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Gnash is a GNU Flash movie player that supports many Flash 7 features. Now all of you out there with FreeBSD boxes can run Flash content with this open source Flash player.

Flash in the Can 2006

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12/19/05, 07:54 AM

3 days of Flash fun in Canada, it's FITC 2006 Toronto.

Dates & Location

April 21-23, 2006
Westin Harbour Castle Hotel
Toronto, Canada

Ticket Info

Super EarlyBird Ticket Pricing (Before Jan 15th, 2006)
Regular $499 CDN / Student $225 CDN

Use this special FITC discount code before Dec 31st 2005 & get a regular ticket for $399 CDN! ($180 for Student tickets) Discount Code: FITC78978

For tickets and more info, check out http://www.fitc.ca

FWA People's Choice

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12/16/05, 10:48 AM

Vote for this year's People's Choice Award over at the Favourite Website Awards voting booth.

Goodbye Macromedia

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12/05/05, 12:30 PM

Adobe-Macromedia Bundle As is evidenced by the Adobe rebranding of macromedia.com, Abobe's acquisition of Macromedia is now complete. Adobe wasted no time in "immediately retiring" the Macromedia brand, in an effort "to provide the most consistency and clarity in our communication with customers."

It will of course take time for the 2 companies to totally merge into one beast. Adobe has outlined some of its plans for the future, and the most notable one deals with integrating Flash Player and Adobe Reader:

"It will be a multiyear effort. Ultimately, our goal is to combine both in a single client. Combining PDF and Adobe Reader with Flash and the Flash Player will allow us to deliver a truly ubiquitous platform that sits on virtually every device. We will build on that to create compelling customer solutions."

I don't know about you, but integrating Flash with PDF sounds like a really bad idea. If you don't agree, open up this Breeze Presentation from Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen, and then open up this PDF on Adobe Customer perspectives.

While you wait for that PDF to open, I'll be considering what to do with my newly acquired shares of Adobe common stock.

Update: It looks like we can breathe a little easier on the whole Flash + Acrobat ordeal. David Mendels left the following comment on Aral Balkan's blog:

The FAQ is poorly written and will be fixed.

We plan to keep the Flash Player small and focused.

We *also* plan on a new client code named Apollo that will work out of the browser and bring together the best of HTML, Flash, and PDF. Apollo will be very cool. (note: we learned a lot from the experience with Central.)

Refreshing news indeed. Should be interesting to see what Apollo will manifest as.

Update: As promised, the Adobe-Macromedia Acquisition FAQ has been updated to better address their plans for Flash and Acrobat:

What are Adobe's plans for Flash Player and Adobe Reader?

Our long-term plan is to develop a "universal client" by combining PDF, Flash and HTML in a single, integrated runtime. Of course, we will continue delivering the Flash Player as a small, efficient runtime for content and applications on the web, and Adobe Reader for viewing and interacting with PDF documents and forms. The integration of these technologies into a unified framework creates a ubiquitous platform that runs on virtually every device, and dramatically expands the opportunities to create compelling solutions.

For more dirt on the Apollo project, check out these links:

- Flash back on the desktop, launching "Apollo"

- Flex 2 General Discussion Forum

Firefox 1.5 Released

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11/29/05, 11:31 PM

The latest release of Firefox includes new support for Web Standards including SVG, CSS 2 and CSS 3, and JavaScript 1.6

Accessible Flash Apps

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11/18/05, 07:55 AM

Ken Toley has a great introduction to making your Flash App 508, "Accessibility Compliant." Includes valuable tips for those just getting started, as well as links for further information.

Flash, Standards + SEO

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11/16/05, 07:36 PM

In response to Galina Arlov's "W3C Compliance & Macromedia Flash" article:

It's always great to see web designers moving towards Web Standards. I have a few suggestions to help you out in your journey.

First off, concerning embedding Flash, your best option is to use FlashObject. It detects the browser and Flash version and writes the appropriate Flash content to the page, so there's no need to create different versions of your pages for different browsers. It's standards compliant, and best of all, since it works by replacing existing HTML content with Flash content, it's helpful for SEO.

Concerning Web Standards, Valor Cross Media is written with XHTML, so it's on the right track. It's very close to validating (just a few minor warnings that don't harm the integrity of the page), which is helpful for search engines. However, it is not standards compliant. Most notably, it incorrectly uses tables for the page layout. As Web Standards evangelist Jeffrey Zeldman has preached, a true standards compliant website should separate "style from content, using structural markup for data, and CSS for all aspects of visual layout control." To understand what that actually means, I'd recommend checking out The Web Standards Project. It will help you learn the what and why of Web Standards.

There certainly seems to be definite SEO value in using web standards, including following Accessibility Guidelines, when coding websites. I myself am not an SEO expert, and I'm not sure the value of Google's PageRank anymore, but for what it's worth, when I launched Flash Pearls (which is coded with Web Standards) earlier this year, it received an initial PageRank of 5. For a new site with virtually no backlinks and not a lot of pages, I'd at least like to think the way I coded the site contributed to that (and admittedly, it's still not 100% compliant, but better off than most websites out there).

Yahoo! Maps Beta

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11/03/05, 01:17 PM

The new beta version of Yahoo! Maps is based in Flash. The Flash API is available for you to use on your website, and there is also a gallery of sites currently using the new Yahoo! Maps Beta in their applications.

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