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Five Questions with John Crain concerning ActionScript

Author: JLB

Published On: October 23, 2008

When I started here at JLB as the full-time lead web developer, I was given a fairly clear and concise job description and list of duties for all JLB employees.  Unfortunately, for myself, one thing that was left off that list was writing blog entires.

You see, I’m a very analytical person.  I excelled in everything mathematics and science related.  God only knows how I made it by in the world of literature and essay-writing, but somehow I did it.  Regardless, I haven’t really written since the freshman year of my undergraduate studies.  While that was only 6 years ago, I’ve completely lost touch with and creative-writing abilities.

So what does all this mean and why is it blog-worthy?  Well, writing blogs here at JLB has been and will forever be the bain of my existence.  It’s the oil to my water, the kryptonite to my Superman, the Britney Spears to my Kevin Federline.  Because of this, the creative team here at JLB has decided to introduce a new monthly blog article, Five Questions with John Crain concerning…

Each month, five questions will be presented to me (I’m not the one making these up, trust me) that I will answer and post on this blog.  So without further adieu, I present:

Five Questions with John Crain concerning ActionScript

1. What is ActionScript?
ActionScript, currently at version 3, is the primary scripting language used by Adobe Flash platform.  Very similar to javascript, ActionScript is based on ECMAScript.  It was originally developed by Macromedia, which would be taken over by Adobe, in 1999.

2. What kinds of limitations does ActionScript have, as a programming language?
Perhaps the biggest limitation is that ActionScript typically cannot be used in a web setting without the user having the Adobe Flash Player plugin for his web browser.  ActionScript cannot be taken advantage of in situations in which a user is browsing via a mobile device or any browser lacking the Adobe Flash Player.

3. What are the benefits to using Flash on a website?
Flash allows for a more interactive user experience and like some javascript, allows for movement of text and other various objects on the page itself.  As of recent, Adobe has also developed a way to encode and embed video files into Flash so that file-sizes are drastically reduced compared to streaming Quicktime files.

4. What are the drawbacks to using Flash on a website?
Unfortunately, there are still quite a few devices that do not support the Adobe Flash Player yet (Apple iPhone?!) and therefore will not display any Flash files embedded into a website.  This is particularly a problem when a developer decides to create an entire website out of Flash.  Unless the developer has created a non-flash portion of the site, the user won’t be able to view the site at all!
Other drawbacks include file-size and cpu-load.  While Flash can reduce the size of streaming video, a Flash element is almost always larger than an HTML element.  This is why lots of sites that contain Flash have some type of preloader.

5. What are two of your favorite examples in which we’ve used Flash for JLB sites?
One of my favorite examples of Flash used on one of our sites, mainly due to sheer simplicity, is the 4th & Monroe site.  Flash can be used for a simple slideshow of images, but that can be easily expanded upon as seen in this example.
On the flip side, the Phil Joel / deliberatePeople. is primarily based on Flash.  This is a good example of how Flash can be used not only to compliment a website, but to actually present important information and give the user a more interactive, visually stimulating experience in the process.

It’s remarkable working with the team that treats your business they would their own with drive, innovation, humility and a shared love of bringing great things to the wonderful Franklin & Nashville community.


RED DOG WINE & SPIRITS – Nashville Web Design


“In the search of looking high and low for a Ecommerce website design firm, we came across JLB. They are now like a part of our family and strive to do all they can to take our sales and growth to a whole new level. We recommend JLB to everyone we come across looking for a solution to their website needs.”


Chad, BOWADX – Franklin TN Web Design

“JLB has been the driving force  that has launched our company into the media spotlight, gaining us publicity through a broad cross-section of business related media including new apps and interactive activity for our clients. We are moving forward with our second web design with JLB and will continue to make them part of our team.”


John, The Perch – Brentwood TN Web Design

“I started with JLB when they first opened fifteen years ago, when they redesigned a website for me.  They are my go-to company for anything to do with web sites. These guys are professional, talented, creative and an energetic team. I will always go to JLB first for my web design work. Thanks JLB.”


Phyllis, Carneros Winery – Nashville TN Web Design

We were having problems with our online brand and digital marketing. JLB was great. Worked through it with us, created an amazing presence and business is great. The staff at JLB is fantastic too. Friendly and always there for you.


Life Line Repairs – Nashville TN Web Design

I and all of us at Sports & Entertainment Nashville TN have been thrilled with the website you guys did for us, and especially the professional service and communication you guys have shown.


Sports and Entertainment – Nashville Web Design

We interviewed several web design firms, but found that JLB’s talented team was the most creative, innovative, and professional. Choosing JLB has been a great decision! We are fortunate to have JLB be a part of the BMC Metalwork’s future as we continue to enhance our business.


Jimmy, BMC – Franklin TN Web Design

“There were a number of website design companies in Nashville that would have done an adequate job for our company. The difference was that JLB wanted to be our partner and has been for 11 years. STAR Physical Therapy has been blessed to have them as a teammate.”


Regg Swanson, STAR – Franklin TN Web Design