Is Adobe rethinking how Flash should be used?

Adobe Home Page

Ever since Adobe acquired Macromedia, just about every page at has been thick with Flash content. Their home page, especially, always had lots of motion and giant interactive flash banners. Recently, they’ve been doing some redesign work on the site, and I was extremely surprised today when I noticed that the entire site is almost completely void of any Flash content. Flash is used very sparingly (and tastefully). And, the home page currently has no Flash at all.

Given Adobe’s past use of Flash, and their very public feud with Apple regarding the quality, stability, and usefulness of Flash, I found this new, subtle use to be very uncharacteristic of them.

Now, I’m not complaining at all. I personally think the site is better without all that overuse of Flash. But, it does make me wonder if Adobe is rethinking exactly how and when Flash should be used.

I was actually kind of surprised when Adobe starting adding all that Flash to their site in the first place. Many years ago Macromedia tried to convert their entire site to Flash, and it was a dismal failure. One which they spent months undoing. I would have thought that Adobe would learn from Macromedia’s mistake.

So, is Adobe rethinking it’s position on how Flash should be used, or have the Flash designers simply not caught up with the web designers, and all that Flash will be back eventually? Only time will tell.

Adobe Addresses Security Vulnerabilities in Flash, but not Acrobat or Reader

Adobe has released a new version of the Flash plugin for Mac, Windows, and Linux, that addresses a serious security vulnerability. The update fixes a critical flaw which could cause your computer to be hacked merely by viewing a malicious SWF (Shockwave Flash) file, according to Adobe’s advisory

Adobe has a Web page that will automatically display what Flash version you’re using, and allow you to download the update, if needed.

Meanwhile, there’s no fix yet for a serious security flaw in Adobe Acrobat and Reader that was reported a few weeks ago. (More Info at Macworld)

via Macworld

Sprout Builder: Drag-and-drop WYSIWYG Flash Widget Builder

[ YouTube Link ]

I recently finished some work for a new startup here in San Francisco called, Sprout. I built this movie for them (above).

Their product is called Sprout Builder. It’s an easy to use drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG Flash interface for building live, interactive multimedia content that can easily be added to any web page. Basically, they’re widgets… or as they call them, Sprouts. They introduced the Sprout Builder at the DEMO conference on January 29th.

I have to admit, when they first approached me to make the movie, I thought to myself… another widget maker, big woop. But, when I started to play around with the Sprout Builder I realized that they’ve actually made a pretty cool tool, with a lot of power, that is easy for just about anyone to use. It’s way ahead of anything else out there right now.

With Sprout Builder you can build relatively simple things like rss feed readers or countdown Sprouts (widgets), but you can also build very complex multi-page, interactive micro-sites, using just the pre-built components that they give you. The Sprout Builder has its own drawing and text tools, but you can also upload (or link to) your own images, video, audio, etc… The Sprout Builder has an intuitive interface, that will be familiar to anyone who has used tools like Photoshop, or Powerpoint.

Unfortunately, the Sprout Builder is currently in Closed Beta, so not everyone can get their hands on it just yet. But, you can sign up on the site to be notified when it’s opened up to everyone. If you have a website, it’s worth checking out.

Check out these reviews to see what others are saying about Sprout…


Oh, and as long as I’m talking about this, I might as well through out some shameless self-promotion. After all, from what I hear the movie has been pretty well received. If you’re interested in having me produce some marketing material for you, feel free to contact me through my online portfolio site.