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Flash done right: Flashforward2001 finalists

By haiiro in MLP
Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:51:24 AM EST
Tags: Internet (all tags)
Internet

The finalists for this year's Flashforward Film Festival have been chosen, and there's some truly excellent work up for awards.


Flashforward2001 takes place in July, and the Film Festival aspect covers several categories - from games to navigational interfaces to cinematic shorts, with five finalists in each category. If you're feeling frisky, you can even vote for your favorites over the Web.

Some standouts for me include Swordsman (simple, original and marvelously well-executed) and Among the Clouds (whimsical and oddly sad), both of which are games from Orsinal.com, as well as P A R K (a minimally interactive piece from vectorpark) and the intriguing navigation scheme presented by CreativeEdge.

Enjoy.

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Flash done right: Flashforward2001 finalists | 29 comments (25 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
Flash is undervalued (3.66 / 3) (#1)
by John Milton on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:17:33 AM EST

Judging from the posts I see on the other site, a lot of people seem to hate flash. I'd think that free software supporters would love it. It's light, supports all platforms, and is an open standard. I really wish more advertisers would use it. They're usually smaller than animated gifs, and they're interactive.

The problem seems to be the misuse of them. I hate being locked out of a site, because I don't have the latest version of flash.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


JAVATM (none / 0) (#2)
by delmoi on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:22:54 AM EST

Flash is evil, JavaTM is superiour in every way. Flash must die and be replaced by a vector animation API for JavaTM

Those who oppose the force of JavaTM must perish! PERISH.

let me go find my medicne....

[ Parent ]
Eeek Java no! (none / 0) (#3)
by John Milton on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:29:08 AM EST

In my opinion Java is evil. Flash is elegant. I'd love to see Flash integrated into KDE themes. It would also be nice if you could use flash animations for your wallpaper.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Flash as Wall Paper (none / 0) (#8)
by nospoon on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 02:47:46 AM EST

Windows 2000 using Active Desktop I have Flash html page with animated menus and links to important things, works great!



"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no spoon."
"There
[ Parent ]
do you... (none / 0) (#10)
by ti dave on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:16:23 AM EST

have a copy of your page posted anywhere where we can see it?

Cheers,

ti dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Flash pages (none / 0) (#16)
by nospoon on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:32:22 AM EST

I have a flash page at lostinthematrix.org. It doesn't have any links or anything - it's just something I put on there until I figure out what to do with that domain. An older version of my desktop menu is at my personal site. Some of the links don't work and it is pretty cheasy, and stole from one of the examples that come with version 5, but the one I have on my desktop is better. With intra and inter net links and also most often used programs linked, etc. I need to get around to updating the one at my personal site...



"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no spoon."
"There
[ Parent ]
oops (none / 0) (#17)
by nospoon on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:37:07 AM EST

Somehow it links back to the parent comment instead of my site. Sorry about that.



"Do not try and bend the spoon. That's impossible. Instead, only try to realize the truth."
"What truth?"
"There is no spoon."
"There
[ Parent ]
Java is BROKEN (none / 0) (#5)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 12:46:19 AM EST

Sorry, Flash is superior in just about every way on the client side of things. You don't know pain until you try to get a nice applet running on all browsers. Flash, for the most part, just works. In addition, Flash authoring tools mean that you don't need to be a coder to make something pretty or useful. Where is the "JavaForward 2001" contest? Aside from a few demos, I haven't seen anything remotely comparable in Java.

[ Parent ]
javaforward (none / 0) (#27)
by delmoi on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:43:43 PM EST

I don't know, I thought most of the flashforward stuff presented was pretty lame.

Anyway, you don't in theory need to be a coder to use java the way flash is being used. A tool like flash could easily be created that outputed .class files rather than .swf files.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
one more thing (none / 0) (#28)
by delmoi on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:45:37 PM EST

Tools like that do exist. Corel had one out immediately after Java was first put out called 'barrista' or something like that. There hasn't been much demand, of course, because flash has taken up so much precedence.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
[ Parent ]
There are some (none / 0) (#29)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 08:11:53 PM EST

But in general they aren't guaranteed to work on as many browsers -- it's a futile task trying to compete with Flash in Java and most of the early authoring efforts (some of which were quite ambitious) have disappeared or become discontinued. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that the Java-based file format/tools you use aren't more restrictive than Flash. (Look at it this way: if you're going to write an authoring system/player in Java, why not do it in C as a plugin and not crash the end user's machine?)

Flash's player has been highly optimized and is an amazingly fast software renderer. You aren't going to get that with Java's AWT, nor do many people have Java2D. I don't think Microsoft is all that interested in keeping the end user up to date with all the latest client-side Java features either.

It's also a big hassle for the user to upgrade the Java runtime (weighing in at 10MB+ last time I checked). Flash upgrades automatically with a <500K file and uses way less system resources. Java is simply an unweildy mess on the client side for a variety of reasons, but basically because it's trying to be a whole platform rather than just a multimedia player -- of course Flash is going to kick its butt. <BR>
Anyways, if you want to see a much more comprehensive list of good Flash design, check this out.

[ Parent ]
Flash is NOT an open standard (4.50 / 4) (#9)
by tnt on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 03:20:27 AM EST

In April 1998 Macromedia published the specification to the SWF data format (commonly called Flash). But that was for Flash 4.

There is a new version of Flash -- Flash 5 -- and AFAIK Macromedia has not opened it up. So, seeing as Flash is infact not an open standard, it would be wise for free and open source developers not to make it an integral part.

A similar technology, SVG, exists; which is infact (unlike Flash) an open standard. And many free and open source projects do support this technology. Also, (when SVG gets supported by the main browsers) SVG is expected to take over from HTML (on the Web). [One of the main uses for HTML on the Web today is to build User Interfaces. But HTML is a very poor language for doing this; it was never designed for it. SVG is better suited (than HTML) for this type of thing. ]



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
It IS an open format (5.00 / 2) (#11)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:28:56 AM EST

You can get it here.

[ Parent ]
here too (none / 0) (#19)
by John Milton on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 02:18:49 PM EST

www.openswf.org is very informative.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
There is only Flash 4 stuff there (not Flash 5) (none / 0) (#22)
by tnt on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:36:42 PM EST

At www.openswf.org, you will only find documentation on Flash 4 (not Flash 5 -- which is the latest version). Although Macromedia did open the Flash 4 standard, they did not open the Flash 5 standard. (With Flash 5, you have to agree to a license agreement, first, before you can get the spec.) And thus, Flash is NOT an open standard.



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
It is NOT open because of the license (none / 0) (#21)
by tnt on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 04:30:50 PM EST

If Flash was truely an open standard, then I (and everyone else) would NOT have to be bound to a license agreement first! (When I want to see the HTML spec (or XML spec, or SVG spec, etc), the W3C does not make me agree to a license agreement first. If I want to see the PNG spec, I don't have to agree to license agreement either.)

Infact, because of this license agreement, the author of Ming -- a Flash output library supporting Flash 5 -- was forced to reverse engineer it... instead of simpley reading the spec (because he couldn't agree to the terms of the license agreement).



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (none / 0) (#23)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 05:18:10 PM EST

He had a really good reason for it too (from his FAQ):

Q: Is Ming related to the Macromedia(r) Flash(tm) file format (SWF) SDK?

A: Nope. I didn't really feel like being bound to the terms of their license, whatever those are (couldn't make much sense of the legalese, really), so this has been written from scratch using open documentation.


Use of the player SDK/source is more restrictive than simply reading about how to build SWFs, but that has more to do with creating a fully compliant player.

[ Parent ]
Also (none / 0) (#24)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 05:24:39 PM EST

Flash is a fact of life. Get over it, it's here, it works well. It's a tool that saves a heck of a lot of creative people a tremendous amount of money, and a lot of people like it. Boycotting it is just stupid.. and frankly not gonna happen. If Linux users boycott Flash, you're only going to cripple your own platform.

[ Parent ]
Never said boycott (none / 0) (#25)
by tnt on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 06:51:40 PM EST

Well, I never said boycott it. It is just that I think (free and open source developers) giving SVG (an open vector standard) primary support (and making Flash secondary) is wiser. (And that seems to be what is being done.)

I generally prefer open standards, because it allows all players in the field -- the developers, the users, the companies, etc -- to be equal (and gives noone the upper hand). (Instead of being at the whim of one business. There has been many corporations, time and time again, who have demonstrated that we can't rely on the to be a benevolent dictator. And that when push comes to shove, they'll put their interests first.)

Sure the Macromedia tools are very helpful and useful to artists. But if SVG becomes the defacto standard vector based graphics data format (like Flash currently is) Macromedia will have no problem moving their tools to support SVG as its primary format (instead of Flash). (The tool and the data format are two seperate things.) So this issue does not really affect artists.



--
     Charles Iliya Krempeaux, B.Sc.
__________________________________________________
  Kuro5hin user #279

[ Parent ]
SVG support would be good (none / 0) (#26)
by spacejack on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:41:07 PM EST

I just can't believe how long it's taking to get supported in browsers. AFAIK, it's not all that complex. But it certainly would be nice for very low-bandwidth, large, high-resolution images.

[ Parent ]
Even more... (none / 0) (#15)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:30:37 AM EST

You can get the sourcecode to the C++ API that allows you to interface with Flash. For free, as long as you tell them your project and other stuff.

[ Parent ]
Fun game (none / 0) (#13)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 06:50:44 AM EST

I like Swordsman. What I find is that it's best to get into the habit of clicking on your character after killing each person, so it's second-nature to jump before each revenge-shuriken. And I find being a little patient with letting your enemy get closer pays off well, so you have less misses since the enemy is closer.

Flash done Right. . . (1.00 / 2) (#14)
by abdera on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 07:26:34 AM EST

. . . just seems like a contradiction of terms to me.

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol

flash done too big. (none / 0) (#18)
by garlic on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 08:58:28 AM EST

I have a cable modem. After waiting 4 minutes, the movies hadn't loaded, and continued to play annoying "wait until it loads" loops. To me, that isn't done right.

On the other hand, I did play almost all the games. While the flash was pretty good, especially on spider, The games themselves were actually kinda dumb (click on the cows?) or hard to control correctly (how do I keep control of the spider if I have to let go of the mouse button to make him jump?)

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.

Perhaps based on when you visited them? (none / 0) (#20)
by haiiro on Thu Jun 21, 2001 at 02:59:23 PM EST

I'm also on cable, and I had no loading issues with the movies.

I agree that some of the games weren't particularly inventive, but taken as a whole I think there was a lot of good stuff up for one's perusal.

I hated the spider game, despite how pretty it was. You can make the spider jump just by clicking under it, but that doesn't mesh well with the whole "swing it around on the webline" thing for me either.



[ Parent ]
Flash done right: Flashforward2001 finalists | 29 comments (25 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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