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  1. #26
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
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    I've now gone for a meta tag transition solution. It's not Flash but it looks cool.
    Thomas Oeser - Blueprint Software
    Web Scripting Editor v 5.2 One cool Web editing tool.
    3dcomputergraphics.com Coming Soon!

  2. #27
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Oooh - I just remembered a thing that is kind of a splash page:

    http://www.logoed.fsnet.co.uk/

    Very nice - it VERY quick, but still nifty.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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  3. #28
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
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    I like the logoed site and that's a great example of how to use a splash page without annoying people.
    Thomas Oeser - Blueprint Software
    Web Scripting Editor v 5.2 One cool Web editing tool.
    3dcomputergraphics.com Coming Soon!

  4. #29
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    I love the main site's design - very unorthodox, but brilliantly executed! However, (just to be difficult ) I still don't like the splash, since it takes 15-20 seconds to load & run, but it's only about 1/2 a second long! Why bother!!!?
    MarcusJT
    - former ASP web developer / former SPF "ASP Guru"
    - *very* old blog with some useful ASP code

    - Please think, Google, and search these forums before posting!

  5. #30
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    [on splash screens]

    Surely that's down to the designers and site owners involved to decide, not you.
    My browser, my surfing time, my rules.
    Why can't people accept that some well-designed splash pages actually *add* something to the overall experience.
    Because they don't. I have never seen a splash screen (my definition is a screen that you have to click through to get to a site) that enhances my experience visiting the site.
    Some people enjoy a little 'foreplay' to whet their appetites.
    This is web design, not sex :P

    I browse a lot of sites every day. Waste my time with a pointless splash screen and I won't be back, simple as that.

  6. #31
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Skunk
    My browser, my surfing time, my rules.
    Wrong.
    Their site, their service, their offer, their identity, their presentation, their effort, *their rules*. - your choice.

    Because they don't. I have never seen a splash screen (my definition is a screen that you have to click through to get to a site) that enhances my experience visiting the site.
    So basically, because 'you' haven't seen one, then they don't exist at all?
    I'm not sure if you're being existential or just plain arrogant.

    So what about the many millions of other users who might appreciate it?
    What about the many millions of sites you haven't seen?

    This is web design, not sex :P
    Then you must be doing it wrong

    I browse a lot of sites every day. Waste my time with a pointless splash screen and I won't be back, simple as that.
    Then be prepared that the loss might be yours, not theirs.

    Don't just *use* the web, try to *enjoy* it.
    Don't be so uptight about it.

    Just think of all those doors you never got to walk through just cause you wouldn't knock.

    Perhaps a little less time spent on forums would free up some time to be less insistant on split-second access to a site.
    Reading and responding here must be the least time/cost-effective thing you/I/we do within our day.
    Last edited by Bill Posters; Dec 15, 2002 at 03:28.
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  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M@rco
    I love the main site's design - very unorthodox, but brilliantly executed! However, (just to be difficult ) I still don't like the splash, since it takes 15-20 seconds to load & run, but it's only about 1/2 a second long! Why bother!!!?
    15-20 seconds?

    Must have been a problem with either your ISP or their server's throughput.

    Seeing as it's on freeserve webspace, it wouldn't surprise me if it was their end dragging.

    That being said, I'm on 56k modem and for me it only took a split second to load.

    <edit>
    That swf is only 1.4K, so I guess it was a problem with the server load/speed.
    No doubt a problem that could be solved with a proper hosting deal.
    </edit>
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  8. #33
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    1.4K? lol!

    Probably took so long because of a combination of my ISP (AOL) + FreeServe's dodgy web servers + chaotic influence of a butterfly's wings flapping somewhere over Africa!

    In that case, it's fine, but it hardly adds anything to the site. But I think there's truth in what you say about enjoying the web - I enjoy content (information, intellectual stimulation) not presentation.

    Depends what your target audience is, I suppose!
    MarcusJT
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  9. #34
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Rules of average web users
    1. There is no point in arguing with the average web user.
    2. If the average web user at any time is wrong, see rule #1.

    Bill, I belive Skunk is trying to give the perspective of the average web user, and in that aspect his argument is very accurate. It doesn't matter if you are using an intro, splash screen or even mystery-meat navigation - if it slows visitors down, you ARE going to lose some of them - the more you obstruct the usability of your site, the more visitors you lose.

    You can condemn and argue against the average web user (Skunk) all you want, but you would still profit more from simply bending over to his will. Don't question the average consumer if you want his business or his pageview.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  10. #35
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    Don't just *use* the web, try to *enjoy* it.
    Don't be so uptight about it.
    Originally posted by Average Web User
    <hands over ears>Laaaa laaa lalalalalalalalala. </hands over ears>
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
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  11. #36
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I should point out that I am not an average web user - I use it a heck of a lot and have been for many years, and my tolerance to web design techniques that I see as time wasting or pointless is pretty low. That said, I am also very comfortable with ecommerce and spend a lot of money on the web.

    If you want my cash, don't get in the way of letting me spend it.

    And it is my browser, my time and my rules - the web is a "buyers market". Sites want visitors, and if they're going to get them and keep them coming back they need to respect them.

    Show me a splash screen that isn't a waste of my time and I will happily agree that they are not always useless. Until then I'm goign to avoid them like the plague, and advise others to do the same.

    And to lighten things up a little, here are some kittens

    http://www.blogjam.com/cute_little_kittens/

  12. #37
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    The whole point of my position revolves around the generalisation that all splash pages are wrong.

    As long as there is at least one person who has enjoyed content delivered on a splash screen, then the paradigm that all splash pages are bad is plainly wrong.

    Yes, there are plenty of good arguments against their use, not least, the fact that they are more often than not done so badly. But this does not neccessarily preclude certain circumstances where they add to the content of a website such as entertainment sites or sites for games developers.

    I never said the 'average' user would or should love them.
    Quite frankly I have little or no interest in the 'average' user as they are not the usual audience my work is directed towards.

    It's all about your target audience want and expect from your brand.

    There are plenty of companies out there that have users and customers who would not regard a splash intro to be out of place.

    If you want my cash, don't get in the way of letting me spend it.
    I don't know how many times I have to say this...
    Once more it seems...

    The web can *be* more than a business opportunity.

    Quite frankly, it is boring to continually hear arguments where the basis revolves around extracting money from the pockets of its visitors.

    It's so underwhelming to hear that position presented as the *only* considered mindset of web users.

    Please, please, open your minds, just a little.
    Try to consider for a second that not everyone is in it for the money.

    Sorry if that sounds like a little rant at you - but it is
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  13. #38
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    As long as there is at least one person who has enjoyed content delivered on a splash screen, then the paradigm that all splash pages are bad is plainly wrong.
    No. If one 12-year old boy and one 40-year old man enjoys intimate acts together, doesn't invalidate the statement that pedophilia is grenerally a bad thing.

    Yes, there are plenty of good arguments against their use, not least, the fact that they are more often than not done so badly. But this does not neccessarily preclude certain circumstances where they add to the content of a website such as entertainment sites or sites for games developers.
    There is really no point in putting it in a splash - the information could just as well be on a sub page or the index page.

    I never said the 'average' user would or should love them.
    Quite frankly I have little or no interest in the 'average' user as they are not the usual audience my work is directed towards.
    Skunk, you are probably quite close the average Sitepoint web user. When I'm talking about the average web user, I'm of course talking about the average web user of the site target market. If you disregard the general opinions of your target market, your site will be the one to take the damage.

    There are plenty of companies out there that have users and customers who would not regard a splash intro to be out of place.
    Examples?


    I don't know how many times I have to say this...
    Once more it seems...

    The web can *be* more than a business opportunity.

    Quite frankly, it is boring to continually hear arguments where the basis revolves around extracting money from the pockets of its visitors.

    It's so under whelming to hear that position presented as the *only* considered mindset of web users.

    Please, please, open your minds, just a little.
    Try to consider for a second that not everyone is in it for the money.
    Bill, it doesn't matter at all whether you are in it for the money, the fun, the feeling of self-importance, the babes, philanthropy or whatever. The rules of usability still apply, if you actually want visitors.

    I'm sure it is, in theory, possible to do a decent splash screen, but there is absolutely no reason why that info couldn't be on the index page. There is just no point with the splash page but to slow the visitor down. If it's a split second, like Logoed, I don't think anyone is going to care, since the period it shows is really too short for the web user to perceive as "waiting".

    If you wish to convince us, show us a good splash page. If there isn't ANY on the web, and you can't throw on together, we can do nothing but accept the empiric truth that they are bad, regardless of how nice your rhetoric is.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

    Buttons and Dog Tags with your custom design:
    FatStatement.com

  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M. Johansson
    No. If one 12-year old boy and one 40-year old man enjoys intimate acts together, doesn't invalidate the statement that pedophilia is grenerally a bad thing.
    Christ, get a grip.

    Aside from being a completely ridiculous analogy, it is also flawed for the fact that there is no question of abuse or consent with a splash page.
    Frankly, that post was such a grotesque exaggeration of the point that it failed to even relate to the topic in hand.

    With that statement you equate ThomasAesir's endorsement of the logoed splash to be as logically unsound as a man's enjoyment of the act of child abuse.
    Someone here is desperately in need of some perspective.

    Marketing, as it relates to splash pages, is a mutually consensual act.
    The user wants to see what the site has to offer and the site wants to share what it has to offer with anyone who wants to listen.
    The user's choice lies where it normally does- in their decision whether to stay and utilise/experience whatever content that site provides or to leave (and possibly try somewhere else).

    No 'harm' is done in the sense that you seem to have focussed on.
    If you want ti use analogies, then even a bad splash can cause no worse damage than a bad chat-up line.
    There is really no point in putting it in a splash - the information could just as well be on a sub page or the index page.
    The 'info' might simply be a brief, animated sequence introducing the 'essence' of the brand much the same way opening credits introduce a film.
    The natural place to put an introduction would presumably be at the very beginning of a site before the details/info are presented.

    Skunk, you are probably quite close the average Sitepoint web user. When I'm talking about the average web user, I'm of course talking about the average web user of the site target market. If you disregard the general opinions of your target market, your site will be the one to take the damage.
    Absolutely true, but believe it or not, there are user out there who want something more than a 'straight-down-to business' experience.
    They themselves form a target market, so there is just as much argument for giving them what they expect.
    Like it or not, in some cases, what they want is a bit of pop and whiz.
    Like it or not, there are some brands who appeal to that audience and give them the pop and whiz they sometimes expect from a brand.

    Bill, it doesn't matter at all whether you are in it for the money, the fun, the feeling of self-importance, the babes, philanthropy or whatever. The rules of usability still apply, if you actually want visitors.
    Christ on a bike

    *Some* visitors out there *expect* something more from the experience of visiting a website.
    *Some* sites out there want to give those visitors what they *expect* from a visit to their website.
    It's all part of the brand experience, the brand 'service'.

    I find it difficult to believe that you are completely unable to even imagine a type of visitor that wants more from a site than to get straight down to details- a visitor who enjoys playfullness, a visitor who enjoys animation, a visitor who enjoys being entertained before s/he gets down to the business.

    I'm sure it is, in theory, possible to do a decent splash screen, but there is absolutely no reason why that info couldn't be on the index page. There is just no point with the splash page but to slow the visitor down. If it's a split second, like Logoed, I don't think anyone is going to care, since the period it shows is really too short for the web user to perceive as "waiting".
    To conclude that the 'point' of a splash page is to slow a visitor down is again, another ridiculous statement.
    You may not appreciate the content of the splash page, but it exists.
    The content of the splash *is* the point. The delay is the neccessary side-effect that enables the visitor to digest the content before it disappears from the screen (to be replaced by the site's main page.)
    Skip buttons are now common additions to splash intros. Cookies can make the user's preferences more decisive and automatic.

    If you wish to convince us, show us a good splash page. If there isn't ANY on the web, and you can't throw on together, we can do nothing but accept the empiric truth that they are bad, regardless of how nice your rhetoric is.
    I've not seen a great many things, but that doesn't mean I'm going to assume that they don't exist.
    I've not seen Antarctica, but I've heard talk that it exists.

    I've heard ThomasAesir say that he found the logoed splash worthwhile.
    You want empirical? That's empirical.

    His endorsement of the logoed intro surely proves that it can be implimented on a site *and* appreciated by a visitor.

    I, personally, agree with his remarks.

    Or are you going to tell us both that we are mistaken?


    Your 'empirical'* truth is based on a single perspective of a very limited amount of experience (considering the vast number of sites that exist on the web).
    (* 'empiric' mean something quite different.)
    With such limitations in the formulation of your empirical 'truth', it is far from safe to assume that your experience and perspective represents each and every user on the web and should relate to each and every website on the web.
    Empirical, it may be, but *only* relating to those sites which you have seen and the quality of the splash pages you have experienced.
    It is worth noting that given your already clear bias against splash pages, you would not be considered a suitable test subject for a more 'pragmatic' evaluation of this issue.

    Your own bias increasingly prohibits you from making impartial judgements and so decreases the likelihood of you assessing each new splash screen that you see both fairly and without prior prejudice.


    Of course, you are free to make recommendations based on your (limited) research.
    Likewise, I am free to step in (as I did here) when you attempt to expand your findings into a broad, all-encompassing conclusion that speaks for every single site on the web and every single user.

    As you yourself conceded, the logoed splash loads and plays sufficiently quickly as to bypass any feelings of delay that a user visiting that particular site might find intolerable.

    A user visiting a site for logos is hardly going to be put off by a 2 second 'delay' while they are entertained by a simple animated 'logo' sequence.
    If the interest is there, then the expectation/tolerance level increases too.

    It is not a great leap of faith to think that a user with a clear interest in logos might like to see a brief animation of one.
    ThomasAesir and I can both personally vouch for that being the case.
    Last edited by Bill Posters; Dec 15, 2002 at 03:46.
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  15. #40
    The doctor is in... silver trophy MarcusJT's Avatar
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    ThomasAesir can both personally vouch for that being the case.
    How? Is he schizophrenic?
    (No offence intended, Thomas! )
    MarcusJT
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  16. #41
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    Originally posted by M@rco
    How? Is he schizophrenic?
    (No offence intended, Thomas! )
    Consider his bipolarity cured
    New Plastic Arts: Visual Communication | DesignateOnline

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  17. #42
    SitePoint Wizard iTec's Avatar
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    why is it allways the inocent little questions that turn into the most heated of debates?

  18. #43
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Bill Posters. The internet is about more than just informative texts and hyperlinks. Jakob Nielsen's website may load fast and it doesn't have any images but it's also very boring. Have you ever heard of the saying A picture speaks a thousand words? Has Jakob Nielsen?

    Although considering that Nielsen is now working with Macromedia I guess he's showing signs of schizophrenia.

    I wonder what he's recommendations will be like? No more moving things, they confuse me.
    Thomas Oeser - Blueprint Software
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  19. #44
    SitePoint Columnist Skunk's Avatar
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    I never thought I'd say this, but I'm convinced. As an experienced 'net user who uses the web for information first and entertainment second I frequently forget that there really are people out there who use the web as a kind of interactive playground where pretty animations are a welcome distraction. The same "pointless" flash animation that sends me off to another site in disgust for wasting my time could actually entertain someone who is looking for a bit of extra entertainment with their information. Maybe I have become a jaded web cynic in my old age

    That said, it still really bugs me when useful content is hidden away behind a splash screen and other pretty-but-time-wasting user interfaces. A case in point is official sites for films - 9 out of 10 of them have flash interfaces, a pretty intro, lots of noises and practically no useful content (or if it's there it's very well hidden).

    At the end of the day though, no one has ever been irritated with a site for NOT including a splash screen Make of that what you will.

    Oh, and I agree completely that the web is about more than making money. I use the money argument because it's a good way of getting a point across i.e mess with my browser preferences or whatever and you deny yourself a customer.

  20. #45
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Whoa, I never equated anything to child abuse - I just snatched something out of the air to point out your flawed logic, i.e. that if "one person approves of it, it autmatically isn't generally bad."


    I find it difficult to believe that you are completely unable to even imagine a type of visitor that wants more from a site than to get straight down to details- a visitor who enjoys playfullness, a visitor who enjoys animation, a visitor who enjoys being entertained before s/he gets down to the business.
    I don't belive that. I just think that most visitors don't what to be "entertained" by a splash screen when they come to a web site.

    As for Logoed... Well, the animation is nice, and I guess you can kind of call it a splash, and I guess that it doesn't slow the visitor down very much. It's a good thing. If we choose to call that a splash, I think there can be good splash screens.

    However, I still hold my point that anything that slows down the visitor for more than a few seconds, or by a click, is bad design practice.

    Unless, of course, it is the kind of entertainment site which people come to without a sense of purpose. I.e. not an online-comic, where people come with the distinct purpose of reading the daily strip. On these sites, most usability rules are pretty much thrown out the window, as long as you don't keep the users from the entertaining content they came for.

    I have no qualms about using splash pages on those sites.
    Something Awful sometimes replaces his front page with a fake one, which often is really funny, and I enjoy it. With a leap of logic, you can call it a splash page, since all links on it lead to the real front page. I think it's kind of cool, even though:

    Sometimes, on random weekends, we like to change Something Awfuls's front index page into something totally different or a parody of other pages. We don't like doing it too often because we're usually inundated with email asking where SA went and why the hell we're now advertising a site that charges people to look at Microsoft Paintbrush drawings. Sigh.
    Come to think of it, Rich Kyanka (owner of the site) probably lost quite a few visitors on his fake page - god knows I accidentally missed the "Page too Stupid"-error message. Not that he cares, since his site pulls something like 150GB per DAY.
    Mattias Johansson
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  21. #46
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Originally posted by ThomasAesir
    I have to agree with Bill Posters. The internet is about more than just informative texts and hyperlinks. Jakob Nielsen's website may load fast and it doesn't have any images but it's also very boring. Have you ever heard of the saying A picture speaks a thousand words? Has Jakob Nielsen?
    Jakobs site sucks. He even ignores a LOT of his own teachings. I have no idea why he does this. Maybe he does it to be excentric or somehthing.

    Jakob have never said that "images are a bad thing" - he just said that we should keep down load times (which images are a counterfactor* of), which I'm sure we all can agree on.

    Although considering that Nielsen is now working with Macromedia I guess he's showing signs of schizophrenia.

    I wonder what he's recommendations will be like? No more moving things, they confuse me.
    Macromedia is working with Jakob because flash usability sucks. Flash needs a standardized interface, such as back buttons, proper right-click, links with real colours, etc. etc. Jakob is good at that.



    * I just made that word up.
    Mattias Johansson
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  22. #47
    SitePoint Wizard Bill Posters's Avatar
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    (Bill high-fives Thomas) (j/k) ;)

    Great debate

    Whoa, I never equated anything to child abuse
    M.Johansson, it's ok I didn't mean to say that you equated the acts, but the logic of the argument.
    I felt they each had certain individual factors that made them unsuitable for direct logical comparison.

    I understood what you meant though, I was just being pedantic

    Perhaps was lost in the way I said it. Sorry
    Last edited by Bill Posters; Jul 14, 2002 at 06:38.
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  23. #48
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Re: (Bill high-fives Thomas) (j/k) ;)

    Originally posted by Bill Posters
    Perhaps was lost in the way I said it. Sorry
    I sure as heck should't have used it as an analogy in the first place, but I hadn't reached optimum caffeine levels at the time, and the analogy-center in my brain won't work properly then.
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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    FatStatement.com

  24. #49
    SitePoint Addict ThomasAesir's Avatar
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    Flash needs a standardized interface, such as back buttons, proper right-click, links with real colours, etc. etc. Jakob is good at that.
    I hope that doesn't mean that developers will be forced into using a standardized interface. If it's optional then that's ok but if they try to force a Web interface on developers then Macromedia might be shooting themselves in the foot.

    It will be interesting to see what happens once X3D and SVG get integrated into browsers. I think Flash will get a lot of competition in the near future. May the best tech win .
    Thomas Oeser - Blueprint Software
    Web Scripting Editor v 5.2 One cool Web editing tool.
    3dcomputergraphics.com Coming Soon!

  25. #50
    Cult Space-Monkey Impulse's Avatar
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    awww



    that kitten is so cute!
    Last edited by Impulse; Jul 15, 2002 at 01:18.
    kyle//at//retorikmedia//dot//com


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