The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

August 16th, 2000

I’m a Flasher!

I can’t help it. I just can’t. Every time I get the opportunity now, I want to… Flash people. Yes, I want to Flash them as much as possible. When appropriate of course… there’s a time and a place for all Flashing, and thinking otherwise is absurd. I wouldn’t dare Flash all the time… I mean, heck, there are people who don’t need or want to see that. For them, well, I just won’t Flash. No biggie.

But for people who like being Flashed at, and enjoy seeing Flashers… I’m one of them now.

I speak of, of course, Macromedia Flash. I bought it many moons ago but never got around to doing anything useful and/or creative with it. Thanks in part to my job – I’m currently doing a lot of development work in Flash – I’ve become very comfortable with it. While it’s not going to replace my HTML anytime soon, it’s useful in certain situations. The software is quite powerful, and version 5 will be even greater – this I’m convinced of.

The biggest thing I’ve discovered is that Flash isn’t something to be afraid of (Jakob Nielsen!) Yes, it’s true that not every browser has it and lots of folks just don’t use it. But the benefits are obvious. Reworking a navigation element for a personal site provided a fine example. The original was done in HTML with animated GIFs, and was roughly 18K or so. A Flash rework of it, which looked a lot snazzier and smoother, was just 6K. A very elaborate combination of sliced images, rollovers, and JavaScript resulted in a 52K page in HTML; the Flash rework will weigh in under 38K. Not shabby.

As I said, there are some instances in which Flash is overkill or just plain inappropriate. But it provides a really handy solution for lots of problems. Long live Flash.

[I heartily recommend visiting Flazoom and Flash Kit for your Flashy needs.] -pm

Posted in Technology

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Monday August 21, 2000 -- 3:00:28PM
One of these days, when I get the time I want to tinker with it or Adobe's LiveMotion which is the "alternative" to dealing with Macromedia's grotesque interfaces. Since I don't personally like Dreamweaver (albeit version 3 is bearable) in comparison to GoLive (formerly a Mac-only product made by a company in California called GoLive which made a product called CyberStudio; which is what Adobe GoLive 4 and 5 are essentially).

I guess it comes down to the fact that LiveMotion is still a 1.0 release, and the common rule of thumb is that things don't become imminently useful until the second release. In the case of Adobe products, this is often the case... and LiveMotion currently lacks a lot of Flash's cool features; but... it will likely catch up, they always do. I mean, ImageReady as part of PhotoShop is already in many cases a far superior product in 2.0 to Macromedia Fireworks (in my opinion), and if LiveMotion can catch up by version 2.0 to whatever Flash version is out at that time... I think Adobe might "OUTFLASH" Macromedia on this one. They're already fast on the verge of "OUTQUARKING" Quark with InDesign as well.

If there's one thing I like to see, it's competition in the software sector. I'm glad to see that every once in awhile, a company isn't afraid to go out and kick ass merely by delivering better product rather than marketing a crappier product.

FROM: Marcus Mackey
DATE: Monday August 21, 2000 -- 3:05:14PM
I just realized that in my lack of sleep, my first coherent thought became botched. The truth be told, I don't like Dreamweaver much (best Macromedia interface in my opinion though), am not a Fireworks advocate, and since all of their products interfaces seem backwards or inundated between one or the other; I must say that I probably wouldn't be a Flash advocate either. Then again, GoLive being originally a non-Adobe product (one of the few products they bought in recent years from another company, outside of the 3D programs they bought from Metacreations recently) has a non-Adobe interface, but it's a much more usable interface than Dreamweaver's; and it's HTML editing is far more powerful; and there's just more tools in GoLive. With that said... my thoughts now feel more complete, and I can rest easier...


FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday August 21, 2000 -- 3:52:13PM
Marcus, yeah, if you're an Adobe-head I really couldn't see you moving over to Macromedia. But, I personally like the MM interfaces much better than Adobe's. I did start with Photoshop, back with 3.0, but migrated to Fireworks 2.0 after stopping off with Corel for a while (cough).

As for Adobe outpacing Macromedia... it won't be for a while, I'll say that much. Flash 5 looks strong, and looks like a solid upgrade. What's cool is that even LiveMotion outputs to SWF... so everyone benefits from that.

That said, I'd like to see how GoLive's HTML editing is "more powerful" - I personally think that Dreamweaver is the bee's knees, and don't think there's much more power than being able to edit the HTML directly (also search, replace, etc.)

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Monday August 21, 2000 -- 5:53:33PM
I have an Adobe GoLive t-shirt that they gave me for free... that's as close as I've gotten to that app. :) I'm a Homesite man.

But, I do use Photoshop... though Fireworks is also powerful for a much smaller pricetag.

So, I'm wishy-washy on the whole issue.

And now, today's Evil Flash Site of the Day:

Not only does it take EONS to load (even on a T-1), it's painfully tedious, offers no worthwhile information, and has no standard SKIP INTRO option. Ugh. A good example of how NOT to use Flash.

DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 2:42:05 pm

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