January 12, 2016 Last Updated 1:55 pm

The Chicago Tribune goes retro: launches a Flash flipbook evening edition online

The folks at Tribune Publishing have apparently not gotten the memo, Flash is dead. Instead, the publisher has launched a Flash flipbook evening edition for the Chicago Tribune.

ChiTrib-flipbookBuilt using Olive Software, the evening edition is built like a smallish tabloid, and is available online.

The first edition appeared online yesterday and was eight pages in length.

Flash is, of course, fading away. Adobe late last year announced that it was renaming its Flash solution Animate CC, and while the publishing solution will still support Flash output, it will now concentrate on HTML5. Apple famously chose not to support Flash when it launched the iPad in 2010.

“Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice,”Jobs said at the time. “Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.”

Flash flipbooks are among the oldest digital edition solutions in publishing, being peddled by vendors for years as an easy way to get print publications online in a replica format. Flash flipbooks generally reproduce print content for the web, and rarely are as attractive and easy to read as simple, native HTML. Sometimes, as in the cast of Sporting News in 2009, they are used to create print-like publications that are actually never printed.

Although there are still numerous companies offering the solution, most digital publishers see flipbooks as a leftover from another era. As a result, their use is very much disappearing except as a way to archive back issues.

Speaking of the Chicago Tribune, the paper has announce that it will eliminate its Monday business section and replace it with a new insert section, Success, which will be produced by Tribune Content Agency. The section will feature articles from outside sources such as Fast Company, Lean In and Kiplinger’s, as well as from the paper’s Blue Sky Innovation team, the division launched in the fall of 2013 to provide content on Chicago’s high-tech and entrepreneurial business scene.

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