HTML5 Tutorial: Learn to use the canvas element

EducationAdobe Flash has been one of the most widely used browser plugins for years.That’s all changing now, thanks in large part to mobile computing. Why? Tablets and smartphones are rising in popularity, but Flash isn’t supported by many of these devices. In fact, Adobe even announced a few months ago that they will stop developing Flash for mobile.

What does that mean to you? That means if your business apps currently use Flash, you’ll need to find another way to create the Flash-based elements. This problem will affect quite a few businesses, as many dashboards, charts, and graphs used in BI applications currently rely on Flash.

What should you do? There are many ways to avoid Flash in your web apps. Javascript is often used for animations, and there are a number of open source options for graphing. For instance, we use jFreeChart for graphing in m-Power.

While those are some current options, the future lies in the canvas element.  Many believe the canvas element (found in HTML5) will largely replace Flash on the web. What does it do?  It lets you create interactive images and animations on the web (much like Flash does now), and can be used for nearly anything, from simple games to data visualization. To fully use the canvas element, you’ll have to know javascript. But, if you would like to understand the basics of the canvas and how to begin using it, we’ve written up an HTML5 canvas tutorial, which you can find right here.