My Feelings On Adobe Edge

Today I was put on record (with my consent!) complaining about Adobe’s new tool – Edge.

Tonight I figured I would a) give it a go and b) explain why I don’t think it is a good idea.

I will cover b) first then show you a)!

So Edge is essentially a tool for writing Flash like animations which utilise current web standards to get the job done.  On the face of it this sounds like a pretty cool idea, since we all hate Flash, right?  I mean it can run in most modern browsers (including iDevices) and sure it doesn’t require you to download a third party plugin to play anything – what isn’t to love.

I will tell you what isn’t to love – the fact that animation isn’t semantic, you can’t display any markup to convey an animation (save for animation within video).  HTML is a Markup Language that should used for turning data into machine readable code to be parsed at will by whatever program wants to.

There is no data you can convey with an animation (or at least that couldn’t be conveyed a more semantic way) so being able to play an animation in HTML is pointless.  It is only good for some visual sprinkles (but then so was Flash!).

Anyway, rant over – I don’t like the idea of squeezing HTML to do something it wasn’t designed for and shouldn’t be used for.  You might, in which case you should download the trail whilst you can.

I did, here are the results.  Edge Test.

Interestingly, the one tag I expected to see was Canvas, I thought this is the ideal HTML5 tag for animation, apart from that I have to say the code it produces is pretty nice, and the learning curve (for someone who last used anything like that over 5 years ago) was pretty shallow.

By the way, I should give some love to the following YouTube video, helping me to get my animation on!

And, you know, if you need any animation work done, well my portfolio speaks for itself!

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  • Christian Heilmann

    Apparently you can *import* HTML sites. So you could do your semantic content and then animate them in Edge. That would make sense. Better give it a go.

  • Toby Osbourn

    Would that really make sense?  Feels like wrapping data in the marquee tag.

  • fuck off

    Wow your “portfolio” sucks and you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about

  • Toby Osbourn

    You are an idiot.

  • Chris

    Everybody has the right to their opinion but when you put it like this, I get angry.

    “There is no data you can convey with an animation (or at least that couldn’t be conveyed a more semantic way) so being able to play an animation in HTML is pointless.”

    Yes there is.

    That’s like claiming facial expressions can’t convey semantic information when talking. But we all know that those, along with body language and audible alterations all are semantic parts of linguistics. Do you see what I mean?

    Same goes for the web. The new Google Web Designer site is a decent example on how you could use it in a meaningful way. The animations saved exactly how much space and bandwidth that would otherwise be used to explain what the app can do in text or embedded videos?

    You might wanna consider being more open for change. Using something in a way “it wasn’t designed to do” is the worst reason every not to do something.

    Also eat Vitamin D supplements. I was in a depression because of a D-deficiency last year and thats because I’d just sit at the computer and wouldn’t get enough sun. Maybe this would help you feel better about Edge and embrace it instead of being so uncool about it.


  • Toby Osbourn

    In the examples on the Webdesigner homepage I can’t save them, copy them or link to them.

    If I am a visually impaired user I can get no useful information about what is happening at all.

    I am open to change, I just do not think things like this are change for the better. I think in Google’s case they have made a very attractive tool for creating google ads – that doesn’t benefit the web.

    Yes, my depression is what is grinding my gears about Edge. I am not in a depression, I am depressed – there is a difference.

  • Peeteegee

    There are many use cases beyond ads where animations are useful. Instructional situations or tutorials come to mind immediately, since you can convey things that neither static images or videos can do.