Adobe releases Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tool to developers

Some may see it as capitulation to Apple's longstanding position on Flash, others as acceptance of trends in digital media. Either way, Adobe has apparently decided to insulate itself from the threat of HTML5 by releasing a Flash-to-HTML5 converter codenamed "Wallaby." The free application is built on its Adobe AIR platform.

Adobe says that the application will be able to convert most Flash files by simply dragging and dropping into the Wallaby interface. The release of the tool is especially significant for iOS users -- meaning developers will now have an easier way of making their Flash sites compatible with the iPhone and iPad devices.

"Adobe's job is to help you solve problems, not to get hung up on one technology vs. another," principal product manager John Nack said in a blog post Monday. "Millions of people have honed their Web animation skills in Flash, and now their customers want content that can run anywhere, including on non-Flash-enabled devices."

Right now, Adobe is releasing Wallaby in the hopes that it will get some feedback on its performance and usefulness. The company has not decided exactly how to incorporate its technologies into its products, although HTML5 output may eventually end up as a publishing option within the Flash authoring software.

In addition to HTML5, Wallaby can also convert Flash to JavaScript and CSS3. Either way, the code output specifically seems targeted for use in WebKit browsers, again a nod to iOS devices.

While Wallaby is certainly a start, it's not perfect. Some Flash code is not convertible to HTML5, meaning not every Flash file will be able to be converted. That said, basic animations should do fine, and the software will alert you to issues during the conversion process, Adobe says.

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