What is Flash?
Refers to a form of video software developed by Adobe Macromedia that creates vector-based graphic animations that occupy small file sizes.
Its, a well-liked authoring software developed by Macromedia, is used to create vector graphics-based animation programs with full-screen navigation interfaces. It also has graphic illustrations, and simple interactivity in an ant aliased, the resizable file format that is small enough to stream across a normal modem connection. The software is ubiquitous on the Web, both because of its speed (vector-based animations, which can adapt to different display sizes and resolutions, play as they download) and for the smooth way it renders graphics. Flash files, unlike animated but rasterized GIF and JPEG, are compact, efficient, and designed for optimized delivery.
Flash 4 gives Web designers the ability to import artwork using whatever bitmap or illustration tool they prefer, and to create animation and special effects, and add sound and interactivity. The content is then saved as a file with a.SWF file name extension. (The letters SWF stand for ‘Shockwave Flash.’)
Web-users with Intel Pentium or Power Macintosh processors can download Flash Player to view Flash content, which performs across multiple browsers and platforms.
Over the releases of new versions of Flash, Macromedia has made it more and more controllable via programming, where they have it positioned as a competitor to HTML to build interactive web sites and applications such as an e-commerce store. Macromedia argues that it is the way to go instead of HTML because of the following reasons:
- A Flash movies load faster and save on download time because Flash is vector based whereas HTML is not.
- Flash intelligently ‘caches’ it’s movies so they don’t have to be reloaded.
- The Flash gives the user (the person viewing/using the Flash movie) a more responsive ‘rich-client’ like experience.
All these points are true, but they can be true for HTML pages as well (except for the vectors). I will address these points now:
The pages can be made to load faster, but most of the time, the way they are designed in the real world, they do not.
HTML caches pages as well, once images are downloaded, they are held in your browser’s cache. The cached images are then used instead of downloading them from the server again.
With new technology like ASP.net and Java Server Faces, HTML now can react just like a ‘rich-client’ application. Even without these new tools, properly designed HTML for most dynamic sites can provide a good user experience.
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