I really hate Flash. I would go so far as to say I loath Flash. And why you ask? Ad banners, that's why. When they
came to the conclusion that annoying ad banner
= really annoying ad banner
there must have been one hell of a celebration. I don't want ad banners to have smooth animation and transparency and sound and interactivity and ... Well you get my point. Because of the use of Flash in ad banners I do not put much importance in anything Flash.
Now there are some great things done in Flash, some really funny stuff too. Two of my current favorites are Happy Tree Friends
and Strong Bad
on the Homestarrunner.com
site (This weeks Strong Bad Email
is one of the best yet, LOL, and there is even some dialog after the printer paper rolls, very funny. Best one in a while IMO). I could take hours listing all my favorite Flash sites. but i'm not going to, I have other more important things to do (read work). My point is this is what Flash was developed for. It is for entertainment, for interactivity, etc, etc. It was not meant for Corporate America.
I refuse to install Flash in Mozilla because of ad banners. You can block images from a server in Mozilla, but you cannot block Flash from a server. The only reason I open Internet Exploder is for Flash stuff, well and checking web sites I work on.
There is another reason I hate Flash. It has turned good web sites into total trash because designers get lazy and do not want to support good old HTML web sites. HTML sites are sooo Old School(tm) I guess. In my book (Don't you love that saying, mine would be HUGE
) If you are going to have a Flash version of your site, you should also provide a HTML version. And I don't want to here the bull crap that 98% computers that are online have Flash installed. that is not the point now is it?
Now obviously Macromedia is going to be pushing Flash on their site. Although not till just recently with the launch of their new site design have they really started to push Flash. They are now using Flash for much of the navigation - more so than they ever have. They are smart though because I can still get to everything at Macromedia.com
without using Flash. I do notice they have toned down the use of Flash on their main indexes a lot though. I bet they got some backlash by users on a 56k modem. the drop down menus on the home page are now HTML based and not Flash as they were at the launch of this new design. What really
bakes my noodle is that there is no way to go to the Dreamweaver Exchange with out
Flash. I will say that It is a great show of what can be done with Cold Fusion, but it is just annoying to need Flash to get to the exchanges.
I wish ad banners had not taken a liking to Flash or is it the other way around?. It has tarnished the Flash experience. I hate Flash, I hate Flash ad banners. And lazy people who do not provide more light weight alternates.
IN RESPONSE TO KURT'S POST
All valid points Kurt! I cant stand when there is no preloader. preloaders can now be done almost entirely with ActionScripting so there is no exuse for them to take time to load. Also when someone decides to put a large bitmap in Flash, and does not do any kind of optimizing of it!
I have had some bad experiences with Flash development (well this one was mixed). I do and I dont't like Flash development. I think it is mainly because I like how Director works. For SIGGRAPH
2000 I worked on a project called Merging Identity
( yes it is broken, it has been for some time now, I do not think Bonnie is going to fix it either) which was a Flash front end and a mangled hodg podg back end of an old Macromedia technology called Generator they have phased out because of Cold Fusion. We also used CF for the project, but this is back in days of Flash 3 and I believe CF 4. CF 5 was a big step, and CF MX is a lot different, and better now.
anyways, Generator was the first time Flash could interact with any kind of database, from a flat file to Access, to anything really. this was before Flashing with php was really known. it was pretty much ground breaking what we were doing, and Macromedia donated all the software we needed to do it as well. the project was a big hit at the show, but only because of a lot of last minute and constant babysitting. I was happy to see Generator go. It was a learning experience. now we have Flash remoting and Flash communication server. these are mature, Generator was an infant. this experience I had with Flash and Generator and Cold Fusion is what Flash is all about. just leaving reality behind and try to do something out of the ordinary.
in retrospect we now know what we could have done better (a lot better) and I hope that Bonnie wants to do this same type of project again. if you really want me to get into Merging Identity let me know and I will, but its even more technical than the things I just spoke of.
you know we did that when ActionScripting was all macro like - not even a programming language yet. man that would have made life easier.
But I am rambling, back to Kurt's post. You bring up a good point about not absolutely needed Flash to convey a point. Oh here is something else I cannot stand, and this is being a little picky but hey I have high standards for web design. If the end user does not have Flash you can show a static image in place of the movie. Ad banners do this all the time, web developers could learn something from those advertisers yet! instead of showing the broken puzzle piece icon that you click on to download the plugin why not give the user a more user friendly (and frankly more professional) image or images?
Another good point is doing Flash because it is cool and "New School" thats just bull **** in my book. I have a lot of angst about Flash. Flash is supposed to be fun. Merging Identities was fun to a point, but we were trying to push the envelope open too quickly.
I agree about getting frustrated with Flash. a lot of my frustration went away with Flash 5 and ActionScripting. I don't like it as much as HTML though. the new XHTML and full use of CSS and CSS-P is very cool and a lot more practical. I still get frustrated at flash and have turned down a lot of high paying freelance jobs because I just do not like Flash development. I should work with Flash MX more I just the new objects in it. It is a heck of a step forward for the product.