Python - Web Display Technology

Sybren Stuvel sybrenUSE at
Sun May 21 23:20:34 CEST 2006

foxtree at enlightened us with:
> None of you seem to know what you are talking about.

That's not a way to make friends. I very well know what I'm talking
about. None of the issues I've raised are negated by what you say, so
every single one still stands.

> Flash also behaves consistently cross-browser, cross/platform

That's where you are wrong. Flash on Mac/MSIE behaves differently than
other platform/browser combinations.

There are also many browsers and platforms that can't use Flash. Even
though Flash is available for Linux, it isn't available for my Zaurus,
for instance.

> -- and most features cannot be disabled by the user.  (compare that
> to a user being able to turn off JS, or Java -- something often
> mandated in a corporate environment.)  It's either "all on" or "all
> off."

And in many corporate environments, it's off.

> Flash has such a large install base, that it could be argued it is
> the most widely available platform for delivering media-rich
> "applications" over the web.

True, but 99.9% of all Flash usage is more an annoyance than truely
useful and "rich".

> (And code does not involve anywhere near the same level of attention
> to kludges and workarounds that one would have to use to replicate
> similar feature -- where possible -- in different browsers and
> browser *versions.*)       --

ActionScript is a horrible klidge it itself. Don't try to portrait it
as something else.

> Not to sound like I work for MM/Adobe, but, here's what the Flash
> Player can do at *run time*:

When should it do that if not at run time? At compile time?

> Flash can render text -- w/ custom-defined and packaged fonts.  (not
> possible in a browser!)  It can apply a limited set of CSS to the
> rendered text, BTW.

But when using my scrollwheel to scroll the page it is used on, my
browser stops scrolling when the mouse is over such a flash file. Very

> Flash can load/parse/serialize/send XML.

So can JavaScript.

> Flash can POST and GET a variety of data  (true, it may access
> browser controls to manage this.)

So can HTML.

> Flash can access you webcam, allowing you to create your own video
> chat/IM app.

So can NetMeeting and many others.

> Flash can load and render jpegs, gifs(v8), and pngs(v8) -- and in
> version 8, composite all that w/ vector graphics (+video?) -- *and,*
> sample the resulting display pixel by pixel.  (passing that data
> back to a server would allow dynamic creation of a jpeg or gif.)

But version 8 is not even available for Linux.

> Flash 8 has a new "file upload" ability that goes beyond what a
> browser is capable of:   You can *multi-select* files, filter files
> by type or size, and have programatic access to the state of the
> upload.  It accesses an Operating System GUI control to do this --
> and  I have tested that these features work in MSIE, Moz FF, and
> Safari on OSX. ***

But version 8 is not even available for Linux.

> Flash can #animate# stuff!!!

So can GIF and MNG.

> Flash is like a 2 MB download that works in almost *every* browser
> out there.

Not on Linux/x86, nor Liinux/ARM, nor Linux/MIPS, ....

> (like: a built-in interpreter for a
> late-version-EcmaScript-compliant scripting language -- that, in
> many ways, is far more capable than what is available w/ JavaScript
> in most browsers!)

But it is horrible to work with. I can know, I've had to develop quite
a few advanced Flash websites for my work. My work even went to the
high folks at Disney. I don't need to brag, but apparently I do need
to show you I *do* know what I'm talking about.

> *** This feature can be used for a web-based CMS!  It would
> blow-away anything (non-Java) now available for managing and
> uploading assets.

LOL I can write an application that runs circles around Flash. And it
would have the advantage it isn't web-based either - yes, I see that
as an advantage. Web-based is overrated.

I ask of you to take a look at the serious issues many people have
with Flash. It's not just geeks and nerds that are annoyed by
non-functioning scrollwheels, badly designed GUIs, and badly
searchable websites. People that are less familiar with the web are
even more annoyed, but are less capable of expressing that in a
structured and well-defined way, because they simply lack the jargon.

The problem with the world is stupidity. Not saying there should be a
capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the
safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself? 
                                             Frank Zappa

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