As I read in HTML5 definition it can do anything that Flash can do! and I ask myself is it right to waste my time to learn flash or should I learn HTML5 instead.

Does HTML5 Beat Flash in the future?

P.S: Are there any thing that you can do in Flash and still are not possible in HTML5?

  • 3
    Since this is an opinion poll, I've made it community wiki.
    – Tim Post
    Aug 4, 2010 at 11:16
  • And what about Silverlight? :D Aug 4, 2010 at 14:16
  • Voted to close as "not a real question".
    – delete
    Aug 4, 2010 at 14:19
  • 1
    I don't think it should be closed, it should only be reformulated in an other way. A possible reformulation could be "Is Flash still worth to use for future development or should we only use HTML 5 ?".
    – HoLyVieR
    Aug 4, 2010 at 14:47
  • Where can I vote for HTML5 ? :) Nov 22, 2010 at 16:04

8 Answers 8


It depends on your timescales. Right now Flash is far more widespread than HTML5, mainly due to browser support (like it or not, until IE9 is released and widely adopted, this will remain the case).

However, I think over time HTML5/Canvas will become the dominant technology — at least for things like video, animations and simple interactivity. I suspect that Flash (and Silverlight) will adapt and survive, but will have more of a niche market.

I don't think you'll waste your time learning Flash, but if I were you I would look at HTML5 first. There will be far fewer experts in HTML5 in the near future, and more demand for their services, so I would see it as the smart thing to do.

  • Agreed... flash is definitely not dead, nor is it likely to die anytime soon. While HTML5 will definitely add some zing to the web, flash will continue to have its place. As far as video goes, we aren't even thinking about using HTML5 until the browsers can agree and implement a standard across the board. Sad, but, true.
    – gabe.
    Aug 4, 2010 at 11:16
  • 2
    HTML5 and Flash/Silverlight have a lot of similar functionality, but they aren't interchangable. HTML5 lacks some of the features that Flash/Silverlight offer. Aug 4, 2010 at 18:01

There actually are many things that you can do in Flash or Silverlight that are not possible in HTML5 (DRM/Content Protection, VBR-streaming, Embedding, fullscreen, COM access). This blog post from Google offers great insights to why even though there is a lot of potential for HTML5 to enhance the web, browser plugins are far from dead.


Flash will not die at least for the foreseeable future even as HTML5 becomes more prevalent. Until IE6-IE8 become go of use there is still a need for flash in websites and IE6-IE8 unfortunately will be around for a while.

In the end it depends on what you are trying to do. If you goal is purely to learn something, I would choose HTML5 as it will only become more relevant as time goes by. If you need to get something done right now that is possible in Flash and HTML5 and you only have time to do one or the other, then Flash is the more well adopted technology and is your better bet.


Not yet. Watch http://html5readiness.com/ and http://caniuse.com/ for browser availability.


I would argue that many things that people used to use Flash for can now be accomplished via Javascript, which in my opinion is less intrusive, until HTML 5 finally becomes widespread enough to use. I know that many of my corporate clients won't be allowing HTML5 any time in the near future as most are standardized on outdated IE installs corporate-wide.


While Flash is not yet dead (unfortunately), I think that you should go straight to HTML5 and Javascript/jQuery, unless you are looking into developing games. While HTML5 is not yet as widespread as Flash, it will be. Soon. And remember, Flash does not work on any iOS device.


We're still battling with IE6, even though it's well and truly in its death throws now.

If you want to support as many browsers as possible, then the time hasn't yet arrived to code sites in HTML5 with no backwards compatibility.


No opinion or general statistical information will help on this. In all comes to visitors your site targets.

HTML 5 is going to "suffer" from same issues that old browsers cause, that is, how fast your target audience upgrades their browsers. No other information than you site statistics can help you on that, because people get web browsers in different ways.

Those that still use IE 6.0 have probably use it because it came with the OS, so they don't care about upgrading, and they never will. Techies, on the other hand, are already coding HTML 5, and laughing their a**es off at sites that don't use it (yet)...

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