Earlier today, Adobe Labs released Wallaby, a way to convert simple Flash games and animations into HTML so that it is readable on “devices that do not support the Flash runtimes.” Those would be iPhones and iPads. In other words, Wallaby is Adobe’s way of bowing down to HTML5 and, by extension, to Steve Jobs who has always insisted that there is no need for Flash because HTML5 will take over.
Adobe’s capitulation to Apple has been going on for a long time—first with Flash converters for iPhone and iPad apps, and now with Flash in the browser. Remember that Apple at first tried to block Adobe’s moves, but eventually relented.
So Wallaby is a converter for Flash content on the Web that makes it Apple-friendly (it really works with any Webkit browser). That’s all well and good, and the way it should be, except this Wallaby cannot jump very high. After all, it is hard to jump when you are bowing down. Right off the bat, Adobe warns
Please note that not all Flash Professional features are supported in the HTML5 format. The Wallaby Release Notes describe what features are supported, what differences we have already discovered between the various browsers, what device variations have been found, and any currently known issues.
Complex animations crashes the browser and “zooming in and out can cause odd artifacts in the browser.” Like all converters, it’s a compromise. Developers can tweak the files that are spit out in an HTML editing tool, but by then, what’s the point? They are probably better off rewriting everything from scratch in native HTML. All that Wallaby is going to do is flood the Internet with even crappier HTML5 animations and games than the original Flash ones they are based on. Everything Adobe does is designed to extend the life of its legacy Flash technology.
Photo credit: Flickr/ William Warby