Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Programming The Internet IT Technology

Flash Applications That Can Be Used Online and Off 346

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the not-just-for-shockwave-anymore dept.
General Voltron writes "Macromedia, Inc., the same people that brought you Flash, have done it again with a new product called Central. Central will allow users to more easily interact with information on the internet by also allowing them to interact with it offline. It will also allow developers to create and sell their own applications. See the press release." I'm not a big fan of Flash myself, but I realize it has its niche. This looks like something that Flash authors have been clamoring for.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Flash Applications That Can Be Used Online and Off

Comments Filter:
  • by jbellis (142590)
    "The people who brought you Flash have done it again."

    Dammit, Macro! I told you to use the litterbox next time!

  • Or does anyone else think Flash should die a quick and painful death? I have never seen Flash used in an application that wouldn't be more effective using javascript or simple HTML.
    • You haven't seen any good Flash animation then. Happy Tree Friends, or a good pile of the stuff at www.newgrounds.com comes to mind.
      • A distinction needs to be made between Flash navigation, and Flash for other purposes. Cartoons and games in Flash are great. If I hear about some cartoon or game or whatever, I go to the website, wait for it to download, and have a good time. OTOH, if I hear about some new product I don't want to hit their website, wait 30 seconds for crap to download, and then have a popup telling me to upgrade Flash. Bite me. Remember OQO [oqo.com]? The Flash on their site was such an impediment to obtaining information that

    • by KingAdrock (115014) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @01:57PM (#5608544) Journal
      The entertainment industry likes their sites, for the lack of a better word, "flashy." Flash enables graphic designers and non developer types to create sites that look good and contain little code.

      You can also create some decent little games with flash, which is hard to do using JScript and HTML.
    • If you ever want an application that is web based that truly looks the same on all resolutions and systems, look to Flash.

      Flash is excellent when it's implemented well. Or it's a freaking nightmare when it's implemented poorly. Guess you've never used an excellent implementation.
      • Re:It's just you. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MeNeXT (200840)
        Tell that to my Father in law who is pratically blind and still has his resolution set to 800x600. It has it's good points in entertainemnt but as a marketing tool, I think not. When I'm looking for something on the web I do not want to spent 10min going through flash in every site I visit. That is why I mostly skip it.


        Now, YTV for the kids, it's great and entertaining and before anyone corrects me YES YTV Flash is mostly advertising.

    • http://www.homestarrunner.com

      That's some pretty impressive stuff, you have to admit. I couldn't see this getting done very well with DHTML. Animation work, especially interactive anaimation, is the definate niche for Flash. It can be developed so cheaply and so quickly, loaded in any browser with a free plugin, and effortlessly distributed to billions via the internet. Perfect format.

    • You try writing cross-browser dhtml, js, and css that works in 4.0 browsers for a while. Now try doing it in Flash. Which took less time?

      I've taught both JavaScript and Flash at the local community collage. Flash does things simply that are a pain to accomplish in JavaScript. Of course, there is debate over wether these things should be done on a web page at all.

      For people that look at web design from a graphic design point of view, Flash is a godsend. Elements stay where you put them and you don't have t
      • You try writing cross-browser dhtml, js, and css that works in 4.0 browsers for a while. Now try doing it in Flash.

        And then you miss those of us who refuse to install Flash because we hate waiting through annoying Flash animations that are the "gateway" to a website. One way or another, somebody is not going to get the "effect" that you're looking for. If you really want to publish something that looks the same to absolutely everybody, I suggest either using pdf or mailing out direct mail....

    • Re:Is it just me (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kingpin (40003) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @02:05PM (#5608626) Homepage
      Since Flash 5, you've been able to parse XML documents, ie. read complex data into your flash application. So basically you have the 'rich media' available as interface, the HTTP protocol for communication with the server, and the ability to read arbitrary data into your application. On top of that, the flash plugin is installed and works on more than 90% of all browsers, windows, mac, unix.

      This could very well be the next big thing.

      Online multiplayer games already exist, personally I have a background in heavy server side development, now I'm creating a communication module for flash/backend, which is to be used within a 3D visual model of a large building. Users can rotate the building, click a room on any floor, book it, retrieve info etc. Try and make that more "effective" in HTML/JavaScript. Point and click is easier and more intuitive to the average user than drop-down, drop-down, type type, check, whatnot, click.
      • Re:Is it just me (Score:2, Interesting)

        by TonyZahn (534930)
        Mod the parent up please. I think the reason a lot of /.ers knock flash is because they associate it with annoying banner ads.

        The company I work for makes a fairly successful school-focused educational product (online and off), and we use Flash for our lessons because it's fairly easy to work with (a little limited at times, but getting better), and because you cen fit more content into less bytes with Flash than you can with just about anything else. Seriously, take a look at the .swf file format sometim
    • Or does anyone else think Flash should die a quick and painful death? I have never seen Flash used in an application that wouldn't be more effective using javascript or simple HTML.

      At work we have a full word processor that has template support, as well as drag'n'drop object support, and CVS support written in Flash.

      Lets see ya do that. I'm all for Flash when it's used intelligently.
    • Or does anyone else think Flash should die a quick and painful death? I have never seen Flash used in an application that wouldn't be more effective using javascript or simple HTML.

      First off, I'd mod you as a troll if I had the points. Do your research before you bash. Flash alone is simply for glitz and glamour.. which may be appropriate as long as it doesn't go over the top and affect the usability of a site.

      Developers (like myself) use Director to create web-based applications. A combination of di
    • "I have never seen Flash used in an application that wouldn't be more effective using javascript or simple HTML."

      I hate they way everybody generalizes.
    • really?

      Ok go to Joecartoon [joecartoon.com]

      now show me how to do that with javascript and HTML.

      thanks :-)
      • It looks like a comic book. Whoopee.
    • "Or does anyone else think Flash should die a quick and painful death?"

      Nope. If anything, I think it's exactly the tool the internet needs. The graphics are (usually) vectorized resulting in smooth resizing. A properly programmed Flash interface can result in far fewer page hits, thus optimizing traffic. Audio can be added. Though that's a double edged sword, it's more than can be said for HTML. It's pretty compact as well.

      As for it dying a quick and painful death, I think that's an ignorant point
      • Didn't the Beatnik plugin basically do that for any Web page: I recall playing with it when it came out, but it never seemed to go anywhere.
      • Flash should be replaced by a proper W3C standard, that way everybody can play without running closed code from Macromedia.

        Lo and behold, just such a thing exists!!!
        It's called Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) http://www.w3.org/TR/SVG/ [w3.org]

        Don't worry, you can still do all your stupid, annoying animated 'punch the monkey' type of nonsense, but at least your monkey is standard XML. And your audience can 'view-source' your monkey if they like, thus enabling a whole community of open-sourced monkey punching a

        • "Proprietary 'punch the monkey' things suck ass."

          Exactly what 'sucks ass' about them? You haven't given any reasons why it's bad that it's proprietary. Other than the potential to recieve karma for praising Open Source, what exactly is wrong with Macromedia providing this product?

          a.) WC3 is incredibly slow and hesitant to evolve the standard. That's why MS charges ahead with it's own stuff. If Mozilla or Opera were smart, they'd do it as well.

          b.) Macromedia, since it's made a business of it, has a go
          • WC3 is incredibly slow and hesitant to evolve the standard. That's why MS charges ahead with it's own stuff. If Mozilla or Opera were smart, they'd do it as well.

            Yes, the W3C is horribly slow, I agree, but to encourage the adoption of non-standard 'standards' is not a good thing. This is how we ended up having to code two complete version of sites, one for IE, and one for moz.

            I have no problem with Macromedia developing whatever it pleases. I *do* have a problem when I, as an end user, cannot access

    • Among other things, web-based games need flash! (or something similar). Waronline.net [waronline.net] is a really cool web-based real-time strategy game that uses Flash very effectively. This wouldn't work in HTML! When you need some fast, complex local interaction, HTML is just not enough, so you either use Flash or Java applets (usually too heavy).
    • It's hands-down the best way of doing animation on the internet. (Comparatively) good scripting language, vector graphics, good client support, etc. Even Tim Burton uses it for his animations.
    • I think Strong Bad and company over at www.homestarrunner.com [homestarrunner.com] would disagree with you. Yeah, flash gets abused horribly but in the hands of creative people some great stuff can be done with it.
    • My company makes e-learning applications in flash. It is really, by far, the best tool for this task. We can create (and code) highly interactive and complex simulations, from scratch, in weeks rather than months. Our clients can distribute the content to all of their staff without making people install software or printing cds. We can interact with databases for results tracking. We can store all the back end data in xml, or in an oracle database. There is simply nothing else capable of what flash is
    • Or does anyone else think Flash should die a quick and painful death? I have never seen Flash used in an application that wouldn't be more effective using javascript or simple HTML.

      1) Even seen any good games done in HTML and JS? (Yes, there are a few, but they have no audio and bad animation, if any.)
      2) HTML isn't always appropriate for non-browser environments (e.g. kiosks)
      3) Have you actually tried developing DHTML apps cross-broswer, cross-platform and cross-version? Flash is miles closer to Write Onc
    • Here you go: I wrote a Valentine to my wife in Flash.

      Drew a series of kanji characters, shape-tweened animations between them, added music, fadein/fadeout text, etc. Took about 3 hours total, most of which was deciding on what to say and getting decent drawings. (I've got my tablet on order: it's a bitch doing pen art with a mouse.)

      If you could do something similar in Javascript or (D)HTML in less than a week I will eat the CD I burned it to.

    • Marketrac [nyse.com]. It's the only interesting app I've seen.
  • It will also allow developers to create and sell their own applications.

    It's about time a technology company included this great feature in a product!
  • Now I can have Pop up ad's bother me when I'm offline now.

    It's bad Enough I had to put up with that stupid Harry Potter Owl flying all over a webpage. Now it can fly all over my desktop too.
  • Is there any kind of Flash player which will allow you to blaock features, or prevent the blocking of features?

    A lot of the Flash ads out there will allow you to right-click and bring up a menu that you can use to turn off the animation. But apparently the app can disable that option so you can't stop the ad. Is there anything that allows you the kind of control that Mozilla does with Javascript and such?

    • What's desperately needed in the Flash player context menu is a simple Mute option. I'm assuming Macromedia trusted authors to put in a mute widget, but apparently most flash authors of annoying banner ads cannot be bothered to put it in all the time. I don't like visiting Yahoo to have it blare out some noisy ad for a Honda Element when I'm listening to music.
  • Does this mean I can finally save all my favorite Homestar Runner [homestarrunner.com] cartoons for off-line enjoyment as well? Will wonders never cease?
    • As it turns out, Apple's QuickTime Player works great, at least with whatever Flash stuff the brothers Chaps do. Just download the .swf files and open them in QTPlayer.

      I haven't tried this in Windows, though.
  • by B3ryllium (571199)
    Too bad I missed first-post, ah well:

    Way of the Exploding Stick [beryllium.ca]

    If you're careful, you can even play it offline! heheh :)
  • I can think of only three reasons to use flash for interractive web applications:
    1. You only need to write it once.
    2. You don't need to test it for each browser.
    3. It automatically resolves differing resolution issues--if you have a high or low resolution screen the flash movie can automatically compensate.

    Those three reasons save me at least half of my development time and headaches.

    BTM
    • OK, here are some more.

      It supports streaming media (audio and video) in a smart, reliable, cross-platform way without hosing up anybody's system settings or trying to hijack anybody's computer (as do Microsoft, Apple, and Real). If you'll look closely you'll see that MSNBC.com is using Flash audio instead of Microsoft -native cruft.

      Here's a surprise: It does a great job of separating content from presentation. I can create a highly complex basemap that needs to be downloaded only once, then add/update/plo
  • by Feztaa (633745)
    Another proprietary file format that I can't view with my linux box! Hooray!
  • There are lots of stand-alone Flash movies -- kiosks can use them, for one thing. Gliddon, the paint company, sells a little Flash application for helping you choose paint colors in a variety of different rooms. (Costs maybe five bucks at the Home Despot.)

    Central isn't about "offline" use; it sounds more like a "distributed" Flash. You can use Flash on- or offline now, but it's set up to act like a discrete, enclosed app, and basically you can go to "external" sites, or other Flash apps, through urls. The

    • There are lots of stand-alone Flash movies -- kiosks can use them, for one thing.

      You're missing the point. This will allow Flash apps to run, collect data, and then connect back to their home server later to upload the user's data and download the server's response. For example, think stock quotes: when Central runs, it would connect to the stock quote server, grab the updated quotes for the user's portfolio, and hang on to them. When the user runs that particular Central app, whether he's online or of
  • by g4dget (579145) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @02:26PM (#5608802)
    Sun originally promised a platform for delivering client apps over the web. AWT may have been limited, but it was way better than anything Macromedia is producing.

    But today, Flash ships with just about every browser and there is far more dynamic web content in Flash than in Java. Why? Because Macromedia didn't unnecessarily taunt Microsoft ("we are going to make Windows irrelevant"), because they worked hard to get Flash shipped with everything, and because they focused on authoring tools. And, strangely enough, Macromedia graphics works on Linux, while Sun keeps complaining and changing their implementation.

    Sun, in contrast, did everything they could to get into Microsoft's cross-hairs, they didn't fix their bugs, they kept changing their strategies, and they never produced decent authoring tools. Now, Java is mostly a server-side technology. But that's not a particularly secure niche, since Java-style sandboxing is needed much less on the server than for downloadable applications, and because there are lots of alternatives on the server.

    I don't think Macromedia will be successful at turning Flash into an application platform. But they sure are trying, and they are a lot more successful with worse technology than Sun with Java.

    • There isn't any sandboxing with Java applications. Only the applets that run in an applet viewer (like a browser). Java on the server allows people to write secure code (see this article [securityfocus.com]).
      • There isn't any sandboxing with Java applications.

        That's my point: Java applications don't need sandboxing, but the Java runtime still has complete support for it built in.

        Java on the server allows people to write secure code

        Yes, and so does just about any other language other than C or C++. While client-side sandboxing was something genuinely new in a shipping environment in 1996, there is nothing special or new about Java's security for server-side applications.

      • mbbac wrote: "There isn't any sandboxing with Java applications. Only the applets that run in an applet viewer (like a browser). "

        This isn't technically correct. The SecurityManager in Java can be configured to allow or disallow many actions, not all of which are even enabled by the defaults you get with a standalone Java application.

        Granted, for applications, you specify the security manager at JVM startup, but still, if you're not writing a networked app, your script can tell the JVM not to allow those
    • It's not so much that Flash competes with Java as it does compliment Java (and .NET). The solutions currently being explored is to have Flash and HTML on the front end with Java on the server back end. I think this combo could be really powerful and takes advantage of the strengths of each platform.

      In fact, Macromedia did a Flash + Java "Petstore" application to show off this exact solution. See:

      J2EETM: Behind the Pet Market From Macromedia [sun.com]
      Macromedia Pet Market Blueprint Application [macromedia.com]
      Macrome [macromedia.com]
      • The original poster's point was that this is exactly the thing that client-side Java applets were delivering several years ago, before the big MS/Netscape breakdown.

        Its this same ability, in its more robust form, that scared MS so much as to prompt its actions against MS/Sun. (along with Scott McNealy's taunting, of course. Shame on him to believe that he could hide behind the protection of the law...)

        As a side note, how fully-featured is Flash? Can I do encryption? Query databases? Communicate to re
        • Macromedia is trying to add just what is needed for client-side applications, but no more. For example, it does have database bindings. I don't think it is very heavy-duty, but, then, it doesn't have to be; it's more important that it downloads fast and can be included in every browser distribution.

          Don't get me wrong: I think Flash is pretty awful. But they are handling the marketing and business side better than Sun.

    • Size does matter (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Featureless (599963) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:51AM (#5613503) Journal
      All of your reasons sound plausible (except for "unnecessarily taunting Microsoft" - I think of it more as the reverse). But I don't think any of them matter compared to one simple factor you did not mention: size.

      Flash player has historically been ~250k. This is downloaded in under a minute even on a modem. It adds little to the size of any web browser. You get a lot of bang for that 250k. Flash is very pretty and in some ways powerful (also very awful to author, but that's another post altogether). IE's ActiveX autoinstall was shooting it out around the world - even without anyone's help it would become ubiquitous. But of course it's also very attractive and easy to bundle.

      Compare this with Java. 1.0 was rather small - in the neighborhood of a megabyte, if I recall, or even less? It's been a while. Small enough that Netscape could package it without committing suicide and Microsoft followed suit. 1.1 was a couple of times larger. The browser folks bit the bullet. Barely.

      Java 1.2 finally arrived. The English-only JRE weighed in at an appaling 5.3 megabytes. Bigger than most web browsers! This insured that it would never see the inside of an internet-mass-distributed client. Only Microsoft could have saved it, by putting it on the Windows CD. And they did! But they were unable to resist embracing and extending it. By making MS Java incompatible with Sun Java, they had deliberately violated their license (in order to "pollute" the Java market), and Sun sued them for it, halting matters on that front for some years.

      Fast forward to 2002. English only JRE 1.4 is now weighing in at 8.2 megabytes! Flash 6 is topping out at... ~500k?

      Sun gave up on the web client. It was probably a wise move. With Netscape dead, Microsoft was the only game in town, and the only way Microsoft was going to play fair was if a few judges teamed up to force them to. Java wasn't a vector art tool with a tacked-on scripting language... it was a huge and growing general purpose computing platform, and it had grown too big to distribute "casually" over the net... In their defense, Java was designed to meet vastly different needs than Flash. It's much more powerful. But that was the price they paid.

      In general, I thought it was possible to do much better in terms of size and initialization time. Beyond spending more time tuning I suggested at the time that they modularize the system; use a small Java framework (~200k) that can download various parts of the API on-demand; then you can do version tagging and the whole thing looks more like ActiveX (or perhaps a Shockwave XTRA) where you reference a package and a version number and it gets transparently pulled from a URL if the client doesn't have it. This way at least users won't have to pull megabytes of CORBA and JDBC and three different GUI API's just to do some vector art or a little stock ticker widget, and there's the chance the whole thing can be doable for real users at large. But it boils down to big scary changes and it's no surprise Sun just threw up their hands and let it go.

      You are smart to draw the comparison. It's highly ironic that Java has ended up overshadowed by Flash on web clients, and may someday lose even more ground to it elsewhere... there's a profound lesson about the evolution of software technology in there.
  • This looks [macromedia.com]like Macromedia's version of Sherlock [apple.com] (or Watson [karelia.com]).
  • Ok, so I understand that this technology is more then just offline flash, but still- flash is capable of being executed offline.

    The problem is usually in getting the flash files. If you know their names already, it's easy. If not, it's still not hard. Load up the file from the internet, then check your cache. The .swf file will be the one you want. In some cases it will be obvious which .swf you want (Strong bad email = sbemail##.swf), but in other cases, you can just clear you cache before you load the
    • Oh I forgot to mention, once you have the .swf file on your computer, you have more control over it. You can resize it, use the playback commands, change the quality, and whatever else flash normally allows of you. It's a lot better then the reduced command set you have on some sites. Full screen trogdor [homestarrunner.com] is even better =).
  • I'm not sure if anyone said this or not, but flash will work when used offline. I download flash movies all the time and have no problem using them. I have to say, I don't quite get it...
  • Other than annoying website navigation, some web games, and short movie clips, what's Flash used for? I don't think I'm the only one wondering what someone would use this for.
    • The only way to make cross platform, graphical interactive applications. Sure you could hard code it, but it would take 5 times the peole and time. Flash is an incredibly useful tool. As I mentioned in another post, my company developes training applications in flash. We are convinced its the best way to produce an applications this interactive, and this quickly.
    • Re:Scuse me? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @04:04PM (#5609711)
      Other than annoying website navigation, some web games, and short movie clips, what's Flash used for?

      Flash 6 has some very nice server side communication features. I just finished developing a B2B site that provides some extremely nice ability to customize products and show the results online during the ordering process, all database driven. This sort of thing work quite well if you can count on your audience having broadband.

      The clients were pissing in their pants when we demo'ed this. It's a level of interactivity thy've never seen on the web before.

  • I really don't get it. This could be done with Flash allready. What's the big deal? That they add a Proxy layer that emulates a living conection for Flash?
    A minimum of commom sense whilst building a Flashapp will circle that problem.
    It's nothing but marketing hype, if you ask me.
  • Finally there're tools out there that will allow developers to write and sell their own applications!

    It's revolutionary!
  • Ok, details on this app are a bit scarce right now. From reading over the white paper quickly it looks like Macromedia has created an OS app that does a few key things - someone please correct me if my impression is wrong.

    1) Manages caching of online data for its Flash apps in XML format so the apps themselves don't need to worry about it. I should say that this is really just a guess. At the least I'm sure that Central provides a way for the Flash apps to manage the caching themselves.

    2) Creates a cen
  • [irony]Do you think Bill Gates is annoyed that the story on pages 10 & 11 of the whitepaper (PDF [macromedia.com]) refers to "Lisa" using a laptop instead of a Tablet?[/irony]
  • on what exactly this product does...

    From the screen shot on the Central page it looks like a Macromedia version of Sun's Java Webstart - only instead of loading Java apps it loads Flash apps.

    I guess I will just have to try their demo when it come sout to really know why or if I would want to use this.
  • Isn't this like what Marimba Castanet tried for Java?

    It was a way to synchronize Java applications so that they could be used offline, and automatically updated whenever the user went back online. The idea was to have "channels" of available Java programs on a user's machine that could be accessed at any time and updated/synchronized with a central server periodically. It was intended for use by traveling salesmen and others with intermittent Internet connections.

    It was a fun novelty at first, but overa
  • done what again? (Score:4, Informative)

    by kraksmoka (561333) <grant @ g r a n t s t e r n.com> on Thursday March 27, 2003 @03:24PM (#5609312) Homepage Journal
    the things can already be made into .exe files. if they need occasional connection, they log on. i guess this gives the app a way to store info locally, but distributed work environments quickly loose sync if you're not on quite a bit.

    nice one macro, but do we need this????

  • by bhsx (458600)
    This looks like the Flash equivalent of SashXB for linux: http://www-124.ibm.com/developerworks/oss/sashxb/l ibrary/tour/
    there's also a windows version called SashWin or something. Very niche environment; but it's probably great for those flash developers trying to branch out into nonweb-based applications.
  • For years, I've thought that there's a market for a PowerPoint replacement that generates Flash files. Flash is a suitable format for that sort of thing, but needs an authoring tool designed for use by suits.

    A big advantage would be that presentations could easily be moved to the Web. They'd be far smaller, too. (Why are PowerPoint files so bulky, anyway?) This could be a great tool for educators if someone wrote an open-source authoring tool for presentations.

    The Flash delivery format is open; there's

    • There are a handful of tools that let you export PPT to swf. They have a huge range in price (and quality though I've only checked out the cheaper ones which aren't so great quality). MM also released a really expensive version of this (though admittingly it does some other stuff and hosting can be priced in as well).

      Though I agree that it would be a great idea for a product--a familiar, easy-to-use-for-the-suits environment that exports swf. I think it is at least slightly more difficult than it fir

    • Not exactly what you are looking for, but ...

      Export your PPT to a series of WMFs, autonamed with names like slide1.wmf, slide2.wmf, etc.

      Then import the first one into Flash. Flash asks if you want to import the whole series. You say yes. Each one loads as a Frame.

      From there, it's trivial to make a navigation layer, put stop() actions on each frame, etc. Voila! A PPT authored presentation, but in Flash. Smaller, and you can insert more complex animations in choice spots.

  • by Isthistakenyet? (140224) <griswold@ac m . org> on Thursday March 27, 2003 @03:42PM (#5609461)

    My original solution to flash ads was to uninstall the flash plugin, but this meant that I couldn't view stuff like The Carabella Game: The Quest for Tunes [eff.org]. Then I found out that Mozilla and Phoenix can make use of plugins that are installed while the browser is running. This meant that I could load and unload the flash plugin without restarting my browser. I cooked up the following script, which was originally nicely indented:

    #!/bin/sh

    if [ $# != 1 ]; then
    echo "Usage: $0 [off|on]"
    exit
    fi

    case $1 in
    "on")
    echo "Enabling ShockWave Flash for Mozilla and Phoenix"
    ln -sf /opt/plugins/ShockwaveFlash.class \
    /opt/plugins/libflashplayer.so \
    /opt/mozilla/plugins
    ln -sf /opt/plugins/ShockwaveFlash.class \
    /opt/plugins/libflashplayer.so \
    /opt/phoenix/plugins
    ;;
    "off")
    echo "Disabling ShockWave Flash for Mozilla and Phoenix"
    rm -f /opt/mozilla/plugins/ShockwaveFlash.class \
    /opt/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so \
    /opt/phoenix/plugins/ShockwaveFlash.class \
    /opt/phoenix/plugins/libflashplayer.so
    ;;
    *)
    echo "Usage: $0 [off|on]"
    ;;
    esac

    Here's how it works: Mozilla is installed in /opt/mozilla, and Phoenix is installed in /opt/phoenix. I have a directory called /opt/plugins where I keep my plugins so they aren't lost when I install a new nightly build. When I turn Flash on, the script makes a symlink to the Flash files inside the browser's plugins directory, and when I turn Flash off, the script deletes the symlinks.

    To make this even simpler, I added the following entries to my window manager (IceWM). This way I can enable or disable flash with the click of my mouse.

    prog "Flash On" general_configuration flash on
    prog "Flash Off" general_configuration flash off
    • In phoenix (possibly Mozilla) with the Tab Browser extensions by right clicking on the title bar of a tab you get a context menu. Under "Permissions" in that menu you can then disable plugins for that particular tab.

      Hope this helps.
  • by Futurepower(R) (558542) <MJennings.USA@NOT_any_of_THISgmail.com> on Thursday March 27, 2003 @03:43PM (#5609480) Homepage

    Flash has been known for its security vulnerabilities, such as this one:

    Security hole in Macromedia Flash allows attack through any browser.

    By editing the Flash header (SWF), it is possible to run any code on the computer of a visitor to a web page, according to an eEye Digital Security Alert [eeye.com]. The vulnerability exists in all versions of Flash and in all browsers that support Flash, making it "... trivial to bypass firewalls and attack the user at his desktop." eEye [eeye.com] says they found 17 other vulnerabilities in Flash. eEye reported a previous vulnerability [eeye.com] last May.

    I've always disliked how Flash tends to be an advertisement for Flash. Visitors to a page with Flash often get upgrade notices.

    When I read the above security risk announcement, I disabled Flash in Mozilla, and now I often get the Macromedia advertisement: "Click here to get the plugin." Did the owners of those web sites intend to force me to install unsafe software or go elsewhere? No, probably they just trusted a web site builder who knew that flashy graphics is cheaper than useful content.
  • I'd like to have that time back. Seriously the first 10 pages were just words and didn't seem to have much cohesion or substance--some one should have had an editor review it. Eventually there was a little more info when it explained a "day in the life" of a user.

    Basically they're making an app that manages client applets. Earth shattering. When you connect, Macromedia Central knows it and tells your local clients as well as their servers that you're connected and they can receive/send info back &

  • This could finally be an alternative to all those GUI applications built using Java/Microsoft technology. Not only that, macromedia is trying to develop something that could easily be ported to PDA's also

    Quote :
    "Macromedia Central provides this ideal environment for rich,
    customized, occasionally-connected applications. It runs on both
    desktops and Macromedia Flash Player enabled **MOBILE DEVICES** using
    the technology of the Macromedia Flash Player 6. Therefore, millions of
    users with the Macromedia Flash Pla

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome

Working...