"Steve Jobs stuck a knife into Flash." This isn't actually true. Adobe stuck a knife into Flash by never actually making it work on mobile and when they finally did on Android, it sucked.
Something something Newgrounds. Great site and one of the best logos ever.
I've been thinking about this point a bit since reading the article. I also think part of it has to do with the culture surrounding the technology.
I think Flash naturally leant itself to more creative work, not because of the tech or functionality it had, but because of the ecosystem that surrounded it.
I remember picking it up and playing with it a bit just after I left High School. Like many teenagers 15-16 years ago, it was probably a pirated copy. At the time virtually every tutorial available for flash focused on animation and building games. If you wanted to learn the tool, you were naturally guided in that direction.
I also wouldn't be surprised if a lot of that direction was influenced by the huge surge of teenage/adolescent users getting online at that time and being set loose. Flash had a GUI which made it easy for someone to get something, no matter how primitive, working. Drawing a circle, and then seeing it move from left to right by just clicking a few buttons, was a lot more engaging than trying to write markup just to see a static heading or image on a page. Naturally the next step would be to try and build more complex interactive things. Particularly since the internet at the time, was pretty technologically immature.
With HTML and JS, particularly since browser standards became more consistent, most of the learning material surrounding them were focused on being more pragmatic. The goal of HTML and later Canvas was mostly to build websites and web apps, rather than richer interactive experiences.
It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of people learning those tools were/are doing so to use them professionally. I know most tutorials I've ever seen for HTML and JS usually aim to accomplish some thing that — particularly when compared to the Flash tutorials — is pretty dry or boring.
On that point, does anyone know any great learning resources or classes for using HTML and Canvas for more of this interactive work?
You make excellent points—and you're especially right about tutorials and learning materials being more pragmatic. I think the broader web has become more focused on solving real problems, and with the more flashy content out there (pardon the pun), most of it takes a more elegant form. Even though we do have user-friendly tools that just about on par with what Flash provided, a great deal of users aren't as focused on creating silly animations and games anymore. A lot of that charm is now gone.
Even with tools like Tumult Hype and the like, they aren't quite the complete package that Flash offered.
As far as games go, now video game development is more accessible than ever and indie titles that might have been Flash games 10-15 years ago are now being distributed through all of the mainstream gaming platforms, including mobile, so there's very little incentive to release a free little game on the web, when there's a chance at generating some income in that space.
Last that point is really pertinent. There isn't an incentive there anymore unfortunately. Which is understandable, but no less a shame.
While there were some fun and well done flash sites, 99.9% of them were absolute garbage.
And 99.9% of HTML/JS sites of today are brilliant.
Far more brilliant HTML/JS sites today than there ever were Flash.