HTML5 Development: Now Easy with Adobe Edge Tools


While many are divided on if Adobe’s vise-like grip on web browsers is coming to an abrupt end or not, Adobe Systems is, however, not leaving anything to the last-minute. Seemingly in a denial mode initially as it was confident of its flagship product, Flash, Adobe Systems had the first stable release of Adobe Edge (a multimedia authoring tool) in September 2012. Adobe’s switching to open-source technology to deliver contents via browsers is on the heels of the reduced popularity of Flash as well as the enhanced combined capabilities of HTML5, Javascript and CSS. The Adobe Edge suite features an array of products built on the aforementioned trio that are expected to allow Adobe to get a foothold on the elusive mobile browsers. Mobile browsers have been hostile to flash as developers prefer HTML5 to Flash.

Edging out Flash

Flash’s disadvantage is HTML5’s advantage! Rampant use of HTML5 and the huge gain of mimicking cross-platform capabilities without plugins tilted the balance in HTML5’s favour. Interestingly Adobe has realized that HTML5 has come of age and is competent enough to take over a majority of Flash’s role. HTML5 fares better than Flash when it comes to apps that disseminate information/data through search engines.

To an extent HTML5 vs Flash is similar to new vs old. The modern norm is to keeping things light and simple, but flash is always bulky and cumbersome. Flash comes in handy where application requirements are complex but this is generally not the case. In comparison, except for those complex parts such as core animation or video streaming, HTML5 does the job pretty quickly and smoothly. The ‘boxed’ look of Flash is in a way a sign of it’s reluctance to embrace improvements and changes from the user’s point of view.

Powered by Actionscript, Flash indisputably redefined how animated content on web and desktop is delivered. But the emergence of cross-platform environment dramatically turned the equation upside-down for them. Developers or designers would very well know the difficulties of working with open-source technologies using HTML5/JS especially for multimedia. Keeping this in mind, Adobe hit the right note with Edge since there hasn’t been a proper multimedia tool for HTML5/JS as of yet.

Edge’s engine

Edge’s interface and many of its other features resemble Flash’s. However, the backend is completely different wherein JSON format is used to write animations instead of AS format. Hence the major change, obviously, is HTML and JS taking the place of AS.

Tools that give Adobe the edge

Previously known as “Adobe Edge Preview”, the Edge Suite is now called “Edge Animate” — a host of services and tools form.

Edge Animate
Adobe is counting on this tool so much that it believes that its fortunes can only be revived if Edge Animate clicks. While all the functions and features remain the same, the only difference is Flash being replaced by the famed trio (HTML5, JS and CSS). Incorporating Flash’s capabilities is still a long way ahead, nevertheless Edge Animate is showing all the right signs from the beginning.

Typekit
It’s the web typography service offered by Adobe. You can find the font of your choice and add into your website in no time. Adobe is in the process packing 1,000 plus fonts to Typekit. The fonts are being voluntarily supplied from within Adobe and by many supporters all over the world. Adobe Creative Cloud allows users to get their hands on these fonts by just subscribing to the service. And these fonts work just about anywhere.

Edge Reflow
Adobe claims this tool to be using CSS to provide responsive layouts to your websites. It’s expected that Reflow would be independent of other tools given the intricacies in responsive designs. More information is yet be released by Adobe.

PhoneGap
Again a cloud-based service, PhoneGap facilitates creation of mobiles apps using JS, CSS and HTML. These apps are cross-platform compatible, with native capabilities. The tool comes with good enough documentation as well.

Edge Web Fonts
Targeted at web designers, this is similar to Typekit. Edge Web Fonts are a result of the collaboration with Google. Designers can freely use the fonts on their sites and apps and can be considered as an addition to the ever growing repository of free fonts.

Edge Inspect
The app lets you remotely manage your devices and keep them updated all at the same time. This alleviates the need for individually accessing the devices. It also allows for screenshots which can be saved it onto your local machine. Edge Inspect perfectly suits mobile development teams wherein syncing is an important criteria.

Edge Code
Essentially a code editor, Edge Code would continue to make use of the Brackets project. Adobe intends to start from scratch with regard to the code editors for the latest web standards. Adobe claims that Edge Code is the sole code editor based on CSS, HTML, and JS. Adobe sees Edge Code to be used by developers and designers in the same way as IDEs, albeit it’s too early to say conclusively.

Living on the edge

Looking back at the Flash era, it’s evident that Flash truly catapulted Adobe into a league it’s own. Flash was all over the web until CSS entered the arena. Although heated debate on whether flash will fade into oblivion is still on, it’s highly unlikely if industry experts are to be believed. Adobe has taken the correct turn in adopting and coming up with open-source powered apps and tools at the right time and this time again Adobe has clearly proved why it’s the master in multimedia suits.

Literally speaking, Adobe is living on the edge and let’s hope that Edge Suite helps it not fall off the edge.

Author Bio:
Rohit Singhal is an emarketer working with PixelCrayons, a web development company. The company specializes in ecommerce solutions, CMS solutions, responsive web design implementation, HTML5 Web Development and more.

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