Flash was not a risky horse to bet against

By now, the news that Steve Jobs has vehemently renounced Flash is not any kind of news. While I find it annoying that people will take the word of one person as gospel, it’s really the case that it wasn’t Jobs alone speaking at Flash’s funeral. In web development circles, we’ve hated the technology for years.

As an accent, widget or some other non-critical piece of a website, Flash is fine. For video, it’s even better. But, for a site to be completely built in Flash is inane. First there is the issue with Google in theory not being able to index it. Then there is also the issue that unless designed incredibly well, Flash site take a long time to load. In low bandwidth situations, they often never load.

Above and beyond serving information to the world, there is also the business side of things. I just finished launching a redesign of a site for a client who had had a previous site that was not even completely Flash, but just Flash heavy. Once that previous site had launched, online sales dropped by a whopping 50%. That’s scary and it’s the reason that the new site has not single lick of Flash in it, except for a flickr embed widget, which for some reason isn’t compatible with IE8 or Opera and that’s seriously weird.

So, like I said, while Jobs wasn’t saying anything that any of us hadn’t said before, he said it and acted in such a way that it woke up a great many people we geeks hadn’t reached. Now for myself and everyone else I know in web development people tell us that they have no interest in supporting IE6 and are happy having no Flash. Ah the difference a keynote can make.