Flash, the good the bad and the ugly.

What is flash?
Flash was originally created as vector animation software, mainly to produce animations for the web. However, over the past years Macromedia (adobe) the creator of flash has made some significant upgrades and add-on to flash which have made it one of the most popular means of delivering rich media content over the web.
Flash provides ActionScript, an ECMAScript/JavaScript subset as its pervasive scripting language for animations, user interactions, and database/system interfaces. Actionscript is both client and server capable and follows the ECMA standards.
Flash is slow! Myth or reality?
It is often said that flash is slow and can ruin the user’s web browsing experience. Let me just put a stop to that by saying that is nonsense. Flash is made to load fast, as a matter of fact flash loads content much faster than HTML. That is due the fact that flash uses vector graphics; which are very light-weigh.
Unfortunately one cannot browse the web these days without finding a VERY slow flash website or animation. That cannot be blamed on flash, as in most programs and applications the developer is the backbone of the project. Many flash developers get carried away using heavy animations and bad loading techniques.

Why use flash?
· Flash movies load faster and save on download time because Flash is vector based whereas HTML is not.
· Flash uses vector graphics, which means that the graphics can be scaled to any size without losing clarity/quality.
· Flash gives the viewer a “high-tech” impression of your organization that is very impressive.
· Flash can be used to create interactive animation for entertaining “Splash” pages, ad banners and even games.
· Flash gives developers the ability to use attractive and animated proloaders to keep the user interested while loading contend, and does away with the html blink.
· Flash resycles ‘caches’ it’s movies so they don’t have to be reloaded.
· Flash straming technology give you the ablity to play high quality video and audio.

Any disadvantages?
The biggest issue with flash is the plug-in that it uses to play its content (.swf)”.
Although Macromedia, the creator of Flash technology, claims that 98.3% of Internet users have the ability to view Flash, one has to consider the methodology for the survey and how well someone can view Flash. For one thing, the survey was restricted to English speaking participants. In addition, although the participant would have been warned not to download the player during the survey, their computer would have automatically prompted them to do so. More importantly the survey does not take into consideration the version of Flash they may have and the speed, memory, and connection of their computer. When you consider all of the factors, a realistic estimate of the percentage of Internet users that can view Flash as intended would probably be closer to 65%.
Another issue with flash is bad development, Flash Actionscript is a very robus language; even though it is considerd easy to learn, it is whoever very hard to master. And it’s unique architecture make it very different from most programming languages out there.


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