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Thread: Flash

  1. #1
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    I'm an new web designer and have been bombarded with tons of stuff that I have to learn.
    i've already got html, css, and I'm currently learning Perl 5...what should I focus on next?
    I was thinking that maybe I should try out flash. Is this worth my endevour?


    - sam

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    In my humble opinion, learning even the basics of Flash can open doors to creative concerpts that could only be imagined without Flash. I'm addicted and perhaps rely too heavily on it, but for a designer it should at least be something you're familiar with.
    If you want, you can see how I've used it on my site: http://dsuper.net/~tinfly

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    I disagree. I see flash as an extra. Not only is it used inappropriately but if you don't have an entertainment or multimedia oriented site it can be a waste of both yours and your visitors efforts. If you truly think you need to learn flash then go ahead. I personally think that you should learn Javascript before you spend time on extras like Flash. Using HTML, CSS and Javascript you can approximate 90% of what you would use Flash for.

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    Wayne Luke
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    I have to disagree with you wluke!

    Not with all of your points, but with a few. Flash is not just for multimedia oriented site anymore. There are so many companies out there that are wanting a flash version developed. I know many Flash developers (I am one myself) that do full time Flash development that make very good money, and are always busy.

    Times are changing.

    Now at the same time, I am not saying that Flash is going to take away html either, but it is not just going on multimedia oriented sites! Companies are paying lots of dollars to develop Flash portions to their web sites.

    I run one of the largest Flash help sites on the Internet, and there is only a growing interest in the development of Flash on the Internet.

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    That may be so but I feel its putting the cart before the horse. Flash is too heavy for the majority of today's users. Until bandwidth becomes more plentiful, it is more of a hindrance than a help at the majority of websites that use it. I have yet to see one website that uses Flash in a useful fashion. Granted I haven't looked either but most sites with flash use it for simple rollovers that can be better accomplished with javascript and see by many millions more people.

    Mind you it is not just flash but I view most plugins in this light. I believe that you shouldn't have to install another layer of software just to see a webpage. I have gone to pages with 800 X 600 flash movies as the entire site and it takes a good thirty seconds just to start streaming with a modem. Now I have seen CD's with many great flash movies on them and enjoyed them but bandwidth isn't a problem either. In 5 years when high speed connections are the rule instead of the exception then Flash will be important. I still won't learn it though. I have so much to learn and keep up on as it is that is more worth my while just to pay someone like you to do it for me.

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    Wayne Luke
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    I do understand where you are coming from for sure, and I see it probably more so than anyone, but then again I do see the well done Flash sites as well.


    As far as the plugin is concerned,
    Yes the plugin is a hinderence, but there are lots of people trying to recreate what could have been done in Flash with DHTML, and while you can do a lot with DHTML, it can only be viewed by a limited number of browsers.

    I guess it is all up to the developer and how they use it.

    BTW - I am also good with many other scripting areas outside of Flash, which is a big help in succeeding in this field.

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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Using HTML, CSS and Javascript you can approximate 90% of what you would use Flash for.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Whoever told you this is lying to you. Show me a page made with HTML/CSS/JavaScript whose graphics scale to fit any resolution, and still look fantastic… In all the browsers, and on all platforms. Oh yeah, I forgot the W3C is still trying to agree on a vector standard. Now find me a site that approximates 90% of the features and interactivity you get with Flash that actually works the way it’s supposed all the way back to Netscape 2.02 and IE 3.0… Using the features in HTML/CSS/JavaScript to create the interactivity (assuming of course, that you even can) you get with Flash reduce your compatibility 3 times more than using a plugin that 89.9% (that’s 222 million users) are capable of viewing.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR> I see flash as an extra. Not only is it used inappropriately but if you don't have an entertainment or multimedia oriented site it can be a waste of both yours and your visitors efforts.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I work for a design company whose majority of clients are jewelry designers (you’ll see them if you take a look in Town & Country Magazine, Elle, etc…)… You know what they all are asking for? Flash. They see the way their jewelry comes alive on the page, and the tremendous printing control (see below, since I’ve seen from your previous posts that you obviously don’t keep up on this) and they see how much it sets them ahead from the others.

    In regards to printing control… Using Flash, you can print out a page that looks exactly like their catalog (even if the site doesn’t) and include extra info that may not displayed on the page they are printing, such as price and style number as well as the URL to their site, phone number, and address… Show me that in HTML.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>That may be so but I feel its putting the cart before the horse. Flash is too heavy for the majority of today's users.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Not true... Flash is very lightweight when used correctly. Granted there are a lot of very, very bad Flash sites out there, almost as many as bad HTML sites.

    The first mistake a lot of beginning designers make is not learning how to take advantage of Flash's streaming, but instead preload the entire file before letting it play! But you can't judge all Flash sites because a couple people have made mistakes, that's like saying, "I think HTML is useless, just look at WebTek Systems!"

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR> Mind you it is not just flash but I view most plugins in this light. I believe that you shouldn't have to install another layer of software just to see a webpage.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I have to agree with you there… I really dislike plugins myself… But Flash is so widely accepted, and so non-intrusive that the interactivity/features more than outweigh the “plugin taboo” so many people mention when asked their opinion on Flash. Are you aware that AOL 5 ships with Flash 4? Same with Netscape 4.7, and guess what… IE comes with it too. Most people will never have to download the plugin.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>I still won't learn it though.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Why are you so closed minded? Isn’t web development all about pushing forward with new technology, not resisting it? There’s absolutely no reason I can see to have an attitude like that about any technology that could potentially work for you and your clients…

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR> Mind you it is not just flash…<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Looking at your comment above, I would tend to think differently.


    Most importantly… DLG,

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR> I'm an new web designer and have been bombarded with tons of stuff that I have to learn.
    i've already got html, css, and I'm currently learning Perl 5...what should I focus on next?
    I was thinking that maybe I should try out flash. Is this worth my endevour?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It’s definitely worth your time to get some Flash experience under your belt. Since you are also learning perl, you will be very excited with the integration with server-side scripting Flash is now capable of. Flash developers that also have a good handle on programming are very valuable these days.

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    jessica@webstyles.net

  8. #8
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    Let me just put it this way. I care about what my clients care about. I work with Banks and Insurance companies. They care that form letters and applications are automated. Often times the layout of these forms and applications are dictated by one level of government or another. They care that when they need to borrow several billion dollars from the Federal Reserve that the money has been transferred overnight so they can open their doors the next day. They care about how many Earthquake policies are in a particular zip code. They also want this information on an Intranet because its the easiest way to transmit data around the world. That is where I come in. In my job graphics are secondary to programming. As long as the product works on their platform and follows basic usability guidelines they are happy.

    Once the project is working I add some graphics to make it more appealing. These usually come from my own personal library of about 600,000 stock, royalty free graphics. My customers don't care that they are Stock graphics available in CD collections. They do care that they are royalty free and won't cost them anything.

    While I have built websites for individuals and companies before I do not offer these services now because they simply weren't as profitable to me. I am developing several web based projects on my own and as development progresses I realize I will have to evaluate new technologies. I never said I wouldn't evaluate or research Flash, I said I won't, or I should say "don't have the desire to", learn it because it is in my best interest in regards of time and effort to pay an outside contractor to develop anything in this field for me. We all tend to specialize along particular fields, mine happens to be Application and Intranet Integration not Graphic and Multimedia design.

    Show me just one example on how Flash will allow an Insurance company or a Bank to increase market share and I might change my mind. Right now my bet is on XML changing the Insurance and Banking industries in ways more profound that Flash.

    Since this discussion has gotten way off the original request if you wish to further respond to my opinions it would be better if the are discussed in another thread at: http://www.webmaster-resources.com/f...ML/000493.html

    Or you can send me personal mail at the address listed in my profile.


    ------------------
    Wayne Luke
    WR Moderator
    Internet Media Provider

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited March 31, 2000).]

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Why are you so closed minded? Isn’t web development all about pushing forward with new technology, not resisting it? There’s absolutely no reason I can see to have an attitude like that about any technology that could potentially work for you and your clients…<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I am not closed minded. There are several technologies and techniques that I won't learn due to time constraints in my own business. Currently I work between 14 and 20 hour days. This includes contracted work and personal projects that are being developed. In that time I use no less than 10 different technologies including C/C++, ASP, Javascript, vbScript, Visual Basic, Cobol, XML, XSL, XLL, HTML, CSS. All these are constantly changing and being updated except for maybe most COBOL installations. Throw into this the vague problems caused by the operating systems (I need to use various flavors windows including NT) and browsers (usually I.E. but some Netscape). My clients worry more about getting MS-Word to work in an intranet setting as a workgroup application more than how pretty their catalog looks. Now that Java works well server-side I will have to learn that as well.

    Besides Flash, I won't learn how to do streaming video/audio, photoshop or in-depth graphics design. If this is needed I will sub-contract the work out to people and firms who know this and make it their specialty producing far greater quality than I could hope for creating on my own. As I grow larger, I can hire people to work for me doing the same work.

    If this is closed minded I fail to see how.

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    Wayne Luke
    WR Moderator
    Internet Media Provider

    [This message has been edited by wluke (edited March 31, 2000).]

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>
    I still won't learn it though.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    To say you wont is in a way close minded. Instead of saying unless I have to, or unless it becomes benefitial for me to.

    But I think your last post explains it a little more for everyone

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    BTW - I know of some design companies that are pushing quite a large amount of jobs through their doors, where the senior programmers are learning the basics of Flash to utilize with Generator. So there are other aspects that go into some of the proffessional Flash jobs out there that require programmers to learn the basics.

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  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>Besides Flash, I won't learn how to do streaming video/audio, photoshop or in-depth graphics design. If this is needed I will sub-contract the work out to people and firms who know this and make it their specialty producing far greater quality than I could hope for creating on my own. As I grow larger, I can hire people to work for me doing the same work.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I don't see that as unreasonable at all. What I don't see is why you are so resistant to becoming familiar with the technology you are dealing with before you hire someone out to do it. For example, I am not a database programmer, and never will be... But that hasn't stopped me from familiarizing myself with the technology, so I can successfully integrate the frontend with the backend.

    <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote/font><HR>If this is closed minded I fail to see how.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What I see as closed minded is the fact that you obviously view graphic design and multimedia as less important than programming. If you took the time to learn a little bit about what Flash can do now (and not 2 years ago, when you obviously last checked it out), you would see that they are growing to be more and more alike... Even the programmer at my work is learning Flash, so he will have a grasp on what his scripts have to do to successfully run in a Flash environment.

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    jessica@webstyles.net


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