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Adobe Edge Preview – a future Flash replacement?

01 August 2011, Mike Williams

Adobe has unveiled the first public preview of Edge, a new platform for producing Flash-like web animations based on open standards such as JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3.

It’s a complex and capable product, particularly for a preview edition, but fortunately Adobe have provided a few examples to show us what Edge can do.

Take a look at “Getting Jumpy“, for instance: there’s a realistically bouncing logo and flexing letters, with good use of shadows.  If you take a look at the HTML source you’ll see Edge is fairly neat, hiding its runtime code away in separate JavaScript files so you’ll be able to embed animations in existing pages with the minimum of disruption. And if you’d like to find out more then there are a few other examples on the Edge Resources page which showcase the use of keyframes, assorted transitions, motion effects and so on.

Edge is no toy, then – so could it take over from Flash, one day? Adobe unsurprisingly aren’t saying, but if something like that does happen then we’d suggest it’s not going to be for quite some considerable time. There is no information available yet on a release schedule for Edge, and the fact that this preview release will run for 6 months before expiring suggests a true version 1.0 won’t be appearing in a hurry.

If you’re interested in taking a closer look, then the first Adobe Edge Preview is available for download now. As you’d expect for a pre-release build, there are one or two problems (we couldn’t open .edge project files by double-clicking them, for instance), but nothing we couldn’t work around (clicking File > Open allowed us to access the sample projects without difficulty). And if you’re a web developer, then on balance there’s more than enough features and functionality here to justify giving Edge a few minutes of your time.

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