Even if Apple never lets a Flash plugin within 50 yards of an iPhone, you may yet be able to enjoy the richness of those blinking banner ads. Gordon (Get it?  Like Flash Gordon?) is an open source Flash runtime written in pure JavaScript.  For simple Flash animations, web developers must only slip in a bit of code into the website to allow non-Flash enabled devices like the iPhone.  The Javascript pulls the relevant animations.

This only works with simple animations and is still quite resource heavy on the iPhone. 

As PCWorld points out,

As a JRE extension it runs natively inside the iPhone’s Safari browser, however it will only work on sites that have specifically incorporated the Gordon code. Reports indicate that a static image presented in flash will peg an iPhone at 100% CPU, so it’s not quite ready for browsing YouTube via Safari just yet. It does support the full feature-set of Flash, including interactivity and animation, but full-Flash sites may not be viable on mobile devices for some time.

Take a look at some of the demos – they work on the iPhone as well.  Interestingly, running the demos on my MacBook Pro, I saw less CPU usage with the Javascript version than I saw with the Flash version.

It might make sense for Adobe to incorporate this type of system so that developers can get their animations to work on all web-enabled devices.  The downside is of course that fewer people will need Flash on their computers – which flies in the face of everything they stand for.

So is Gordon, as iPhone processors get faster and faster, the long term solution to Flash on the iPhone?

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