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Adobe converts Flash to HTML with Wallaby toolkit

Flash files made compatible with Apple iOS

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Adobe Systems is making available this evening a preview of its Wallaby technology, which enables developers to leverage Flash development skills to build HTML files that can run on systems without the need for the Flash Player, including Apple iOS devices.

Wallaby, which will be offered for free on the Adobe Labs website, helps developers convert a Flash file created in the Flash Professional development tool to HTML.

Apple's iOS, which does not support Flash Player, is the primary use case for Wallaby. Output can also run on WebKit-based browsers like Safari and Chrome, said Tom Barclay, senior product manager for the Adobe Creative Suite business.

"It is an experimental technology that provides a glimpse of innovation that we're doing around Flash and HTML, and showing the investment that we're making in both technologies we think are important for the long term," Barclay said. The output of Wallaby enables use of not just HTML, but also SVG and CSS, which are related technologies.

Wallaby is an AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) application for the Windows and Mac platforms. Developers can convert files to HTML5 via drag-and-drop functionality, Adobe said. Once files have been converted, developers can edit using an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, or by hand.

Adobe's proprietary Flash technology, for playing rich media experiences in browsers, has been under siege by Apple in particular, which has argued that all that is needed for these types of experiences is HTML5. Adobe has been preaching of a world where HTML5 and Flash coexist, but converting from Flash to HTML can mean a loss of some functionality, including the lack of effects like filters and blend modes, Barclay said. "If [a Flash feature] is not supported in HTML, then it's just not available," he said.

Wallaby was previewed last autumn at the Adobe Max conference in Los Angeles. At this point, Adobe cannot indicate a product road map, as the company is still inviting user feedback.



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