(Random note: To whomever is posting comments as "whisper", you are cracking me up! Keep the soliloquies coming.)
As promised, here's a post on why we're playing around with Flash.
To start with, we're not in cahoots with Adobe. I don't think anyone in our office knows anyone at Adobe. It just so happens that Adobe makes Flash and Flash is a widely used plug-in that does some very cool things. (By the way, if someone from Adobe does read this, my T-Shirt size is XL. wink-wink)
The Flash viewer is not meant to be THE, or even a, solution to stop people from distributing images without permission. Our earlier posts were a little fuzzy on that topic. We know you can take screen shots. We know you can clip the image in photo editing software. While we can't condone people doing things like that, we'd have to make the site just about unusable to prevent it.
Open source fans, we do love you! Our developers are part of the open source community and we wouldn't be here without them/you. We use the Apache web server, mod_perl and mysql as the back end that drives all of our sites and business. All of the developers run Linux as their standard coding environment. And yes, they couldn't see Garfield for a couple of days too.
Why Flash 8? Flash 8 is the only version of Flash with native .gif support. Our comic archives consist of about a bajillion .gif images. Converting all of those to .jpgs or even worse, .swf files, would be crazy for a number of reasons.
Why Flash at all? Well, we're trying out some new things.
For one, we're seeing if we can deliver daily comic strips from a DB into a Flash environment. Pulling images from our DB will save us from having to store gobs of information (comic images) on our servers and reduce load on those boxes. Yes, we could have built a mod_perl handler to do the same thing, but we're looking at Flash as more a way to display a single comic.
We also decided to give Flash a whirl because it provides us with some cool options down the road. Like what you ask?
- How about being able to expand the viewing area and zoom-in on the comic?
- We're also thinking about developing a comic viewer that would allow you to view comics from your desktop or any other off-site environment.
- How about reading a whole "books" worth of a comic and not having to flip through multiple web pages?
Flash gives us the opportunity to design a very cool and high-function interface for ideas like those and many more.
I hope that answers some of your questions about Flash on the site. Enjoy the weekend!