Flash tool vendor highlights Adobe's vision deficit

With the gripes over Apple's lack of support in its mobile platforms for Adobe's Flash technology, one of Adobe's third-party developers is on the right track for handling content: seamless integration of both HTML5 and Flash.

With the gripes over Apple's lack of support in its mobile platforms for Adobe's Flash technology, one of Adobe's third-party developers is on the right track for handling content: seamless integration of both HTML5 and Flash.

Dominey Design offers the Flash authoring tool SlideShowPro for displaying still and rich media content online. In addition, it sells an extension for Adobe Lightroom, a standalone edition, SlidePress (a WordPress plugin) and  SlideShowPro Director, a content management system.

Last week, the company announced SlideShowPro Mobile, a player supporting SlideShow developed sites that doesn't require the Flash Player plugin. It will provide similar previews and automated content handling as the Flash version.

In a demo video, company founder Todd Dominey said the SlideShowPro system will "allow your content to be not only accessible [on the Internet] but provides a user interface that's native to the device." The demo was done on an iPad and showed a preview image for a still image gallery where the content was automatically formatted for screen resolution of the viewing device. Previously, the site would have showed a blank area for the SWF container, he said.

SlideShowPro Mobile is an entirely new media player built using HTML5 that doesn’t require the Flash Player plugin and can serve as a fallback for users accessing your web sites using these devices. But it’s not just any fallback — it’s specially designed for touch interfaces and smaller screen sizes. So it looks nothing like the SlideShowPro player and more like a native application that’s intuitive, easy to use, and just feels right.

The best part though is that because SlideShowPro Director (which will be required) publishes the mobile content, you’ll be able to provide the mobile alternative by simply updating the Flash Player embed code in your HTML documents. And just like when using the SlideShowPro player, because Director is behind the scenes, all your photos will be published for the target dimensions of these devices — which gives your users top quality, first generation images. The mobile player will automatically load whatever content is assigned to the Flash version, so the same content will be accessible to any browser accessing your Web site.

Blogger John Nack said he would like to see this dual support added to the Lightroom version of SlideShowPro.

I want to generate two presentation layers (one Flash, one HTML) that both provide a rich, beautiful presentation of the same image files, and I want the gallery to auto-select the correct presentation layer based on viewers’ devices.  Make the whole tedious Flash-vs.-HTML thing a non-issue for customers.

Support for integrated HTML5 and Java authoring is exactly what Adobe should have announced at its Creative Suite 5 launch in April. But no.

Instead, the company went forward with an anti-Apple advertising jihad, public rants by beloved founders,  complaints to regulators and a hardball pitch to developers. All told, it betrays incredible weakness and a lack of vision on the part of Adobe management. (And no, the HTML5 Pack extension for Dreameaver CS5 doesn't cut it.)

Of course, content developers, the users of Adobe's professional products, want to connect with their customers, using the tools that they have invested in. Here's the vision expressed in Dominey's blog:

That said, and this may come as a surprise, but we’re very excited over the prospect of alternatives to Flash and the ever increasing power of what’s natively possible in the web browser (without plugins). Why? Because we’re passionate about web design and development, in all forms, with a particular interest in providing photographers and designers the means to create, publish and share engaging online content. The way people access the web may change, but our goal does not.

Exactly.