I agree, James, that this discussion is getting tiring.  Ultimately,
this list is about promoting web standards.  Adobe Flash is not a web
standard, and therefore we shouldn't be promoting it because its use is
counter to the aims of this group.  

Until Adobe does with Flash what it did with PDF and make it an open,
unencumbered standard (making it possible to build a true market around
the concept), I'll look for every opportunity to promote the SVG
standard instead, which, despite having its own challenges, is an open
standard with an ambitious brief. 

Given the work the major browser developers (barring Microsoft, of
course, because they're not much for "playing nicely with others) have
done to provide native SVG support (e.g. Mozilla/Firefox with Gecko and
Safari/Konqueror with Webkit, and Opera with their rendering engine),
any of us for whom web standards really matter should be promoting it.

For those who are curious about SVG: 

Interestingly, Adobe were one of the first vocal proponents of SVG...

Ironically, Adobe produced an SVG plugin for MS Internet Explorer... but
that seems to be languishing - in fact, they've just (on 1 January)
announced that they'd discontinue support for it...

What happened there... looks like Adobe were just on the cusp of
achieving their aim as of 2002: having most browsers support SVG (or a
large portion of it)... And then they pull the plug.  

In my opinion, this is something we should be talking about.



On Thu, 2009-01-15 at 03:05 +1100, James Ducker wrote:
> Hi WSG,
> This entire argument is getting a bit much. Nothing on the web is in
> and of itself particularly accessible. Accessibility in HTML is a joke
> unless you have been taught the right practices. Flash was, is, and
> will continue to be, primarily, a tool for delivery of rich,
> interactive media. To that end accessibility in flash is almost a moot
> point, as you're never going to be able to enable a blind person to
> watch a video. If the issue is text, you shouldn't be using Flash, and
> if you are you should be implementing it in a manner that allows for
> graceful degradation. I know I'm glossing the issue, but bear with me.
> > Plenty of teachers, trainers, training providers, universities,
> TAFEs, schools, HR areas, etc are essentially lazy and can't be
> bothered to actually understand learning theory. This is why they
> 'continue to be committed to linear, push methodologies', it's easy to
> understand and cheep to develop. Vendor just give the market what they
> want.
> TAFEs and other para-tertiary institutions do this because that is
> what they are there to do. Their purpose is to give students the
> skills necessary to get a job and then self-perpetuate their skills.
> My experience of universities is that they don't do this at all. Even
> the less technical I.T. degrees will throw a smorgasbord of
> programming languages (no one goes to university to write HTML) and
> development methodologies at you and let you figure out which one
> works best for you. The result of being a good programmer is that it
> becomes easy to pick up ActionScript and use it well. Virtually no one
> writes good ActionScript.
> I've never taught flash to a class, so I won't speculate on its
> usefulness. It is in my opinion something that should be taught to
> I.T. students because of the ubiquity of Flash on the web.
> I think the argument against Flash in eLearning is flawed. It sounds
> more like an argument of how Flash is being used in eLearning. The
> issue doesn't lie with Flash itself, but with how eLearning software
> producers are using it.
> > Teacher/trainer decision makers don't love the web, possibly because
> they
> > can't control it.
> This is mostly untrue, teachers do love the web. Occasionally you will
> find a teacher whose methods are out of date, but most commonly the
> issues lie with course curricula.
>         I have hope that the tide is turning.  Teachers/trainers have
>         experienced
>         the difficulties in creating and maintaining their content in
>         Flash (just
>         try changing one image used in multiple Flash files and the
>         difficulties
>         become clear)
> Again, this boils down to being a bad Flash developer. It took me a
> few seconds to think of a way to modify an image in multiple Flash
> files at once (without interrupting their availability to users
> either).
>         the web generation is beginning to pierce/influence decision
>         making levels, students/employees that love the web push to
>         learn from
>         formal resources the way they informally learn from the web,
>         plus content
>         changes in ever decreasing time cycles which leaves little
>         time to build and
>         rebuild Flash delivered content.
> I am a student. Formal resources are about the best damn thing that
> university has provided me. Unfortunately it's (arguably) not fun or
> cool to read a programming book cover to cover, so I can see why
> people complain. Stop using the term 'love the web'. Lots of people
> love the web, I'm sure, but it doesn't mean they have the first clue
> what's good for it.
> The few times I have seen Flash used well and written well it's
> beautiful. It's amazing. It's like having sunshine flowing through
> your vains. So, do you blame HTML for every poorly coded website? Do
> you blame Flash for every bad use of Flash?
> Anyway, it seems like this entire argument would be better stated as
> "People who hate Flash because it doesn't behave in a manner identical
> to HTML, and also because it isn't HTML".
> - James
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