More bad design from Apple, but I kind of appreciate it anyway

Well, a little. In that schadenfreude, watching two disliked entities attack each other, way.

I'm not a big fan of Apple/Mac. Most of my years using a computer have been on a PC, so I'm most comfortable there. I've spent about 3 years using Macs at workplaces, but in many respects I'd rather be back on MS DOS or a Linux box than a Mac. I'm not going to get into all the reasons why I have a low opinion of Apple/Mac; for now, I'll just say there are many, like, for example, how controlling and anti-modification Apple is of their devices.

I also really, really, REALLY dislike Flash, at least the way it gets overused and abused on the Web. It's a fun program to use, and I can definitely see the appeal in designing an entire website in Flash, but I think it is a terrible method.

Now, since I'm not a raving Apple fan, I had no idea until the iPad came out that for years, Apple has been making devices that can't play Flash.

Suddenly, Apple devices and Flash are all over the news! OH NOES, you can't play Flash on the iPad! Doom! Woe!

I get it, to a point. I think the current version of Flash out there is what, 10? Well, I've been running 8 for a long time and haven't bothered to upgrade (a program I liked required Flash 8, so I actually downgraded from 9 to 8.) So there are a lot of design firms whose websites I cannot view. At. All. Unless I use someone else's computer and they are up to date.

So I know how really, really aggravating it is to be unable to get any information from a firm or artist or even a subsection of a site because they require not just Flash, but the Latest and Greatest Flash.

And I think it is crappy design on Apple's part to release devices that are supposed to give you all this great and wonderful access to the Internets, yes you MUST BUY APPLE because no one does it better! and it's such wonderful design! except with no easy way to view lots and lots and lots of popular content. (Maybe not "crappy design," because Apple intentionally does not give easy access to Flash, because Apple has no love for Adobe. And I think objects that are intentionally less functional than they could be, because of some sort of competitive/grudge thing between two companies, so you the consumer wind up with a device that lacks some important function, and the manufacturer can get away with it because of their hype, these are not good objects. Only mostly good, at best. So, I don't know? Bad design? Grudging design? Selfish design? Oh, that turned into an anti-Apple rant, and I was going to try to avoid it; I need to save some ideas for later writing.)

But back to Flash:

It blows my mind that companies will spend lots of time or money or both to get a really slick "oh look at us we're a Design Firm" Flash-based website built, and not provide any alternative for people who: can't get the Latest and Greatest; don't run it because they are concerned about security issues; or are unable to view content via Flash even if they have the Latest and Greatest, because of poor implementation of Flash's accessibility features.

I'm especially angry about architecture firms who fail in this regard. The Americans with Disabilities Act is law, and it has to be taken into consideration with thousands of projects, but as soon as the design isn't a building, accessibility for everyone goes out the window, all so the website can be carefully controlled and scripted?! I don't know how often it is a deliberate choice, another example of architectural arrogance and control issues, versus just plain thoughtlessness.

And there are other criticisms of Flash, too. Your normal browser functions don't work, you can't bookmark something inside the website, only the front page, and it's not open source. I question whether this kind of proprietary design is sustainable, and what the overuse of this kind of proprietary design does to a system like the Internet, which was built on openness.

So I am practically giddy with the thought that, now that it's not just the iPhone but also the iPad denying Flash, that all the Flash-only offenders may finally FINALLY get around to building their sites the right way, or having a no-Flash alternative, so that everyone can see what they have to say to the world.

And those that choose to limit their audience by short-sighted design decisions? I'm not going to weep for them losing the iPhone/iPad audience.

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