Adobe on the Cutting Edge with HTML5 Web Design Tool

Websites are just about to get a lot more interesting and beautiful; Adobe has released a preview version of a web design programme that allows developers to work with HTML5, CSS and JavaScript well ahead of HTML5's official release - expected around 2014.

Web designers can use Adobe Edge, the first professional-grade HTML5 editing software on the market, to create dynamic animated online content without using Flash. Apparently Edge isn't designed to replace Flash and Dreamweaver, but the move has led some developers to speculate whether Adobe will now begin to favour HTML5 web standards ahead of Flash.

Whatever Adobe think, web designers are certainly likely to move in the direction of HTML5; Flash files are still unfriendly in SEO terms, waste resources on host machines, rely on plugins being up to date and on browser support. In comparison, the long-awaited HTML5 standard is a breath of fresh air.

Vice president of engineering, design and web at Adobe, Paul Gubbay, told The Register that Flash and HTML would continue to coexist. Flash is still king when it comes to rich media apps, gaming apps and video, said Mr Gubbay, but HTML5 and JavaScript can be used for other applications.

Adobe insists the release of Edge has nothing to do with Apple, which has somewhat sidelined Flash from the mobile web by banning it from iPhones and iPads. But IDC software analyst Al Hilwa believes Edge is a sign Adobe is willing to adjust to long-term changes on the web and can put money into multiple projects at the same time.

Whether or not Edge ends up being the tool of choice, it is certainly a great way to dive in and see what HTML5 has to offer. A free preview of Adobe Edge can now be downloaded from the company's website, while Adobe hopes to release a final version of the tool next year.

Edge download graphic