RE: Tim Bray on "Which Technologies Matter?"
>I think Macromedia may be attempting to do the same with Flash: >http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/weblog/view/wlg/1197 Unfortunately, Flash suffers from the same maladies that afflict Authorware. It's a syndrome I call Macromeditis and that those less kind call half-@$$edness. Some here have mentioned VB in reference to doing easy things very easily and hard things hardly at all. In that respect, Flash and Authorware make VB look capable by comparison. It's not that you *can't* do very complex things in Flash or Authorware, only that you have to overcome significant obstacles to do so and when you are finished your program is likely to be extremely "unfriendly" to a multi-tasking environment. Yes Flash (and for that matter Authorware) have some truly amazing features that enable a non-programmer to produce simple programs that work (they don't work well in terms of resource usage but neither do most programs written in other languages by beginners). My problem with Macromedia products is that that is where they stop. If you want to do anything remotely "programmer-like" in Flash or Authorware you will quickly find yourself banging your head against the Macromedia wall. My biggest reservations in regards to Flash come from my five years experience using Authorware - historically Macromedia only improves their products by adding highly visible (and marketable) bells and whistles - they never go back and fill in the "holes" that drive experienced programmers absolutely nuts. (Of course, this has been good for me because my shop went to Authorware before I arrived and now any time they need to make something complex actually *work* they need me to write a DLL in C++...<g>) I envision "Flash 22" as being able to play three-D movies directly in the user's mind without special hardware -- but still having no means of detecting text entry other than highly inefficient and multi-tasking-unfriendly continuous polling... What am I saying? I'm saying that unless Flash in it's present form meets *all* of your needs avoid it like the plague. You cannot assume "gee, this is such a great product that they'll surely fix <insert your show-stopper here/> in the next version." In fact, historically, the more routine and common (in other development tools) your show-stopping missing feature is the less likely it is that Macromedia will ever implement it. John Atchley Senior Software Analyst Engineering and Design, Courseware Support FlightSafety International, Inc. mailto:John.Atchley@F...
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