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An Overview of Flash and ActionScript

You can find Flash almost everywhere on the web, adding its magic touch to web sites. ActionScript makes it work. If you're thinking of making your web site a little more flashy, keep reading for an overview.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. An Overview of Flash and ActionScript
  2. Flash Capabilities
  3. ActionScript Capabilities
  4. Applications
By: Joe eitel
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June 29, 2009

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Flash has become one of the most recognizable technologies used on the Internet today. There is good reason that this individual developerís tool is so well-known; websites designed with Flash have a tendency to stand out and simply look much better than those that do not feature it. Flash websites are exactly what you would imagine: flashy.

Adobe Flash is a program that website developers use to create Flash files. These Flash files are what are hosted on websites and what users see and are familiar with. Basically, Flash allows developers to create animations on their web pages. However, the complexity and power of Flash lies in significantly more than just animation. The program has been around for long enough that it has been developed to the point that it offers a wide variety of highly useful features that extend its capabilities far beyond animating images.

ActionScript is the scripting language that is embedded into Flash files. This scripting capability allows for Flash to become dynamic in content as well as just image. ActionScript is what gives Flash developers the ability to create games and interactive menus (some of the more common and widely recognized applications of Flash). While ActionScript, as a script, is relatively simple to learn and implement, it offers a wide variety of functions that provide vital improvements to the abilities of the program.

While the benefits of Flash development are many and great, there are also some down sides to its implementation. Flash files are generally much larger than traditional web pages. This can negatively impact users on slower connections like dial-up. Also, users must have Flash player installed in order to view Flash files. If they do not have the player, then they are unable to view any of the Flash. There are other issues dealing with standards compliance and search engine optimization, but they do not affect as many users and are therefore not considered big enough to outweigh the benefits of Flash.



 
 
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