[thelist] client to post video

Richard Bennett richard.bennett at skynet.be
Mon Apr 3 18:25:34 CDT 2006

On Monday 03 April 2006 22:01, John Dowdell wrote:
> Richard Bennett wrote:
> > Firstly, Flash IS proprietary software that you are requiring.
> ??  Is that some type of reasoning, 
Why? there's nothing wrong with Flash being proprietary is there?
I mean, you haven't gone open source have you? I think i was just stating the 
Proprietary :
Private. Proprietary hardware and software are owned and controlled by a 
single organization or individual. Contrast with open. 
And you are requiring Flash, so i don't see what was unreasoned in that 

> or just an excuse for an existing 
> prejudice, or...?
I am only prejudiced against FUD. You might remember we had a discussion when 
Macromedia launched that blue-print example - I think it was a pet shop - 
that was supposed to be a best-practice example solving accessibility issues 
with Flash, but was actually a horribly broken non-validating page using 
hacks like hidden frames and inaccessible javascript links. 
That was simply a bad example for beginning developers, and that needed to be 
pointed out. I have nothing against Flash as such.

The same goes for this:
> Bottom line: Want to use video in a browser-based presentation? Use
> Flash... makes the most sense.
I would expect that you would come into contact with US government financed 
projects, which automatically fall under the 508 accessibility guidelines. 
When it comes to rich media the message has to be 'offer alternatives' 
so i don't see how your reply is an improvement on my statement:
>>Anyway, I'm not saying you should not use your embedded flash players, 
>>by all  means do, but don't suppose that everyone has chosen to install or 
>>upgrade to that particular plugin, and can actually see the content.
>>You can simply offer a link under the flash movie pointing to the mpeg file 
>>"Open in stand alone player". 
>>That way people can also download the movie, and they have a choice of which 
>>viewer they would like to use.
I mean, what are you saying? You SHOULD suppose that everyone can view the 
content? You SHOULDN'T bother offering alternatives? You SHOULD prevent users 
from opening the files in a viewer of their choice?
How can advising people NOT to offer an alternative be better advice?  

>  > I don't know how they find 95% Flash 7 players on a survey... or
>  > 89% Java penetration in the same survey - that's plain crazy.
> Sorry, our bad, I don't see the methodology links on this front page
> anymore:
> http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/flashplayer/
> I've sent out a change-request to get the "who" and the "how" of these
> ongoing consumer audits more visible on those entry pages:
> http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/npd/
> http://www.macromedia.com/software/flash/survey/npd_survey/
I found them - that is why i posted a link to the survey myself.
But are they really still using that survey? they are stuck at MAC OS7 and 8, 
and Windows 95/98/NT. 

Maybe you could expand your change-request, what would really help developers 
is if the whole survey was published each time. That way we could judge 
whether a representative pool of users was used, and see which platforms and 
browsers are represented, are the same people used each time, and how pluggin 
penetration varies across age-groups, location etc etc.

> Bottom line: Want to use video in a browser-based presentation? Use
> Flash... makes the most sense.
>     (Yes, .MPG files work too, but you don't know how each audience
> member will view it... some will call up a new page with QuickTime, some
> will jump the visitor out to Windows Media Player, whatever. With Flash,
> video is just another first-class citizen in the HTML content.)
That's fine for a personal opinion, but not good advice for a webdeveloper.
In the nineties it was all about designers going crazy doing 'cutting-edge' 
stuff, and simply requiring the users to adapt their software to suite the 
Now it is all about the websites being a service to the public, or the 
customer. We want to give every visitor access to the data, be they using a 
pda, an old pc with dialup, an accessibility aid, a corporate locked-down pc 
or whatever.
This means we have to get away from the mindset of 'forcing' the user to do 
this, and 'forcing' everything  to display pixel-perfect, and open our design 
to give the user choice. You say:
   >     (Yes, .MPG files work too, but you don't know how each audience
> member will view it.
That is the whole point! Empower the user to use the technology that best 
suits their setup. Sure, code your fancy embedded player, but give the user a 
choice. You are designing the page for the user, not for the designer.

let me round this mail off with an example:
This is a demo page for a flash movie encoder. You click the play button, and 
watch the cyclist go. Slower... and slower... and slower...
My whole browser starts freezing-up, and the only way to stop the damn film is 
to hit f5 to refresh the page.
So ok, my pc is a few years old, and my flash is v7, but the npd 95% doesn't 
take into account that the user experience might be crap, so the designer 
says, ho ho - 95% is enough for me, I'll force all users to watch this 
embedded in their browser, so they don't break my layout. 
So how many of that 95% actually have an enjoyable experience? And how many 
are glad they don't get a chance to open the movie in a player that has a 
stop button, and that can be scaled to a reasonable size? Maybe someone would 
like to save it and email it to somebody? Nope... you are part of the 95% so 
you view it in an icky little part of your browser because the designer 
prefers it like that.

That's the difference between proprietary and open. the first has to push 
their product exclusively whether or not it is the best solution, and the 
second can use the best selection of tools for the job, and empower the user 
to use what they prefer.


Drupal CMS have just released Drupal 4.7.0 RC 1.
This is the first release candidate for version 4.7 which offers a lot of 
improvements over version 4.6.
A few more release candidates are likely before v4.7 is finally released, but 
this version should be stable enough to setup a test site to get the feel for 
it, and maybe even to submit any bugs you find along the way. 


More information about the thelist mailing list