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Animation with the Timeline

As a leader in vector-based animation programs, Macromedia's Flash and Director applications provide developers with uncompromised flexibility. Developers create their animated applications, export them as either SWF or SWD files, and then import them into Dreamweaver so that they can be presented to users in a browser that has the appropriate plug-in pre-installed. Although Flash, Director, and Dreamweaver all provide the ability to work with animations, the difference in file output and complexity between the three programs is unmistakable. The one similarity these applications share, however, is frame-based animation controlled using a timeline.

Make no mistake about it, Flash and Director are still considered the standard for vector-based web animation. The only drawback to using these programs is that the user's browser must have the appropriate plug-in to see the specific animation. If the user's browser doesn't have the appropriate plug-in installed, the animation won't be visible, resulting in a negative user experience. Because the Dreamweaver timeline is essentially an interface for managing HTML-based animations, no plug-ins are required, thus it might be a viable alternative to technologies such as Flash or Director that require plug-ins.


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