Jquery: The new Flash

Many developers that I talk to are moving toward javascript to do most of the things they once did with Adobe Flash.  Not only does javascript offer the tools to animate objects with kits like Jquery and MoTools, but it delivers a more versatile toolkit than Flash.  Don’t get me wrong, Flash is a very useful tool and with the addition of AS3 (actionscript), Flash developers can still develop some pretty cool stuff.Interactivity is something that javascript brings and the page doesn’t have to reload in order for this to happen.  Isn’t that great!  It used to be that some things would work in some browsers and not work in others.  These tool kits have made it easier to make code that works across many if not all platforms.

Here’s some pros and cons of using Flash vs Javascript

Flash Pros Flash Cons
  • Extensive features
  • 3D Capabilities
  • Consistent appearance in supported browsers
  • Supports vector artwork
  • Built-in UI & other features
  • Many free and Commercial tools available
  • More font options
  • Not compatible with all browsers including iPhone, iPad and cell phones
  • Moderate learning curve to use
  • Cost of purchasing Flash software
  • Possible problems with users that have older versions of the Flash Player
  • Potentially large file size
  • Possible security issues with Flash Player
  • Tracking stats for Flash elements is limited
Javascript Pros Javascript Cons
  • Small size
  • Using jQuery or other libraries reduces the learning curve
  • Hundreds of free professional quality programs
  • Can add interactivity to web page elements and tags
  • Skinnable Form Components UI
  • Compatible with more browsers than Flash including iPhone, cell phones, PS3, PSP
  • Features not as extensive as Flash
  • Complex features may not perform as quickly as flash
  • 3D features are limited
  • Users can disable Javascript support
  • Source Code Not Protected

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