The times they are a-changin'
Someone called Mike attempts his five seconds of Internet fame by claiming that Flash Sucks and Web Standards and accessibility guru Mike Davies counters with a post titled Growing momentum behind accessible Flash.
This follows Drew McLellan's post on the WASP blog on Obstacles to Accessible Flash which highlights current accessibility issues that Flash is affected by due to browser limitations and other reasons, both Adobe-related and non-Adobe-related.
There is today more communication and understanding between the Flash and Web Standards communities than ever before. I've been trying to do my tiny little bit by actively encouraging this communication whenever possible and I've been very fortunate to have had the invaluable support of my friends Andy Budd, Jeremy Keith, Mike Davies, Christian Heilmann, Drew McLellan, Tom Croucher, Steve Webster, Pete Barr-Watson, Heather Ford, Lawrence Lessig, John Davey and many others in both the Flash and Web Standards communities.
I feel that it's essential that we keep this communication going and one way to do this is to get Flash people to speak at non-Flash events like d.construct and have Web Standards people speak at Flash events (Jeremy Keith at last year's Flash on the Beach and, this week, at Flash Brighton).
It feels like we've come a long way in the last two or three years in dispelling myths and misinformation about Flash and in getting Flash developers exposed to web standards and concepts such as progressive enhancement. There's also a lot more we can do and it's essential that we keep this momentum going.
Posts like Mike's belong in the annals of history. Stating, as Mike does, that Flash "is the bane of the Internet, and it needs to go away" is in no way constructive. In fact, it runs contrary to all the positive work that we've been trying to do in both the Flash and Web Standards communities in the last few years.
Flash is not going away. In fact, the Flash platform has more legitimacy today than it ever has ever had. And it's wonderful to see the Web Standards community engaging with us and working with us. Together, we can help educate developers on how to create standards-compliant Flash and work to improve the accessibility of Flash. And that's a very Good Thing for us all! :)