Firefox and WebKit browsers are currently the only browsers that support CSS animation, but we’ll take a look at how we can easily make these ads also function in other browsers (which I’ll affectionately refer to as 18th century browsers). However, don’t expect perfect support for all browsers (specifically IE 7 and lower) when experimenting with modern CSS techniques.
For most end-users, the debate over Flash is largely a debate about web video. Yes, Flash is used in other ways — for web-based games and ever-decreasingly in website design — but thanks in large part to YouTube, Flash is most commonly associated with web video. Web video is overwhelmingly encoded in H.264. Not only is the H.264 codec the default encoding setting for practically every video service online, it is also by and large the default codec for raw video from digital video cameras.
The chi-web and sig-ia mailing lists are two email based discussion groups on the topics of web usability, design and human computer interaction (the later with a heavier emphasis on information architecture). To subscribe to chi-web, read the info page or to get a better flavor for what happens there, use its full searchable archive. Alternatively, you can join sigia-l from here or view the sigia-l archive . Using the archives for each mailing list, I've compiled a list of the summary postings from useful threads, and a few personally selected favorite postings. Please note: my list below is not an exhaustive list of summary postings. I just picked the ones I found most salient and valuable for reference. Also, these summaries are collections of contributing posts: they are a mixture of opinions and commentary, with some references to reports, usability data, websites or books.
I get to see and play with a lot of really cool AIR applications (even when they’re still being developed). Every now and then I come across an app that totally ignores any best practices or usability rules. AIR provides developers with a lot of features that could potentially annoy users if not used wisely. I thought it was a good idea to write this article. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use these features, I just want you to think about them before you add them to your application.
I think podcasting is powerful because it gives us the opportunity to reach people in ways we cannot with blogs and websites. Don't get me wrong, blogs and sites have their place. But let's face it, people have information overload! It's often a choice between reading your blog and the 15 other things they need to read. But with podcasts, people tell me that they listen via their iPods while in the gym. They burn them to CD and listen in their car during their commute. They listen on their computer with a headset or speakers.
The HTML5 VIDEO element is already supported by most modern browsers, and even IE has support announced for version 9. There are many advantages of having video embedded natively in the browser (covered in the article Introduction to HTML5 video by Bruce Lawson), so many developers are trying to use it as soon as possible. There are a couple of barriers to this that remain, most notably the problem of which codecs are supported in each browser, with a disagreement between Opera/Firefox and IE/Safari. That might not be a problem for much longer though, with Google recently releasing the VP8 codec, and the WebM project coming into existence. Opera, Firefox, Chrome and IE9 all have support in final builds, developer builds, or at least support announced for this format, and Flash will be able to play VP8. This means that we will soon be able to create a single version of the video that will play in the VIDEO element in most browsers, and the Flash Player in those that don't support WebM natively.
Only six years ago the web did not support graphics and CD-ROM based games asked users if they had 4Mb of memory on their computer with possible hard drive space of 20Mb to play any games. Today, oh heck, that seems archaic.
The US National Science Foundation has established a program to create a National Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education Digital Library (NSDL). One of the subsidiary NSDL libraries under development is the National Civil Engineering Educational Resources Library (NCERL). The first phase of NCERL is the creation and collection of digital resources in three areas of civil engineering—geotechnical (soil), rock, and water engineering (GROW). The concept of interactivities guides the design, development, and evaluation efforts of the GROW digital collection. This article describes the salient features of GROW, defines and discusses interactivities as an emerging, integral part of teaching and learning in civil engineering education. Interactivities take place at three distinct levels: the information resource, the collection, and the context. Very simply, the concept of interactivities can be defined as the emphasis on structured representations of interactive multimedia resources. Additionally, resources are designed with rich learning tasks and organized in pedagogical collections supplemented with contextual information. Preliminary evaluation of GROW-NCERL using interactivities is briefly described.
Director, which hit the scene way back in 1988, was always considered the ultimate multimedia authoring tool. Then the Web came along and Shockwave, a format that translated Director projects for the Web, was born. It was pretty wowie in its day (circa 1995), but the size of Shockwave files, along with the browser plugin users needed to see them, really slowed Shockwave down. Enter Flash's SWF format, which was designed solely for the Web so it was faster and easier to use than Shockwave. And the rest is history: Flash is everywhere, and whipper-snapper Web developers are all, 'Shockwave who?' But Shockwave has its uses. Flash may be better than ever these days, but you can still outgrow it. Say you need better video performance, or you want to create a game or educational tool that uses a joy stick. Or maybe you're looking for the depth of 3D animation. When it comes to interactive projects in the non-Web world (yes, it's true, there is life outside the Web) — such as CD-ROM games, educational materials, reference books, and presentations — sometimes Flash just isn't enough. If you're tackling a big-league, off-Web project, or a particularly intricate website, then perhaps it's time to take another look at Macromedia's Director MX.
Ajax and Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) have revolutionized the way users interact with Web sites. However, documenting the design of any page that uses Ajax is a challenge, because the page--and, more importantly, components on the page--can have different states, depending on how users interact with the page's components.
Macromedia Flash is a popular animation application that can produce some striking special effects. In professional web sites, Flash must be used effectively instead of simply for novelty. Business applications of Flash can advertise a product or showcase a skill-set. Educational applications can use Flash to provide multimedia instruction. Entertainment applications of Flash include games and cartoons.
Many Websites that use Flash could be optimized to load much more quickly than they currently do. By breaking up one large .swf into multiple smaller .swf files, you can decrease the time it takes your site to load, while at the same time making the site easier to manage. This article will look at how to break your Website into multiple .swf files, and discuss why it's a good idea.
Many organizations are hesitant to deploy streaming media on their sites due to the fact they don’t want to deal with the performance or support issues that may crop up. But those downsides need to be weighed against the true business benefits that accrue from streaming media deployments. In a recent primer, Adobe offered these top five business benefits of streaming media.
Out there in the WWW there are thousands sites using flash for their needs. But the majority sites are not in this list. Let's summarize some facts about flash usage on YOUR web site. After that it's you will have to decide: to use or not to use.
Scaling, 2-D style, cycle-free motion, and heavy strokes. They’re not just web design trends any more. Join Olson on a cultural scavenger hunt as he tracks the ways Flash design techniques have crept into other media.
The reason to use Macromedia Flash is usually to provide a solution or to satisfy the need of the Web site owner. Typically, Flash is used to create a company image through animations and special effects in the splash page or even throughout the site, establish better user understanding through demonstrations and simulated processes, and/or entertain or educate through animated cartoons and games.
'How can you best embed Flash content?' It should be a simple question, but is likely to evoke a lot of different opinions and arguments, as each of the many available embedding techniques have their own pros and cons. In this article, I will look into the complexities and subtleties of embedding Flash content and examine the most popular embedding methods to see how good they really are.
The new Flash MX authoring environment and the equally new Flash Player 6 solve a few accessibility problems. Screen reader compatibility is the first Macromedia access milestone. Screen readers—which, by the way, are not called “voice browsers” or “text readers”—are software that reads web pages, and anything else on your computer, out loud. (I’d show you a picture, but apart from a few uninteresting configuration screens, these programs have no overt visible form.)