Re: [Jeff Covey @ Freshmeat] We Are Losing the Browser War

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Sun Mar 25 2001 - 19:55:45 PST

Adam Rifkin wrote:
> There is a war for the web, but it's not against who you think. No matter
> what you think of it, Flash is gaining ground. Web authors are using it for
> more and more things that are difficult or impossible to do with
> cross-browser DHTML. And in contrast to the elegant and open nature of HTML,
> Flash is very proprietary, very binary, and very presentation-friendly. So

I always felt this way until last year: Macromedia has 'opened' Flash
pretty effectively. The protocol is documented, the player is available
in source for porting to anything (as long as it still Only plays
standard Flash files), etc. Corel Draw 10 comes with R.A.V.E which can
produce Flash.

I have had Flash for Linux/Netscape for quite a while in fact.

While I'm not happy about it, I have seen some very well done Flash
sites (the "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" was one of the best) that
has perked my interest. Flash 5 supports mp3 audio now and all of the
Macromedia stuff has supported PNG's very well for quite a while now.

All platforms seem to be on an even footing with Flash. We could use a
free software version or alternative, but it's not really an issue in
Netscape vs. Explorer.

All browsers and HTML engines should have Flash builtin because they can
easily and it doesn't have an effective alternative yet. If I want it
badly enough in, say, QT, I could add it pretty easily since I can get
the source for the Flash player. No, it's not clean free software or
even completely open Open Source, but it's not completely proprietary

Of course sites often abuse capabilities like Flash. Quite a few sites
come up blank if you have Flash turned off which is quite stupid. There
should always be an alternative that contains all the information not
only for handicapped people, but for alternative access methods like
Palm, RIM, cell phone, voice browsers, etc. I've seen a number of hints
of laws being extended to enforce this.

> if you want to fight the real enemy, upgrade to a decent browser and
> "demand" the efficient use of standards. Then, check out some of the best
> Flash implementations and learn how to match them with standards-based HTML,
> CSS, and JavaScript.
> In the end only consumers - and the designers and engineers who give them
> what they want - can win. If developers want a standards-based web, then
> they must expand and improve the standards. Lowering consumer expectations
> is impossible, and a complete waste of time.
> -- Aaron at


Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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