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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot akohl's Avatar
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    Just how important is flash on the web?

    I have never used flash. Just html,javascript,css,and asp. I have a freind who just took a course in flash and he is under the impression that it's the be all and end all and will be dominating the web in a short time.

    My personal impression is that flash is not used on ANY of the sites that I regularly visit and when it is, it doesn't seem to add much. To me, the real heavy flash sites that I very rarely have visited just out of curiousity mean one thing, "wait for me to load!"

    What are your thoughts about the following questions?

    Do I need to learn how to implement flash in order to develop decent web sites?

    How is flash cross-browser wise?

    What are the great upsides and downsides in using this technology?

    Andy

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast limmystar's Avatar
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    Hi,

    "What are your thoughts about the following questions?

    1. Do I need to learn how to implement flash in order to develop decent web sites?

    2. How is flash cross-browser wise?

    3. What are the great upsides and downsides in using this technology?"



    1. As a web designer/enthusiast, I would define a 'decent' website as something that my client/s or target audience would like and enjoy surfing because of its design and content and/or because it serves their purpose. So, to answer your question, you don't need to learn flash to develop decent websites. There are still more static sites out there than flash sites.

    But having said all that, Flash is an awesome tool to enhance your site if used wisely.

    2. Flash is cross browser, cross resolution compatible. I normally test my work using IE6, Netscape 6.xx, and Opera 5.12

    3. The upside to flash:

    a. moving pictures can enhance your site
    b. flash sites are quicker to make once you have your templates made up (less programming required)
    c. flash sites or flash enhanced sites look professional and hi-tech

    The downside to flash:

    a. can be heavy and it takes way too long to load if not done properly
    b. Because it's fairly new, a web designer can go overboard with it and install a flash movie for the sake of having it although it might not necessarily be appropriate for that particular site.
    Last edited by limmystar; Feb 24, 2002 at 18:33.
    Limmystar

  3. #3
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    Re: Just how important is flash on the web?

    Originally posted by akohl
    Do I need to learn how to implement flash in order to develop decent web sites?
    No but Flash makes life a lot easier for video and audio based web work.



    How is flash cross-browser wise?
    In theory the Flash plug-in should run the same way regardless of Browser / Platform however this isn't strictly true, there are some minor differences between the PC and Mac version - as a general rule all ActionScript commands run on a PC but i've noticed some dont on a Mac (usually fixable tho :-)



    What are the great upsides and downsides in using this technology?

    Andy
    upside:

    www.bestflashanimationsite.com/flashshowcase.php

    downside: Not usually suitable for full site design, one of the obvious reasons for this being its not readable by search engine robots for indexing - apart from GOogle which can read internal and external urls provided your not blocking them with a robots.txt file.
    Last edited by Chas; Feb 25, 2002 at 11:11.

  4. #4
    Gone!
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    Ill be quick, IMHO Flash to the web is like Cranberry Sauce on Roast Turkey.

    It looks nice, tastes nice, but its dont cry if you havent got it! Its not he be all and end all!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot akohl's Avatar
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    thanks

    Thanks guys. This help me get a perspective.

    But I always thought that the cranberry sauce was for the potato pancakes!

  6. #6
    SitePoint Enthusiast Roxy's Avatar
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    I started with version 4 and remember the excitement when Flash 5 ActionScript was introduced, much more advanced than the previous scripting engine. Now we are just days away from the Flash MX release and I'm sure it'll be the most sophisticated web content creation software ever. IMHO, it's a must for every web designer who plans to stay in the business, at least learn the Flash basics.

    2Chas: btw, I heard MX will have native video/audio support amongst a load of other cool new features.

    Happy flashing!

  7. #7
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    My 2 cents.
    Every time I bring up a page with Flash, I can only say, "Who needs it?"

    You all have a great day!
    Smokey
    Have a GREAT day!

    Smokey
    My Place

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast appy's Avatar
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    Every time I bring up a page with Flash, I can only say, "Who needs it?"
    There are very few sites in HTML that couldn't be emulated with Flash. There are very few sites with Flash which could be emulated with HTML. Appreciate the difference between the technologies and you will appreciate the advantages of both. Forget the Flash slating. If it wasn't needed or wanted I don't think that current browsers would ship with it, top companies would use it in their sites or Microsoft would have recently agreed protocols with Macromedia regarding Flash, XML and .NET?

    As any good designer (Flash or otherwise) has always known, it is the correct use of appropriate technology and design, not the use of technology for it's own sake.

    Like the Cranberry example: Only put it on the table if it will enhance the meal but don't use it if you can't cook
    Last edited by appy; Feb 27, 2002 at 10:30.

  9. #9
    Photoshop Ninja jonnya's Avatar
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    Yes, Appy is right. Basically this whole subject boils down to appropriate technology. Flash is not the be all and end all of web development by any means, and there are some circumstances where is would not be appropriate. However, it is certainly not one to ignore... and used well truely enhances the web experience for visitors. Unfortunately you see Flash used badly quite often, which is a shame... often poor quality, badly optimised cheesy animation which does give Flash a bad name sometimes.

    If a designer uses it well though, you can create things that indeed would be impossible to create in HTML. Indeed Flash combats some of the problems of HTML, for instance - being able to embed font outlines in movies without the visitor having it on their machine, scaleable content (due to it's vector nature it can do this without loosing quality), and it's cross-platform/browser nature gives it plent of ammo over HTML.

    Also, with the dawn of GPRS/high speed internet access mobile devices, I think Flash will be pushed to the forefront of development in due time for creation of content for these devices. It's just as easy to get a Flash movie talking to a PHP/ASP back-end, as it is HTML. Also the Flash player has been ported across to Pocket PC platform, it's only a matter of time before Flash becomes an essential part of the toolkit for mobile content development in my opinion (although this is probably 12 months away yet.

    Due to it's 'slim' bandwidth nature (if developed correctly), and ability to stream content I think it has a very strong case as an important tool for any web developers, now and in the future. Anyone who totally dismisses Flash are missing a huge potential for development, and demand from clients!
    Jonnya Freelance Creative
    UK Freelance designer and web developer
    Website | Portfolio | Photoshop Tips


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