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Interesting Flash and Shockwave article from WebReview

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 23:33:38 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
The article Flash and Shockwave Explored, by Josh Smith discusses the 
backwards compatibility issues of Flash and Shockwave, the differences 
between the two, and good authoring practices for creating these 2 file 
types.  There is supposedly a flash and shockwave compatibility table, but 
the link did not work when I tried it. Note that the article is not hosted 
by the most accessible site, there are many images with out alt-text.  It 
was published 7 January 2000 and is available at 

Four bits that I found interesting;

1. <blockquote>
According to Macromedia's own research, 90% of users have the Flash plug-in 
installed; meanwhile 52% of users have the Shockwave plug-in.

2. <blockquote>
Slocombe, however, is a little less enamoured with Flash. "Almost every 
Flash demonstration I've ever seen has involved a little dot in the middle 
of the screen getting bigger and bigger. How exactly does that add to the 
user experience? It doesn't. "

3. <blockquote>
many customers have seen sales and hits increase two or three-fold by using 
Shockwave or Flash, which makes the number of visitors lost by using a 
plug-in insignificant in comparison.</blockquote>

4. <blockquote>
The safest answer is to ensure that your site, if it does feature embedded 
files that require plug-ins, doesn't exclusively rely on them. Have a 
simple HTML version of the same content. That way, you're keeping everyone 

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346
Received on Monday, 14 February 2000 23:30:05 UTC

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