Get Your Flash On
September 10, 2003 12:05 AM   Subscribe

Macromedia Flash Player 7 for your Web browser is now available for a platform near you. ...Upgrade at your own discretion.
posted by Down10 (35 comments total)
bah and likewise meh.
posted by dorian at 12:25 AM on September 10, 2003

Upgrade at your own discretion.
Just do it by FRIDAY!
posted by wendell at 12:30 AM on September 10, 2003

This commercial was brought to you courtesy of our sponsor Macromedia; the numbers 3 and 12, and the letters J, F and I.
posted by skylar at 1:49 AM on September 10, 2003

This is a great post!

posted by Outlawyr at 4:11 AM on September 10, 2003

Following my "am I the only one" theme for today, can I ask if anyone else thinks flash is an over rated and over used technology that is [deleted] annoying?

I'm trying with all my might to get flash only used for basic menu systems and banners on our websites. I'll probably lose, but it makes meetings fun...
posted by twine42 at 4:42 AM on September 10, 2003

I'm trying with all my might to get flash only used for basic menu systems

Then I won't find your site useful.

Flash doesn't work on palms. Or freebsd. Or Mozilla. At least not like a flash install does with IE on Windows.

Besides, with the eiolas lawsuit, macromedia may need to pay to exist as a 'plug in'
posted by rough ashlar at 4:55 AM on September 10, 2003

sorry, should have explained - if I have any flash navigation I _always_ make sure there is another menu available.

Strange... 97% of people have flash, and they moan at me for that one. Yet everyone insists on having a 'close' link on popup windows. What precisely do they think the top bar is for...?
posted by twine42 at 4:58 AM on September 10, 2003

include "flashRantStd.h";

for (i in allFlashRelatedPosts){
stdout <= "Blah blah blah blah flash is evil blah blah blah it doesn't work on my x86 solaris pda blah blah blah used for advertising therefore must be evil blah blah blah not human readable so it must be crap blah blah blah java blah blah blah I hate plugins blah blah blah everyone should just use vi. ";
posted by thedude256 at 5:10 AM on September 10, 2003 [1 favorite]

What is the difference between a flash install on IE and a flash install on Mozilla (and Netscape)? Seems to work exactly the same for me on all three.
posted by sic at 5:17 AM on September 10, 2003

Flash works for me on Netscape about 50% of the time (I'm running Win98). No one can tell me why, and I've uninstalled and reinstalled a million times.

Anyway, sites that are pure Flash annoy the heck out of me.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:32 AM on September 10, 2003

What version of Netscape are you using?
posted by sic at 5:48 AM on September 10, 2003

Er, I don't want to turn this into TechSupportFilter but it's 7.1. I had the same problem with 7.0. If you have any ideas, feel free to e-mail me; my address is in my profile.
posted by JoanArkham at 5:58 AM on September 10, 2003

I've never had a problem with flash on Mozilla.
posted by angry modem at 6:06 AM on September 10, 2003

Have you tried reformatting your quadraphoton converter and reinstalling bugfuk 9.9 on a seperate partition?

cause that worked for me.
posted by Outlawyr at 6:08 AM on September 10, 2003

I have, it keeps working.

Bada bing!
posted by will at 6:10 AM on September 10, 2003

Have you tried reformatting your quadraphoton converter and reinstalling bugfuk 9.9 on a seperate partition?

I can't believe you are still using version 9.9 when the 9.9.01 Alpha version has been available for at least 15 minutes.

posted by sic at 6:12 AM on September 10, 2003

evil: intros
close to evil: navigation without alternate non-flash
evil but expected: advertising
not so evil, puts a spring in your step: miscellaneous non-critical animated details, when tastefully done
good: unique interactive games / edumacational stuff
very good: homestar runner, various memes du jour
very very good: freaky shit like nosepilot

*super duper good: it makes me money so I can continue living in the extravagant manner to which I have become accustomed.
posted by condour75 at 6:19 AM on September 10, 2003

...everyone should just use vi

Emacs forever!
posted by bshort at 6:44 AM on September 10, 2003

To install flash on new Mozillas or Netscape 7.x, just click here, click on the 'Install' button, then restart your browser when it tells you. Granted, it's for the old Flash player 6, but I won't be upgrading yet.
posted by zsazsa at 6:54 AM on September 10, 2003

(BTW, that's for Windows. If you're smart, you can figure out how to do it for Linux.)
posted by zsazsa at 6:55 AM on September 10, 2003

I teach Flash classes (and other computer classes) for a living. I find the whole pro/anti Flash debate odd. Flash is a tool, like a hammer, and you wouldn't blame a hammer for a poorly constucted chair. Similarly, you can create good and bad design with Flash. It's good for some tasks. It's bad for other tasks.

XQUZYPHYR mentioned that it's a good tool for doing 2D animation. Actually, my major beef with Macromedia is that they've been focusing on Flash's scripting engine for the past several versions. They've made very few enhancements to its animation toolset. Animating in Flash may seem easy if you've never worked in a better program (by better, I mean easier to animate in) like After Effects. Flash's main benefit as an animation tool is the fact that it's cheap and it exports into a format that most people can view, the SWF.

If you're interested in SWF animation (as opposed to scripting), you might want to check out some of the following tools (most of which are cheaper and better for animators than Flash):

Toon Boom Studio

Those of you who are scripters may be interested to know that the new version of Actionscript (Flash's scripting language) is changing from something very like Javascript to something somewhat like Java. More info here.
posted by grumblebee at 7:11 AM on September 10, 2003

Speaking of which:

why is it that every time Macromedia upgrades a product, they feel the need to reinvent the scripting language it contains? I went through two Director upgrades and finally gave up on the product the third time I would've needed to rewrite all my code; now they appear to be doing the same thing to Flash. Grr.
posted by ook at 7:27 AM on September 10, 2003

Flash is also moving closer to web standards thanks to the work done by the good people at A List Apart.
posted by sic at 7:32 AM on September 10, 2003

Yeah, it's irritating. I think MM has been continually surprised that people want to do serious coding and application development in a tool that was orignally designed to make animations.

Scripters keep pushing the envelope and demanding more and more, and MM keeps changing their philosophy re the language in order to keep up.

The move to a Javascript-like language seemed brilliant, because so many people were already using Javascript for web development (and you can also use it to program Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects). So many people were able to leverage existing knowlege.

But Javascript lacks some pro-level programming tools, such as strong typing, which Java has. So now that MM realizes that the big boys may take their little animation tool seriously if they beef up the scripting language, that's just what they're doing.

The good news -- for the moment -- is that there's not that much of a learning curve between Actionscript and Actionscript 2.0 (as they're calling this version, though it should really be called Actionscript 4.0 if you take into account all of their earlier versions). And your old Actionscript will still work in the Flash 7 player. In fact, when you publish a SWF with Actionscript 2.0 code, the compiler translates it down into Actionscript 1.0. So the new player can't even run their new language natively. The new language is really just a tool that helps programmers write code that is more structured.

All of that might change with the Flash 8 player. Perhaps that one will run Actionscript 2.0 as native code.

One key development that no one has mentioned here is that the Flash 7 player has an auto-update feature. So it should be the last version anyone ever has to download. A fact that comes with it's own sets of pros and cons.
posted by grumblebee at 7:41 AM on September 10, 2003

This does NOT work on Lynx.

posted by xmutex at 8:21 AM on September 10, 2003

flash sucks.

Well, actualy it's becomming pretty impressive. But it sucks when people use it to make websites. It should be used for the following:

Interactive demonstrations
Anything involving lots of user interaction

It should not used for the following:

graphical frills on websites
Anything involving consumption of large amounts of passive information. Or small amounts of information.
posted by delmoi at 8:55 AM on September 10, 2003

delmoi: What catagory would a site like Becoming Human fall into? It is "interactive" I guess, but also allows you to consume "large amounts of passive information". And it's pure flash.
posted by gwint at 9:10 AM on September 10, 2003

From the Colin Moock:


If you host Flash content that does any of the following, you need a cross-domain policy file on your site immediately:
* loads XML or variables
* controls loaded movies
* connects to an XMLSocket server

If your site does not have a cross-domain policy file, visitors using Flash Player 7 to view your Flash Player 6 format .swfs will now see a security alert dialog!

To create a policy file for your site, follow the steps posted here:

(Yes, this all applies to every client site you ever delivered.)
Posted by moock at September 10, 2003 12:00 PM

There you go.
posted by XiBe at 9:34 AM on September 10, 2003

Well, there. See, I learned something useful and work-related on MeFi today.

Thousands of hours of idle websurfing just became tax-deductible. Or something. Thanks, XiBe.
posted by ook at 10:52 AM on September 10, 2003

Even better than flash, is this Firebird/Mozilla extension to disable it by default. You get a button instead, that says something like "[flash - click to view]". Clicking it loads the flash applet normally. Makes all kinds of annoying things go away.

Also, I agree with delmoi. If you're selling something, and you have competitors, the quickest way to turn me away from your website is to make me deal with flash navigation. Or java.
posted by duckstab at 12:40 PM on September 10, 2003

This Quadrophoton helps me flash?
posted by fatbobsmith at 12:49 PM on September 10, 2003

I am getting so sick of waiting for those damn Flash drop-down, drop-up, drop-sideways, drop-from-out-your-arse excruciatingly slow menus.
Flash developers should be forced to sit and utilize their own sites for eternity, which is a relative term meaning a few minutes in the Flash world of every second = a year.
posted by HTuttle at 1:22 PM on September 10, 2003

There's an Xtension for Mozilla that makes it so flash movies don't play unless you click them first. I highly recommend it - it makes the internet so much less annoying.

/Damnit, Duck already mentioned it. It's worth switching to mozilla for, though, if you haven't gotten it already

/I concede that there's a use for flash, but I still hate Java with a passion.
posted by Veritron at 1:35 PM on September 10, 2003

Flash works on my Altair 8800. . . Well, the LEDs flash, anyway...
posted by hoborg at 1:54 PM on September 10, 2003

I can't knock any technology that made possible.
posted by nath at 7:28 PM on September 10, 2003

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