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Re: Developing flash on debian

On Mon, Sep 20, 2004 at 09:09:27AM -0400, S.D.A. wrote:
> On Mon, Sep 20, 2004 at 08:54:09AM -0400 or thereabouts, Michael Marsh wrote:
> > That's true -- I wasn't aware of that.  However, that doesn't address
> > the issue that some people don't run Flash for one reason or another. 
> > Most of us have surrendered to Javascript, but that doesn't mean we
> > have to surrender to Flash.  It's not only about accessibility for the
> > disabled, it's about accessibility for people who don't want to run
> > non-free software.
> Well, Flash is only going to increase as it's perfect for creating interfaces to
> the backend server side technology. If you disable Flash in the future, you're
> going to eliminate some pretty important website functionality, on some
> big websites.
> BTW Flash technology is OPEN Source, it's NOT proprietary. Too much is said
> that's not accurate regarding Flash.

There is another issue that I can see with flash (and please correct
me if I'm not accurate :-) ) which is the monolithic, binary nature of
the files - in fact this leads to two issues:

Take for example the website http://www.ultimaterally.com .
The main page is a flash file http://www.ultimaterally.com/swf/home.swf
which contains lots of bullshit animation and a few navigation links.
Extracting the few bytes of useful data (the navigation links'
targets) requires the downloading of 397,387 bytes; with an HTML page
one would only download the HTML, as images and animations and sounds
would be separate files whose downloading can be either blocked or

The flash file then requires processing by software capable
of decoding its format - ie. specialised, you can't just hack
something together using grep and sed.

The bandwidth issue is a pain for dialup users and for broadband
users with a metered connection, especially if the metering involves

The opacity issue is a pain for anyone trying to do any processing on
the flash content, such as URL extraction or advert blocking.


Be kind to pigeons
Get my GPG key here: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0x21C61F7F

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