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What is Flash, and Why Does Adobe Want It?

The Macromedia-Adobe deal made the front page of the Chronicle today. The Chronicle is the main local paper in San Francisco. In general, the article was encouraging to me. Especially that they mentioned delivering "digital content to the booming cell phone industry", early on in the article.

However, they really didn't seem to get what Flash is, let alone the other Macromedia products that we work with. The article actually said that the Flash Player is "used to view images and video". That's it! Sure does make Flash out to be a glorified slide projector and nothing else.

Since Flash is about to swim in a new pond, with all new fishes, perhaps it's time to revisit what Flash is...again.

I'll start, and I invite you to add your thoughts as well.

I use flash to develop educational software; to visualize science and math; to interactively visualize data; to communicate complex concepts to a wide audience. I design with it. I program with it. I play with it...


I use Flash to fund my gaming habits, materialistic as that is.

I use Flash to unsuccessfully fulfill a mesiah complex dream of making people's lives better.

I use Flash because everything else is boring.

...oh, you were serious? *ahem*

I use Flash to develop educational software professionally, and any other web application someone can dream up via contract. When I'm bored, I draw in it, and create various multiuser experiments.

I don't create banner ads.
I don't create floating Flash ads.
I don't create skip intros.
I don't create Flash websites.
I don't create Flashly logos.

Maybe in 4 years the press & general business industry will know what Flash did... until then, here's to hoping they catch up faster than the web browser industry evolves!

Flash is much more than a video player. It's the best tool available for truly interactive content on the web. Nothing else comes close--at least with speed of development, and flexability of your final end product.


The best summary of Flash I ever heard was from a 10-year old kid a while back: "it shows stuff". Couldn't have said it better myself.

I will add : "It shows moving stuff", it break the barrier between your desktop appplications and the Internet

"I use Flash to unsuccessfully fulfill a mesiah complex dream of making people's lives better."

LOL! Beautifully said.

I use Flash to help enable others to use Flash to more quickly build desktop applications, which would otherwise require a VB/C developer and a lot more time.

"it shows stuff"
Actually, your monitor does that ;)