: Free / GNU alternative to Flash?


Stephanie
Aug 30th, 2005, 04:56 PM
I've recently started to think about learning how to do something 'flashy' for the websites I maintain (some personal, some business). I'm liking what I've learned so far about Flash, with the exception of the price... it looks like it's a few hundred $$ just to get started.

Having always done my web coding in Simpletext or vi, it was a bit of a shock to see prices in that range.

I am wondering if there is an alternative, sort of like Gimp is to Photoshop, is there something like that for Flash?

Thanks!

-Stephanie

mguertin
Aug 30th, 2005, 05:06 PM
Nothing that I've heard of. For free stuff I would say to read up a lot more on DHTML, javascript and CSS, you can do amazing amounts of stuff with these technologies if you work at it, and it's fairly compatible with most modern browsers.

Grunt
Aug 30th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Speaking as a relatively experienced amateur web designer, I strongly suggest staying away from anything Flash-related - it kills page load times and generally looks bad in any web page context.

You might want to experiment with some of the more powerful CSS functions - to get an idea of how elegant these can look, I direct you to the CSS Zen Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com), with many beautiful examples of what CSS can do for you. :)

a7mc
Aug 30th, 2005, 05:47 PM
Speaking as a relatively experienced amateur web designer, I strongly suggest staying away from anything Flash-related - it kills page load times and generally looks bad in any web page context.

Not "always" true. If you use know what you're doing and you integrate flash properly into a site, it can be very good, and very small (in kb). The problem is people going overboard (site entirely flash based) or not knowing how to design in Flash.

Although I recommend to my clients to stay away from flash, sometimes I use it to make a small subtle animated logo, or header. That way it's fast loading, integrates well, and just adds that little extra "sparkle" if you will.

Just be sure to "use responsibly". ;)

A7

Oh... and no, I don't know of any free alternatives (maybe due to legal reasons?).

PenguinBoy
Aug 30th, 2005, 11:14 PM
I am wondering if there is an alternative, sort of like Gimp is to Photoshop, is there something like that for Flash?

I'm not sure of a true alternative to Flash, but OpenOffice will export presentations to flash: http://www.openoffice.org/dev_docs/features/1.1/ This might be a bit clunky and limited, but at least you might be able to try creating some simple Flash animations this way.

I don't know if this feature is on NeoOffice/J, which I find looks better in OS X than OpenOffice.

programmer-in-training
May 29th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Try here:
Recent News Open Source Flash (http://www.osflash.org/)
LiveSwif.net - Home (http://www.liveswif.tevlar.net/)
OpenLaszlo | the premier open-source platform for rich internet applications (http://www.openlaszlo.org/)
Bluefish Editor : Home (http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/)

There are probably more.

Script Kiddie
May 29th, 2008, 02:15 PM
What about gnash?
Gnash - GNU Project - Free Software Foundation (FSF) (http://www.gnu.org/software/gnash/)

guytoronto
May 29th, 2008, 04:23 PM
I've recently started to think about learning how to do something 'flashy' for the websites

Don't. Unless necessary, don't. Add more real content to your site.

hayesk
May 29th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Not "always" true. If you use know what you're doing and you integrate flash properly into a site, it can be very good, and very small (in kb). The problem is people going overboard (site entirely flash based) or not knowing how to design in Flash.


It doesn't really matter how small the download is. Flash is bloated and uses too much memory and CPU time. Only on rare occasions does Flash actually benefit a site. But people are doing amazing things with DHTML these days that negate the need for Flash and doesn't use as much RAM or CPU. Just look at Google Maps - if they can do that without Flash, certainly anything worthwhile on your site could also be done without Flash.

When I encounter a site that uses Flash, I quickly get what I came for and close it right away. If it doesn't use Flash, I'd be more tempted to hang around and explore the site.

EvanPitts
May 29th, 2008, 04:28 PM
Another resurrected thread! It is good to recycle...

Flash on a web site is great - if you have FlashBlock. Sites need to be about content and usefulness, cheap Flash video adds nothing except irritation. If a page can't load in like five seconds, it's time to move on to something more productive.

a7mc
May 29th, 2008, 04:37 PM
It doesn't really matter how small the download is. Flash is bloated and uses too much memory and CPU time. Only on rare occasions does Flash actually benefit a site. But people are doing amazing things with DHTML these days that negate the need for Flash and doesn't use as much RAM or CPU. Just look at Google Maps - if they can do that without Flash, certainly anything worthwhile on your site could also be done without Flash.

When I encounter a site that uses Flash, I quickly get what I came for and close it right away. If it doesn't use Flash, I'd be more tempted to hang around and explore the site.

First of all, I posted my reply like 3 YEARS ago! Times change. DHTML didn't have near the support back then that Flash did (Three years ago was IE 5 + 6 territory).

Second of all, I'm willing to bet you land on sites with flash all the time and never even notice. I guess you don't use Youtube either. :rolleyes:

A7

EvanPitts
May 29th, 2008, 05:07 PM
Second of all, I'm willing to bet you land on sites with flash all the time and never even notice.

I just get a giant "F". Any site I have been to that is entirely Flash based has also been entirely useless. It seems that the more Flash, the more uselessness.

YouTube is different because the point of it is to watch videos - it's not like one is logging on to try and find hard drive specs but gets stuck watching crummy corporate propaganda for five minutes.

It's like sites that force you to listen to their crummy audio - which is different from logging onto a radio station to listen to the audio...

hayesk
May 29th, 2008, 10:24 PM
First of all, I posted my reply like 3 YEARS ago! Times change. DHTML didn't have near the support back then that Flash did (Three years ago was IE 5 + 6 territory).

Second of all, I'm willing to bet you land on sites with flash all the time and never even notice. I guess you don't use Youtube either. :rolleyes:


First of all, you're right - I didn't notice the date. Someone resurrected this thread.

But second of all, no, I notice what is flash and what is not, and I rarely visit YouTube. I do sometimes, but as I said, I get what I came for and close it right after, as flash causes Safari to waste CPU time and memory. I don't browse for other content. And YouTube would be a lot better if they just used a standard video format that QuickTime could play.

Flash is good for web-games and complex interactive content. It's not for nice looking and useful web site navigation.

eMacMan
May 29th, 2008, 11:07 PM
Another resurrected thread! It is good to recycle...

Flash on a web site is great - if you have FlashBlock. Sites need to be about content and usefulness, cheap Flash video adds nothing except irritation. If a page can't load in like five seconds, it's time to move on to something more productive.

One of the things I always loved about ehMac was the fast page loads, even on dial-up. Sadly now that it has the embedded youtubes it fails the 5 second test with slo-pitch cable.

EvanPitts
May 30th, 2008, 02:58 PM
Sadly now that it has the embedded youtubes it fails the 5 second test with slo-pitch cable.

I haven't had a problem - but I never knew it has embedded youtubes. It's all about FlashBlock/AdBlock/AutoStopPlay...

The site that is always slow is the LDS database - because for some reason it will not just pull the graphics from the cache - it has to load fresh each time. I did block much of the graphics with AdBlock, but since I prefer non-tabbed browsing for my genealogical work, I end up using Safari that can'd handle AdBlock. Now if I could figure out how to have a copy of FireFox that is tabbed that would run along side a copy of FireFox that is non-tabbed.

I wish Apple would update Safari, it's getting rather long in the tooth.

Flash has not been too much of an impedance, since the vast majority of useful sites do not use it at all.

groovetube
May 30th, 2008, 04:05 PM
First of all, you're right - I didn't notice the date. Someone resurrected this thread.

But second of all, no, I notice what is flash and what is not, and I rarely visit YouTube. I do sometimes, but as I said, I get what I came for and close it right after, as flash causes Safari to waste CPU time and memory. I don't browse for other content. And YouTube would be a lot better if they just used a standard video format that QuickTime could play.

Flash is good for web-games and complex interactive content. It's not for nice looking and useful web site navigation.

total and absolute nonsense.

Been over this a thousand times and it amazes me me to see it spouted endlessly again.

Every web technology gets used and abused and gets bloated don't give me this crap that flash is the only one bloated.

Any technology requires someone who knows what they are doing, and when someone is an amateur, it is a very wise thing to stay within technology that is easier and less time consuming to maintain unless you are up for many nights up with a pot of coffee.

There's a time and place for any technology, and flash can be just as fast and quick on fullsize if done properly.

a7mc
May 30th, 2008, 09:28 PM
total and absolute nonsense.

Been over this a thousand times and it amazes me me to see it spouted endlessly again.

Every web technology gets used and abused and gets bloated don't give me this crap that flash is the only one bloated.

Any technology requires someone who knows what they are doing, and when someone is an amateur, it is a very wise thing to stay within technology that is easier and less time consuming to maintain unless you are up for many nights up with a pot of coffee.

There's a time and place for any technology, and flash can be just as fast and quick on fullsize if done properly.

Finally, someone else who understands. I was starting to wonder if I was the crazy one.

Just because 80% of the sites people have visited in the past have been crappy Flash sites, doesn't mean the technology is bad. I remember sites with big flashing and scrolling text, all in html. I remember search engine scammers using "white on white" text tricks. I remember huge full screen image maps. Does that mean I should stop visiting all sites with html? :rolleyes:

A7

optimusprime
Aug 26th, 2010, 06:18 PM
Try out this HTML5 based animation creator: Blue Dojo (http://www.bluedojo.com)

Animations run without the Flash plugin. Works in all major browsers including on the iPad and iPhone.

Stephanie
Aug 26th, 2010, 07:34 PM
Holy 5-Years-Later!

I don't even remember starting this thread, hehehe.

Never did go anywhere with flash or flash-like stuff, I ended up just focusing on html, css, and some dynamic stuff.