Flash Forward?

What’s Hulu going to do? Sit there and wait? Whine about the blue boxes? Or do the practical thing and write software that delivers video to iPhone OS? The answer is obvious. Hulu doesn’t care about what’s good for Adobe. They care about what’s good for Hulu. Hulu isn’t a Flash site, it’s a video site. Developers go where the users are.

via daringfireball.net

I know we (in higher ed) rely on Flash for lots of stuff. Are we ready to pay attention to the shifts happening under our feet?

6 thoughts on “Flash Forward?

  1. Is there a demand for Flash in higher education? Not multimedia, but for Flash in particular?
    On one level, the production level, I’m curious about how much Flash production campuses do in-house in 2010.
    On the consumption level, how many academics are consciously fond of Flash as a delivery mechanism?
    I’m not sure, but I’m beginning to suspect there’s not a lot of Flash backing in .edu.

  2. Hi Bryan … In my shop quite a bit of Flash gets produced in the form of what I’ll call interactive exercises. Really a lot of simulation stuff. And in that case, I am curious as to how all this plays out. HTML 5 can do the video without much challenge, but the interactive stuff we drop into course materials is a whole other ball of wax.

  3. Using Flash for video is neither here nor there. Flash’s strength is in its interactivity, and often it’s just easier to include video in that interactivity. Not many people realize Flash’s capabilities when it comes to math and complicated calculations such as gravitational effects. Here’s a rather simple example: http://www.johngrindall.com/maths/gravity/index.php
    You right-click on the picture to add planets, then add a spaceship and click the animate button to see the effects of gravity on the spaceship. If more people in higher ed knew what Flash could do, I’m sure it would get used a lot more. It’s also difficult to find good Flash designers as it requires a good mix of art and coding skills. Most end up in the private sector and get paid very well for their skills if they’re any good.

  4. Hi Pat … that’s my point with Flash — we use it for things that really make sense. I think the general public feels they need flash to watch Hulu, YouTube, and Vimeo — not to participate in complex simulations. The video guys will move t oHTML5 — and I think that is a great thing. What will we do *if*, and it is a big if, a device like the iPad becomes the ubiquitous computing device on campus? Is there a path around Flash? What kinds of runtimes can be produced that allow Flash activities to degrade elegantly?

  5. Cole – I don’t think you need to worry. You can do a lot with the HTML 5 canvas ,Web Sockets, WebWorkers, and Storage APIs. CSS 3 is a major improvement over what’s available now.

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