it quicker in flash and with better performance in most cases. Mostly because there is just a wealth of libraries out there for some awesome effects, that are surely possible in HTML5/Javascript, but just don't exist at the moment and you might need to develop on your own.

So it's up to you, to decide the best tool for what you are trying to achieve based on the requirements/expectations.

Flash on the wane is kind of a myth really, I've had an increase in the amount of flash work in the past year and at a higher rate.

Flash Jobs Increase

I think flash not being on the iphone/ipad and the apple snubbing can make it seem as flash is on the decline, but there is certainly more work at a higher rate than 2 years ago. So, if that means it's waning, I'm missing something.

There are still alot of companies that are pumping more cash into flash based development. What gets missed in all this is that the real reason Apple doesn't want flash on the iDevices is that it devalues the App Store - which means money from their pocket.

But it will happen soon enough. Apple wasn't going to allow flash developed apps into the App Store, and that changed. How long can they allow Android devices to exclusively have a large portion of the web that an iDevice can't access at all ?

What did backward compatibility do for Windows growth back in the day ? What exactly requires us to leave behind such a large amount of software/code that is still relevant ? iDevices can easily have the same filter that you can have in your browser that requires you to activate flash content on a page. Let the user choose.

Stepping off my soapbox!

I love my iPod touch and I'll have an iPad soon. But, not being able to have flash content on them, is more an annoyance than a step forward in my opinion.
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#6 Ntwiles  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 25 April 2011 - 12:30 AM

Thanks for all the great info, guys. The animations on the images are going to be simple ones, and I do want to develop this to work on mobile devices, so I think I'll take a couple of your recommendations and take this as an opportunity to delve into jQuery.
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#7 andrei71  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:21 PM

You better be to use flash if you want to manipulating image gallery
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#8 Atli  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 04 May 2011 - 10:41 PM

View Postandrei71, on 05 May 2011 - 04:21 AM, said:

You better be to use flash if you want to manipulating image gallery

Why do you say that?
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#9 Shane Hudson  Icon User is offline

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Re: JavaScript or Flash?

Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:46 AM

Firstly, I would like to note that I am fairly biased against Flash in for use on websites for anything other than games. Secondly, I would like to add that I am not an apple fan boy (in fact I do not own a mac).

Website developers in general hate flash. Users find it slow and do not like to update unless it is automatic. With CSS3, html5 and javascript (especially jQuery but others as well) there is rarely any need for flash anymore. These are much easier to edit, generally faster and are getting to the point where there is the same (if not more) compatibility as flash in all modern browsers.

So I suggest you go the javascript route unless it is something completely out of this world you are trying to achieve. Flash is fine if you really cannot do it in javascript but I urge you to realise that Flash is becoming almost controversial when used for websites (especially entire websites).

Also, take a look around the web and see exactly what javascript is capable of these days... I am fairly anti-flash but still sometimes I see websites made in html5/css/js and I have to check whether it is flash or not!
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