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In the 11 years since this article has been published, Flash has changed, HTML has changed, and web developers' philosophies have changed.

I don't like the tone of the article, but I have to hand it to Nielsen for creating something that likely had some impact on the web. In the hall of fame of inflammatory, overly-broad titles, I think it'll be next to Djikstra's "Goto Considered Harmful".

> First, Flash encourages gratuitous animation: Since we can make things move, why not make things move?

Good taste has prevailed. Once ubiquitous "intro animations" have almost disappeared, as have <marquee> and <blink>. Hype http://tumultco.com/hype/ and Sencha Animator http://www.sencha.com/products/animator/ are powerful animation tools that export HTML5/CSS3. We will have to hope HTML5 and Flash designers continue exhibiting restraint with gratuitous animation.

> Second, one of the Web's most powerful features is that it lets users control their own destiny.

It's hard to address this issue, since I'm not exactly sure what Nielsen is specifically objecting to. I think it might have to do with McLuhan's "Hot" and "cool" media theory where certiain media encourage participation instead of hijacking attention?

> Third, many Flash designers introduce their own nonstandard GUI controls. How many scrollbar designs do we need?

"Aristo" http://cappuccino.org/aristo/showcase/ "mocha(ui)" http://mochaui.org/ "Dijit" http://dojotoolkit.org/reference-guide/dijit/index.html

... the list goes on. There's nothing wrong with custom UI, so long as it conforms to users' expectations (a tall order). This issue is still in the hands of developers.

> Breaks Web Fundamentals

> The "Back" button does not work.

In the hands of developers. Many ajax-y sites have this problem now (see Twitter). Many libs exist for both JS and Flash devs to fix (or not) this issue.

> Link colors don't work.

a:link {color:#000000;} a:visited {color:#000000;}

> The "Make text bigger/smaller" button does not work.

This is a browser issue. All elements should magnify when a user Zooms In/Out (fixed on some modern browsers).

> Flash reduces accessibility for users with disabilities.

<img src="image.gif" alt="" /> <canvas>...anything...</canvas>

> The "Find in page" feature does not work.

Still true.

> Internationalization and localization is complicated.

Local websites must enlist a Flash professional to translate content.

Nearly all serious Flash projects separate content into XML or JSON files (especially if the website content will need to be translated). Some AJAX-driven sites do this as well.

> Also, text that moves is harder to read for users who lack fluency in the language.

In the hands of developers.

> Distracts from a Site's Core Values

> Frequently updating content (Flash content tends to be created once and then left alone).

Not true now (or then).

> Providing informative content that answers users' key questions at all depth levels (Flash content is typically superficial).

This is a great example of why I object to the tone of the article.

> Identifying better ways to support customers by task analyzing their real problems (Flash is typically created by outside agents who don't understand the business).

I'm trying to understand the implications of this statement, but I'm baffled. Maybe it made sense in 2001 when HTML sites were sometimes cobbled together by a favorite nephew close to the company. Either way, web development is sufficiently sophisticated/complex enough now to require developers to know what they're doing. This sometimes means hiring an agency/production house.




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