In the article “Flash applications” we had a quick survey of Flash, itself, some applications, and a technical overview. Most people have their first encounter with Flash via a video or animation. Before viewing these, however, Flash must be downloaded, usually from the Adobe website. A previous article discussed alternatives to Flash Player and AIR, applications you can download free. At first, it may seem that a lot was being made of nothing, as these applications do not cost a penny, but the real issue is one of dependence. The majority of videos and animations use Flash, but, believe it or not, Flash is used in automotive diagnostic software for On-Board Diagnostic Systems. Millions of students use it in educational software, some of which – such as Aplia – is required for courses, and that has Flash built into it. But, what if you really do not want Flash Player on your system? We answered that question last time, but the question surely remains about the software that Adobe sells to create videos and other web applications. This article begins a series on Adobe products that use Flash and alternatives. To recapitulate from before, Adobe tells readers on its website www.adobe.com that it has available for “products and solutions”:
Creative Suite (CS)
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First, we should untangle the web of jargon and see what the basic Flash type applications are as a part of several “suites”. Also, we need to use a magnifying glass to analyze critically how one reads the Adobe web page. Keep in mind that this critical thinking method should be applied in viewing any commercial website. Investment costs aside – and, in some cases, this is nothing to brush aside lightly – there is the dependency issue, especially when subscriptions are involved. If you create a number of files that require Flash, and suddenly the rug is pulled out from under you because, for some reason, you no longer have access to it, what do you do? Part of this critical thinking process involves your seriously looking at your needs and seeing which ones are so unique that they really do require Flash and no other application will do. Take your eyes away from all the hype and glitz and think objectively. One should keep in mind that numerous proprietary applications are built upon platforms and using tools freely available. C++ is a programming language that is open source, as well as is the Linux operating system and its variants. One is paying for the developer’s efforts and company’s marketing to get a particular product and convenience associated with it. It also can be asked how much flexibility a basic application has. For example, while convenient, perhaps, is it necessary to have all those templates bundled with an application, or is it enough to create your own?
All this doesn’t mean one should not purchase an application, but you should back off from the emotive “high” evoked by an advertising claim and consider that often the actuality does not meet the expectations. Again, this piece of critical thinking advice applies all across the spectrum in any world.
Our point of view will be taken that you do not have the software in hand but are only considering buying it. You will find a lot of reviews, blogs, and other opinions, but here, we will present how to evaluate what you are considering purchasing and whether programs can be had that do essentially the same thing.
While Adobe may not mention Flash in their presentations of a particular product one can only wonder how much of Flash is actually used, as Flash is a specialized way of managing graphics, proprietary to Adobe. Any time “FLV” – Flash Video file format is used, such as in Adobe’s Contribute CS5 web publishing, Flash technology, of course, is involved. Why would Adobe wander outside this domain to use a non-Flash application? We see in Adobe® Director® 11.5 that there is “support” for Flash, but this application enables one to “publish compelling interactive games …simulations …”, exactly the same as can be done for Flash. If you already have Flash, why is there the need for Adobe® Director®? The same is true for Adobe eLearning Suite 2, with a user, “Roundtripping between Adobe Captivate 5 and Adobe Flash® Professional CS5 ”. $1799.