Get Flash to F... Off

No Flash Flash sites are the web's equivalent of the blonde portrayed in blonde jokes: Pretty, but really dumb.

As Wikepedia says, the World Wide Web is a global information space which people can access via computers connected to the Internet. Ideally, to achieve that goal of global connectivity, web sites should:

Unfortunately, sites written in Macromedia Flash break with all those ideals, for little reason, all for a few cute graphics. Let's look at those areas in turn.

Hardware dependence

Software dependence

Being found and accessed

While some search engines are now attempting to index Flash sites, their efficiency varies. When there are multiple Flash objects on a page, those will be indexed independently and search engine users will be directed to the individual Flash objects/movies/etc, rather than to the parent web page... unless that web page has actual content.


Many vision-impaired individuals use software to read web sites to them and tell them how to navigate. With HTML, this simply works. With Flash, it might work, but only if the developers have put a great deal of money and effort into testing their site with screen reader software. This is extremely unlikely to happen, except perhaps on a very large site. It should be noted that discrimination against the disabled is illegal in some countries and the 2000 Sydney Olympics was prosecuted for providing a site that wasn't sufficiently usable to the blind... and they weren't even using Flash, just very poor HTML coding practices!

In short, a Flash-based site basically says to visitors: "Unless you have the software we want you to, have copious bandwidth and CPU power, don't mind us controlling what you see and do, and don't have a visual disability, screw you. Cute graphics are more important to us than content."