In this time of Web 2.0, serving your clients with rich content over the internet has become probably more a survival strategy than a matter of taste. Of course, since some web-pages can
It is increasingly common to hear arguments about the RIA’s deployment of Flash against the RIA’s deployment of Ajax. I consider this to be the wrong approach to build any web-site. Architects do not choose first the material of their buildings and then make the sketch. You do can discuss if wood is better than stone or stone is better than wood. But when it comes to build a barn or shack probably you will be better off if you stick to wood. On the other hand, for a building stone will be unavoidable to use concrete. A third alternative is that you use wood, glass, concrete or stone there where you have a need to it. Approaching a development through this top-down point of view guarantee that you will take the right decision for the corners of your project, that the whole will be a whole and that the intended function will be fulfilled.
The approach to building a web-site should follow the same path. Analyse what function your site fulfil, break it down into components and start walking. For each component choose the more suited technology. Don’t build something with Flash that you can do 2 times faster with Ajax.
Take for example Google Finance. In the site you’ll find an implementation of Ajax, where it is suited for. All the action behind the scenes is done in it. The Ajax implementation will gather all technical specs and parameter of your request. But when it comes to provide the user with a sophisticated graph, they reach to Flash and present the result in it.
Summarising, the main capabilities of Flash are: audio, streaming video, animations with irregular shapes, sockets (gathering data from databases). This last feature is very useful for internet based games, stock exchange trading programs, etc.
The weak points of Flash are clearly: weak text layout, and dynamically uploading and presenting text.
If you are in the crossroad and asking yourself: ‘œSo, Ajax or Flash?’ Important is to keep in sight in which direction your web-site will be growing. Do you need fancy graphic design or is it text heavy? Instead of trying to find an answer, imagine your site like a set of component (it is a set of components anyway) and choose the proper technology for each of this components.
- AJAX vs. Flash vs. Java
- The Ten-Minute Web Developer’s Link List
- Why Web Development Still Sucks
- Playing with the Google calculator
- This month special (or: selling myself cheap)