Friday, April 30, 2010

I don't like flash

I am not a big fan of anything flashy. I am talking flashy house, flashy car, flashy girl, flashy dress or flashy whatever. There has been a recent controversial subject in the news about flashy software between Apple and Abobe. Adobe is upset that flash is not supported on Apple's devices, such as the MAC which has partial support, but more importantly the iPod touch and the iPad which are taking the small computer world by storm. In Steve Jobs' open rant, he gives 6 very good reasons why this "flash" is out of fashion and I agree with him on most counts.

For me, my biggest complaint about flash is just that. It is all flash and little substance. Secondly, like Java Applets, in order to run the application, I need a plug-in. I hate plug-ins. I just want to install my browser and run my web pages and that is it. I can't count the number of times, while surfing the net I get a plug-in required message, causing me to quickly exit the site as fast as possible, even if it looks interesting. However, there have been some rare cases where "curiosity killed the cat" and I attempted to load the flash plug-in. Just my luck that in many of these cases I was invariably on a non windows platform, and that meant the flash player was never easy to install. Typically after a few frustrating attempts to manually install the software, I finally got the plug-in working, but the end result was pretty underwhelming. I got to look at some flashy ads pop-up on the screen or I got to see some pretty useless intro to a website. And as an added bonus, I had to wait several seconds for the flash app to load. Then after it loaded I was privileged enough see some meaningless oh so "neat" animation which contained little information to me of value. How many of you click the 'skip intro' button if the webmaster mercifully makes it available? I do or in many cases, I just leave the site completely. Why do web developers continue to think that producing a flash animation intro will draw people to their site?

Games, movies? well ok. I do see that there is at least some value in using flash to develop a game. Same goes for watching youtube videos, although their dependency on flash is changing already.  If you want to play games, then you will be on a PC loaded with some Windows home edition which usually has the flash plug-in working and pre-installed. So for that demographic of users, I say fine, load your flash and your other multimedia stuff and go for it.

But otherwise, flash provides me as a business and knowledge user with nothing more than just "FLASH" and you know what I think of that.