Adobe’s Secret Weapon – the Wallaby Converter

This is it folks, we have witnessed another turn in this long war between well-known rivals – Flash and HTML5. Despite that entire buzz about the death of Flash, its main advocate – the world’s leading software vendor Adobe – is alive and kicking!

Some days ago Adobe has released their interesting experimental software called Wallaby (in real life Wallaby is small kangaroo that lives in Australia). The main idea behind this software project is creating a tool for converting Adobe Flash Professional CS5 files (.FLA) to HTML5. Pretty impressive, don’t you think so?

How does it work?

This is an Adobe AIR application that has a simple user interface and can be easily installed to your computer. Wallaby for Macintosh will work on both OS 10.5 and 10.6. As for Wallaby for Windows it will work with Windows 7, Vista and XP (and it requires an installed Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package). According to the Adobe officials, Wallaby is aimed at enabling users to avoid the usage of complex JavaScript by replacing it with CSS3 animation and SVG graphics. It is important to understand that Wallaby’s aim is to convert animated graphical content into a more web friendly form – this tool gives you files that are ready to be edited by such tools as Adobe Dreamweaver and so on. The typical output from Wallaby has three files containing HTML, CSS and JavaScript and SVG asset.

Drawbacks

To tell you the truth, this software doesn’t impress much as a software with its functionality and multiplatform features. But as a project or a concept, it does make us believe that soon Wallaby will be improved and will amaze us with excellent performance. For now it has many serious flaws, such as:

  • Wallaby supports only Web-kit browsers (Safari and Chrome) and does not support FireFox and IE9 for now;
  • Doesn’t support any ActionScript
  • Doesn’t support 3D transforms
  • Doesn’t support video embedding
  • Doesn’t support gradients

Also there are some raw solutions for text implementation, very limited for now though we hope that soon these drawbacks will be improved or even eliminated. It is hard to assess the Wallaby’s functionality, but here’s a little example for you – if you convert a 20 Kb Flash banner with Wallaby, you’ll receive an output of 240 Kb. Obviously that’s not a very good result.

There is a long road ahead

Yes, Wallaby has a huge list of disadvantages that must be improved, we agree with that. But for now it’s not that much about results, it’s more about a course that Adobe seems to be taking – it is interesting to analyze this software as smart business move from Adobe. If they make everything right and things will work out for Wallaby, there will no longer be any questions about the death of Flash because of HTML5, users will just have a simple converter that will enable them to easily get the HTML5 version of their Flash content, and there you have it – Flash is no longer that bad. In other words, Adobe would stay on top. This converter can diversify the HTML5 niche and erase borders that were built between Flash and HTMl5 fans. Another interesting fact about Wallaby is that this product’s target audience is mainly web developers, and as we know it the developers are that core that influence everything and therefore eliminate all pointless discussions about the rivalry just by using Wallaby as a comprimise between Flash and HTML5. Anyways, we hope that Adobe will make things right about its product and it will symbolize a dawn of the new epoch in web development.

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