Thursday, February 28, 2008
Flash as an API: the little runtime that could
A few days ago playing with Yahoo live I was wondering about the possibility of using an API to integrate it with other applications.
The APIs they provide are a combination of three things:
1. Two flash players, a regular and a skinless one.
3. REST Web Services to query broadcasts, channels and their viewers.
The Flash players being called as APIs was kind of a revelation for me. I never thought of Flash as an API, although it makes total sense. It seems like the increasing relevance of video and audio on the internet as these reach a broader application base, are bringing Flash into a whole new status.
What other cases are becoming standard Flash applications on the web?
. Promotions such as sweepstakes
. Quick forms
. Demos, tutorials
. Product presentations, navigation, 3D views.
. Complex interface GUIs.
Together with web services you can build pretty powerful applications.
According to Adobe the penetration of the Flash Player is 98.8% above any other competitor. [Thanks to Mauro]
Silverlight doesn't seem to be putting up a real fight, although it'd only take including it with the distribution of IE or Updates and that'd do it ...
I believe one of the most overlooked revolutions to come in the short future is the un-sequentiality of video as it becomes augmented (GPS, timed) and searchable (image, sound searches) and I think Flash will have an interesting role on that.