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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England
Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2004 10:48:47 +0100

On 2004-10-13 10:52:31 +0100 Alex Hudson <address@hidden> wrote:

Depends whether you're looking at home users, business users, European,
etc. Macromedia's NPD survey says 98.3% across European users.

I think the NPD survey is the one at http://www.macromedia.com/software/player_census/flashplayer/ but where are the quoted European results and methodology?

Commercial experience bears that out; I don't think you'll find anyone
seriously disputing Flash's installed base.

That's certainly far higher than I would expect from experiences around here. Even so, I expect Flash player is less common than average among those I know commercially for three reasons: higher-than-average GNU/Linux use - flash still brittle and not required for most tasks; more education and conservative commercial users than average - extensions disabled for security; older systems than average - extensions disabled for performance.

I'm aware SMIL is a few years behind in terms of installations and applications, but they're not show-stoppers for a long-term direction. How isn't it as capable?
SMIL isn't even close to the same feature set.
[...] It's a completely different kettle of fish to Flash (if it was
competitive, Flash player certainly wouldn't support it). [...]

I'm puzzled by this bracketed comment. Does Flash player support SMIL? If so, isn't its installed base at least as big as that of Flash player?

SMIL doesn't specify content encoding either, as far as I know. [...]

No, but it looks like alternatives can be given, although I know that means multiple encoding until the best codec set wins.

The major problem, though, isn't really the technology per se; it's the
authoring tools. Web animators are used to using Flash director in the
same way they're used to using Photoshop.

Three approaches, I guess:
1. file format conversion - are there any already?
2. develop new authoring tools - the GIMP problem of user inertia for existing users 3. persuade "Flash director" to support standard formats - seems unlikely

As far as I can tell, we're best to encourage some combination of 1 and 2.

MJR/slef    My Opinion Only and not of any group I know
 Creative copyleft computing - http://www.ttllp.co.uk/
Speaking at ESF on Sat 16 Oct - http://www.affs.org.uk/

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