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Flashmagazine switch delivery format

July 09th 2002 | Jens C Brynildsen

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Flashmagazine switch delivery format

Noticed something different about Flashmagazine lately? It's all of a sudden so very HTML-ish? Flashmagazine has been one of few sites about Flash that have been made entirely in the Flash SWF format. Believe us, to say goodbye to SWF as the delivery format was a VERY hard decision! It is hopefully not permanent.

by editor Jens C. Brynildsen Our main reason to leave SWF was that every new article had to be created by hand (except for the news section). This took a lot of time and prevented us from updating the magazine as often as we wanted. It also made it virtually impossible to publish to alternative formats, as the content was bound to the layout within a SWF-file. As of today, the whole content of Flashmagazine is now available for PocketPC. If you have one of those, just open flashmagazine.com to see all the content, including images, reformatted for that specific device. This is possible as we have transferred all our content (more than 540 articles) to a common database that will enable us to do just about anything with it, also create a Flash version some time in the future.

SWF gone for good?
Why didn't we make a Flash-version? Macromedia has once again failed to deliver support for automated text flow around images. As Flash now supports direct loading of JPG images, it should have been possible to add some basic support for IMG-tags in HTML-formatted content. Without this feature, you simply cannot do real "publishing" with Flash. If we could just find a good way to do this, we would switch back to SWF at once. And this time it would be much easier, due to the database. The new backend is however pure Flash MX, using drag and drop to publish the articles.

Some of you have noted that the resources section is gone. This only temporarily as it had become a bit outdated, but it will soon be back and updated more frequently in the time to come. The same goes for the whole mag. It is now much easier to publish new articles and we are no longer bound to creating new issues, and we will now publish new content constantly.

Bye, bye to ads
Another thing that is gone is advertising. The few banners we had were either favours or very low income agreements. Flashmagazine will be ad-free until someone can make us a real offer for advertising space. Getting 1-300 dollars for one full month of advertising simply isn't worth bothering, so for now we're uncommercial. This might change if our bandwidth bills rise, but most of you should have noticed that the new design is extremely lightweight, making it viewable from even very low bandwidth connections such as mobile phones. Bandwidth is now generously sponsored by the Norwegian hosting provider WebHead, offering professional services to the Norwegian market.

Stormy winds across the scene
Quite a lot has happened in the Flash scene lately. Netron, the company that have funded Flashmagazine, had to close its doors in April. Trying to save the company has caused Flashmagazine not to be updated as often as we have wished for, but that will change now. Netron is only one of many Flash-oriented companies that have gone that way. Dennis Interactive and many more have closed down, while others are fighting hard to survive.

It seems however that these things are changing. We already got plenty of jobs to keep us going through the summer and with all the new technology out from Macromedia lately, it seems that being a Flash developer will still be a great way to make a living.

Please tell us what you think of the new design for both the HTML and PocketPC version of the mag. Got ideas for how to solve text flow around images inside Flash? Sent us that too.

 

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