6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2011 7:43 AM by ozDiGennaro

    Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions

    elasater

      I am hoping to tap into the greater power of collective thinking to get a better idea about pros and cons about using Flash within web sites for a meeting I have next week. The following sentence was included in the appointment invitation:  “They would like to talk with us all about what we might be able to do to get us all up to speed on the latest and greatest with Flash” – rather vague, but I’m trying to be prepared.

       

      To start things off with, here’s my brief list of pros and cons…

       

      Pros:

      • “Wow” factor
      • (I’m sorry – I really can’t think of anymore Pros, which is probably why I am asking here.)

       

      Cons:

      • Time-intensive to learn (especially to do properly)
      • Time-intensive to maintain (my impression)
      • Usability/Accessibility issues

       

      I’d appreciate any additions and/or input the community has on the above list. 

       

      Several additional questions that I have:

      • Realistically, how time-intensive is Flash to change/maintain? We help maintain and manage over 100 websites and most of that falls on my shoulders to support. (Mostly school/district web sites and a few chamber/city sites.) Additionally, I do a bit of video production as well as web development. Needless to say, this makes time a factor.
      • How easy is it to integrate Flash into Drupal? If so, are there any good online tutorials for it and is it worth the effort?
      • Why should Flash be used instead of alternate methods (CSS menus, for example, or javascript for rotating images.)
      • Is Flash aging technology? I certainly wouldn’t call it “new” anymore.  Wouldn't it be better to devote time/energy/money into HTML5 & CSS3?

       

      I should probably note that I know a little about Flash and the various things that it can do on web sites, but have never successfully managed to actually learn to use the software (although I have made the attempt at several times). Mentally I have had a hard time grasping the various means of accomplishing an end result (be it navigation buttons, video interfaces, or animation, etc.).  The only real plus I can see to using it is the “wow” factor that it can add to web sites. In terms of usability and accessibility across platforms and browsers, there seems to be a whole realm of issues that can crop up and need to be adressed when building a site.

       

      Thank you.

        • 1. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
          kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          i would say:

           


           

          Pros:

           

          No. 1 (by far), cross-browser consistancy.  nothing that i know of (ajax, html5) comes close to being consistant across the various browsers.  

           

          Cons:

          • Time-intensive to learn (especially to do properly).  same as everything else.  if oop is new to you, it's difficult to learn.
          • Time-intensive to maintain (my impression).  not true.
          • Usability/Accessibility issues.  not true.

           

          that said, if you're an html5 and/or ajax guru, there's not much reason to learn flash unless animation is critical.  i'm finding less and less that flash can do that can't be done with ajax and/or html5.  (but there's significant amount of duplicate coding with html5 and ajax and none with flash.)

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          • 2. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
            elasater Level 1

            kglad - Care to elaborate on your workflow? when updating flash based sites, animation or content, how long does it take you?

             

            Do you maintain sites for multiple customers and, if so, do your clients have to post their content updates through you or can they make changes themselves?

             

            Sorry to ask more questions, I am just trying to get a better feel for what's involved.

            • 3. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
              kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              virtually all my work is for other professionals that deal directly with the clients.  i am almost always hired to encode actionscript, javascript, php etc.

              when updating flash based sites, animation or content, how long does it take you?
              that depends on what changes are wanted.  when changing something i've created, it's almost always fast and easy.  changing something else someone else has created is more time-consuming.

               

              Do you maintain sites for multiple customers and, if so, do your clients have to post their content updates through you or can they make changes themselves?

              any site that i anticipate will be regularly updated (realtor websites, artist galleries etc), i use xml or some other database to store data so editing the flash is unneeded.  for clients that are intimidated by xml (and for all clients using, for example, a mysql database), i recommend an easy-to-use interface that edits the database/xml so the client can't screw things up.

               

               

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
                elasater Level 1

                Thank you for the clarifications.

                 

                What is the easy to use interface that you recommend?

                • 5. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
                  kglad Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  that's something i create using flash for the client.  each interface is customized for each client.

                  • 6. Re: Pros/Cons to Flash & a few questions
                    ozDiGennaro Level 1

                    I find Flex and Actionscript to be wonderful to work with.  You simply have to accept the fact that you don't understand it ALL.

                    I suggest an excursion into OSMF by using "Strobe" (also called SMP), which is now the name for a pre-built Flash SWF which can be easily configured and embedded in existing websites.  You don't have to change a single line of Actionscript or use Flash Builder at all.  It may do all that you need.

                    There is a piece of HTML and javascript which starts the Flash player, providing arguments:  what video should be played, how big, etc.

                    Oz

                     

                    Here's a link to get started.

                     

                    http://sourceforge.net/adobe/smp/home/