I've just realised that an email reply I wrote on the FlashMedia List would actually make a good blog post. I wrote it in response to someone pointing once again to the death of Flash, brought up by mobile and HTML5.
Actually I see emerging platforms as a big opportunity for Flash, not a threat. Why was Flash successful in the first place? Cross platform consistency.
Same headaches, new platforms. Not every company has the budget to develop an app for the web, plus iOS, plus Android, plus other less significant OSs. We should not underestimate the cost savings Flash brings to the mass market (remember when everyone and their dog wanted a website?), and the only other technology that may be able to offer the same benefits is indeed HTML5 (and by that I include JS, CSS etc). So learn some of that if you wish, but I personally never much enjoyed building HTML based sites, nor do I now. Call me old fashioned, but I still enjoy building Flash applications - and get paid for doing so.
We all have been building apps for years, and now we get a whole new platform to play on. How does that align with 'Flash is dead'? It doesn't.
Remember the real reasons behind Apple's Flash ban: it wasn't because of a lack of features, or bugs, or security, it was because of the threat it poses to their App Store revenues. You know, I know it, Steve Jobs know it.
How many fellow Flash Developers are struggling to find work? Speaking for myself, I've rarely been busier. I look around me and see my clients desperate to find good AS3 coders - and failing. Not because they have all left and are coding JS now, no, but because they all have good jobs already.
So here we are again: we have Flash, and we have HTML with the only difference that all have moved on a bit. History seems to be repeating itself. And I can see Flash still keeping an upper hand and wide popularity as it matures in the mobile space because it not only runs in most mobile browsers but can now also spit out native apps. And guess what: users do not know or care how those apps were built as long as they work. And they pay for these apps, and keeping production costs down can mean the difference between an app making a profit or a loss - not everyone is a Rovio, the money will be in the long tail, mobile is no different.
I've launched one shitty Flash game on iOS and guess what, Apple sends me a few bucks on a regular basis. Imagine if I built a decent app? Do you think I could sell some copies? You bet I could.
But you don't hear about those guys that 'just' make a decent living from it without becoming an App Store millionaire, yet all those guys combined make up the market.
My prediction: HTML5 will be a hit in the long run. And Flash will broaden its appeal and stay successful.
In these exciting times it is even more of a bummer that Adobe feels to need to sue the competition, and one that actually brings value to the Flash platform. RTMP enabled mobile apps anyone?