Flash to Javascript. Why it’s worth the transition.

September 11th, 2012

In this day and age of the modern web, developments are being made across almost all modern platforms making basic CSS, HTML, and Javascript libraries more and more powerful for delivering a visually interesting and elegant web experience. However, while modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera are known for their support of these exciting and useful features, a large percent of the market still resides on older platforms, such as Internet Explorer.

In times past, Flash was the answer for enabling the web to deliver a more stimulating interactive experience. It’s dependencies as a client-side plugin, along with the lack of ease in editing large Flash documents for a more dynamic front-end presence, have made many companies consider more lightweight solutions.

This is where Javascript and it’s many associated libraries, most notably jQuery, can come in. Many of the animations, motions, and other behaviors typical of an interactive web experience can easily be replicated using simple jQuery transitions and modifiers. Take for example the button demo below.

Button Demo

View Demo

In the past, the only way to achieve such smooth animation and detail, would be creating an .swf Flash object, which would require the plugin install to run, and could be several kilobytes in size … always a consideration for organizations with high site traffic to keep in mind. Meanwhile, this Javascript solution, is only a mere 1.18kb in size, runs faster, and cross platform. Also, the use of jQuery allows the scripts that drive the easing and transitions of the animations can be referenced remotely, ensuring that the library is always up to date, unlike Flash which often unpleasantly surprises users with a popup notifying them that your site requires a more recent version.

In short, there’s no better time to be looking into modernizing your site with what the web has to offer these days. Don’t let an error message turn away potential viewers and customers!