Egyptian blogger from Cairo.
Revolutionary Socialist.
Partner & Creative Director at ThePlanet.

jsAnim: Beginning of the End for Flash?

As I was stumbling upon the web, I came across the jsAnim website. The first impression that comes to mind when you open the website is that of vector-based, colorful Flash animation. Interestingly enough, though, it is yet another example of animation and cool effects achieved through pure JavaScript – no plugins required. Just like jQuery has introduced a wide range of animation effects and interactive content, JsAnim looks to rid the users of Flash, especially if all they’re going to do is relatively basic vector animation.

In an earlier post I made about the Solidays festival website, I talked about an example of impressive and intuitive Flash use. Unfortunately, many websites seem to be using Flash for the wrong reasons, and quite a number of developers have opted to fully rely on CMS-driven websites at the cost of some of those cool effects that can give you the edge in a website or online application. Nowadays, with the rise of JavaScript libraries such as jQuery and JsAnim, you can get the best of both worlds by integrating the JS files and calling upon them when needed. The result would be simple, professional and extremely easy to manage/maintain websites, that boast special effects and animation. This is not to say that Flash, as we now it, will cease to exist. Rather, this allows for developers to make a clear-cut choice: either develop the entire website in Flash, and take advantage of the unique features it gives you, or stick to XHTML and CSS using a CMS with JavaScript libraries integrated. The latter of which is by far the most popular choice.

One of the most impressive features of JsAnim is the small file size of just under 25KB. And unlike jQuery, you’re not going to be installing plugins that may increase the file size and require more time to load, at least not for the time-being. At version 0.2, this is only the beginning, and it can only get better.

My observation is that the difference between a multimedia developer and a web designer is growing bigger and bigger. Future generations of designers will have to make a choice earlier on, as it is going to be almost impossible to specialize in both areas. But who knows? Maybe ActionScript can go back to its JavaScript roots, and we get a Flash that integrates seemlessly into a website without requiring a plugin or any kind of special treatment.

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