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What Is Flash?

Flash content is plugin-based media, following all the rules and restrictions of QuickTime, Shockwave, and the other media covered in the preceding chapter. The file format for online Flash movies is SWF (pronounced “swiff”). Most Flash media is created in the Macromedia Flash authoring program—though, since Macromedia opened up the format to other developers, more and more content is being developed in other programs as well. Viewing SWF movies requires the Flash Player, which is available as a plugin and an ActiveX control. Macromedia estimates that 96 percent of the web-browsing public has some version of the Flash Player installed. Internet Explorer 6 for Windows comes with the ActiveX control preinstalled.

Advantages of Using Flash in Web Sites

Why is Flash so popular? Apart from being the right format in the right place at the right time (and well-promoted, as well), Flash content offers a variety of benefits perfectly suited to web developers interested in multimedia content.


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