New article on Flash and HTML5 using Glitch as example

I wrote this for my company's blog. It's a little bit technical, and very business-heavy but if you're interested it talks about HTML5/Flash and my own work in delivering rich client-side applications in the browser. My thoughts were obviously inspired by the closing of Glitch on Sunday. I'm starting to think that while the Flash choice that made perfect sense in 2009 turned out to be a problem, there may be *no way at all* right now to do what Glitch was trying to do, and there won't be for some time.

And yes, I'm an Evil Consultant(tm) IRL, but it doesn't mean I didn't love Glitch ;)

Posted 7 years ago by harkyman Subscriber! | Permalink


  • Thanks for sharing
    Posted 7 years ago by Thursday Soleil Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Thank you for sharing. As someone who is interested in supporting various game development efforts that have been proposed, I find this highly relevant at the moment.
    Posted 7 years ago by Fern Connelly Subscriber! | Permalink
  • HTML 5 will not (currently) do what Glitch needs it to do. A Java application might but would have meant a complete rewrite.

    As an aside, your article emphases the need for "Enterprise" to keep their algorithms secret. Actually, a large number of major companies are turning toward open source software for a variety of reasons, none of which have anything to do with Glitch.
    Posted 7 years ago by Yendor Subscriber! | Permalink
  • I agree that there's a great push in the Enterprise space to take advantage of open source software, but I was primarily talking about business applications and games. You have a bunch of assets (in-game or, say, some proprietary actuarial algorithm) that you want the end user to be able to interact with but not capture.

    And yeah, HTML5 would not have done what Glitch did. One of my points is that right now, there's no sustainable way to do what Glitch needed to do. There will be someday. In that sense, it was unarguably ahead of its time.
    Posted 7 years ago by harkyman Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Nice piece, thanks for sharing.

    At the time Glitch started development, Flash really was the clear choice. An awful lot has happened in the past few years. I bet if the timing were different and Tiny Speck were setting out today, things might well have panned out differently.
    Posted 7 years ago by dopiaza Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Nice article! Thanks for sharing, and I appreciate the insights you have (and those I've read elsewhere) on the sustainability of projects like Glitch.
    Posted 7 years ago by kastlin Subscriber! | Permalink
  • Interesting piece, very much enjoyed it.  Given the lack of real alternatives to Flash, it really does seem like Glitch was never going to make it in the long-haul without some very different choices very early on. :(

    @Yendor: The article directly says that HTML5 isn't viable, and, actually, neither is Java, since you can copy something in either of those languages.  And there are plenty of reasons a company might want to retain control over what they make.  Which isn't to say that open source companies aren't good and well, of course, but for the vast majority of companies, having your tech be easily copied is a problem.  
    Posted 7 years ago by Jannisary Subscriber! | Permalink
  • It seems a bit strange..more importantly than HTML5 or your language of choice is websockets. If you have websockets, you at least have, in theory, the capability to recreate glitch. I question if it is possible with the amount of data transfer and processing required.

    users copying data shouldn't be a big issue. Any game newer than Doom uses the server for the heavy lifting to prevent client side hacks (who needs levitation, when I can manually place my glitch).

    If you look around, there are a handful of HTML5/websocket/<node, JS, etc,etc> platforms which are doing MMO. Nothing close to the size and compexity of glitch....yet.
    Posted 7 years ago by Yog-Sothoth Subscriber! | Permalink
  • tyvm for posting ... i enjoyed immensely.  well, as much as i can enjoy ANYthing after the 9th of december 2012.  :-(   time for another beer
    Posted 7 years ago by crème Subscriber! | Permalink