Flash is everywhere, and we don’t expect it to be gone anytime soon. Flash vs. HTML5 is still a debate left for the critics, what we know is HTML5 is an innovative technology that would change the face of the web.
Adobe acknowledges this value and that’s why they have launched a product called “Wallaby” an experimental Flash-to-HTML 5 converter tool. Wallaby is a cross-platform Adobe AIR application that allows users to instantly convert Flash output (FLA files) to HTML5 via a simple drag and drop. It is available free for download.
Wallaby, which was first previewed last fall at Adobe’s Max 2010 developer conference, is a great tool.
Watch the demonstration from Adobe:
“We are making this available free on Adobe Labs as experimental technology; it’s something we hope to continue to iterate and get feedback on from customers,” said Tom Barclay, senior product manager for Flash Professional. “I’m interested in how useful this output is, what people intend to use it for, and whether this is something we should be supporting longer term in Flash Professional as another output option or publish setting.”
Since apple has always banged Adobe on flash, its actually a good tool to counter all those concerns. Now all the existing Flash apps, animations/content can be run on iOS devices like iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, without any pain.
However, not all elements from the Flash files will translate into HTML5. But users would get the benefit of the overall design and motion graphic animations. What will not get translated would be the dynamic part like blend modes, filters, audio, video, and even ActionScript.
The output from HTML5 converter tool is essentially a combination of HTML, SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and CSS. The tool is mart enough to translate Vector graphics into SVG & bitmaps into JPEG files. Text can optionally be converted to SVG text, which is converted to plain text, otherwise. The Flash timeline is converted to a group of CSS animations. Scripting allows for batch processing of multiple FLA files.
Supported Flash Professional features: vector art and images; classic text; keyframes; MovieClips and graphics; classic, motion, and shape tweens; rollover buttons; and instance names.
Unsupported Flash Professional features: filters (except simple alpha); blend modes; dynamic masks; some TLF (Text Layout Framework) text; 3D transforms and 3D tween; audio and video; and ActionScript.
Wallaby is believed to work perfectly with Webkit based browsers: Safari, Chrome, iOS devices, Android, blacberry devices.
Adoobe says that by usign this tool you can get your baseline and get the animations, additional actionscript like features using Jquery in Dreamweaver.
In any case, this a great tool, and a great initiation from adobe which shows Adobe’s enthusiasm to develop better and richer web. Will this tool support full Flash Professional features in the future? We’ll know.