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?
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?
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.