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04 Feb 2010, 04:25
Daniel (3 posts)

It isn’t much of a roundtable when everyone at the table is gaga over Apple.

Anyway, I found this unsupported quote from Marcus S. Zarra to be bizarre: “Companies need to realize that Flash is a terrible tech and move away from it.” After reading that, go check out Mr. Zarra’s home page: (as of 3 February 2010, it uses Flash).

Flash has been sorely abused (Flash banners, ads, etc.), but I can’t think of another viable technology for presenting certain kinds of visuals cross-platform with minimum end-user consternation. I use Flash for a view into data in a Ruby on Rails app. The interface is standard jQuery and HTML, but the view of the 3D tree structure is Flash. If users don’t have Flash, the installation experience is as smooth and straightforward as any I’ve seen, even on Linux.

One of the primary arguments against Flash is that it is proprietary, but at least Adobe has taken some steps towards opening up. Apple is about as proprietary as they come…even though it owes its rebirth in part to FreeBSD.

04 Feb 2010, 12:52
Sean P. DeNigris (17 posts)

I feel abused by Flash any time it’s not really needed. A 3D view might be a perfect application, but when Pandora uses it for their player, making it impossible to automate it with applescript or via URL, for no apparent reason (all possible with DHTML), that’s just dumb. Similarly, when Safari Books changed from HTML to flash, making cut and paste a mouse-only operation with a pop-up menu, eliminating text reflow to fit my reading style (columns with huge fonts), and imposing other needless, workflow-interrupting limitations; for what - it’s online text, come on. Thank goodness Safari Books is a very responsive, customer-oriented organization, and quickly changed back due to customer outcry, and reemerged better than ever.

I think the lack of automation potential alone makes it a total no-go for power users, and for most uses it just gets in everybody’s way.

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