Flash is Dead (Well, Sort Of)


Although I do not believe for a moment Flash is truly dead, I do believe that Steve Jobs had it right. Check out his thoughts on Flash.

[box size=”large” icon=”https://www.nickleffler.com/wp-content/uploads/quote.png”]”Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice.” – Steve Jobs[/box]

Flash was a great tool when it was king, and it remains a great tool… for a PC. I do a lot of my animation development with Flash, and it works beautifully, and quickly. What I don’t do is publish directly to a Flash format, unless I know my audience’s specific scope (they all have Flash and are all sitting at a computer).

Flash Export Movie

When I work in Flash, the menu I use for preparing my work is Export. I export my creation directly to a video format which I then use either directly on the web (preferably mp4/ogg) or import it into another program. Depending on the task or complexity, the program I import into is Lectora, Captivate, or Storyline.

What Does This Mean for Flash?

Flash is dying as a publishing format, but when it comes to development, there’s still a lot of life left. It’s dying as a publishing format, but  is still holding on for dear life, it has a long ways to go before it’s 6 feet under though. I predict it has a minimum of 5 more years to go in the learning and design industry even though the transition to new technologies has already begun.

Last year (2012) was the year Adobe admitted (by way of releasing tools to replace it) Flash’s time is limited in dominance of the web. They’ve released tools that rely solely on the big three technologies of the web, HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Captivate and Articulate both released versions that support HTML5 output, although they both have a long ways to go before they offer half of what HTML5 is capable of.


Adobe Edge is the most promising product I’ve seen, an animation can be embedded in basic HTML5 output from Captivate (future availability but not as of May 2013), Storyline, and Lectora. This will give us the ability to create a rich animation inside Edge Animate, then import it into the rapid development tool of your choice. This is simple to do in Storyline and Lectora, but Captivate (interestingly enough) does not give us this capability, though there is beta testing going on for this feature as I speak.

Seven Years Later (February 4, 2021)

Just going through all my new content and this one really caught my eye. Flash is truly and fully dead now. It was discontinued on December 31, 2020.

Adobe completely stopped supporting it and Steve Jobs got the last laugh. It was truly a hot mess of garbage. HTML5 is better and improving every day.