Keeping a horse in the race
There's big hint in Wallaby's technical tips, where Adobe explains that it chose to use SVG to render vector graphics instead of HTML5's
canvas element because
canvas tends to perform poorly on mobile devices. Apple notoriously doesn't allow Flash content on its iPhone and iPad devices, and early tests of Flash 10 running on Android phones have been disappointing. Clearly, Wallaby is intended as one way to leverage existing Adobe tools and file formats on devices that might be ill-suited to traditional Flash apps. There may be other use cases as well, such as graceful regression of Flash applications to HTML for PCs that lack the Flash plug-in.
More important, content, both in print and online, has long been Adobe's bailiwick -- and as the Web continues to evolve, it's not about to be caught with its pants down. A tool like Wallaby can help ensure that Adobe Flash continues to coexist with emerging standards such as HTML5, while still offering additional functionality where HTML5 falls short.
For now, however, Wallaby is mostly a toy. The question is whether there's enough of a market for such a tool to justify developing it to shipping quality, or is the trend toward HTML5 and away from plug-in-based content too strong to generate much interest? That's what Adobe hopes to find out with this preview -- and doubtless it's keeping its fingers crossed.
This article, "Adobe's Flash-to-HTML5 translator: Smart but not pretty," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Track the latest developments in programming at InfoWorld.com, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.