Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,
Panama
spwebdesign

Flash

I run a Red Hat server at work and am responsible for the bulk of the websites on it and for making sure the sites and databases run efficiently.

One of the labs recently redesigned some of its websites using Flash. They're not using Flash for any fancy animations, just for rollovers it seems. The guy who designed them says he wants to make the pages a little more interactive, but I'm not sure what he plans to do that he can't do with JavaScript, CSS, or Perl.

One concern I have is that I'm under the impression that Flash is a resource hog. I don't want something using up memory on the server needlessly. Also, it takes forever to load if you don't have a broadband connection.

The other concern is with accessibility. By using Flash, they are locking out anyone who doesn't have a fairly recent (probably version 4 or higher) graphical browser. Their intended audience is the scientific community, principally clinicians and researchers who are seeking information on gene chips. Many of these users simply, in my experience, won't be using the latest browsers to visit the site. Am I wrong? I'm of the opinion that if they're going to insist on using Flash, they should at least implement some browser detection and redirect users with non-Flash-compatible browsers to a non-Flash page. They are balking at this suggestion, as they seem to be under the illusion that everyone uses the latest Internet Explorer on Windows XP or 2000 and that only "compsci/engineering types" use lynx or other browsers that are not compatible with Flash.

I want your thoughts on this, since many of you are more experienced with this sort of thing than I am, and all of you are more experienced with this sort of thing than the folks I am dealing with. Thanks.
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