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   RE: [xml-dev] XML, Rich Internet Apps

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> "From what I've seen, there aren't any good competitors for Flash.  What
other products for use on the web do timelines and have multiple layers
for graphics, text, and music?  Does DHTML+SVG really do this?"

A very good, but not as widely accepted on the Web, competitor for Flash is also a Macromedia product -- Director.  Director has all the features that you mentioned plus more (eg. 3D).  Too, Director can be used to produce Interactive Web deliverables, but like Flash, it requires a plug-in.  Why has Director not recieved the same accolades (and bashing) as Flash?  Not sure.  Perhaps it is because it is hardly encountered on the Web.  Director is primarily used for more complex multimedia authoring, i.e. CD-ROMs.  One final note, Flash (swf) files can be directly imported into Director and work seamlessly as part of a Director project.




 Empowering You <pam@empoweringyou.com> wrote:

>It's odd how Macromedia has quietly out-Microsofted Microsoft here

Microsoft has never been into graphics in a big way. Macromedia has
been into graphics from the very beginning - Freehand, Director, and
Authorware are very old products. Flash is just an extension of the
development of these products. A very good extension.

I have been trying to figure out a way to do timeline functionality in
Microsoft products for many years and had great hopes for Microsoft in
the early 1990s when I went to their Multimedia boot camp. But from
what I've seen, all they have produced is low-level products (the type
for C developers), nothing I could use to quickly produce end user
multimedia. Whenever they bought other companies' graphic products,
Microsoft never put much R&D into them. I wish they had, if only to
prod Macromedia. My experience with Macromedia is that they take many
versions to fix bugs and are slow to implement suggestions. Microsoft
sure could have helped to push them in this area with a little
competition, but didn't.

Adobe is the other competitor with similar products, but from what I've
seen they aren't as good as Flash. In my opinion Adobe's problem was
that they hated PCs and were a Mac company. They were slower to grow
because of their smaller customer base (high end graphic artists). They
went into the PC market kicking and screaming. It took them a few years
after that to hire decent PC people to work for them. I still think
their focus is professional graphic artists.

Flash is now a solid product. Since Macromedia bought Allaire Cold
Fusion they have cemented their commitment to non-proprietary
technologies. Their new action script is an indication of this. I
would expect to see them do a lot more to improve their products and
merge their products. However, if their past is any indication (even
their near past) then I would expect them to move slowly. I disagree
with someone's comment that they are moving fast.

From what I've seen, there aren't any good competitors for Flash. What
other products for use on the web do timelines and have multiple layers
for graphics, text, and music? Does DHTML+SVG really do this?

(This email is off-list. I am leaving out of town for 3 weeks. I had to
unsubscribe to xml-dev so my mailbox doesn't overflow. If you choose to
respond, please email me directly.)

Pam Ammond
Empowering You!

website: http://www.empoweringyou.com
Please check out the "Wow! Look At Windows XP" book I wrote at

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Champion [mailto:mc@xegesis.org]
Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 2:45 PM
To: [xml-dev]
Subject: Re: [xml-dev] XML, Rich Internet Apps

On Sat, 23 Nov 2002 10:48:15 -0800 (PST), m a r l o n . n e l s o n


> Anyway, i think it would serve much better if we were to concern
> ourselves more with the marriage of technologies, as opposed to the
> conflict(s) of good/bad dichotomies, etc.

Yup. I thought Tim O'Reilly's comment to the effect "explain why DHTML
is good and Flash is bad" was pretty thought provoking. As I understand

serious "rich internet applications" are a lot easier to write in a
portable way
with Flash than DHTML, even though flash is proprietary and DHTML is
standardized. On one hand, it's not a "problem" because XML is just the
data and doing what it is supposed to do. On the other hand, the
XML-based UI technologies such as XHTML+SVG+whatever seem to be losing
the mindshare race in a big way.

It's odd how Macromedia has quietly out-Microsofted Microsoft here :-)
One wonders how they got away with it. I guess the tried and true way
-- one little increment at a time, all the while denying the intent to
want to own
more than they already own. Oh yeah, and the tried and true "give away

the razor (browser plugin) and sell the blade (authoring tools)".

Given that Macromedia (unlike, ahem, others that come to mind) don't
seem to want to use their monopoly in one area to drag us kicking and
screaming into their future monopolies in other areas, what besides the
religious" objections are there to using Flash for rich internet apps?
main one that comes to mind is that I can sortof imagine DHTML+SVG
scaling to a mobile platform or porting to a brand new OS that
Macromedia hasn't gotten around to supporting yet. Others?

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-- m a r l o n . n e l s o n
-- W e b . D e v e l o p e r
-- San Francisco, CA
-- www.animantix.com
-- http://www26.brinkster.com/specter1

-- Our greatest enemy [threat], lies
-- hidden amongst those we trust most.

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