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I am a Junior Web Programmer who is tasked with redesigning our website. Right now the website is made in ActionScript using the FLEX API(so its Flash based).

I am looking for advice on what technologies I can use to create interactive websites.

The website requirements I have been given are:
- must work & look the same on iOS browsers
- should include animation, element movement & show detailed graphics
- look exactly the same across browsers

What technologies are available to me to create a website with these features?

I know of so far:
- Flash based websites can achieve this (ActionScript)
- JQuery can create rich dialogs (not sure if it does graphic animation or has cross browser compatibility, does it?)
- Can I use .NET for this? Would that mean I write the website in ASP .NET? - Raphael.js - can rotate & animate images, is it cross browser?
- Any others that you know of? What other technologies are out there that I dont know of?

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processingjs.org –  Joe Internet Oct 21 '11 at 2:16

2 Answers 2

All options you have(plus HTML5 canvas & CSS3) are almost capable of doing what you are tasked for, but...

IMHO, at first sight, the best technology suited for your need is Flash. You'll use only one language and IDE for doing everything, and the result will be the same everywhere.

But if you feel confident, you can archieve a good result using html related technologies, but you need to have a good experience with HTML tags, Css, Javascript and webstandards to create a full cross browser website.

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First requirement was to work on iOS, so, no Flash. –  Chris Lawlor Oct 21 '11 at 17:22
    
Now (middle 2012) you can export Adobe Air Apps to iOS, as Native Apps. –  Marcelo Assis Jun 14 '12 at 14:19

The best combination of technologies that meet your criteria is HTML5 + css + javascript. You can (and should) enhance your toolset with a css framework and a javascript layout / ui library (there are many to choose from, I'd go with jQuery UI). HTML5 + javascript nowadays can do wonderful graphics related stuff, even 3D.

One great thing about going the HTML5 way to remake a Flash/Flex site is that the knowledge and experience you will get is on the core technologies that make up (and will continue to make up) most of the web, not of a propriety tool that might or might not be here tomorrow.

Apple has already shown it's tendency to move away from flash and others (will) follow, and since iOS is your core target os you should really listen to Apple. A lot of low to middle end android phones don't support flash, as it cripples their cpus. Of course Adobe could fix all of flash problems and make it fun to use and develop in again, but that hasn't happened yet.

So definitely go with HTML5.

PS. There is a Flash alternative in the dotnet family, Silverlight, I'm only noting it here because you asked. There are reports that it will be supported in iOS in the near future, but noone knows how well that will go (and even if it actually happens). Silverlight has all the problems that Flash has, as it clones Flash's philosophy. Avoid it if possible.

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Also, for 3D animation there is WebGL, which uses the HTML Canvas element. It's not yet supported on iOS though AFAIK. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebGL –  Chris Lawlor Oct 21 '11 at 17:25
    
I must add that not all browsers support most of the new HTML5/CSS3 features. Here's a compatibility chart. –  Marcelo Assis Oct 21 '11 at 18:07

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