We are of mixed minds in regards to Flash. Once you've learned to use it (the learning curve
is artificially high for us non-GUI-types and the documentation is not good), you can
create nice animations in a minimal amount of time. However, we've found that most Flash animations
hold users' interest for very little time. For example, we had considered a Flash-based home page.
NO! NO! NO! was the reaction. (Special thanks to John Baxter and Paul Steier.)
Watching any movie three times is enough, they told us. On the other hand, Flash-animated
buttons never go out of style. Check out our
Flying Armadillo button, which was implemented by a 13-year associate in less than an hour.
Three other problems with Flash: long load times, need for the plug-in, and (most importantly)
it doesn't play that nicely with HTML. (Wanna get that Flash button to line up nicely
on your HTML page? Sigh. Or, just get the non-Flash counter on the bottom to show up with
out Flash adding a scroll bar.)
Oh, and we are kinda happy about our year 2000
holiday card. Imagine how much better it would have been if we hadn't been dying of the flu when we were implementing it.
Computer-based technologies are evolving at an exponential rate. Just when we've figured out
what a buzzword means, what one particular technology is good for, either that technology
changes or else a new, improved technology emerges. Every choice has benefits and costs.
Specifications are promises; not every emerging toolset lives up to its promises. It takes
experience with a tool to learn what it does well and what it does not do well.
We have the experience.