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Macromedia Pushes Flash For All Things Web

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the how-to-break-the-web-quickly dept.

Graphics 751

nakhla writes: "This article at News.com details how Macromedia is expanding its Flash product to be more of an all-in-one web solution. Rather than relying on HTML codes to design web pages and embedding Flash as one component, Macromedia wants Flash to be used to design the entirety of a site. Pre-built components, such as scrollbars and buttons, are included to allow designers to write everything using the new Flash product. With websites becoming more and more complex, and the trend to move towards providing web services rather than application software, could something like this be the answer? The article also mentions how Macromedia is on a campaign to have its Flash plugin included in all Internet-compatible devices. How long before we see a Qt based plugin for the Qtopia handheld project?"

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Ralph "Papa Schultz" Nader Read This Comment (-1)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105640)

Ralph Jewhater Nader Read This Comment
Ralph, I wanted to do this in this most potentially embarassing
way possible, and I figured doing it here and now, in front of a
quarter of a million strangers was as good a way as any.
I hate you more then I can describe within the limits of this
tiny little comment.
We've lived without you for many years now, and I've known for
most of that time that I wanted to spend my life without you.
Enough rambling. Won't you just fuck off and die ?

Update 15 minutes 30 seconds later:

Subj: "Arg", message body: "Dolf. You made me cry. :)"
Hazah! He's getting pissed! :)

12 Step Program to Quit Slashdot (-1, Troll)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105645)

The Twelve Steps, originated by Alcoholics Anonymous, now applied to Slashdot. This is the spritual foundation for personal recovery from the effects of Slashaholism, not only for the slashaholic, but also for their friends and family.

Many members of 12-step recovery programs have found that these steps were not merely a way to stop commenting, reading, and retardedly clicking on every link (including all those Goatse links you fags like), but they became a guide toward a new way of life.

Step 1: Honesty
After many years of denial, recovery can begin when with one simple admission of being powerless over CmdrTaco -- for Slashaholics and their friends and family. The Goatse man also owns you, so you should admit that too.

Step 2: Faith
Have faith in the fact that if you stop now - you will be saved. Not only saved but you will never ever have to read or hear about Jon Katz again. Well, I take that back - you will hear about him again, on a legitimate news site where you read that he was finally caught and convicted to the Goatse Man chamber for raping kids.

Step 3: Surrender
A lifetime of slashdot will destroy your soul. Keep in mind that Slashdot is worthless. It does you no good and it is hurting your family. Surrender to the temptation of posting a useful article to slashdot. Surrender to the temptation of even visiting this disease.

Step 4: Soul Searching
Search your soul - why did you first come to Slashdot? WHY? What is here for you? These people are not your friends. They are disgusting dirties that give a general smell to themselves and everyone around you. You all probably notice it when you go places at people look at you funny. It's because you smell like shit.

Step 5: Integrity
Integrity. Not much more needs to be said here. Of course to have integrity one must not smell, and one must have a positive self image. This is also to say - you cannot be the dirty hippie you want to be. So, stop praying to your sun crystals and take a shower.

Step 6: Acceptance
Accept that you will never visit the Slashdot site again. Katz wants you around because you are most likely 14 and he digs little kids.

Step 7: Humility
Practice some humility in your life. Know your place - it is not being a bottom rung goatse link follower at slashdot. The sooner you break the chains of slashdot the sooner you can raise yourself out of the gutter.

Step 8: Willingness
Making a list of those harmed before coming into recovery may sound simple. Becoming willing to actually make those amends is the difficult part. Think of what your parents think about you...are they proud of their dirty anti-shower homosexual hippie child? What about your friends - and not your imaginary friends you fuck hippies. The trees are not alive.

Step 9: Forgiveness
Making amends may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but for those serious about recovery it can be great medicine for the spirit and soul. Once you have stopped visiting Slashdot - you should take the steps to appologize to your friends (not your imaginary friends, fags) and your family about what an ass you have been over the past X months/years at slashdot. Tell them you are sorry and you didn't know. Tell them you were sucked in my the Goatse Man's ass chamber.

Step 10: Maintenance
Nobody likes to admit to being wrong. But it is absolutely necessary to maintain spiritual progress in recovery. You've visited slashdot and actively engaged in the slashdot moderation system. While this makes you a complete flaming homosexual - there is still hope. You've done wrong in the past - let's make the future a brighter and better place, for everyone.

Step 11: Making Contact
Break the bonds of slashdot that hold you prisoner. You can simply GO OUTSIDE! You fuck hippies could probably use the fresh air - at least it would give your parents a chance to clear out the old smelly air within your room.

Step 12: Service
As a community service. Stop using the internet for at least 1 year. Why you ask? You do this because you have committed sins against the internet community by actively being a part of slashdot. This year off will give you time to reflect about what you have done and about who you have hurt. Also, keep in mind - by the time your year is up - there is no way in hell Slashdot will be online. For one, Jon Katz will surely have been found raping children in the slashdot offices which will destroy the company. If not Katz then the website will fail with it's to be introduced subscription services. Not only will the temptation of slashdot be gone - but the year off of the internet will give you a chance to meet real people - and actually make friends.

Follow these steps are your life will be rich and full.

Re:12 Step Program to Quit Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Paracelcus (151056) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105704)

You homophobic sperm swallower, how dare you impune the veracity of the noble and Godlike Katz! May 10,000 pregnant cockroaches give birth in your nostrils!

Re:12 Step Program to Quit Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105815)

There's a far better slashdot quitting program that's been around for a lot longer. Here's the google cache of it [google.com] .

first (-1, Redundant)

2flo (211803) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105647)

1st

mfg flo

19...20... yeah

"Flash" is a good name for the product (3, Insightful)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105650)

..because all it adds is FLASH, not SUBSTANCE.

I've never seen Flash add any value whatsoever to a site. This is an awful move, yet one that's sure to succeed because salespeople and the great unwashed ignorant masses like shiny things.

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (4, Insightful)

InfinityWpi (175421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105661)

That's like saying HTML never added anything to a site. 100% true. It's the content that matters, no whow it's delivered. But let's face it... if you have good content, then it look s a hell of a lot better in Flash than it does in a single page of text.

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (0)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105789)

Ummm... I am bound by and NDA with Macromedia, but there are some new things on the way that just might change your point of view. Don't be too quick to judge,

Mike

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (1)

rm-r (115254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105793)

Amen to that. Flash is not the content, it is the content provider, and it allows for a whole world of flexibility that HTML does not. That's flexibility over your content, the ability to make what you put out there closer to what you have in your head. Being against this is just retarded Ludditism.

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (1)

kevcol (3467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105679)

I've never seen Flash add any value whatsoever to a site.


Never? [newgrounds.com]

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (1)

mrcparker (469158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105683)

I would like to agree with you, because 99.9% of all sites I see designed with Flash are crap, but there are exceptions [joecartoon.com] to everything.

Flash is perfect for well designed user interfaces (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105775)

Forms in flash are a hell of a lot easier to make nice than in sorry ass html. I'd show you what i'm talking about but it's likely you cant get to af.mil sites.

Re:Flash is perfect for well designed user interfa (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105821)

joo r l33t. fag

Re:"Flash" is a good name for the product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105780)

Don't like Flash? What if I called it *whoosh!*, *slap!* Flash! (echo) flash, flash, flash. There, isn't that better?

Not gonna happen (2, Insightful)

punkball (240859) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105651)

Flash is incredibly annoying. You can't link to particular sections in a flash movie, blind people certainly can't enjoy the movies, and flash has really become just a way for people to make funny skits (All your base, Weeeeeee!). It's rare to see it used for much other than a web design firm's way of showing off or some drunk idiot's way of getting people to laugh.

Re:Not gonna happen (3, Funny)

johnburton (21870) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105663)

I disagree - flash is great... It's an almost foolproof way of telling if a website is worth visiting. If it uses flash you might as well noy bother. Of course this doesn't imply anything about flash, just about people who think it's a good idea.

Think of it twice (5, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105676)

You can't link to particular sections in a flash movie

Actually, this could decide some paying web sites to adopt it as not being able to distinguish between subsets of a web site also makes it difficult to filter junk^Wads and it may also have some impact on some future restrictions regarding links between web sites.

So, if I agree with you on its shortcomings, I however think they could just boost some unworthy practices

Re:Not gonna happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105686)

www.t9.com, for example. Excellent use of flash. Product demos work really well.

Re:Not gonna happen (5, Informative)

Big_Daddy_CBT (555808) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105719)

I have to disagree here. I think what most people see Flash being used for is crap, but there are several different applications that Flash is used for.

We actually use Flash to develop "Smart Graphics" which are representations of aircraft panels that can then be embedded in Authorware, HTML, Visual Basic, etc... and configured through text files on the fly. This saves us an incredible amount of development time and leaves us with a cross platform library of reuseable objects.

In addition to this Flash is also being used by several companies as a way to create and distribute CBT. I have actually seen one group that developed a shell in Flash with other Flash movies that loaded depending on the content that was needed for the training application.

I think that the fact that Flash is also available on many different platforms makes it a great tool for that type of development. There are many people that I have spoken with at various conferences that believe that the future of the internet is NOT the browser. Flash is at least one viable alternative.

No, I wouldn't develop all of my applications with it, but I think with a little work you can actually use it to develop some very usable programs.

Kris

Re:Not gonna happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105802)

Actually, read the info at macromedia.com a little more closely.

you can now book mark sections of a flash movie (new feature)

flash is now integrated with speech readers (new feature).

Re:Not gonna happen (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105809)

You can now link to a particular section in the movie with Flash MX.

Flash MX now has accessibility features to allow text readers to be able to handle the movies.

you can link to specific scenes in Flash... (2, Informative)

Twister002 (537605) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105811)

It's just that no body ever does it. Flash can load variables from the Querystring. You could then take the vars from the Querystring and tell the player to go to a specific scene within the Flash movie. Then you could bookmark a page and return to that same "page" in the Flash movie.

Most of the Flash done for websites is created by Graphic Designers (usually print media designers that have decided (or been made) to create a website) and they don't think this way.

Ast Post! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105655)

You take an ass-reaming like a champ!

Flash & Accessibility? (5, Interesting)

Trinity-Infinity (91335) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105659)

How would sites written in Flash be accessible to disabled users of the internet, that rely on alt-tags and other items to navigate a site successfully. I had a hard enough time trying to navigate DoCoMo's website (in flash) through the Babelfish translator. I can only imagine how hard it would be were the site in English and the user blind or unable to use their hands/fingers/etc....

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (2, Informative)

popular (301484) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105726)

http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/productin fo/newfeatures/ [macromedia.com]
Macromedia Flash Player 6 now supports assistive technologies such as screen readers through support of Microsoft Active Accessibility. In addition, Macromedia Flash MX now integrates tools for creating accessible content. To add descriptive text to animations and user interface elements, select an item and enter the appropriate description. Users with disabilities will be able to experience your content.

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (0)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105734)

Thank you for pointing out something that has been rehashed 100000 times elsewhere.

I agree that usability is important, and that sites should provide text only versions. However, you're assuming that because it's inaccessible to the handicapped it must be wrong. Bicycles aren't accessible to people with no legs. If you can't stand under your own power, you can't ride the tilt-o-whirl. If you were born without a head, stay out of the hat store.

I agree that we need to cater to the lowest common denominator, but not just the lowest common denominator.

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105736)

Its easy, just click on whatever it is, go to the accessiblity option, and add some text. This is a new feature in Flash MX, but one that was sorely needed. I am glad they didn't skim over it.

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (2)

cowboy junkie (35926) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105738)

Macromedia has a press release [macromedia.com] describing the 'improved' accessiblity of Flash MX - it uses Microsoft Active Accessiblity [microsoft.com] . Unfortunately, I doubt that those features will apply to any non-Windows versions of Flash player

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (4, Informative)

wgnorm (163220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105751)

With this new version, Macromedia has added an accessibility object that will allow developers to specify alternate content for screen readers. It's based on Microsoft technology, so I'm not sure how well it will work over other OS's and devices.

Here's what Macromedia has about it on their site:

"Macromedia Flash Player 6 now supports assistive technologies such as screen readers through support of Microsoft Active Accessibility. In addition, Macromedia Flash MX now integrates tools for creating accessible content. To add descriptive text to animations and user interface elements, select an item and enter the appropriate description. Users with disabilities will be able to experience your content. "

Re:Flash & Accessibility? (5, Interesting)

mblase (200735) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105812)

How would sites written in Flash be accessible to disabled users of the internet, that rely on alt-tags and other items to navigate a site successfully.

They're not. Simple as that.

If you're developing using Flash, then you're assuming your client has a graphical operating system and a graphical browser. Granted, it's a minority of the web-surfing world that relies on Braille displays or text-to-speech readers or keyboard-only access, but they do exist.

However, it's not really fair to shoot the messenger. Developers have been demanding this sort of thing from Flash, because clients have been demanding it from developers. Macromedia is simply giving people what they've asked for.

It's the clients that are the problem, clients and underexperienced developers. Too many people don't realize that "universal accessibility" is something that should be built into every Web site, or at least taken into account. The example site [enteryourinformation.com] cited in the News.com article understands this perfectly -- they include a link to a low-bandwidth version [broadmoor.com] which provides the same functionality using ordinary Web-based forms, and of course the home page lists the phone number for information and reservations. Those who have Flash are treated to a dynamically-updated reservation system stored entirely on one Web page; the rest have ready access to non-Flash or phone-based methods. Good developers; much praise and approval from self.

Of course, there will be developers who create their sites using Flash and nothing but, and they'll eventually get complaints and either address them or ignore them. But there have always been developers who ignore accessibility; I'm still the only guy at my company who uses ALT tags universally. But it's not fair to say "Macromedia shouldn't be offering this tool" when it's the developers and clients, not Macromedia, who need to consider accessibility.

What the hell is wrong with $lashdot!! (-1)

RoboTroll (560160) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105662)

Let us assume the fact that posts are showing up in reverse order is simply another bug resulting from shoddy half-ass open sores programming, and NOT INTENTIONAL. This is what happens when dirty GNU hippies smoke too much weed before coding.

Drain your swampy armpits, wash off your rancid body odor and fix the bug dammit!! But please - for Gods sake, TAKE A SHOWER!

Troll 3 of 109 from the annals of the Troll Library [slashdot.org] .

Re:What the hell is wrong with $lashdot!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105771)

Dear Sir Or Madam:

I would be most interested in licensing the "sauce code" to your Troll Library software. At your discretion, further development will ensue in our ultimate goal of capitulating Slashdot itself. I have recently embarked on a project which will scan a Slashdot article for key words, do a google search for those words and extract insightful comments out of a web page, then post them to slashdot for karma. Unfortunately, the project sauce code was originally designed in illegal hacker languages like PEARL, and thus can effectively be shut down by the legal team [mailto] unless we can both unite our goals and projects under a banner of legality [microsoft.com] .

If you are interested in licensing your sauce code, or providing a legitimate "executable" not licensed under viral and replicating terms such as the "GPL", I would be most grateful. Please contact me at webmaster@scbackstab.com [mailto] if you do so choose. Thank you very much, you do a great service for Slashdot.

-Bodero [slashdot.org]

Depends of course... (2)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105672)

This of course depends on how it's used. Some of the nicest sites I've ever seen have been flash. And I wouldn't mind seeing more *commercial*,*non-porn* sites in flash.

Most home sites don't need it, most useful sites shouldn't use it (for accessability reasons, and because they'll need mostly text), and most porn sites would... well, let's just say I don't want 10 windows of jiggling cartoon flesh unless I ask for them.

Re:Depends of course... (2)

arkanes (521690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105684)

Well, I'll say one thing, it certainly will shut up all the people who complain about HTML written in attempt to create a specific look, rather than describing a document structure.

80 - 90% of ALL online traffic is pornographic! (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105703)

Oprah said that 80 - 90% of ALL online traffic is pornographic in nature, and Oprah is NEVER wrong.

From this perfect statistic we can deduce that...

If you want a new internet technology to survive you must get the porn industry to support it!

Don't worry too much about a Flash web (2)

Ars-Fartsica (166957) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105673)

Web site traffic is concentrating more and more to a few large sites, and these sites are not going to hand over development (and hence, site control) to Macromedia.

Flash will continue to have its place, but we've probably reached a steady state as to where its acceptable.

Yeah, but don't they already know... (2, Funny)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105674)

Yeah, but don't they already know that Microsoft owns the Web now? In fact, I heard from Matt Drudge that Microsoft representatives are currently in talks with Tim Berners-Lee and other high-ranking W3C officials to rename it the Microsoft Slave Network.

monolinux.com :: Latest Headlines [monolinux.com]

Have any of you seen what this does? (0, Informative)

jeremyf (167087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105677)

Flash movies in the middle of a site (or as a "splash page") suck ass, but the link [broadmoor.com] they give for a site made with the beta of the new flash is kind of nice. It's much faster and easier on the eyes than similarly-formatted sites like orbitz or travelocity.

Of course I haven't seen everything that these flash-sites can do, or will do, but I approve so far.

Flash versus open standards (4, Insightful)

smoondog (85133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105678)

While I tend to think Flash sites are overdone, I do think that flash is useful. I wish, however, that there was a more open standard for developing flash-like functionality. Kind of like a postscript versus pdf. There aren't many non-commercial options when trying to develop this kind of functionality. Macromedia might want to rule the world, but they probably shouldn't.

-Sean

Re:Flash versus open standards (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105733)

Acually there is an open standard available to create flash like functionality. It's a recommendation by the W3C called SVG. Although it too has it's own little ugly points, it does attempt to overcome the accessiblity, and indexing problems of a technology like flash.

Re:Flash versus open standards (5, Informative)

zerosignal (222614) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105742)

I think this is what Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) [w3.org] format is trying to achieve.

Exactly! (1)

Hamshrew (20248) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105758)

Aside from the whole debate of proprietary versus free, this would close off a lot of people from having their own web page. And if Joe User did decide to put something up, it would no doubt be even more garish than the abominations of HTML that we see today, not to mention take days to load on a modem.

I guess I'm preaching to the choir here... I doubt anyone here wants one company controlling the language of the web.

Re:Flash versus open standards (1)

sehryan (412731) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105792)

The source code for the player is available for quite a while. As for non-Macromeida vendors developing Flash programs, Adobe has one, and there is also a little program called Swish that allows you to put together Flash animations very quickly.

not quite (2, Informative)

archen (447353) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105680)

Go to Macromedia's website and get an installer for shockwave. You use Netscape or IE. Don't use one of those? Sorry, our installer won't let you install wherever you want or even detect other browsers - i.e. do the copy and paste kludge yourself. As far as I know Flash (not shockwave) STILL doesn't work under Mozilla. I've been browsing flash free for a while now, and it's actually quite nice. No annoying sounds or music all over the place. There are a few places that I can't navigate without flash, but that's what the back button is for.

Re:not quite (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105769)

I got flash to work fine under k-meleon [sourceforge.net] (Windoze mozilla derivative). Install it as if you have netscape, browse to the proper plug-in directory, ignore the complaint that it can't find the browser. They have documentation [sourceforge.net] about that. I'd imagine it's the same with mozilla itself.

Re:not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105781)

No, F;ash works fine under Mozilla/Win (and ships with Netscape 6) although you are correct that the installer is braindead.

On my Mozilla install, the Flash plugin is picked up from the Netscape 4.x plugin directory automatically.

Re:not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105791)

Flash does work under Mozilla. There are two different ways I install the flash player every time I get a new milestone:

If you already have Netscape 6, just copy the plugin from the plugin directory.

If not, download the install program. If you run it and do not have any version of Netscape, the installer will complain that there is no such thing as netscape.exe. If that is the case, all you have to do is to make a copy of the mozilla.exe file and rename it netscape.exe. That will trick the installer.

---
Jabel D. Morales - VMan of Mana
Not a coward, just lazy to register.

MS ? (4, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105681)

Wonder how long it will take for Microsoft to embrace and extend this...

anyway as tons previous and future posts will tell, flash makes things complicated rather than practical. Most flash sites drown in goodies. Except for joecartoon (www.joecartoon.com) I have yet to see a truly original flash use.
The biggest problem is that flash wants to be a general system for making all things online That's exact the idea of HTML. Only HTML add the keywords indexeable, shareable and ease If macromedia can add those to flash, then perhaps we'll be getting somewhere.

Nothing new, still has the same problems (3, Informative)

richardbowers (143034) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105682)

Macromedia has been pushing site development like this for years, and a number of fairly unpopular sites have used it.

The problems are nothing you wouldn't expect -- Requires high bandwidth
Inaccessible to people with disabilities [addressed in part with today's release, but not enough.]
Doesn't usually lead to usable sites. Flash sites are usually too complicated and too cool-looking, not designed for actual people but for marketing droids.
Requires specialized Flash knowledge -- not built on other open products, like XML.
And, most important for this audience -- Flash isn't an open standard. You can't depend on being able to watch it on any given operating system or browser.

Instead, consider some of the "new" offerings from the W3C. Technologies like SMIL and SVG have the potential to overtake Macromedia and make life easier for all of us.

Re:Nothing new, still has the same problems (1)

tobi_pinkjuice.com (519728) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105756)

Yes. SVG can be used in ways that solve all the problems with SWF. Open source alternatives to Macromedia's ColdFusion&SWF: Dynamic SVG via Ruby: [pinkjuice.com]

Is this a joke? (1)

Codex The Sloth (93427) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105687)

No really, is it a joke? I don't know anyone who clicks the "flash version" of web sites given the choice. Course the web is so complex and all those ecommerce forms are "freaking me out". Screw HTML, we can all just sell our souls to Macromedia and the flash "standard".

It's going to be a long week...

Well . . . (1)

Wire Tap (61370) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105688)

I'm all for the progress of the Internet, and standardization, etc... BUT, are they (Macromedia) considering that not all people have wonder machines that can handle these applactions? Not to mention the fact that most people do NOT access the internet through a broadband connection - what? are they going to suffer through endless downloads of huge, bloated "flash sites" just to browse the internet? I don't think this is going to go over very well with most people.

Heck, I don't even like Flash-based websites. I think they are needlessly sluggish, annoying, bloated, and, in general, I'd rather be at a nice next based site with only a spattering of images, like Slashdot, Kuro5hin, or Everything2.

No thanks, Macromedia.

Flash is annoying more often than not (4, Interesting)

Aexia (517457) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105690)

I got sosick of all the flash ads and useless entrance page animations that I uninstalled the damn thing from my machine, no small feat I assure you. I ran the uninstaller(d/l'd from flash's website, not actually included) repeatedly to no avail. Finally, I resorted to just deleting the flash files themselves and removing any registry entries manually.

Made my browsing experience much better overall. Any site that requires you to have flash usually isn't worth visiting.

Yeah, Flash is ok, but Macromedia has went too far (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105691)

Flash is good, yeah. Should it completely take over the web? No! Pure flash sites also take a while to load on a 56k and below modem. For a long while, people are still going to be using dial up connections, and they're not going to enjoy it as much as they'd like if the whole web is in Flash.

The benefit of HTML (1)

mattvd (44096) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105698)

The benefit of HTML that I don't think Flash has, is that it is designed be displayed on a wide variety of devices. Very little in the HTML spec is concrete on how to display the information. Most definitions include a suggested way on how the user-agent could display something, but there is no requirement that it must. (This is why a well designed page can be displayed in lynx...)

Of course, for sites that are just there for the wow factor, this Flash thing might be the way to go.

flash is too big for 56k (2, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105701)

There are still a large amount of people living where High Speed surfing isn't available. What good is a "cool site" when it takes 2 or 3 minutes to load to a browser?

I'm one of those folks, where I live there IS no cable hookup, DSL, or even ISDN. I'm stuck calling a city 20 miles away for my dialup to the net - thank the deities that I have access to a call pack that makes it a local call - since it would otherwise be considered a toll call for me to get online.

Everything is too big for 56K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105803)

Thank god for cable/dsl.

Good looking page are only.. (2)

GiMP (10923) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105702)

Good looking pages are only useful if you can see. How well, if at all.. is flash for the blind?

Can I increase the font size in a flash applet? No.

Those with poor or lack of vision are competely screwed by the use of flash, but they are just like Unix users... a minority; who cares about them?

Re:Good looking page are only.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105728)

Can you zoom in to a Flash applet? Yes.

Can the person who puts it together make it so you can increase the font size? Yes

Do you know what you're talking about? No.

Re:Good looking page are only.. (2)

pizen (178182) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105762)

Those with poor or lack of vision are competely screwed by the use of flash, but they are just like Unix users... a minority; who cares about them?

Luckily, they're a minority the government tends to listen to and likes to protect.

Flash Based Sites vs Search Engines, etc (5, Insightful)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105705)

I have seen a number of sites based entirely on flash. Some were pretty cool for what they did.

One thing I did not like was that some of the ones I liked were entirely unlinkable. I could not even bookmark a page for my own referance. Great for designers wanting to keep absolute control over their content.

Bottom line, I never went back.

never mind that I wonder how a search engine will index a flash site. Heck, they usually do static pages only. Even java script calls to offsite get bypassed, nevet mind Flash.

So you have a great page that can only be ignored by search engines. Not that this is the way most sites get known, but it is a real issue.

Flash is fast flash is cool (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105707)


Francois c'est pas flashe non due

Dude! (5, Funny)

EricKrout.com (559698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105708)

Rather than relying on HTML codes to design web pages and embedding Flash as one component, Macromedia wants Flash to be used to design the entirety of a site [for all sites on the Internet]. Pre-built components, such as scrollbars and buttons, are included to allow designers to write everything using the new Flash product[to entice coders to use the Flash development environment].

Dude, 1996 called. Microsoft wants their business strategy back.

monolinux.com :: All Linux, No Ads [monolinux.com]

Dude Redux (-1)

DonkeyHote (521235) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105805)

Dude, John Katz called. He wants his massive black dildo back.

So much for accessibility. (1)

McDutchie (151611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105709)

Yeah, great idea. Just now that the push for an accessible web [w3.org] is gaining momentum, let's design more sites that people with disabilities such as visual impairments can forget about ever entering. Not to mention people with outdated equipment, non-mainstream OS platforms, etc.

Better story from Yahoo! (-1)

LunchLady (555057) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105712)

Yahoo New's [yahoo.com] story is better. Macromedia has News.com in their grasp so you don't get biased reporting.

Blind users (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105713)

I'm a web designer for a governmental entity (not in the USA), and I have adapted for blind users (WAI-Guidelines). The blind positively dislike flash, especially on the first page, especially if there is no "skip animation" button.

Stay away from flash: It burns bandwidth, it locks out people who use text browsers (lots of blind folk use Lynx!), it locks out anybody who does not have the newest version of flash, and it is prone to error. HTML may not be that spiffy, but it works. Today, it takes a lot to mess up an HTML page. With flash, this is too easy.

Why no flash dev tools for Linux? (3, Interesting)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105715)

If Macromedia is so serious, they should consider that web developers have a much higher percentage of *nix people in the ranks. Yet no dev tools have been ported. Hmmmmm.... MM is buying the FUD.

Also, I smell the day coming when there will be a "Flash Tax" ala "GIF Tax", but Macromedia needs to become more entrenched before this can happen.

Its the browser trick (2, Interesting)

humps (245087) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105716)

once everyone is happy to implement say 70-80% functionality of their site using Flash. Flash plug-in itself will no longer be just a 'plug-in'. I then becomes a browser itself. Then all M'media needs to do is to launch a better packaged Flash browser (or the flash player) and flock people to browse swf files instead of HTML.

Hence moving away from W3C standards. Then having the 'standard' themselves and change it as much as they like at anytime and launch new products.

By maintaining compatability with normal browser, they can certainly claim they are not trying to dominate the browser market even the browser itself becomes more of a launch pad for Flash.

That's how I see the evil plan anyway.

bah. (2, Funny)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105718)

Flash is great and all but I hate it.

I find myself clicking skip intro and using the "non-flash" site all the time.

Maybe some people like blinking lights, animations, and bullshit, myself, I like clicking the damn link and seeing the porn. I don't need to wait for 3 mins for something to load (even over broadband) and then waiting 3 more minutes to find the bouncing lady to click.

I will stick to HTML, thank you.

search (1)

doubtless (267357) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105721)

I am wondering about the implications of search engines such as googles towards flash sites. I know google are able to search PDF, but flash?

It's too bad to see that they are pushing towards the 'closed' standard. HTML, although not particularily elegant, is open and free. I don't think too many of us are going to shelf out $199 just to write a website.

We will probably see bigger corporations starting to adopt it, but I don't foresee many small sites do.

Flamebait Article (1)

Batlord (33242) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105723)

Postign an article like this is like shooting fish in a barrell.

Hmmm (4, Insightful)

JMZero (449047) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105724)

The goals of Flash are pretty much perpendicular to those of html.

Is HTML perfectly well thought out? Not really. But it's there, it's open, it's getting more standardized all the time. It works reliably on a lot of different platforms.

And through extensions like Flash, it can produce whatever monstrosity of a web site that evil designers can imagine.

That said, Flash only sites are annoying to use in a regular browser. Linking to certain parts of a site doesn't work (at least not usually), and back/forward are unreliable. But the solution should come from the Flash developer. When you click a link, the browser should move to a new page, one that initializes the same Flash data with the parameters to show the new page. Unfortunately, most Flash sites don't work that way. The browser stays on the same Flash data and the poor user is forced to use the Flash navigation.

Nothing better than right clicking and getting Pause, Play, and Stop...

/.

happy hacking.... (1)

CaraCalla (219718) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105725)

I just wonder in how many exciting ways this whole new shit is going to be exploited. Interactions between Javascript, Flash-bytecode, embeded html (?), IFRames, flash in xml in javascript in html in flash (?),....

Internet Explorer is being closed due to an unknown exception in kernel32.dll......

Re:happy hacking.... (2)

PigleT (28894) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105731)

I thought we already *had* one Flash virus, didn't we?

In any case:

ProxyBlock macromedia.com

to the rescue.

The Web is no place for proprietary shit.

They're doing the same thing as Netscape (2)

ahde (95143) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105727)

so its not necessarily a Bad Thing (TM). Flash is more efficient (and easier) for vector drawings and animations, and they could probably even make lightweight text display if they wanted to.

But I don't think this is the product. It can't really do animation, and it can't really do formatting. It's a case of the happy middle that ain't. Even if it was open, and better designed, its just a small bit between two very strong poles -- information (text and images), and entertainment (video and 3D games)

Standards (1)

Hugonz (20064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105730)

..And when is it they're going to submit their formats to the W3C?
Because otherwise, it's very bad juju...having everyone try to reverse engineer their format (DMCA, anyone?)...possibly breaking patents, etc.
Hugo

Flash is too potent... (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105741)

I like to think of flash like black paint or salt...

A little bit goes a looooong way.

Flash is fine for grpahical accents and small navigational elements that would otherwise require tons of scriptiong, but as for building and entire site on flash it's pretty much overkill.

Personally, I think flash would make a wonderful interface for embedded objects like PDA's and cellphones.

Flash is awful to develop in (1)

chuckgrosvenor (473314) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105745)

I've done some simple stuff in it, I'm by no means a Flash expert. But, from what I've experienced of it, I can see why so many poorly designed sites which use it heavily, are poorly designed.

The new Flash they talk about is supposed to have a lot of the navigational elements built in, like scroll bars and buttons. That would be a major improvement, right now, you have to design your own for each project. Even if you do use their built in library to reuse items, it tends to crash too often to make it not worth the effort.

Placing a link between frames, is a major effot. You want a text link to another screen? Define a button (with four layers), and then edit the script for the button to point to the next page. HTML takes about twenty seconds either in a text editor or some GUI nonesense editor. Flash takes about 5 minutes.

Flash was created for graphic designers. Graphic designers have no place desiging sites. Individual pages, no problem, not entire sites. Nothing Flash has ever done, would make for a consistent design within a site. It decreases the usability of a site, because each site you visit which is developed using it, comes up with it's own paradigm for navigation. Sure, within the site it's consistent, but even then, it's some graphic design artist who thinks you should know that clicking the orange flame brings you to the homepage, or some other non-convention they just thought of.

Cross platform concerns (1)

Everach (559166) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105746)

As a parent running Linux at home, I'm concerned about Macromedia's support for non Windows platforms. My son spends hours on Flash-only sites thanks to Codeweaver and the wine project. I like what flash can bring to web sites, I'd just like to see Macromedia actively supporting the non-Windoze crowd.

Too much flash, not enough substance. (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105754)

Flash is cute, but what about useful content?

Besides that, what about speed? We are not always on a T-1, sometimes on the road we are stuck at 53kb.

Re:Too much flash, not enough substance. (1)

Drunken_Jackass (325938) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105820)

i may get modded down for this, but you obviously have little experience with flash. Useful content is not a function of flash, it is a function of the designer of a site. Flash is a tool - a powerful one at that, used to create web content.

Actionscript (yes there's an actual programming language in Flash) is very powerful tool that can be used to fantastic effect to produce rich, real, powerful, fun, dynamic, interactive web content. Just because someone has no design skill, and chooses Flash doesn't mean that Flash cannont be used to build useful content.

And i'm tired of people conmplaining about Flash and Linux and the perceived mutual exclusivity. Flash and shockwave work fantastically on my boxen using mozilla, netscape and konquerer. Plus, i don't think there's any other web delivery medium that has as good a compression rate as flash.

So get yer head out of yer ass, wake up and learn a little about a great application for web content.

Flash is nice but... (3, Interesting)

PotatoHead (12771) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105755)

Should we be building our web with closed standards? Macromedia owns flash. Once the usage rises, whats to say they continue to do good things with it?

The built in widgets are nice, (hope they are cross-platform) how much does it cost to develop and maintain vs what we have now?

How many really bad flash sites have you run into? I bump into a lot of them. Flash makes some things easy, but does nothing to hide lack of talent.

Perhaps... just a fad. (1)

pinkUZI (515787) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105759)

Is it possible that 3 years down the road we will be looking at flash as a fad of the past? Like vrml and other technologies that were "Way cool!" in their day but got passed off when everyone realized that organizing information in an enviornment overly laced with multimedia isn't a very efficient means of doing things?

I think that it becomes a problem when the technology or in this case the way in which the information is presented overshadows the information itself. When this happens its only a matter of time before people get fed-up having to cut through all the gee-wiz crap to get the information they came for in the first place.

Mozilla's XUL, plus SVG, etc, is a similar idea (1)

Chuck Messenger (320443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105760)

I think the general idea of using a web browser as an application front-end is a very good idea. Mozilla has pioneered this idea with XUL. A XUL page consists of widgets, plus JavaScript as the control language, plus hooks to regular HTML, custom widgets (XBL), and (eventually) vector graphics (SVG). I'll be interested to see how Flash's product compares.

Of course, Mozilla is Open Source (with a more forgiving license -- MPL -- than the GPL), which is a big advantage over anything Flash will produce.

Does anyone else find this scary? (2, Interesting)

ari{Dal} (68669) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105761)

Rather than relying on HTML codes to design web pages and embedding Flash as one component, Macromedia wants Flash to be used to design the entirety of a site.

I don't know about anyone else, but the LAST thing I want to see is a web gone completely flash.


Not only is flash annoying, invasive, and a pain in the ass, but it's not exactly the most user-friendly of web interfaces. Cumbersome downloads, long waits for those on slower connections, and a lack of accessibility for people with disabilities make flash a poor choice for web content, period. And let's not even get into those annoying in-your-face demands that you download this or that component in order to display the latest and greatest flash widgets.


I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who automatically clicks the "Skip Intro" links on sites that have them, and find other sources of amusement on sites that don't. As for the ones that have the option of flash or HTML on their splash page.. I can't remember ever actually CHOOSING to visit the flash version. If there's no static HTML option, I go elsewhere, period.


We thought the advent of FrontPage was hell.. can you IMAGINE what the self professed "Webmasters" will produce with a flash-based equivilent? Even Macromedia's people admit that people don't know how to use flash to advantage. From the article: The usability argument is somewhat ironic, given that Flash has been identified as a key culprit in bad Web design, enabling pages of blinking text and galloping images that do little more than consume bandwidth. Flazoom's MacGregor said that Macromedia learned its lesson with the last version of Flash, when it began an extensive campaign to educate designers on appropriate use of Flash.


Sorry MacGregor, but you can't train people to have good taste and common sense.


I'm happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105766)

Personally, I'm looking forward to flash MX. I know the /. community will be down about it, but you only have to look at the average linux related webpage to see that *NIX users need help in the web design department.

Flash has added things to the web that the it desperatly needed, and I think that the whole point of MX is to overcome a lot of the platform / accesability problems. There probably won't be a linux IDE anytime soon for it, but I'm sure that X-based netscape will have a plug-in.

Besides, if your still trying to go to your favorite gaming site with lynx, maybe you should upgrade?

searching (1)

Hugonz (20064) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105770)

...in related news, Google re-engineers its search clusters to index webpages (flashpages?) based on pixel pattern recognition.
c'mon!

Flash will always be Eye Candy. (5, Insightful)

thesolo (131008) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105777)

I read the article, and I'm not convinced otherwise. Flash is nothing more than a gimmick, and I personally don't want it used at all, let alone having entire pages done in it. The only places I ever see Flash used are on websites that offer no real information, or "Beat Up Osama" movies.

Face facts about Flash:
1) It's hard to keep up to date. Until you can make Flash that updates itself from SQL, it's worthless for any real data.
2) It's not backwards-compatible with older browsers, nor is it friendly to text-only browsers such as Lynx. The flash content doesn't have an alternate of plain HTML & text for those without the plugin (although you can do an elaborate detection scheme which only works 50% of the time)
3) It breaks the standard web paradigm; once you in a flash movie, the back button on your browser doesn't take you back a page, it starts the movie over again! ARGH!

To top this off, recently a lot of ad designers have started using Flash in their ads. Which means animation, sound, a lot of stuff that makes me IGNORE the advertisement and want to DISABLE Flash in the first place.

Also, the only real benefit of Flash, vector graphics, are completely lost in the mix of horrible effects, processor-killing animation, and canned sounds. If you want good vector graphics, use Adobe SVG [adobe.com] instead.

On a semi-related rant, I personally am tired of companies trying to treat the web like Television. Even in this article, they mention how they can make web pages like TV. It's a completely wrong approach; the WWW is supposed to be interactive! I don't want animations forced on me, I don't want excessive loading times so I can have glowing scrollbars, I want the information I'm looking for! The web is not meant to mindlessly entertain you for 30 minutes at a time with ads snuck in, it's meant to exchange information. No one can force us to look at ads online, and the more they try, the more we are going to block those tools. If I see one more ad with Flash on it, I'm going to completely remove it from my system.

Flash allows for better user interfaces. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3105778)

Assume while using Quickbooks(or any other desktop app) that every time you entered a transaction, the entire screen would take a noticeable time to redraw. No-one would use the product. Flash gets around this problem, and allows the creation of true GUI's on the web. It is a compact vector based rendering engine with scripting support. HTML is far from ideal for e-commerce. At Amazon, one has to click through several screens to complete an order, all of which should be done through a single GUI.

flash as a downloadable object... (1)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105782)

flash as a basis of multimedia is a good thing, though not as a basis for a web site. like downloading a pdf (yeah, i know) or a rtf file, flash is a good distribution device. not to mention that connecting to databases is getting easier by the day through flash. xml is really not ready for dynamic content. though i very much agree with the post that states that the plugin only works in two browsers. macromedia, put up or shut up. and, what are you going to do with authorware and director now?

The good news ... (2)

uebernewby (149493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105784)

... considering that Flash is killing the web by effectively blocking content from search engines, making it impossible to link to specific information etc is that Macromedia apparently is giving the developer interface yet another complete overhaul. I'm willing to bet this is going to piss off a lot of web designers, who've had to take time off from active development to familiarize themselves with the revamped Flash 5 interface only a year ago. And if it doesn't piss them off, I'm sure it will their employers. Now I actually *like* Flash, provided it's used as the toy it really is, and I *like* the fact that Macromedia seems to 'get' the web a lot more than Adobe (designing webpages is a *lot* more pleasant in Fireworks than it is in Photoshop or ImageReady), but they should really stop trying to reinvent their flagship product every year. It alienates their support base and doesn't get them anywhere.

Similar to C/C++ - C# (2)

room101 (236520) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105794)

Seems like the proposed move from C/C++ based development to something proprietary like C# (or Java, depending on how you look at things).

I foresee problems with stuff like standards (no standards body, just a proprietary company) and licensing issues.

Seems like the W3C just needs to propose something "nextgen" (some kind of toolkit based design like this apposed to yet another mark-up language) to make things move forward, or maybe we just need to stick with the evolving standard stuff like HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML... etc. Just a thought.

SVG might be a better solution (1)

jdeisenberg (37914) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105798)

[Truth in advertising - I have written a book about SVG, so I am hardly an impartial observer.]

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is open, works well with other XML applications, and has animation capabilities. See http://www.w3.org/Graphics/SVG [w3.org] for articles, references, and links.

More closed web 'standards' (3, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105801)

With a "built-in media player, based on Sorenson Media's video player" we're not going to see a source-available version any time soon. In the past Flash has been a security liability through buffer overruns in the player. There's no way they can be held accountable for them if there are no alternatives.

Executable material in web pages is very rarely necessary. When it is though there's that language, um, what was it called? Java? I hear some people code in that already.

Flash has been one of the suckiest aspects of the web in recent years. Given that it so counters accessibility, usability, cross-platformedness, and indexability, there is no way it can possibly be a good thing for web pages. It is the exact opposite of good for web pages.

Flash developers are being smarter about how they're using Flash.
There's no smart way of using Flash as part of the web. You can use HTTP as a transport mechanism for your closed Flash application, but you can use HTTP for anything. There's more to being part of the web than being served over port 80.

Flash should be thrown out as a web application platform. Just tossed. Don't use it. The record shows that most flash is expensive, bandwidth sucking, usability crushing crud, which is all the more frustrating for its complete lack of necessity. The only Flash I've seen that was not so were animationts where the animations were themselves the content. In this situation Flash is a glorified video codec, and if that's all it was ever used for, things wouldn't be so bad.

It's hard to see how Flash could be fixed. One could open up the format, but that doesn't change the fact that it's sucky for the web. If a site uses Flash in a way that works well without it, why bother with it in the first place? If it doesn't degrade gracefully, then congratulations, you have made a site that throws away most of what makes the web actually useful.

Now ask yourself this... (-1)

OsamaBinLager (532628) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105807)

No matter how 'bad' Java might be on the client, would you rather have Java, or Flash?

God help you if you'd rather have Flash.

Fundamental problem (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105808)

The big fat problem with Flash is quite obvious. HTML has blossomed (not always prettily) because it is a common standard with freely available documentation. Flash is a closed, binary format and you have to pay big bucks for the Macromedia "IDE" in order to create content. Programmatic creation of Flash using libswf or Ming is useful but can't replace the GUI.

Unless Macromedia releases a free editor for Flash, that's not too crippled, well then Flash will remain a gimmick for those with disposable time and money.

Flash for Lynx? (1)

chipperdog (169552) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105814)

I do most of my home browsing with Lynx on a Linux Console......Nothing annoys me more than a site the has falsh on the main page and no links to get inside. I usually go a google search to find an inside page so I can view the real content.

Down with Web Browsers! (1)

ruzel (216220) | more than 12 years ago | (#3105816)

Prefab user interface components that will free designers from having to write code for scroll bars, list boxes and other common Web page elements.

Why can't corporations see past the web? It's the protocol stupid! Didn't the popularity of Napster teach anyone anything?

So businesses claim they want more control over their user's interface. They want it to be easier to use and more reliable. It sounds to me like they should just create software instead of continually trying to use the web as a development platform -- something it's not good at and was never intended to be used as.

If Etrade or Citibank or eBay *really* want to make any progress, they should skip the web browser and get to the desktop. They beat Microsoft that way. They beat Macromedia that way. They get as close to the customer as they can and they can use http or https for whatever data transactions they like.

What the open source community needs to do is come up with a simple set of tools for building thin clients -- a development kit ( like a visual Java) that would allow lots of developers to go to lots of companies and say, "Screw flash. For that matter screw Internet Explorer. If you want to get close to your customers and own the user experience, make a thin client."

Personally, I would just like the way that would put Microsoft pretty much out of the picture.
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