[thelist] Macromedia.com redesigned

John Dowdell jdowdell at macromedia.com
Thu Mar 6 13:32:01 CST 2003

At 5:09 PM 3/5/3, Tom Dell'Aringa wrote:
> Holy cow, I started a zinger eh? Oh well, if not me someone
> else would have.

heh, true. fwiw, I've seen a *massive* amount of commentary on this site...
over 50 messages on Evolt here over the last 24 hours, about 150 on
CF-Talk, tons and tons on other lists.... hit the Blogdex top 20 yesterday,
lots of fresh links at Technorati... whatever the reason, lots of people
found this subject important enough to invest their time talking about it.

> I got home and loaded it up in IE6/XP, where I do not have
> flash6 installed yet. I got the message at the top that I 'may
> not have' etc. Now I assume this is the HTML version of the site,
> which loaded nice and snappy and looked to me virtually identical
> to the flash version.

That's true -- most visitors without viewing capability will be
automatically redirected to the stateless HTML version. You can also toggle
this explicitly via the front-page "Accessibility" link. Besides this dual
system for English, we've also moved some-but-not-all of the localized
versions of the site to the new format... that's a ton of versions:

> I too use some MM products, mainly HomeSite, and I am interested
> in other things they produce. But I don't want to browse the site
> with flash - its too slow for *my taste*, even if it looks nice.

It's actually faster, depending on what you're doing. Besides my post
yesterday on nested nav schemes, check out the sections of the site which
should function more like applications, such as the membership forms, the
Exchange, and other apps cited in that article I linked to yesterday.

> Side note - whoever made the comment about not realeasing a beta
> version of a site to the public was *dead* on. A definite mistake
> in MM judgement, IMO. Lots of this stuff could have been tweaked
> before hand.

You're assuming the site was not tested previously, which is an incorrect
assumption. We've now moved into public load-bearing testing, and it looks
good to go. This is a different type of site than other things on the web
-- relies more on incremental loading rather than constant HTML refreshes
-- it will continue to be adjusted in response to feedback.

> You have to remember, MM audience are geeks, they're gonna get
> hammered for stuff like this moreso than other folks would.

Okay, I can live with that. ;-)

At 9:29 PM 3/5/3, aardvark wrote:
> the site does not render at all, save for a yellowed background
> color, in IE 5.50.4134.0600 or in Opera 6.01

Opera does have a problem, which we've contacted them about (I don't know
the technical details myself). IE5.5/Win does work -- the site gets a
million visiting customers a day and four million player downloads -- and
from what I read I'm not sure what's different on that system, sorry. If
you could use the feedback form then the web team can contact you for
details if they haven't found a cause already.

> > Flash 6 will run on 97.2% of the user agents
> > Flash 5 will run on 99.9% of the user agents
> i can run Flash5, but only if i say 'yes' to the prompt...
> i usually don't, btw...

Then you are among the 2% who cannot immediately view SWF content without
installing anything new.

> incidentally, it displays fine, first try, in Lynx.

Thanks for the report, and have fun at SXSW.

At 7:37 AM 3/6/3, Scott Brady wrote:
> Considering MM is a member of the W3C, you'd think they'd have
> run the site through the W3C's validator:
> http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.macromedia.com

That validator doesn't like EMBED. Real browsers require it. Other real
browsers require additional HTML handlings. That document will definitely
not meet platonic specifications.

> While it's allegedly possible to develop a Flash site that is
> fully-compliant with XHTML... the creators of the most common
> Flash development environment (and creators of the SWF standard)
> didn't bother.

If you're referring to Drew's recent tests of how various current browsers
implement the W3C's preferred use of OBJECT, then not all visitors will see
it if going by spec, and there are additional complications when trying to
auto-install or do data-passing. The Book is at divergence with The World.

At 8:20 AM 3/6/3, David.Cantrell at Gunter.AF.mil wrote:
> Just because Macromedia publishes its specification for Flash
> doesn't mean it's not proprietary -- the two are not mutually
> exclusive. And as anyone who has been online or even used a
> computer for /any/ length of time knows, once you hand the keys
> over to a company and let them drive, they will inevitably
> take you down a road you didn't expect, just to run up the meter.
> So we are perfectly justified in being skeptical of Macromedia.
> Not because they are /evil/, but because they are /commercial/,
> and their job is to make money.

There are five conversational tacks I could take in reply, and I'm not
certain which of them to choose, and will instead move over to other work
instead. I'm working on an article on this subject so I can avoid typing so
much stuff.


John Dowdell, Macromedia Developer Support, San Francisco
(Best to reply on-list, to avoid my mighty spam filters!)
Technotes: http://www.macromedia.com/support/search/
Column: http://www.macromedia.com/desdev/jd_forum/
Technical daily diary: http://www.macromedia.com/go/blog_jd

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