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Adobe Edge and the Flash-free Web

August 3, 2011

A few months ago, Adobe released a preview of a new technology they’re calling “Wallaby” that attempts to convert the art and animations in a Flash FLA file into a 3rd-party-application free animation using only HTML, CSS and Javascript.  The tool was a major step in Adobe’s attempt to keep at the head of web-based animation technologies, and this week they have unveiled a new step in that same direction – Adobe Edge.

Edge is a development application, with a user interface very similar to the Flash application, that provides users with a graphical user interface for creating animations using HTML5 and its supporting technologies.  The tool was released in Public Preview form on Monday, and by the following day it had already surpassed fifty thousand downloads.

There has been a lot of talk over the past few years about how future websites are going to handle animation, especially with so many mobile devices in the world that (probably) will never fully support Flash, and the general consensus is that HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript tools like jQuery are the answer, and as a developer it’s very exciting to see tools being created that can support that need, and with a familiar interface to boot, for those of us who have experience with Flash animations.  We’re still at least one or two years away from full-blown, universal browser support for HTML5 and CSS3, but I can tell you that at SNQ we’re very excited to find out what these technologies can offer for our clients.

If you’d like to learn more about Edge, you can see the preview here:

http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/edge/?sdid=JAXXJ&skwcid=TC|23230|adobe%20edge||S|b|8333479386

Also, if your browser supports HTML5 and CSS3, Adobe has a pretty cool website available that showcases some of the upcoming features that make use of those technologies:

http://beta.theexpressiveweb.com/

Oh, and on a personal note, one thing I’m really looking forward to is the ability to embed any font I want into my site using CSS.  How is it possible that we still don’t have this feature eleven years into the twenty-first century?

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