Living Life without Flash

by William Grosso

So I migrated home machines the other day. From an antique P-II to a much more modern Athlon. Suddenly, all sorts of programs (like Eclipse-- it rocks when it has enough memory and CPU) became much more usable.

As part of the migration, I decided to clean up a few things.
For one, I switched to using Mozilla full-time. It's vastly better than Internet Explorer at this point (the privacy controls, and the ability to turn off pop-up windows, are marvelous).

For another, I didn't install Flash.

Am I missing anything? Curiously enough, I don't think I am. Flash is, apparently, mostly used for advertisements and (to be blunt) crap that has to be animated because that's the only way you'd pay attention to it.

Maybe that'll change in the future. But, right now, I'm living life flash-free and loving it.

I did install
quicktime, though. Gotta have my move trailers.

Let me know. Is there a reason to have flash installed on my machine?


2002-11-14 18:29:18
Then you couldn't be lured by the dark side..
Anakin's switch in Flash
2002-11-14 19:37:06
Don't be afraid of Flash
Admittedly right now Flash may seem like more trouble than its worth, but development and design are at their boundary in the html environment. Flash designer/developers are stepping up with more content driven Flash. Beginning next year, you would want to see this grow, as by the end of next year flash will be supplying the front end for a good percentage of the new content driven sites.

Or you could always say, "forget technology" and stick with your old netscape 4 browser.

Be Safe

2002-11-15 02:56:48
The format is not the problem
IMHO Flash is a format which can be used in all kind of different (and interesting) ways.

It's the abuse, misuse or incorrect use of a format (let it be Flash, Quiktime, Java Applet's, DHTML and even plain GIF's) that are responsible for avoiding a format, not the format itself.

What will happen when Broadband is generalized and someone has the "great" idea to start flooding Sites with unnecessary QuickTime streams? Will you uninstall QuickTime therefore?

2002-11-15 07:46:08
try Privoxy, you'll love it.
Try Privoxy from It sits between you and the internet, shielding you from the worst of the web on a highly configureable basis.

Don't like flash: then turn it off. But you can easily disable with a couple of clicks for when you really need to watch some boring product advertorial from Macromedia or on a site-by-site basis.

Stop gifs from animating, block standard ad sizes and servers with ad in their name, prevent avalanches of pop-ups, remove 1x1 pixel web-bugs that advertisers use to track you, spoof your referrer, and dynamically change all occurances of "Microsoft" to "Monopoly Abusing Scum Inc."

Download less, achieve more. Not simple enough for the man in the street but anyone technical will love it. And it's open source into the bargain.

A very satisfied user.

2002-11-16 22:46:53
You make two points. Both of them are wrong. Your column is a waste of time.

You know full well that Mozilla is still not acceptable as a primary browser. You can't know what a page is supposed to look like in it unless it is standards compliant. As for pop-ups: Happy now?

As far as Flash goes - why are you keeping quicktime (since it has swf player built in). OH FORGET IT - I can't even be bothered to write a decent argument. It is clear as day

No flash & no explorer == useless

Have fun getting your crazy javascript errors, Mozilla boy. I think I'll wait a few months myself.

2002-11-17 17:40:45
Wired Animation Express


Yesterday I threw in the towel and downloaded Opera. Now I have three browsers on Mac OS 9--Opera, Mozilla and iCab. No IE, no Netscape. The Flash plug-in works with Opera. Now I can get my weekly fix of
Animation Express

Thomas Armagost

2002-11-18 16:12:14
Why so hostile?
I've been using Mozilla for almost a year now. And, with 1.2, it is usable as a primary browser. Case in point: I'm using it.

It might not meet your needs; that's quite possible. In which case, I'd love to hear why.

*My* point was: I thought flash might be necessary. I got rid of it as an experiment. And found out I didn't miss it at all.

Your response was to accuse me of lying, say something that is completely false, and wrap things up by calling me "Mozilla Boy."

2002-11-18 16:19:03
Re: The format is not the problem
Well, maybe yes and maybe no. The format, and flash itself, make it possible to do very glitzy things. Right? That's the point. Flash makes it easy to do things which are very hard to do in HTML.

Right now, people aren't doing things I find interesting (though some of the responses here point to pretty cool things).

Past that, there is a format-related issue. Can Google search Flash (or things like SVG, for that matter)? I sometimes wonder about things like that. If a significant percentage of the web's content moves to flash, are we going to lose the ability to find things?

2004-01-14 09:48:23
Re: a life without flash
"No flash & no explorer == useless, Mozilla boy."

Ah, you can't write about turning off Flash without someone flaming you, it seems ;-)

There is an option in Mozilla to turn off prompting for "do you want to install plugin x", if it's still appearing, or there's code to block "object" tags in your user stylesheet:

(there's a bug which means this still won't block embed tags, but privoxy seems to do well with those)

p.s. message to the flash website designers -- nobody with a default installation of any sort of Linux system will ever see your website.

2004-10-11 21:58:57
Hey What you think is for adversitment?
So I don't agree with you, I can't see why O'reilly got you permition to publish this one. It's a insult for all Flash Developers, you said that Flash is only for Adversitment. I think you need to read more before write things that you really don't undrestand.
Flash is more then this one, you could only be know when you undrestand that 2 plus 2 is 3.
Get think about it man.
2005-03-09 05:05:49
Use of Flash to publish an on-line book
I have a friend who commissioned someone to produce an on-line version of one of his books. This was about eight years ago and the end product was a series of HTML pages with DHTML (Javascript and java applets (we don't have the source)) with menus, background audio and video clips. All designed to run in a Web browser, IE 4 and Netscape ?? His relationship with the author finished and he has asked me if I could help him to bring it upto date. At present it works fine with the latest version of Internet Explorer but not with Netscape. He also wants to be able to modify the book himself. So, this got me thinking, perhaps put the book in PDF format but I'm not sure it's supports audio or video. Then I thought of Flash. My initial investigations are that it supports audio and video. It also allows interaction with the user.
Has anybody any experience of using Flash to publish an interactive book with audio and video? Is it the right way to go? Or should something else be used?