If you read ReelSEO regularly you'll be aware that yesterday I wrote about how Adobe teamed up with Kaltura on an online video player featuring both Flash and HTML5. Well their efforts to remain the leader in online media for websites haven't stopped there. With the rise of the iOS devices and the rift between Adobe and Apple web developers and content providers are (far too) concerned about getting their content onto these devices. Adobe is offering as much help as it can while Apple...well, is being Apple about it.Recently at Adobe's MAX 2010 (why don't I ever get invites to this stuff?) they showed off this fancy tool, which I believe they said is codenamed wallaby, a small kangaroo (I wonder if that's because your rich media can hippity hop from one format to another with it), and which I got wind of, ironically, via MacRumors.
John Nack (Hi John) over at Adobe has a video of the tool which is just a tech demo right now and was built by one of their internal engineers. With Apple creating a rift in web browsing compatibility (even larger than Internet Explorer ever did) it's going to mean that we as web developers will have to double our efforts to get our full reach potential, or we'll eventually use a tool like this that will help us port over our code from Flash so that we can readily support non-Flash devices.
It imports an FLA file and will export to HTML. The tech demo had a fairly complex, looping animation with quite a few elements in it. It's not converting it into a black box movie, it's actually creating re-usable single elements for everything that you built in Flash.
The output file is fully commented and structured so you can go find a single element from your animation graphics and re-use it. You can copy/paste code for single elements into Dreamweaver (or whatever coding app you prefer) and because it's all WebKit-based, have it work on even the Apple Flash-phobic devices.
I have to say, that's pretty Frakin' awesome (sorry Mark). If you want to read what others have to say and see John Nack reply to practically every comment, head over to his blog on this topic. It's some interesting reading full of the usual Internet trolls, naysayers, Apple fanboys and William Shatner.
The Take Away
Ha! You didn't think I'd end an article without getting a chance to use my favorite Chinese take out graphic did you? I have to get my tagline in here as well. Really, this tool shows how Adobe is willing to continue their evolution to help web developers make media rich websites and incorporate cool stuff wherever necessary. As mentioned in Nack's blog, they used to export Java, now they will be able to export to HTML5, CSS, etc so that you can build once and display everywhere. That's the ideal situation for a web developer, not having to worry about what platform your users are on when they arrive at your website. Just the satisfaction of knowing that your site will work, almost exactly the same, on every platform is a major relief for a web developer and if you can have a super cool animated, media rich website that does it, then you've just about got the Holy Grail of web development.
Kung Pao! I'm out.