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The Right to Flash Petition
July 21, 2003 9:52 AM   Subscribe

The Right to Flash is an online petition for Macromedia to properly support Arabic and Hebrew languages which read from right-to-left.
posted by hobbes (24 comments total)

 
It's an interesting and probably worthy cause, but if a tree crashes in the woods and nobody is around, does it make a sound?
posted by insomnyuk at 9:56 AM on July 21, 2003


Finally some common ground between Arabic and Hebrew language speakers...
posted by y10k at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2003


the "right" to deep link supercedes the "right" to flash. flash sites cannot be linked into other than at an arbitrary starting point determined by author. bad flash.
posted by quonsar at 10:01 AM on July 21, 2003


The desire to have languages supported is a subset of the "right to information" I've been hearing in the news lately. It's all variations on a theme.

One part of me wants to say "stick it to Macromedia" and get the job done `right.' But another part of me, the gut-reaction-but-inevitably-right part, says this will only exacerbate more problems. I can't run Flash on my computer, for instance, because it's a controlled product. (Handwaving only makes the air warmer.)
posted by Hilarion at 10:19 AM on July 21, 2003


I can't run Flash on my computer, for instance, because it's a controlled product.

You had me up until there. What do you mean by controlled product? Isn't most commerical software a controled product?
posted by SweetJesus at 10:23 AM on July 21, 2003


If there's one thing the people of Palestine and Isreal need right now, it's Homestar Runner.
posted by xmutex at 10:24 AM on July 21, 2003


both language support AND linking are fundamental. flash undermines fundamental concepts of the web. bad flash.
posted by quonsar at 10:36 AM on July 21, 2003


quonsar, I'd agree with the language support, but not the deep linking point. Flash is only as bad for deep linking as the designer decides to make it. You can make HTML equally as bad for deep linking and I've even seen examples of this. I've seen books distributed in HTML as single files with no anchor points within. You can link to the file itself but if you want to link to a particular chapter you're out of luck, never mind linking to a paragraph.

I've also seen online courses in flash that were better designed for deep linking. Each section was distributed in it's own flash file so you could link to any section.

It doesn't always make sense to deep link in flash since a lot of the things that flash is used for don't make sense in that context. It'd be like complaining you can't deep link into a PacMan or Space Invaders game.

Come to think of it, metafilter itself is good for deep linking. I can deep link to an individual comment if I want. Not all weblogs are like this however. Again, it's not bad HTML or bad flash, it's bad design. Bad designers, bad!
posted by substrate at 11:07 AM on July 21, 2003


They have a worthy beef, sort of, but I don't think anyone has the right to expect a private company to support their language. It may be a wise business move on macromedia's part to do this, and if this petition calls attention to that, then that's okay. If they're doing it because they think they have a legal gripe (and I'm not saying they are, it's not like they're suing or anything) then that's a whole different ballgame. Flash is pretty for some applications, but I do, like quonsar, find websites that are based entirely in flash to be a pain in the ass.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:10 AM on July 21, 2003


I see Osama bin Laden is petitioner #374. Hmmm...
posted by MiG at 11:28 AM on July 21, 2003


both language support AND linking are fundamental. flash undermines fundamental concepts of the web. bad flash

So do GIFs, JPEGs, and all other binary image formats.

Bad binary objects!
posted by Ayn Marx at 11:39 AM on July 21, 2003


I can't run Flash on my computer, for instance, because it's a controlled product.

What, you're using something other than Mac, PC, or Linux?

flash sites cannot be linked into other than at an arbitrary starting point determined by author. bad flash.

Yes they can.

flash undermines fundamental concepts of the web. bad flash.

Everyone's a web designer.


Actually, regarding the issues they're having with hebrew/arabic, I think we (or someone in the flash open source community) could probably solve a lot of these problems with actionscript class libraries. I'll mention it on flashcoders.
posted by thedude256 at 11:46 AM on July 21, 2003


no, they can't. the operative words being "other than at an arbitrary starting point determined by author.". but as substrate pointed out, the same is true of HTML. granularity finer than page level is up to the author to provide.
posted by quonsar at 11:55 AM on July 21, 2003


and you can also make it so that flash recognizes the back button... another giant (and meaningful) pet peeve of the anti-flash crew

these guys really undermine their cause when they say

The fact of the matter is that Flash remains a costly technology which appears to be irrelevant in the Middle East and parts of Asia.

Why should macromedia support anything that's irrelevant? I highly doubt that the middle east web applications market is going to boom in the next few years... Regardless, they just got unicode support with v6 of the application anyway -- and knowing macromedia, they're probably working on right-to-left languages also, in keeping with their new "total web platform" strategy
posted by badzen at 12:03 PM on July 21, 2003


If there's one thing the people of Palestine and Israel need right now, it's Homestar Runner.

Dangeresque 2: This time, it's not Dangeresque 1!
posted by nath at 12:12 PM on July 21, 2003


Hmm... perhaps these developers should take a look at using SVG which does support right-to-left text. Mozilla now has beta native SVG support as well.
posted by bitdamaged at 12:44 PM on July 21, 2003


quonsar: flash undermines fundamental concepts of the web. bad flash.

Somebody somewhere sometime once said: "There are no bad tools, only bad designers." Or... something like that. If I thought it was actually relevant to real life, I'd go drag out a quote but on behalf of all eleven Arabic-speaking web application developers I'll just say, What's the point?
posted by JollyWanker at 1:14 PM on July 21, 2003


Right to flash? And me without a trench coat...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:17 PM on July 21, 2003


Macromedia will issue Arabic and Hebrew Flash when there is peace in the middle-east.
posted by rudyfink at 2:39 PM on July 21, 2003


thedude256: You mean "Intel Linux" when you say Linux, don't you? Thought so.

Maybe I sounded like a ranter by calling Flash a "controlled product", but so many people talk about the specs being "open" that it's almost impossible to enter into a debate as to what it accomplishes when the tools to create and play Flash-a-like files are propeitary?
posted by Hilarion at 6:09 PM on July 21, 2003


This petition is a great example of why peace talks between Israel and Arabs are bound to always fail.
Look through the signatories up to page 4; they are about 55% Israeli, 44% European/US and 1% (or three signatures in fact, all from non Arab countries, i.e. Morocco and Iran) from the Middle East (sans Israel).
Which, not surprisingly refects the state of the technology in the Middle East, and the affinity for doing things jointly on the two sides of the political divide.
Heh.
posted by bokononito at 6:24 PM on July 21, 2003


Screw em! the fact that we are required to have this abortion of a plugin to get much done on the web these days is a joke!


screw proprietary formats that aren't multiplatform, aren't disability-friendly blah blah


all of that so I can look at some scaling zooming warbly text that blows up and shatters

no thanks
posted by shadow45 at 5:01 AM on July 22, 2003


thedude256: You mean "Intel Linux" when you say Linux, don't you? Thought so.

Well, solaris and irix only go up to version 5 and 4 respectively, so yeah, I guess I do. Which version of unix are you using? Or are you on an Amiga or something?
posted by thedude256 at 11:40 AM on July 22, 2003


Flash is pretty for some applications, but I do, like quonsar, find websites that are based entirely in flash to be a pain in the ass.
posted by Ufez Jones


I don't find them painful at all. I refuse to use websites that require flash to navigate. Subaru lost a customer because of it and I let them know it too.
posted by Mitheral at 2:48 PM on July 22, 2003


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