To Flash or not to Flash?
Actually, the real title should be: to LEARN Flash, or not to learn it? I have the book, the software, and at long last, the time, to sit down and tackle my first Flash project. But now I wonder: is this worth learning?
The project I have to get done is a very simple interactive. To celebrate an organization's anniversary, they want a graphics-bedecked timeline with arrows on the left and right side of the screen, and a scrollbar at the bottom, so that the user can move through the last 75 years of history.
The first use is at their annual meeting. But subsequently, they would like to put the interactive on their website.
The reason I wonder whether to try to make this interactive in Flash is that I have read that Apple won't support this software. Is this true?
My learning time is very scarce and valuable - and I'm not the fastest learner; should I bother to learn Flash? If not, is there an alternative that you can recommend? Or should I just hire one of you folks?
There's lots to like about Flash, but it's not a quick learn (unless you're already design-aware and a capable programmer) and Apple is not just not likely to support it - they have been openly hostile to Flash, which is not supported on iOS and whose long-term future on OSX may not be bright.
Flash has a neat combination of decent graphics and animation tools for lightweight file delivery (a lot less important now, when broadband makes bigger files commonplace and acceptable than when Flash originated) and a reasonably capable set of programming tools.
Adobe continues to work on Flash export tools and formats so that developers can work in Flash and deliver iOS-playable output, including apps. http://www.cartoonsmart.com/optimizing_flash_tutorials.php5
There are also approaches to converting Flash output for support on iOS web pages / browsers, involving conversion of output to HTML 5 = javasxcript http://googlecode.blogspot.in/2011/06/swiffy-convert-swf-files-to-html5.htm...
The pluses of learning Flash include going for a develop-once, play-anywhere approach. The downsides might include that native-developed apps for Flash, Android, Win 8 will probably continue to offer more performance and perhaps support more features for some time.
Whether this is the right time to jump into this quite big toolset is a question for you. If you haven't programmed before, it's a rich and deep toolset that would take some learning, and although there useful drag-and drop snippets available in the program to help get you started, probably enough to get your project done, I'm not sure that's a good approach for the longer term!
Thank you so much! Great suggestions. I appreciate your help. I'll try to update the thread as I proceed, in case you're interested in how it came out.
Yes, I'd be interested in how it comes out ! Hope it works well for you with the client.