Friday, March 23, 2007

Gone in a Flash

The problems I described with Flash in my last post were partially sorted out.

However, my confidence in Flash (which had taken years to warm up to) is completely gone.

I saw on Adobe's site that according to various studies, roughly 90-95% of the population had at least Version 8 of the free Flash player.

First of all, I find these figure a bit dubiously high. The other problem is for those users that choose to not upgrade. And there are some users that don't upgrade due to download restrictions at work, personal paranoia about downloading anything from the Net, or just too busy to do it even though it only takes a moment.

For those that don't upgrade, they can either get a broken site or you can set up a sniffer to send them to a static page version, but then the user isn't getting a top experience and two versions of the material in different formats now have to be maintained. Or you can send them to a page asking them either to upgrade Flash or go to a static page version. This last option seems the best, but then you still have all the problems of the second option, and the user's first impression is diminished - they may even click away.

Judging from my recent problems with Flash, I suspect there may be more problems than is commonly acknowledged.

So here is my request of you, gentle reader, please let me know what you think of Flash? Is it safe enough to use on a homepage?

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