Adobe Releases HTML 5 Animation Tool

Adobe made available earlier this week a preview version of its upcoming HTML 5 development tool called Adobe Edge. Designed to create animated Web content with Javascript, HTML and CSS, the preview version was downloaded over half a million times in its first full day available.

The development tool utilizes WebKit to add motion and layers to HTML 5 layouts and offers an alternative to the Flash standard for Web animation and layout.

Apple has publicly denounced Adobe's Flash standard, with founder Steve Jobs pointing to compatibility and security issues with it on numerous occasions. The company has also skipped it in favor of HTML 5 in its latest iOS products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

Those that are familiar with Flash's protocol that want to transition to mobile development will be able to make the jump to Edge because the tool uses a similar development process as Flash, according to Adobe.

First shown off at Adobe Max 2010 in Los Angeles last October, this week's release is the first step for the software on its way to a beta and final release.

"Over the last year Adobe has delivered on several significant HTML5 milestones including contributions to jQuery, submitting code to WebKit, and enhanced HTML5 output in Creative Suite 5.5," said Paul Gubbay, vice president of Design and Web Engineering at Adobe, in a press release. "Now, with Adobe Edge, we're taking our HTML5 tooling to a whole new level and look forward to getting some really useful feedback from the community over the next few months, as we refine the product."

Feedback is already rolling in, as evident by user comments on Adobe's forums. One preliminary assessment by user "MedusaCreations" looks to be a positive response, but is worried about how much the final product will cost. "…this product makes simple animations a big step forward! Thank you. I just hope that Adobe does not put a high price on the finished product (compared to what it can), but with a dev-team of +/- 20 people (named in the about-dialog), I'm afraid it will not be cheap. Also considering the quick release of AfterEffects 5.5."

While Adobe will most certainly hear constant comparisons to its Flash software (as evident by the messages on its message board), the company has made no announcements on whether Edge will be angled to outright replace it.

In numbers released by the company, the preview version was downloaded over half a million times in its first full day available.

irst 24 hours, it has been downloaded more than 50,000 times -- pretty, pretty good for a development tool,  wrote Russell Bradly, an Adobe developer, in a blog post.

The Adobe Edge preview can be downloaded here.

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.