Which one should you use jQuery or Flash?

First let me say this I have been using Flash since 1999 and I am and always have been a big proponent of Flash and its use for animation on the web and web sites. Well, as we all know the web landscape is a changing.

With the invention of mobile devices and tablets, Flash has had to adapt but during the transition period other animation technologies have evolved. One of the newest technologies is jQuery. We have been using jQuery for about year now and for simple quick animations that are cross-browser compatible as well as mobile compliant jQuery is becoming the go to language.

Flash works on every device expect for the iPad and iPhone(You do have to install an Active X for Flash but the majority of computers come with it installed now), the reason is because Apple does not want it on their devices. Their reason is because Flash can be a resource hog and put a strain on battery life especially mobile devices; Apple also does not want to degrade the user experience or put a strain on their devices. Here is further explanation from Steve Jobs himself: Thoughts on Flash. Now I can not give one view and not give the other so here are Adobe’s comments in regards to Flash on the iPad from the cofounders Chuck Geschke, John Warnock : Our thoughts on open markets

Now, jQuery also has its issue, that being if javascript is not enabled on your computer then jQuery will not run and your animations will not work. But once again majority of computers like Flash already have this enabled by default. jQuery, works on the majority of computers but if it does not you can use a noscript tag to let the user know that they need to enable their javascript. You can also do the same with Flash and let your user to know that they need to download Flash and install it on their browser.

Still confused?

Here are some more factors that may help you make up your mind. Flash can take several years to master and having a background in programming is extremely helpful, but the created user experience is second to none. Now, jQuery easy to learn and the lines of code required are extremely easy to use, but the user experience is not as rich because you are limited by the library that you have referenced. Now Google offers a jQuery library that anyone can link to and you can also download the most recent release from jQuery and install it on your own web site.

Well, we have decided for our clients which require a fully interactive user experience we will use Flash and for those that want simple clean and over all mobile and web compliant sites with animations then we will use jQuery.

But wait…..HTML 5 and CSS 3 will become another player in the game once all browsers begin to support HTML 5 and CSS 3. You can check out a demo of HTML 5 and CSS 3 by going to Safari Technology Demo, but you must use either Chrome as your browser or Safari for it to work right now. You also have to check out Adobe Edge great for HTML5 and  CSS3 Animation.

To be continued…..

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