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Old 05-27-2002, 10:21 AM   #1
Neranz Laverani
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I am curious who uses the Flash and JavaScript and why or why not.

Pro: It looks really nice
Con: Not all browsers support it

Pro: It offers you more choices because it is client side.
Different browsers do not interpret javascript the same.
Users can turn it off.
Due to the recently publisized sercurity flaws, more users will be turning it off.

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Old 05-27-2002, 10:41 AM   #2
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As for me I try to avoid both of them
but I still use flash pretty often.Never tried java,and I dont even plan on trying it its kinda uncool when you put a lot of effort into something,and people simply have it disabled besides,had some ..'experience'.. with java based evil things so I completely support people who disable it

go for flash : anyways most people have latest version of it and download newer when needed,so its not much of problem.
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Old 05-29-2002, 06:10 PM   #3
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When I was getting started, the professional webmasters I knew tried to avoid forcing their users to download plug-ins.

Of course, it is entirely different today.  Now forcing a user to download stuff seems to be an accepted norm.  Three common downloads:  Flash, Quicktime, and Adobe Acrobat Reader

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Old 06-01-2002, 02:09 PM   #4
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I see way too much of web sites today where the content has been drowned in animations, "cool" graphics, banner ads, and layouts that defies 30 years of research of user interface design. It is also obvious that to most so-called web designers, the 'one browser to rule them all' is MSIE.

I dislike that kind of arrogance. If there's any substance to the site, it would be possible to enjoy even using the non-graphical browsers like lynx, links, and w3.

With the above in mind, I don't use flash, or javascript. I prefer the 'server-side everything', presenting simple HTML pages to the client. They load faster, too.
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Old 06-04-2002, 01:30 AM   #5
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I'm in total agreement with mhc - too often content is too well-hidden by shiny things. Ironically, these shiny things are intended to grab the user's attention and make them want to see the content.

Plugins should never be the basis of a webpage, they should enhance it. Hence the name plugin - something you can stick into your chosen markup language, not something to replace it. Otherwise, we'd know these plugins as markup.

That said, I use neither Flash nor JavaScript. I've never been good at any kind of programming except at a very, very basic level - scripting mobs and, a long long time ago, writing games in BASIC.
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Old 06-10-2002, 08:41 PM   #6
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Flash, HTML, and DHTML are just different methods of implementation. They neither add or detract from the actual web site.

Also, if a site is done poorly in flash, if the same person made it in HTML it'll probably just as porr.

If a person doesn't have much content to show (like my site  ) then they will have to do something to limit the amount of "whitespace". In standard HTML you can do this by having more images, or bordering your content around images, in flash you can do pretty much the same thing.

It really depends on how much you have to say, how you want to say it, and what your target audience is. The implementation method is up to you.

IN THE FUTURE I'm pretty sure Shockwave/Flash will become an inportant part of web application implementations. There are some very nice things about flash:

1) Flash has a JavaScript esque language called FlashScript, the bonus is FlashScript will always work the exact same way on any browser.

2) Flash isnt dependant on an HTML structure, you dont need to nest tables or worry about trailing whitespaces in netscape. A site created in Flash will look the same on all browsers (because its a plugin).

3) Possibility of dynamicly driven flash. Even now Macromedia is working on making Flash more able for Dynamic sites. This'll be what really changes the way people use flash. If you can send SQL Query results through flash and output that data it will be a huge leap for web sites.

The other key benefit of flash is its small size. You can make a very nice site and have it be increddibly small.

Right now I dont use flash for sites that are dynamic, i use cold fusion or Java/JSP. But I sometimes will create the images in flash (sidebar, header, footer), because of the small file size.

It is also obvious that to most so-called web designers, the 'one browser to rule them all' is MSIE.
I dislike that kind of arrogance. If there's any substance to the site, it would be possible to enjoy even using the non-graphical browsers like lynx, links, and w3.

hrm... i sorta agree/disagree . I agree that content beats all, and when i'm "surfing" the net (i dont think i've really surfed the net in 7 years, now i usually "wade" the net) all i'm interested is content.

I used to agree about netscape. Actually, i was the only one that put a foot down last year about over-using DHTML on our site (i work at a dot-com). But that was a year ago, and Netscape had 8% of the internet population. For a dot-com that's a big percentage, (approx 1 out of every 10 visitors would be using netscape). But over a year that all changed. When you channel a years worth of logs through webanalyzer and see that only %0.01 of your visitors were using netscape it becomes harder to press the need to "dumb" the site down.

Right now MSIE 4, 5, and 6 hold 90% of the internet population, with Netscape 4 at 4%, and 6% other. Once it hit 4% i stopped bothering.

The % of people on the net using linux is %0.003 (for real), so unless you are running a site about linux, or for linux users (or if you are a linux user), i wouldnt worry about it (besides, WebTV is %0.003 of the population, so is Windows 3.1! ).

Given, there are circumstances where you should test everything in all possible browsers. If you were running a Search Engine, Portal Site, Forum, etc. But for your average-this-is-my-site, i really doubt you'll have a huge number of Nescape/Other users hitting your site. And there aren't that many differences with IE and Netscape (until you get into dhtml)

But, I dont agree with the Jakob Nielsen approach ( I read his book, agree with the basis of what he is saying, but that isnt something that works in practice.

Also, I dont think that people that design with just IE in mind are being arrogant. Its just that IE has won the browser battle, and the time spent trying to get your tr,td's all on one row with no spaces just so netscape wont put an extra line in the center is just better spent doing something else (like working on the next project! ).

People make design  mistakes all the time, even the best designers make some pretty ovbious mistakes (and wind up on I like Flanders more then Nielson .

So in short. Its really up to what you feel confortable with. The design world is 99% opinion and 1% fact, everything above is opinion (with the exception of the features of flash).

Just remember: if you have lots of text - use a serif font (times new roman), 10-12pt.


ps, sorry in advance for run-on sentances, mispellings, fragments, or general lack of useability, i've gotta cut this post short
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Old 06-13-2002, 06:11 AM   #7
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as an aside, I'd ignore NN6 at your peril, esp. in view of the aol discussions...
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Old 06-15-2002, 11:09 AM   #8
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Now, this seems interesting, so I gather I will have to add my $0.02 to this thread.

First off, supporting as many browsers as possible with minimum fuss can never be considered a Bad Thing™, therefore I always try to make my sites appear exactly the same, or at least similar in both MSIE 4-6, Netscape 4-6, and Opera.

In order to accomplish this without server side browser scripting, one has to bear certain aspects in mind upon designing the site.

* Always use spacer images

* If you use colspan, make sure you have a 1 pixel high table row with cells that define the exact size of all the cells.  This is a good rule for all sites, but particularly for those that have complex tables.

* Never define height in table elements, since the height attribute is not supported by most browsers, or only have partial support.  Instead, use a one pixel wide spacer row that define all the heights of your cells.

* Styles should be used, but do not use border on form elements, since this is generally a Bad Thing™.  If you have to do this, make sure you have one stylesheet for IE/others, and one for Netscape < 6.

* Frames get clipped by NS4, about 3-10 pixels disappear in the bottom.

* Images must have alt-tags, both for the visually impaired with screen readers, and those that have realized that Lynx can be the best way to peruse the web.  Also, a text only version of your menu could be a good idea for lynx people, placing it at the top of the page works best, but this is overkill.

* If you use Flash/Shockwave, you make the index page with a sniffer (18x18 pixel Flash/Shockwave animation with an URL redirect through flash that directs to the media enriched page, and if not, it simply defaults to the normal HTML version of the site.

* Flash is supported by vanilla IE4, though I think it is only Flash 3, or maybe even Flash 4, so it is a good rule to make the flash application work in Flash 4, or if you have complex code, Flash 5, that way you ensure yourself that your media enriched content can be displayed in as many browser versions as possible without user downloads.

* If you cannot design an interface in HTML alone, then you should not try your hands on more complex systems such as Flash or Shockwave.  Good design has nothing to do with the technology, it has to do with afterthought.  You need to sit down and carefully plan your interface before you actually start working on the code and the layout.  Issues like where to place buttons, where to have the content, are the most important.

* If you use Flash, try to use system specific fonts for content text, since these fonts are not antialiased, which makes them easier to read at most screen resolutions.

* The less blinking and moving elements on the screen, the better.  If you have to have blinking and flashing and moving elements, time them, and make them stop after a while.  Moving backgrounds in Flash is ok, if they do not interfere with reading and viewing the menus, generally, a transparency of 5-10% should take care of that, and still make it pretty cool.

* Moving menus, complicated drop downs, and other such highly complex interfaces shouldn't be used in the site unless you have a lot of information.  Generally, it is better to have all top level menus visible directly, and if you have a lot of sub content, you could for instance make them drop downs.

* The less clicks anywhere, the better.

* Using transitions between normal content pages is a Bad Thing ™, especially in Flash.  No matter how pretty the flying fire-breathing dragon is, or slamming metal gates are, nobody wants to sit and wait for 3-5 seconds between each page.  And you can take that to the bank.

* Intros are cool, if they have a real purpose, just being cool is generally not enough from an interface point of view, since it means one more click until you actually reach the content.  If you use an intro animation, make sure that it either has a "skip" button, or preferably, include the full menu in the intro as well for less clicks.

So, in conclusion, the less the better.  Or, as we say, KISS.  Keep It Simple as Stupid.  Then you are sure that your site works and that everybody can see the content.  Perhaps this helped?

Warm Regards,
Torgny Bjers, Implementor
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Old 07-08-2002, 06:05 PM   #9
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As I usually use 56k on a -really- sucky computer, I disklike both flash and java.

Downloads take forever, page loads take forever, with java you are simply asking for virii. Another thing I despise with great vigor is "Dancing Baloney" moving gifs that mean absolutelty nothing, pictures with no purpose. Even stills with no purpose at all really **** me off. Not only must a good designer remember all those Netscape users, but all those people with Celerons (or worse) and 56k (or worse) modems.

Nothing keeps me from visiting a site like slowness or mandatory downloads.

My brief rant is over,
see you in Mudland,
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