CANVAS: Canvas vs Flash

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As you all know canvas is a new HTML element which can be used to draw graphics using scripting (usually JavaScript) and not only draw graphs but also make photo compositions or do animations. An example of these animations can be this fun demo that normal mapping and phong shading in JavaScript using Canvas and where your mouse cursor becomes the torch or light source that dynamically lights up a 3D object!!.

Also new 3D Javascript have appeared as for example Copperlicht.

Canvas is getting more and more popular and more than one voice are saying "Is Canvas going to replace Flash??". My answer is no, Flash is much more than Canvas and flex is getting as a great framework!!. But at any case here are a comparison between Canvas VS Flash. Canvas/JavaScript is better than Flash


  • The most obvious is the deliverable size: Smaller code base and the compiled SWF file clocks in at 111k compared to the minified Canvas version at just 25k!
  • Flash do not work good in all platforms, for example Linux.
  • No need to Compile.
  • Inspectable/debuggable via browser.
  • Better cursor handling and the is no need to focus to receive keyboard events.

Where Canvas/JavaScript is worse than Flash:

  • Have to handle clipping and redraw manually (SVG does better here too)
  • Font support is not embedded.
  • Access to DB is better managed by Flash.
  • No built-in multiline text wrap.
  • No HTML fragment rendering.

And what about Apple??, ..if the Ipad is not supporting flash, ..would that be a better chance for Canvas to gain more territory to Flash/Flex??. Let's wait a year and we will see!!. Flash is sexier than Canvas, ..but as soon as summer gets here and freckles appear in Canvas Face then i will stay with Canvas, ..I just love Freckles!!.

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