[thelist] Flash Required

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Thu Mar 8 14:27:13 CST 2007

On Thu, 2007-03-08 at 10:35 -0800, Bill Moseley wrote:
> Is Flash something that should be considered universal at this point?

No, the Flash plugin issued by Adobe is not free software, so it's
certainly not universal. Even when I was not a free software nut, I
found the Flash plugin to be just a junk vector most of the time, so out
it went.

> Do new PCs and Macs come with Flash installed or is it still a
> user-download? 

My browser did not come with the Flash plugin, and neither did my
operating system.

> Today it was my kid's soccer club's brand new website:
>     http://www.rockridgesoccer.org/

Needs a lot of work. All I get is a soccer ball and the text "Rockridge
Soccer". Only after viewing the source do I realize it's held together
with duck tape and Javascript yet again.

> I like the layout fine, but does that design really require that all text is
> an image or a flash object (i.e. "Bulletin Board")?

(My original response was, "what images and Flash object?")

No, it doesn't. I find the text to be about as small, and as  legible,
as fly droppings.

> And I wonder how a competent designer can implement a site with so
> many validation errors (although they are not what I'd consider
> serious errors for the most part).  Is validation just not as
> important as I consider it?

It is, but as long as browsers do error correction there will be some
that do "if $BROWSER_OF_THE_WEEK lets us get away with it, it's cool".

> Another site for an organization I'm involved with was just released
> with tables nested ten deep and 175 validation errors and very simple drop
> down menus using flash.  But it looks (mostly) ok in IE so the organization
> considers it just fine.
> Are these consciousness decisions by designers after weighing all the
> options or just designers trapped in the 90s?

Uh, we didn't have Flash through most of the 1990s (as I remember them).
Frankly, I think Flash movies are one of the worst things to happen to
the Internet. It's a case of "what can we get away with on a PC running
Windows", not even realizing configurations under that assumption vary
widely, much less that the Web is much bigger than any one platform or
browsing situation.

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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