So I know HTML5 is the "replacement" for Flash...however it's obviously not mainstream just yet......but what else is it supposed to replace.

I ask this because web-dev has always been a secret kinda side-passion of mine (even though I a firmware programmer mostly doing C/Java stuff). And anyway I want to pursue a side thing at doing web design (I know basic XHTML/CSS + some CSS3)

But what exactly is I guess...."pointless" to study? JavaScript I assume will always be a huge part of web design? (HTML5 isn't replacing that is it?) What about Ajax and CSS itself?)

And then there's Flash....not sure if thats really worth putting effort into? Also there's Adobe Flex/Air......I'm a bit confused if you can't tell.

3 Answers 3


HTML 5 is not a replacement for Flash. Its various technologies provide alternative mechanisms for doing many or even all of the things that you can do in a Flash app, but it's not correct to say that it is the 'anything' for Flash.

Both CSS and JavaScript are still extremely important technologies in the HTML 5 toolkit. You still need to style your interfaces, and CSS is how you do it. You still need to provide client-side programmability, and JavaScript is how you do it.

In fact, JavaScript becomes even more important than it already is in HTML 5. The HTML 5 standard defines a very rich and powerful set of services, and they are all exposed and programmed against with JavaScript.

Check out this great HTML 5 demo web site to get a better idea of what it is all about.

It's probably worth mentioning that Google Gears is one product that is very definitely being phased out because it will be replaced by HTML 5. I can't think of anything else that is being made truly obsolete by it.


Well, firstly, HTML5 isn't a "replacement" for Flash, per se. And I'm sure that there will be Flash-based applications for a good long while.

If you want to be a web designer, then you need HTML/CSS (and try and implement the latest of these - they're mostly supported by most browsers already), along with some JavaScript (using a library like jQuery).

If you want to be a developer, then I suggest a server-side script (PHP or ASP), JavaScript, and at least working knowledge of HTML/CSS and SQL.

Flash is a parallel - it is (mostly) used for feature rich interactive content. I don't see it going anywhere, and a Flash developer will likely be able to keep making money for a while yet.

Air - again, it is it's own thing.

  • Not even per se - it's flat out not a replacement for Flash, period. Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 7:01
  • It might not be intended as a replacement - but a lot of uses of Flash can (or will be able to) be replaced by HTML5 (for example, video)
    – HorusKol
    Commented Mar 3, 2011 at 10:43

HTML 5 is not really a replacement for anything but rather the natural evolution of the programming language, that addresses its predecessors weaknesses and introduces those features that are being requested frequently and to keep in rhythm with is usual partners in crime, CSS and Javascript.

You don't have to replace your Flash elements with HTML5 and CSS3, because that's not the intention although some Apple users may praise you for it. Although the canvas tag, WebGL and CSS3 (+ animations) introduce richer (interactive) multimedia than before without the need for a 3rd party plugin, they are still being standardised, with a working draft of the specification found here http://www.w3.org/TR/html5/

Javascript is a large part of interactive web design for dynamic pages, which HTML5 is not replacing. Javascript allows the programmer to make the page more interactive by applying dynamic events and interactions even after the page has loaded, which AJAX can form a part of, and also which HTML5 is tailoring its DOM to be more flexible with.

Keep learning HTML and CSS and JS,but be prepared for HTML5 and CSS3 for when they are fully supported amongst all the popular browsers, when they hit prime time as you'll want to stay in the competition.

You'll know if you ever need to use Adobe Flex / Air.

  • Arguably, armed with Modernizr, there is no need to focus on anything but HTML5 right now as long as you are careful about progressive enhancement.
    – Kyle
    Commented Dec 7, 2011 at 18:51

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