Adobe announced “Wallaby” today, which is the codename for “an experimental technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Adobe® Flash® Professional (FLA) files into HTML”. To clarify, Wallaby does NOT mean that you now get “Flash on your iOS device” as some sites are misleadingly claiming. Here are the notes from their announcement:
“The focus for this initial version of Wallaby is to do the best job possible of converting typical banner ads to HTML5. Wallaby does a good job of converting graphical content along with complex, timeline-based animation to HTML5 in a form that can be viewed with browsers using a WebKit rendering engine. Supported WebKit browsers include Chrome and Safari on OSX, Windows, and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod).
Wallaby‚s design goal was not to produce final-form HTML ready for deployment to web pages. Instead it focuses on converting the rich animated graphical content into a form that can easily be imported into other web pages in development with web page design tools like Dreamweaver.”
The tool as pretty impressive. However, there are definitely some things to be aware of:
- It (currently) only supports WebKit browsers (as mentioned above)
- Fla files must be saved in Flash CS5 or later
- Many features aren’t (currently) supported, including Blend Modes, Tweening attributes, code, certain filters, dynamic masks, etc. A comprehensive list can be found here.
- Your file size is going to go up, by a factor of 4x-10x (based on my tests) depending on what you’re doing and how you’re going about it. There certainly are some ways to be more efficient, but regardless, your gross file size is going to be higher than your swf was (and this doesn’t include the 74 KB jquery file).
- Your performance *might* decrease (depending on the # of objects on screen and how you’re going about things).
- Adobe is welcoming feedback in their Wallaby forum.
This certainly is an impressive tool and can save a ton of time. But it’s not exactly the magic bullet that some are making it out to be. I’m excited to see what Adobe will do next with it!