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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Flash 5.0

I never did get back to this and spent little time with developing Flash. It is still very popular particularly for ads and media companies. I may review the newest version to see what has changed in 10 years.

I have recently been playing with Flash 5. I am not sure yet whether I love it or hate it(probably somewhere in between). Either way I am going to start to use it. Please note since I am just starting with Flash 5 some information may be inaccurate.

What is it?

In a nutshell it is an animation software and player. The player is “built in” to virtually all new browsers. It has been extended beyond that to interface with other HTML components(like JavaScript/Java…). It’s three biggest advantages are browser independence, animation, and vector graphics. If used properly it can produce a very efficient and pleasing site.

What I like

  1. Browser independence. No special code for Netscape or IE. Both browsers support Flash and newer browser versions come with Flash preinstalled. 
  2. Object Oriented. Instancing can really improve your sites performance while giving you cool effects.
  3. Animation. Need I say more. There is lot’s of it. Too bad it doesn’t support 3D(yet). Then it would be even more interesting. 
  4. Timelines. Match up that music to the animation, create object instances each with their own timeline.
  5. Vector graphics. Extremely efficient graphics method. Flash 5 allows some very nice effects.
  6. Single file with at least basic protection of developers code.

What I don’t like

  1. Coding view. You can only see the code for a specific object at anyone time. Would be nice to have option to see code for entire layer/scene. 
  2. Proprietary coding standards. There are so many it isn’t funny. 
  3. Abuse. Some people make Flash pages that are 1meg+ in size. Eventually this will be fine but right now this is abusive. 
  4. Not fully robust yet. It is getting there but working “outside the box” can get tricky.  
I still have to get used to the interface and how it works. The flash tutorial and samples are invaluable for newbies. There is no question Flash 5 has a place in most web sites. Even to a point of being the entire website. There will soon be an entire section for Flash at this site. Many written by an affiliate that is a much better graphics/Flash person than I.

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