Ipad_wallaby1-224x180In the ongoing battle between Adobe and Apple, Flash has arguably been the central point of contention. You know the story -- Apple banned Flash from all iOS devices, Adobe promised to build a converter app, Apple banned that, Adobe abandoned the porting as a result, Apple recanted, and now... Adobe has finally released a beta version of their converter, codenamed Wallaby. Why do I cover such stories on a filmmaking blog? Because I think Flash and HTML5 aren't limited to transmedia stories, but are increasingly relevant to filmmakers who might want to distribute their film in non-traditional means.

Wallaby is a simple application at this point, offering a simple drag-and-drop operation to convert .fla files to iOS-compliant HTML5 files. It's not going to have an impact on the average filmmaker, but for transmedia architects or animators, it's certainly worth keeping tabs on. Here's the official word:

"Wallaby" is the codename for an experimental technology that converts the artwork and animation contained in Adobe® Flash® Professional (FLA) files into HTML. This allows you to reuse and extend the reach of your content to devices that do not support the Flash runtimes. Once these files are converted to HTML, you can edit them with an HTML editing tool, such as Adobe Dreamweaver®, or by hand if desired. You can view the output in one of the supported browsers or on an iOS device.

Flash files come in all shapes and sizes, and in its current beta form -- and probably in its final release, to be honest -- Wallaby does not convert all files flawlessly. Here's a demo of the labs app in action for an animation:

You can tell from their reaction that many developers are excited about the technology. While I'm probably in the minority of filmmakers who are keeping tabs on the Flash/HTML5 war, I don't think there's any question that HTML5 will eventually replace Flash, and the faster Adobe creates HTML5 authoring and porting tools, the faster we can create standards-based interactive projects.

Link: Adobe Labs: Wallaby

[wallaby photo by wwarby; story via AppleInsider]