Wallaby: Adobe’s new Flash to HTML 5 conversion tool

Meet WallabyEarlier this week, Adobe Labs released Wallaby, a new experimental Flash to HTML 5 conversion tool which will hopefully allow developers and designers to begin porting their Flash apps and games to devices that do not currently support the Flash runtimes such as the iPhone and iPad.

Wallaby has a very straightforward UI which accepts an FLA file as input and exports the HTML and support files with an option to launch the default application assigned for the .html extension. Wallaby manages to convert graphical content along with the complex, timeline-based animation to HTML5 in a form that can be viewed with browsers using a Webkit rendering engine. Currently, the only supported Webkit browsers include Chrome and Safari on OSX, Windows, and iOS for the iPad, iPhone, iPod.

While this may seem like a welcome change to all Flash enthusiasts who have been somewhat wrongfully shoved off the Apple “brand-wagon” in terms of applications design and development (apart from perhaps CS5 which allows developers to use their Flash technologies to develop content for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch), there are still some much-needed features from Wallaby before it can actually bounce high enough to be considered an “inventive” technology.

For one, not all features are supported: The stand alone native Air app does not support conversion of ActionScript, movies and sound largely due to the complexity of FLA files and the inability to represent some Flash Professional features in HTML5. Also, according to Adobe Labs “zooming in and out can cause odd artifacts in the browser” for iOS conversions and complex animations can cause browsers to crash, particularly on slower devices (see here for a full list of currently know bugs and supported issues).

Despite the bugs, the tool is a welcome compromise and while Adobe may have had a lot to think about in terms of its position on Flash to HTML5 conversion, Wallaby shows that the company is not about to get hung up on one technology versus another.  Check out last October’s demo on the App or better still, download the Wallaby application and decide for yourself.



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