A friend of my is a Flash designer and animator, and uses tools like Adobe Flash CS5. She want’s to learn to do similar work in HTML5.
What tools and tutorials are available (free or commercial) to help her make the transition, using the skills she already possesses?
Adobe is previewing Edge currently, which is a timeline-based (as opposed to frame-based) animation tool that will be quite familiar to a Flash user.
There is also Wallaby on Adobe Labs, which is the converter from Flash to HTML5 that will allow Flash developers to continue to develop in Flash but output to HTML5. Adobe seems pretty committed to a) supporting HTML5/CSS3/jquery development and b) making sure their tens of thousands of Flash developer customers are taken care of.
My somewhat-educated opinion is that Flash as an authoring environment will continue to be very important, not only as an HTML5 authoring tool, but for the creation of desktop and mobile device apps via Adobe AIR. Apps will become more and more important over the next few years, greatly reducing the importance of websites as we currently think of them.
I’m a maker more than a consumer, but I’m already transitioning to desktop and mobile apps (for example, Fotolia, Dropbox, SendNow, my bank, e-book reading) where they are available, in preference to going online in a browser. This is a trend that is as inevitable as the switch from BBS and proprietary services (Compuserve, The Source, anyone?) to web browsers was in the 90s, or the move from over-the-counter banking to ATMs, cash to plastic. Websites won’t go away any time soon, but smart web developers will work to ensure that they are up to speed with mobile app development. That is the future.