It has been an epic debate since April 2010, when Steve Jobs published a open letter entitled Thoughts on Flash. Many expressive developers shared their opinions. Some said he was wrong, others, partially or fully, have agreed with him. Almost three years later, we see that HTML5 is getting stronger and we, as smart people, should definitely take a look at it. The question is: how to start?
There are lots of different and interesting ways to get your assets into an HTML5 page. PreloadJS, made by Grant Skinner, who has a long and successful story working with Flash, seems like a great start. PreloadJS is part of CreateJS, a library that includes many other tools, such as animation.
The main advantage of Cufón over @font-size is that bigger size fonts will be a lot smoother on Windows and your fonts will, very likely, look exactly the same across different browsers.
Another advantage is that Cufón can also, in some cases, make your page load faster, because you don’t need to load the whole font file. You can instead, load only the specific characters you will need. Here is a great tutorial to help you get started.
Who has not drawn stuff in Actionscript using its drawing API? In fact, some developers love to create reusable visual components entirely through code, rather than relying on the Flash IDE. Here comes handy the Canvas API. It is not exactly the same as in Flash, but after drawing some objects on the screen you will see that it has a quite a few similarities to Flash’s “graphics.drawRect()…” approach. If you want an even easier (and Flash-like) way to work with it, check out EaselJS, which is part of CreateJS, mentioned previously. Lee Brimelow has a great tutorial to help you get started with that.
Routing, aka deep linking. Try Crossroads
It’s not required on every project, but the use of deep linking in Flash projects to enhance usability has become very popular with Flash. Miller Medeiros has build a great HTML5 tool for that as well. There are many other solutions available, but I will stick with that for easy of use.
For the sake of brevity, I have omitted a few other important stuff such as audio, video, 3D, physics, geolocation and local storage, as well as some more advanced techniques. But I encourage you to take one day or two to explore individually each of the tools I mentioned. It will be a great warm up and you will soon realize that it’s much easier than it seems to transition from Flash to HTML5. Hope that’s helpful.
Author bio: Izaias is a front end developer, founding partner at iuqo, a group of award winning interactive developers with a passion for emerging technologies, and partner at UNIT9, a well known digital production studio with offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Florence, Poland and Brazil.