Tag Archives: Flash

Ajax Animator

A few months ago I wrote about a necessity for HTML5’s success: a design tool similar to Flash.

Well, here it is: Ajax Animator. Test it:

  • standalone,
  • on Chrome Web Store
  • or on Google Labs’ new service, Shared Spaces which aims to give a home to Wave extensions once Wave sadly dies its untimely death.
  • Google Code, available in SVN repository.

What HTML5 needs to replace Flash?

Much is today said about HTML5. What is HTML5 precisely? HTML5 is Web 3.0. It’s integrated web video, it’s canvas, it’s SVG, it’s CSS3, it’s do-sickening-things-with-CSS3. It’s more Javascript technology and numerous Javascript objects than particularly interesting new HTML tags. (Apart from various special input element types.)

Yet, in this context, let’s consider HTML5’s potential for the so-called “rich content” — that is, let’s just consider how we could create animations and toons similar to what can be done with Macromedia Adobe Flash.

Flash is currently ubiquitous. Not because people love having another plugin in their browser; those aware of a concept of plugin don’t like having yet another plugin. Especially not the one that slows page loading; let’s remember Java applets. User doesn’t like browsers that crash; Flash Player can cause that to happen. User doesn’t like slow speeds that Flash Player delivers.

So who actually likes Flash? Content producers. Flash is an extremely likeable tool once you get to know it, and animation production is very rapid. It’s the RAD tool of web animation. Combine a true artist, skill in a pixel-based art tool (GIMP, Photoshop, PhotoPaint) and Flash, and you get one of those truly artistic movie web sites. Personally I hate the experience of those sites, but I admire the artists and designers who created the experience*. It’s a lot of work, and a lot of talent, all possible because you don’t have to have a geek programmer in the team, all possible because you don’t have one who’d say “Yeah, sorry, I can’t do that in Javascript that easily.”

That’s the key thing. You don’t need a geek to implement the animation. With Javascript animation, one could see a lot of cool stuff, “proving” that HTML5 is as good for animation as Flash. In fact, one can already find Smokescreen, a really awesome piece of engineering work that implements a Flash player with Javascript.

However, apart from Smokescreen, which again plays with Flash, every single Flash-like animation was tediously coded by a geek programmer. JQuery may make stuff simpler, but it’s not designer-material!

HTML5 animation needs proper authoring tools.
There is a market for HTML5 animation authoring tools.
Layers, tweens, reusable “symbols”, grouped “symbols”, vector elements, bitmap elements, at least basic early-Flash-style event handlers .. Give designers that, and they may jump on the Flash-less train.

In fact, even a geek like me will prefer using Flash, because doing HTML5 animation is tedious. Flash, despite being ruined compared to its early days, reigns as a creation tool.

I’m even willing to privately pay for an HTML5 animation tool. Not too much, but I’m willing.  Someone out there to snatch my cash? (Apart from Adobe, I don’t like them as a company.)

* I admire Flash artists — except those that create ads, I hate Flash ads passionately

Image courtesy of GretemanGroup.com/blog and FlashInYourFace.com

Downloading Adobe Flash Player for Mac OS X 10.3.9, part 2

So, as I already blogged, Adobe broke download process for Flash Player for MacOSX 10.3.9… while on MacOS X 10.3.9. Both included browsers (MSIE5.2Mac and Safari1.3) break on Adobe’s pages. Safari simply doesn’t execute Javascript for either selection of “Yes! I have 10.3, I’m so sorry, give me old Flash Player”, nor for the download button if you go through manual process of selection of your OS.
I haven’t however blogged about the solution for this.

If they help, please click on “Useful” button on the bottom of this post. This does not require registration.

#1: Personally, I went the route of getting newest available Firefox for 10.3.9. Looks like Firefox 2.0.0.x works for OS X 10.2 and newer. Oddly enough, I couldn’t find a download link on Mozilla’s own pages, so let’s grab it from OldApps.com. Now, Adobe’s regular pages work!
However, you might not happy with that, no sirs. (But, why aren’t you? Firefox 2 is the best browser you can get on that old OS and machine you have there. Safari 1.3 is ancient. FF2 may not be the newest,but it’s the best you can get with Mac OS X 10.3 so don’t be like that.)

#2: Alternative solution is clicking on this link, where I already clicked on “Agree and Download” for you. Even closer, here’s a direct link to the DMG file. To install, double click on DMG file. An icon appears on your desktop; open it. Then drag the icons on the left into folders on the right (the background of the window is very suggestive of what you have to do).

Now go and watch flash-video movies on that iMac G3 you have there (which is precisely why you’re stuck with 10.3.9, right? At least I am)
Found this useful? Please leave feedback by clicking on the boxes below this post.
In case these links don’t work a few years after 2009, post in comments and I’ll try to get this for you. I might not be able to help you, but asking won’t harm. I won’t put alternative link here, since Adobe doesn’t like people redistributing their player. They do however like breaking their site for the target audience of the software download they offer. Ugh.

Adobe Flash on iMac with Mac OS X 10.3.9


It’s fascinating that Flash Player as recent as version 9 is available, since a large part of the web (including Blogger) is plain broken in Safari 1.3 (included with OSX 10.3.9).

What’s horrifying however is Adobe’s treatment of potential users of this player. Can you imagine correctly detecting MacOS X, and offering software download for 10.1-10.3… and actually breaking the dropdown menu, as well as the continue button?

That’s right. Dropdown menu on the main download page – click on it in either Safari 1.3 or MSIE:mac 5.2, nothing happens. Ok, no sweat, let’s try alternative download path. So, I’m asked for OS… I choose Mac OS X 10.1-10.3. Cool… “Continue”. Nothing. “Continue”! Nothing.

They actually broke Javascript on an OS the download is meant to go for. And from what I can tell, you’re not allowed to redistribute Flash player without arranging licensing agreement with Adobe, so I doubt I can find it elsewhere on the web.

Is it really too much to expect primary download route (the combo for selecting 10.1-10.3 or 10.4-10.5) to work?
Is it really too much to expect the alternative, “safe” route to work? People, it’s a Continue button, how can you screw that up on an outdated, but still supported and actually even listed platform?