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Is Flash really “needed”? – Mel Pedley

> specific to flash/shockwave content, there are many clear solutions &
> best practices in embedding flash objects out there. but before we
> criticize, why not to try some techniques like the "unobtrusive flash
> object" (ufo), geoff sterns' flashobject, the "nested objects", et al
> instead?

I have heard good things said of the Flash-Satay method of embedding Flash in terms of producing good semantic code but the main issue still remain – how accessible is the Flash object itself? There is no doubt that Flash is becoming more accessible but the skills needs to prodice accessibler Flash objects are still rare. The J.K Rowking’s Accessible Flash Site is an example of just how accessible Flash can be but that site took about 12 months to develop and involved a very steep learning curve for all involved (including Macromedia themselves). Most sites that feature Flash do not have this kind of time, skill or money.

I am just completing a formal assessment of a major UK web site with the Shaw Trust and this site features Flash content which is *completely* inaccessible. The issue here is not lack of finances but lack of skill and understanding.

> accessibility concern?...maybe this will help: results of testing six
> methods for including flash content in a web page,
> http://weblogs.macromedia.com/accessibility/archives/2005/08/in_search_of_a.cfm

Anything written by Bob Regan is well worth reading. 🙂

> btw, if we're hesitant to try this (especially those who do not like
> programming including me:)), the practical answer is i guess,... don't
> embed flash. :)

I’d agree – especially when there is no real *need* to use Flash. There is no doubt that Flash has its uses. It can sometimes convey very complex concepts very easily when trying to describe the same concept in text would be very difficult. What I object to is Flash being used simply because “It’s cool” or “It’s the latest thing” when there are far better ways of communicating with an audience.

> embed tag is *undefined* element in every standard document type (e.g.
> html) nowadays. btw, here's an article related to this... (have time
> to read this)
> http://alistapart.com/articles/byebyeembed
> mel, thanks about the shaw-trust thing.

No problem. It’s only by sharing and discussing these ideas that we can all learn.