Web standards guys hate Flash. They want it to die. They’ve always wanted it to die. But Flash can do graphical things that have been either impossible to do with DHTML or could only be done poorly. Microsoft hates Flash too. That’s why they’ve built Silverlight. But for web standards guys, that’s just another non-standard approach.

We now see the beginning of the end for the plugins.

If you’re not already familiar with SVG and Canvas, they are two different technologies that have been working their way into the browser. The first, is a vector image specification and the second is a method for programatically drawing on the browser page. Coupled with the dramatic increase in JavaScript performance and the amazing framework libraries that have been built, you can accomplish things like this - http://www.sproutcore.com/2009/01/02/who-needs-flash/

Where can you find browsers capable of this? Safari/Chrome and Firefox.

There are libraries that can make IE semi-SVG compatible and there are libraries that can make IE semi-Canvas compatible but they’re hacks and probably won’t be sufficient to support applications like you see in the demo link. Especially given the still-atrocious JavaScript performance of IE.

What you’ll see is Mac-specific and Linux-specific sites start to make use of these techniques. But they won’t become industry-wide until IE 9 or IE 10 (if then). Or until IE market share drops into the 30% range (stop laughing, it’s already around 70%).