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Steve Jobs pans Flash on the iPhone - Page 3

post #81 of 161
I have MenuMeters in my menu bar, so I can watch my CPU going crazy trying to load some of these Flash-heavy web pages. I have plenty of time to watch it, too. Explain to me again why anybody would want this on a mobile device that they would like to use for more than two minutes on a charge?
post #82 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So then the iPhone should offer every plugin to be considered full? How about IE on the iPhone since most pages are still designed to render them. Oh, and lets not forget adding ActiveX to that list of needs to make MobileSafari a "full internet" browser.

It's semantics. If the word used by Apple is "full", then it's simple, every plug-in must be supported.

If the contention by Apple is that Safari offers an excellent web experience, then that's more amorphous, and could exclude things.
post #83 of 161
Here's the thing, Flash doesn't provide any crucial benefit that one really needs on the go (otherwise they'd have a laptop). Flash is used on the web for 2 things: games and ads. We don't like ads and games would better handled by the iPhone SDK. I can see why people are whining, but Flash serves little purpose on the iPhone besides sucking up battery life.
post #84 of 161
Flash Lite 3 would be welcome (which is equivalent to Flash 8). It can run most of todays popular flash web sites.
post #85 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

games would better handled by the iPhone SDK

There are tons of existing flash games, not to mention all the animations that use it. It's unrealistic to expect them to get ported for iPhone.

While there may be battery issues, wouldn't it make sense for apple to make flash an option for the people who want or need to access sites that use it?
post #86 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

There are tons of existing flash games, not to mention all the animations that use it. It's unrealistic to expect them to get ported for iPhone.

While there may be battery issues, wouldn't it make sense for apple to make flash an option for the people who want or need to access sites that use it?

My wife plays these flash games all the time. If they were able to be played on the iPhone as well, she would be delighted. I don't know how the lower resolution would work though.
post #87 of 161
I don't know about web browser capabilities, but the Walkman SonyEriccson phones use the Flash Lite plugin and run Flash menus.
post #88 of 161
Flash isn't going away, and it's not just about animations, ads, and annoying web sites intros. These days its about applications. Have you seen Buzzword? That's the future of Flash, i.e. Flex and Air. Get used to it.

I can only believe Jobs statements are more about competitive advantage then technical limitations. Apple and Adobe have had a strained relationship for a very long time.
post #89 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Booga View Post

Although Flash ads are probably the most common flash I see on a daily basis, the only ones I ever interact with are the games on Facebook. I always have a few Scrabulous games going, and not being able to play on my iPod Touch is annoying. I understand there's a more official Scrabble game coming out for the iPhone/Touch, but if it doesn't play against Scrabulous users it's close to useless for me.

Close iPhone development folks!! This guy needs to play scrabble on it for the iPhone to be a viable product.

*sheesh* Get out of your parent's basement from time-to-time.
post #90 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by gmon750 View Post

Close iPhone development folks!! This guy needs to play scrabble on it for the iPhone to be a viable product.

*sheesh* Get out of your parent's basement from time-to-time.

That is an inflammatory replay to a remark that didn't mention the iPhone SDK and clearly stated that Scrabulous is the ONLY use for Flash that Booga would want.
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post #91 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by skellener View Post

Flash works on the Chumby with a touchscreen.

Chumby specs....
3.5" LCD color touchscreen
350 MHz ARM processor
64 MB SDRAM
64 MB NAND flash ROM

I would think the iPhone should be able to do it.

But this doesn't handle 'the full internet' it seems to be widgets/webclips only. Hardly the same prospect as loading a web pages full of flash-ads.

McD
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post #92 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Let's see. This article written by Prince McLean, aka Daniel Eran Dilger, or your flash in the pan counter? Until you credential yourself and/or backup your contentions, my leaning is towards the former.

Sorry, but I also take exception to an unsupported claim of "lying."

Lying is a bit harsh but I wouldn't put it past Steve to come up with a tangible, technical excuse to invoke a strategy to weaken a product which could put a stranglehold in internet media delivery, especially an Adobe product.

Personally the disadvantages of ads bloating my web browser outweight any benefits of flash-enabled sites. Also site creators should let us decide what media handler we want to view our H.264 video with, not just slap in flash.

McD
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post #93 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

....If the word used by Apple is "full", then it's simple, every plug-in must be supported.

You mean my DjVu Browser Plugin won't work? I'm gonna sue!
post #94 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Also site creators should let us decide what media handler we want to view our H.264 video with, not just slap in flash.

McD

It is somewhat interesting that YouTube videos play as flv on your computer and as better quality mp4 H.264 on the iPhone...
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post #95 of 161
Some people really need to understand that there are things outside their own experience of the web.

Anyone who thinks that Flash is just about annoying ads and 'skip' intros these days needs to understand that the web is a big place and you have not seen anywhere near all of it.

Some of the web's biggest sites are ENTIRELY flash based. Just off the top of my head:

webkinz.com - 200th most popular site on the internet, 5 million people use it a month
clubpenguin.com - 600th most popular site on the internet, 2.5 million people use it a month.

And there are many interesting applications pointing the way of future Flash development - recent discoveries :
Live earth:
http://dsc.discovery.com/guides/disc...99-502-ah-1051
Already mentioned buzzword.com

This is only going to increase as Adobe continues to push it's massive lead in the rich media applications market.

Belittling Flash as just another plug in is pure nonsense. It makes up a significant portion of the web and is not going away soon.

Some things Steve J gets right. Some things he introduces a while after getting it wrong. If the iPhone/Touch is really going be the true internet and if it is going to compete with devices that will give a full, rich media internet experience, Flash had better be in the latter camp.
post #96 of 161
I know how he said it would slow down the iPhone. But at least give us the option of having it, if we don't like we can take it off
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post #97 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by delany View Post

Some things Steve J gets right. Some things he introduces a while after getting it wrong. If the iPhone/Touch is really going be the true internet and if it is going to compete with devices that will give a full, rich media internet experience, Flash had better be in the latter camp.

Flash is not the Internet!
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post #98 of 161
Some here keep mentioning other portable devices that play flash content and ask if they can do it why can't the iPhone. The iPhone can run flash. Jobs has said flash is too slow on the iPhone because it was not designed to run on devices that have strict hardware and energy limitations.

Quote:
The REAL reason that Flash isn't on iPhone is because Apple wants to control the application stack on the iPhone....it has nothing to do with the bullcrap reasons that Steve Jobs or the author give.

Apple is pushing for the use of webkit, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and H.264. These are all web design elements that are free to everyone and Apple does not directly control.

Quote:
There are tons of existing flash games, not to mention all the animations that use it. It's unrealistic to expect them to get ported for iPhone.

There is no reason they can not be rebuilt using standard web languages. In the long run this would benefit all mobile devices as they would use less system resources and less energy than flash games.

Quote:
Flash isn't going away, and it's not just about animations, ads, and annoying web sites intros. These days its about applications. Have you seen Buzzword? That's the future of Flash, i.e. Flex and Air. Get used to it.

I don't believe Flex and Air will necessarily get an easy path to ubiquity. Adobe will have to sell the technology community on their usefulness. Especially in light of competing technology.

Quote:
Some of the web's biggest sites are ENTIRELY flash based. Just off the top of my head:

These sites should be discouraged from only offering flash. They should also offer HTML.

Quote:
This is only going to increase as Adobe continues to push it's massive lead in the rich media applications market.

Not if someone else comes up with something that is easier and works better.
post #99 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatesbasher View Post

You mean my DjVu Browser Plugin won't work? I'm gonna sue!

You should.

Actually, I understand why they say things like that, but it can give people the wrong impression, which is why I wrote that.
post #100 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisReynolds View Post

I know how he said it would slow down the iPhone. But at least give us the option of having it, if we don't like we can take it off

I would like to have it, with the choice to turn the plug-in off, perhaps with a button on the Safari menu bar.
post #101 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Some here keep mentioning other portable devices that play flash content and ask if they can do it why can't the iPhone. The iPhone can run flash. Jobs has said flash is too slow on the iPhone because it was not designed to run on devices that have strict hardware and energy limitations.

Apple is pushing for the use of webkit, HTML, CSS, JavaScript and H.264. These are all web design elements that are free to everyone and Apple does not directly control.

There is no reason they can not be rebuilt using standard web languages. In the long run this would benefit all mobile devices as they would use less system resources and less energy than flash games.

I don't believe Flex and Air will necessarily get an easy path to ubiquity. Adobe will have to sell the technology community on their usefulness. Especially in light of competing technology.

These sites should be discouraged from only offering flash. They should also offer HTML.

Not if someone else comes up with something that is easier and works better.

I don't know. Flash is pretty ubiquitous already.

I'm pretty much convinced that Adobe bought Macromedia primarily FOR Flash.

If it weren't so important to the web, MS wouldn't have been concerned enough to have come out with their own.
post #102 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

It is somewhat interesting that YouTube videos play as flv on your computer and as better quality mp4 H.264 on the iPhone...

Isn't that down to Apple's deal giving different access to YouTube for iPhone/iPod Touch? I think my AppleTV does the same. A better example would be when visiting the YouTube site it used your preferred/default media plugin for video i.e. QT for OSX & WMP for Windows (or other plugin)

McD
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post #103 of 161
Quote:
I don't know. Flash is pretty ubiquitous already.

I'm pretty much convinced that Adobe bought Macromedia primarily FOR Flash.

If it weren't so important to the web, MS wouldn't have been concerned enough to have come out with their own.

So far Adobe has not really come out to officially disputed Jobs claims. Perhaps the good that can come from this is motivation for Adobe to improve flash. If no one complained and flash never had any competition Adobe would have little reason to fix its shortcomings.
post #104 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I would like to have it, with the choice to turn the plug-in off, perhaps with a button on the Safari menu bar.

That is an interesting idea. I would have thought any plug-in control would be done in Settings»Safari on the iPhone. But that would make it cumbersome to turn it on for specific sites.

I am curious if Adobe—or anyone else for that matter—will be able to distribute MobileSafari plugins via iTunes. It seems that the easiest route is to use a secure sandbox for running 3rd-party apps.

The latest rumours are that there will be free and for charge app distributed in iTunes, with Apple getting a percentage. Surely people will be complaining about this but it sounds fair to me since they are creating the SDK and setting up the store and storing the apps. And it's inline with other services.

PS: I hope Apple has many of their own and 3rd-party apps ready tomorrow. Even if it's simple promotional apps that should have been, IMO, on the iPhone from day one. For example, a multi-functional convertor that includes recent currency updates.
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post #105 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

So far Adobe has not really come out to officially disputed Jobs claims. Perhaps the good that can come from this is motivation for Adobe to improve flash. If no one complained and flash never had any competition Adobe would have little reason to fix its shortcomings.

True. It's even possible that they are working, quietly, together on something. We don't know.

Apple does have to be careful. It's Apple's usual problem where they cause problems for their partners, rather than trying to help work around problems.

I'm concerned that Apple has gotten too greedy, in some ways. My partner was like that. He felt if he left something on the table, so that those we negotiated with came away pleased, he gave away too much. His belief was that we should get everything we wanted, and the fact that the deal was closed, no matter how unhappy those we dealt with were, was all that mattered. I didn't agree with that, and Apple seems to have the same attitude these days.

By making the public statements about Flash that Jobs does, he's insulting one of Apple's biggest partners for no real reason. Adobe's leaders are more politic than Apple's.
post #106 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

There is no reason they can not be rebuilt using standard web languages.

Did you look at those sites? They are not even remotely rebuildable using 'standard web languages'

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

These sites should be discouraged from only offering flash. They should also offer HTML.

Why?

The aim of an open standard is:

- To allow standard access to the technology across platforms and users.
- To make a technology easier for developers to implement.
- To keep the technology at the cutting edge by encouraging open development.

But if an open standard fails miserably where a closed technology succeeds, I see no reason to blindly throw support behind the 'standard', whatever your impulses.

- Flash is about as cross platform as exists currently and has >99% user penetration.
- Flash is a popular platform amongst creative developers
- Flash has far greater capabilities than any other technology that even approaches ubiquity.

- Javascript/HTML/CSS are only cross platform in theory. In practice they are not remotely cross platform.
- They are universally loathed by any serious developer
- They are simply not that powerful at the moment.

Javascript/HTML/CSS are poster children for how to completely screw up a standard. Frankly if I had to place a bet on who could fulfill the above three requirements on the iPhone for rich media apps first, I'd put my money on the Flash dev team, not on the jokers that gave us one of the most headache inducing and incapable 'languages' in the history of computing.

In those two example sites alone over 7 million people are enjoying an experience well beyond anything that Javascript or other web 'standard' can currently provide. 99+% of the rest of web users could join them if they wanted to with no extra installations. That's a good technology. As I said before - people who dismiss Flash as a non-integral part of the web need to get out (on the web) more.

And S. Jobs as a champion of open standards? Please. I love Macs - they're easy to use, beautiful pieces of technology. But the reason for that is because of Apple's most fundamental philosophy: closed, closed closed.
post #107 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

That is an interesting idea. I would have thought any plug-in control would be done in Settings»Safari on the iPhone. But that would make it cumbersome to turn it on for specific sites.

I am curious if Adobe—or anyone else for that matter—will be able to distribute MobileSafari plugins via iTunes. It seems that the easiest route is to use a secure sandbox for running 3rd-party apps.

The latest rumours are that there will be free and for charge app distributed in iTunes, with Apple getting a percentage. Surely people will be complaining about this but it sounds fair to me since they are creating the SDK and setting up the store and storing the apps. And it's inline with other services.

PS: I hope Apple has many of their own and 3rd-party apps ready tomorrow. Even if it's simple promotional apps that should have been, IMO, on the iPhone from day one. For example, a multi-functional convertor that includes recent currency updates.

I'd like to see something. If the SDK is as open as Cook made it sound, then we should see some interesting things soon.

Hopefully, Apple isn't interested in making things too difficult to approve. And, hopefully, they won't be deciding what programs are sold, other than to evaluate bugs, and security problems.

If we don't get a situation where Apple is deciding whether the quality of the program is good enough, and leave that to the reviewers, and buyers.

I'd also like to see a situation where we can try the program in some way first, as we can with most Palm and Windows mobile programs from the third party sellers I use.

Also, I can't understand, if true, why Apple would limit use of the connector, as they already allow its use for some functions. What would be the point to that? They want to limit the use of a keyboard? Why? Why couldn't we plug the iPhone/iTouch into an adaptor with a larger, higher rez, monitor? That, with a keyboard, would be great!

I could see, in a hotel room, having a fold-up keyboard, and a small monitor, say five by eight, at 720 x 480, someone writing notes from their daily meetings, or a blog, etc.

The whole thing could weigh no more than about one pound, and take up almost no room.

Well, that could cut into portable sales I guess. But, good idea, I think.
post #108 of 161
Oh, I just saw this, live coverage of the event tomorrow on Ars:

http://arstechnica.com/journals/appl...ftware-roadmap
post #109 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Also, I can't understand, if true, why Apple would limit use of the connector, as they already allow its use for some functions. What would be the point to that?

Perhaps it's an issue with complexity at this point in the initial SDK and the ability to maintain a secure device. Perhaps this functionality will come later as the SDK matures. It seems the ability for 3rd-party HW connected to the iPhone, iPod Touch and every other Mobile OS X device that will eventually arrive would be a huge success for everyone. I can think of a few implementations in the medical field that would make it a very usual handheld device.
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post #110 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisReynolds View Post

I know how he said it would slow down the iPhone. But at least give us the option of having it, if we don't like we can take it off

Adobe has to write a SPECIFIC Flash plug-in for the iPhone. Nobody else can. Period. And don't anyone get cute saying Adobe could sub it out so the quote is wrong. That's still Adobe having it written for Adobe.

Adobe is in a snit that Apple is peddling alternative technologies which don't subjugate themselves to Adobe's wishes. Adobe was on a roll for awhile to try to corner the market on Web content creation and delivery. Seems they didn't quite keep the win after Google bought YouTube and now they are being all passive-aggressive to Apple all over again (remember the Intel transition). And Steve is more than willing to say Adobe Flash software sucks in retaliation. Just about anyone with a pulse already knows that, but Flash is damn near ubiquitous on the web and Abobe thinks that puts them in a position of strength.

Adobe needs to be careful, the web is a VERY fickle mistress. Getting Flash right on the iPhone means more to Adobe than it would to Apple.
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post #111 of 161
Quote:
Flash is about as cross platform as exists currently and has >99% user penetration.

True that is mostly because of Macromedia.

Quote:
Flash is a popular platform amongst creative developers

Mostly because of its ubiquity. You can find scores of complaints about flash all over the web.

Quote:
Flash has far greater capabilities than any other technology that even approaches ubiquity.

I agree flash is very flexible, but it has room for improvement. Which leaves room for competitors to improve on flash shortcomings.

Quote:
Javascript/HTML/CSS are only cross platform in theory. In practice they are not remotely cross platform.

Only because Internet Explorer dominates the browser market and does not completely support HTML/JavaScript/CSS. If IE8 truly supports open standards by default then they have a fair chance of being cross platform.

Quote:
They are universally loathed by any serious developer

Everyone is applauding the possibility of IE8 supporting open standards.

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They are simply not that powerful at the moment.

Not as powerful, not yet.

Quote:
As I said before - people who dismiss Flash as a non-integral part of the web need to get out (on the web) more.

No one is dismissing flash. Apple feels it is not the proper tool for a device with limited resources.
post #112 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Perhaps it's an issue with complexity at this point in the initial SDK and the ability to maintain a secure device. Perhaps this functionality will come later as the SDK matures. It seems the ability for 3rd-party HW connected to the iPhone, iPod Touch and every other Mobile OS X device that will eventually arrive would be a huge success for everyone. I can think of a few implementations in the medical field that would make it a very usual handheld device.

With my fingers crossed, I'm assuming the same thing.
post #113 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

True that is mostly because of Macromedia.
Mostly because of its ubiquity. You can find scores of complaints about flash all over the web.
I agree flash is very flexible, but it has room for improvement. Which leaves room for competitors to improve on flash shortcomings.

Agreed all round. Though most of those complaints are about the usage of Flash, not the technology itself. It's a lot more powerful - so it can be misused more obviously. Not to say it can't be improved - but relative to Javascript it's a great technology IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Only because Internet Explorer dominates the browser market and does not completely support HTML/JavaScript/CSS. If IE8 truly supports open standards by default then they have a fair chance of being cross platform.
Everyone is applauding the possibility of IE8 supporting open standards.

Right - but I don't think the right word here is 'only'. If the dominant platform does not implement a standard properly, it's a failed standard. In terms of the future - who really holds out hope of MS making nice with standards in IE8. It's IE EIGHT! We've been applauding nice announcement for seven versions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No one is dismissing flash. Apple feels it is not the proper tool for a device with limited resources.

Well, a lot of people are - just look at the posts here and anywhere else this announcement is reported. A lot of people do not explore the internet that much and are under the impression that Flash produces annoying adverts and that's it. The fact is that millions upon millions of people use sites that rely exclusively on Flash for good reason. It's a bit like someone who's never left their home state dismissing the rest of the world on the basis that they once met a foreigner who was rude to them.
post #114 of 161
Quote:
Agreed all round. Though most of those complaints are about the usage of Flash, not the technology itself. It's a lot more powerful - so it can be misused more obviously. Not to say it can't be improved - but relative to Javascript it's a great technology IMO.

Yes there are complaints about how it is used. There are also valid complaints about how it needlessly taxes computer resources. Something Adobe could fix.

Quote:
Right - but I don't think the right word here is 'only'. If the dominant platform does not implement a standard properly, it's a failed standard. In terms of the future - who really holds out hope of MS making nice with standards in IE8. It's IE EIGHT! We've been applauding nice announcement for seven versions.

Its not a failed standard. The popularity of Firefox and Safari stem from their support of standards. This is pushing IE to also adopt them.

This is the first time MS has talked about making standards support the default on IE.

Quote:
Well, a lot of people are - just look at the posts here and anywhere else this announcement is reported. A lot of people do not explore the internet that much and are under the impression that Flash produces annoying adverts and that's it. The fact is that millions upon millions of people use sites that rely exclusively on Flash for good reason.

A lot of the complaints are about abuses of flash. I have to agree the bad parts of flash are so bad and so numerous that you mostly don't miss flash at all on the iPhone.
post #115 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by <2cents View Post

Screw Flash. In fact, can someone recommend a good way to disable Flash in Safari?

Generally speaking, Adobe products have gotten worse on the Mac. Everything seems so bloated now, sort of like Microsoft products.

You could delete the plugin, or you could:
Safari>Preferences>Security Tab> uncheck enable plugins.
And if you really want to surf animated ad free and don't need secure connections, go ahead and uncheck the Enable JavaScript and Enable Java boxes too. Really cleans up some pages when surfing news.
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post #116 of 161
Lack of Flash probably saves on bandwidth, which should help a lot when loading pages under Edge. However, it is available on other mobile devices so the iphone just looks bad by comparison and no amount of excuses help that fact. I'm sure Apple could come up with even an unofficial decoder of at least Flash video.

I would agree that the internet without Flash is a watered down internet given that so many people use it. I'm actually using it on a site I'm developing just now and it's used in the content management system and it plays a pretty integral part and Javascript, AJAX etc can't make up for what it does.

I've tried a number of times to use AJAX etc to replace Flash and it's just so much more difficult to do. Flash is a great development environment and very flexible. The only thing that comes close is Java Applets and they take forever to load as well as being all flickery. It's also way easier to write Actionscript than Java code.

The ideal situation would be that Flash was open sourced and that would allow it to be optimized and ported to any and all platforms. The trouble there is that Adobe will want to protect their intellectual property. Replacing it isn't really an option because of the market share and developer tools.
post #117 of 161
Am I wrong in thinking that thte Nokia N95 can view flash content? If so, how?
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post #118 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanUK View Post

Am I wrong in thinking that thte Nokia N95 can view flash content? If so, how?

Flash is available for the ARM processor. Read the thread, there is lots of good info about Flash here.
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post #119 of 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

Lying is a bit harsh but I wouldn't put it past Steve to come up with a tangible, technical excuse to invoke a strategy to weaken a product which could put a stranglehold in internet media delivery, especially an Adobe product.

Personally the disadvantages of ads bloating my web browser outweight any benefits of flash-enabled sites. Also site creators should let us decide what media handler we want to view our H.264 video with, not just slap in flash.

McD

Could you explain?
post #120 of 161
Disclaimer: I like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML applications just fine, so don't think I'm hating on you dhtml folks specifically. Ajax is cool and credit should always be given where credit is deserved.

Hi.

I've been waiting for an article like this to turn up to give us all a better view of the status of Flash support on the iPhone, info which has as of late been obscure at best. Just so you know, I have a CS degree and have been developing in the Flash environment for a number of years. I was pretty disappointed to learn of the lack of Flash support on the iPhone when it was first released, although I initially figured that it had more to do with QuickTime being a direct competitor than architectural limitations. Now that I actually own an iPhone, I really wish that this problem would be resolved.

After reading the numerous posts on this thread I'd like to add some insight based on actual experience using both the Flash authoring tool and the other current web 2.0 technologies that are out there. First of all, to all of those people on here complaining about Flash ads and proclaiming your desire for the death of this technology; shut up and get over yourselves you self righteous bitches! Realize that not only is the Flash ad business a massive source of revenue on the internet, but that taking the stance that animated advertising is the only practical use of Flash today is completely idiotic and telling of your lack of knowledge about the tool itself. If anything the fact that everyone and their grandmother knows what Flash is, based on it's incredibly high penetration on the internet, yes even in many cases as an advertising tool, shows just how incredibly powerful, useful and versatile the applications of this plug-in actually are. In fact, the Flash plug-in is the most downloaded piece of software in the history of the internet.

Similarly, all of you who are nothing more than internet junkies should be getting in line to give a nice fat BJ to Flash for the many breakthroughs that it has provided your internet experience, as well as the numerous ones that are still to come. YouTube is an obvious example, and for the person who claims that companies like Google are distancing themselves from the technology need to take a moment and actually think. Ever heard of street-view or checked out a stock on Google finance? For anyone who is familiar with web technologies, please try to code either of these in Ajax/dhtml and have a cross browser solution which is as lightweight, incredibly fast loading and visually seamless as either of these Flash apps. I also have a message for all of you Ajax fans; your applications are clunky, look boring, and take three times the amount of time and effort to code for the ever changing landscape of browsers.

In the many years that I have worked with Flash I have certainly experienced my fair share of nay-sayers in regards to accepting the truly incredible abilities of the Flash plug-in. However, what I have found to be the common case among these people is either there is a simple lack of knowledge about the tool and it's capabilities in general, or a fear of the tool because of the incredibly interactive user experience it provides (these are the web developers who have never learned to use Flash and who want to promote the technologies they do know, such as open source solutions like Ajax). That being said, how about I educate you all about what Flash actually is and what it can do.

Flash, originally called Future Splash before being acquired by Macromedia and later Adobe, is a vector rendering engine which can also manipulate practically all forms of media that exist on the internet today. Vector graphics are vastly superior to raster or bitmap graphics in many ways when talking about web graphics (not photos). Not only are they inherently smaller in size than raster based images, as they are defined using mathematical equation, but they are also infinitely scalable or lossless as you zoom in on them (no interpolation). Plus when talking about them in terms of Flash, the are also fully programmable. The Flash runtime has the capability of handling audio files, images, video files, and vector graphics in the most file size conscientious format available on the web. What this means is that a flash movie can contain a single copy of an image, sound or video object and have the ability to duplicate it and simultaneously present it to the user as many times as your computers hardware can support, dramatically decreasing the size of the source swf file. Because every object loaded into the flash environment is programmable, each of these copies can be uniquely modified on the fly in a massive number of ways; movement, transparency, mouse events, filters, tint, scale or any other unique way you decide to code it yourself. Any of these content items can also be loaded from external sources and streamed to the user as well. What's more is that the Flash environment provides a full animation suite which can be timeline based, frame-rate based, or even controlled in terms of milliseconds, again while also being fully programmable and extremely customizable and versatile; for example you can have an animation inside an animation inside an animation inside an animation etc. Add to this a robust set of drawing tools and a vast array of available properties to manipulate as well as a massive assortment of export formats to fit any number of devices depending on their player support. There are also a huge number of pre-built and fully customizable components for handling just about any type of data, form elements, and media content, as well as a community which is constantly churning out new components all the time.

What's kind of funny here is that what I've gone over so far has been available since Flash 6 and is only half of the story! Beyond the incredible environment that is the Flash authoring software itself, there is also a now fully object-oriented programming language, ActionScript 3.0, at the developer's disposal, which is amazingly robust in terms of it's built in classes and methods. Not to mention that it's very well documented with it's own Javadoc-like code resource; with examples, code snippets and a massive developer community built right into the software and available on the web. Because AS3 is now fully Object Oriented, developers can leverage the benefits of encapsulation, polymorphism and code re-use when working on their projects by coding entirely in classes. ActionScript is so massive in it's robustness that I have been using it for over 5 years and still am uncovering new features and capabilities. Since ActionScript conforms to the ECMAScript standard, as does JavaScript, it has many standard classes for handling XML, Dates, Math, geometry, as well as all sorts of Flash specific packages and classes for handling everything from server communications to parsing or creating CSS. Obviously there are all the global constants, functions, operators, keywords, directives, and special types that you would expect from any OO language. There is also error and exception handling and a full set of event models. Throw in a vector drawing API which allows you to create lines, curves, fills, points, gradients, and even bitmap data on the fly using nothing but code and you have a tool in which you could programmatically create an entire project/website in nothing but ActionScript that looks exactly the same as your favorite Ajax application but is only 1kb in size. Gee, that sounds like it might be kind of ideal for the internet doesnt it?

In essence the Flash player is a full blown, client-side rendering engine that is driven by an ultra-powerful programming language while still being super light-weight (roughly 2mb in size) and freely available to the public. With version 9 having optimized memory management and backward compatibility with older versions, Flash content is extremely efficient in its use of the clients hardware.

For all of the complete douche-bags on this thread who want to claim Flash should be killed because of your irritation from Flash ads; Shut Up You Uninformed Bitches! Flash is the best thing that has ever happened to the Internet thus far! Flash can do what browsers should have been able to do in the first place! All the detractors of Flash that are out there are either just totally oblivious leaches of the modern technological era that have no technical background (probably most of diggs audience), jealous of the technology, those who know how to use it, or those own the rights to it (Stubborn developers, Steve Jobs), or just not really thinking about how ill-advised their moronic Flash-bashing really is. For those of you who claim that Flash is bloated, its called advanced functionality dumb-asses.

If youre curious about what kind of badass things are going on with Flash, just how incredibly profitable and successful the technology is, or what quality Flash design even looks like, try visiting www.thefwa.com (I have no affiliation to this site).

If you have any real experience programming, then you should know about OpenGL or at least what it is. Since ActionScript is such an incredibly powerful and robust language, entire 3D rendering libraries have been and are currently being improved for Flash.

Check out these links:
http://www.flashsandy.org/demos
http://dev.getoutsmart.com/os3d/demos/videoroom/
(There are plenty more out there)

Why do you morons think that Microsoft has even launched Silverlight and Apple is specifically trying to downplay the importance of Flash?

OBVIOUSLY BECAUSE ITS AWESOME AND ITS NOT THEIRS!!!

-David H.
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