Making a Multimedia Website

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Fact file5.5 Adobe Flash


Since its introduction in 1996, Adobe Flash has become a popular method for adding animation and interactivity to web pages. Flash is commonly used to create animation, advertisements, or small online games and to integrate video Flash iconinto web pages. It's estimated that 99% of all internet-enabled PC's have a version of Flash installed.

Flash files, traditionally called "Flash movies", usually have a .swf file extension and are embedded into a web page. A small plugin piece of software called the Flash Player needs to be installed on the visitor’s computer to be able to see the flash movie.

Flash movies can be just simple animations, but can also be made interactive using its own scripting language called actionscript.

subtangent countdown game

The Subtangent website makes use of interactive games written in Flash to help teach Mathematics. This game is based on the Countdown TV Show.

A problem with Flash is that it is currently unsupported by Apple iPhones and iPads, which means that a lot of users will be unable to access your content using those devices. At the moment it doesn't look like Apple will give in and let Flash run on their devices. An alternative is something called HTML5 currently in development, which gives many of the features of Flash, but which will run on Apple devices. For example this HTML5 paint program.

Did you know? Flash started out as a piece of software called Future Splash. This was bought by Macromedia in 1996 who shorted the name from FutureSplash to Flash. Macromedia was bought by Adobe Systems in 2005.


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