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Are Swiffy or Wallaby Ready for Prime Time?

written by: Maitraya K B•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 8/15/2011

HTML5 is the future of the web and it is quite sensible that you might want to convert your existing Flash files to HTML5. But is the technology ready yet? Are the converters good enough? Let's find out with Google's Swiffy and Adobe's Wallaby.

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    Google's Swiffy

    Created by Google employee Pieter Senster as a Google Labs project, Swiffy has turned out to be a pretty good tool for converting SWF files to HTML5. This online tool is claimed to create animations as compact as the original SWF files. Also note that some files cannot be converted using this method. Swiffy is available here.

    Sample Swiffy conversion Google has some a small gallery on the website featuring Swiffy conversion. On of them features a Google advertisement which was converted pretty well. The examples shown in the gallery have been done pretty neatly. But is the software powerful enough? Let's put it to the test by converting something.

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    Simply open Swiffy and upload a SWF file.Uploading a sample SWF file 

    I uploaded a sample SWF file and the conversion was almost instantaneous. Of course, the maximum file size limit is 1 MB which is not much at the moment.

    The interface is pretty straight forward. Simply upload your file and get your results.

    The result obtained was almost identical to the original file. However, the audio was not supported.Converting sample file 

    Overall, the result was quite impressive for a recently launched Labs project. The only disappointment was the lack of audio support. The SWF file which I uploaded was a simple Flash animation and was therefore easy to convert. You may not be as lucky when you try to convert more complicated files as Swiffy supports a part of the SWF 8 standard and Actionscript 2.0. Google recommends you to export your Flash animations to SWF 5 for better results.

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    Adobe's Wallaby: Experimental Technology

    Wallaby Hot from the oven comes out a beautiful peace of software, directly from the inventors of the Flash format and is codenamed Wallaby. Dubbed as an "experimental technology", Wallaby is capable of converting Adobe Flash (.FLA) files to HTML5. However don't expect everything to be converted correctly as Wallaby is a Labs project. The official website clearly states that all Adobe Flash Professional features are not supported yet but still if you are desperate to move to HTML5, you should give it a try. You can download the pre-release version from here.

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    As before, the interface is straight foreword. Browse for an FLA file and click on convert. Unfortunately, the sample file which I tried to convert was not supported by the software. At present, a lot of things are not supported yet, like Actionscript, buttons, filters, sound among other things. Features like motion tween is only partially supported.

    After my unsuccessful attempt at converting FLA to HTML5, I figured out that somebody else has had more luck at it than me. You should check out the YouTube video to see how Wallaby works.

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    We're Not There Yet

    Sadly, we've still got a long way to go as both the projects are new and no stable releases have been made available yet. It is nowhere as good as converting JPEG to PNG or AVI to MPEG. Many important features are not supported yet and many basic features have incomplete support. When it comes to Actionscript, Google's Swiffy fares better as it has some support for Actionscript 2.0 while Wallaby has no Actionscript support at all. Lack of audio support is another letdown.

    In short, if you are looking for a converted which can convert Flash to solid HTML5 then you have no options at the moment. In fact, if you wish to depend on HTML5 in your future projects you should consider learning the language instead of working in Flash and later converting to HTML.

    It is not surprising to see both these programs failing miserably for large or quite complicated Flash (SWF or FLA) files. The "preview release" tag should warn you that this technology is not ready yet. If you are not ready to remove junk HTML code from the output, you should probably leave it alone and give both of these projects some time to mature. Let's wait for a few months and see what happens.

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    Final Thoughts

    HTML5 is clearly one of the best things which has happened to the web and clearly it is here to stay. Just like Flash revolutionized the way we look at websites, HTML5 is doing it again. Even Adobe has realized this which is why they are creating Wallaby. As HTML evolves, you may want all your flash files to be converted to HTML5. However, the programs mentioned above are evolving as you read this and it is only a matter of time before you hear of a full Flash to HTML5 converter. Until then, tinker with these.


  • Images have been provided by the author.