Sneak PeakFlash site UPDATED 8/30

BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 3:29 PM
At this point it still has a lot of rough edges. Mainly would like some feedback if you have trouble loading, if or not you have Service Pack 2 installed, what browser and version,etc..

Comments pro or con are of course always appreciated and welcome. I can't fix it if nobody tells me what's broke. <wink>

if you have NOT installed Service pack Two, go to this URL:

It should work smoothly, You will see a little picture of me, click the button, should play fully full screen, edge to edge. If you don't see me, then you don't have the latest Flash 7 player. A quick install from the Macromedia site. I haven't automated and alternate pages yet.

If you have installed Service pack Two go to this URL:

You'll see why I'm ranting how Microsoft screwed things up.

If you see the nag warnings at very top of page, follow the Microsoft prompts to allow the page to load. Don't get freaked by the moronic messages the idiots of Redmond put there. There is nothing malicious, simply run of the mill JavaScripting that's perfectly safe. It detects your screen resolution, browser name, version and your OS.

To see better if you did install Service Pack Two if you're using Microsoft's IE browser once the page loads click on View then full screen. To escape full screen, use IE's controls at extreme top right


Some movies aren't functional yet. Many of the buttons aren't active yet or not tested. Probably lots of typos. Since Microsoft broke the JavaScripting I have no idea if or not what parts of the Java Script work correctly, don't feel like undoing my install of Service Pack Two right now.

Menu choices that work are

green button go to tutorials

3D effects 1 tutorial
Calibration - just a test of a spinning earth
Color and Level Correction - 5 tutorials

To load click on any of the above buttons. For choices 1 and 3 sub menu will appear. On a roll over listing brief description of what tutorial is a about and a brief demo. Click to launch tutorial. Page buttons are provided to switch between pages. Movie buttons work correctly only for the 3D tutorial at this point.

If you have a BROADBAND connection loading should be very fast almost immediate. Depending on your speed you may see a brief flash of green and red which are what users of dial-up are seeing, the download status bar for each sub section of the site as it loads. For the movies you should see a status bar regardless of your connection speed since the movies while brief and fairly large in size. Its set to report how much is left to download both in seconds remaining and KB.

One feature I added is a GLOSSARY. Far from finished, much of the yellow text in the tutorials are cross referenced in the glossary.

To sample first click on the little blue glossary icon at left. Then once it opens at bottom of screen enter any search term in the space provided, the click on the search button. A list of "hits" will appear based on hits.

Example entering the word 'color' will for now produce 5 hits. Click on the one you're interested in and a brief reference is provided.


epirb wrote on 8/29/2004, 3:44 PM
Looks real nice, I have service pack 2 installed and it ran fine.
Navigated around with no problems and seemed very intuitive.
Cant wait til its done, looks like you've put alot of work into it.
Even on full screen though the text seemed too small.
Is that one of the issues you are dealing with?
BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 4:06 PM
For now I have text set at 12 points... but since I'm using scaling to exapand to full page regardless of resolution, text can get a little small if your resolution is high. I tested at a max of 1280x1024, not higher so far.

What resolution are you using? I'm maybe going to have Flash report those things and maybe adjust accordingly, but didn't get that far yet.

Text size is one of the things I'm looking for input on. Easy to change, its based on a style sheet. In fact in one of my earlier attempts I had a option to switch on the fly between small, medium and large text. While it worked some odd bug or something I'm doing wrong that resulted in the last few lines of text getting truncated if you switched size back and forth plus images I had originally embedded in the text which is phased as HTML through XML caused some images to overlap if you switched text sizes making it kind of messy and having more buttons to click to brute force fix it. I wanted to actually finish writing the tutorials to see what else pops up problem wise before addressing that.
JasonMurray wrote on 8/29/2004, 4:15 PM
I feel I should respond to this, as its a subject that's near to my heart (and my line of work)...

Why build a site completely in Flash? It makes pages impossible to bookmark, and it means I have to wait for the entire site to load on my 56k modem link before I can see anything.

Flash also eschews various principles of user interface design, making sites more difficult to use - for example, scrollbars look how the author of the site wants them to look, not how the host operating system wants them to look... how is the user supposed to identify user interface elements, and thus use the site?

I haven't seen your Flash file, as test.swf seems to be missing.

There are a couple of things here that simply should not be:
- Your site is attempting to open a popup window the size of my full screen. My browser window is set at the size it's set at for a purpose, please don't try to force me to view your site any other way.
- My browser blocks popup windows, thus making your site unusable. Now as an advanced user myself, I know I can simply unblock these popups. But for other users, you're going to confuse them.
- Search engines will not be able to index anything on your site - all they'll see is javascript commands to open a new window, and they won't follow that URL.

My browser is Mozilla Firefox, and I'm using XP with service pack 1. Just looking at your Javascript code, your site thinks I'm running Internet Explorer.

The days of browser detection should be long gone. Your site shouldn't care what browser I'm running. It's time we moved beyond the days of "this site requires browser X version Y at resolution Z for you to view it". Both Netscape and MSIE these days are perfectly capable of displaying the same HTML+CSS code in the same way.

I am a web developer first, and video editing is currently a hobby on the side for me.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I can see problems down the line for you because of the way you've coded your site - these problems can be fixed now, just by jettisoning the Flash-only approach and using HTML+CSS.
BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 4:49 PM
Why build in Flash?

Because its the future. All the points you raised I'm already well aware of. For Pete's sake I said its a work in progress. For now it works for those using Windows and IE Explorer.

I'm also aware of a tiny minority that always have and always will fuss 'how dare anyone' mess with YOUR browser settings. Years ago I used to butt heads with Alan Flavell (in his view, God's gift to mankind on all things HTML). There was a time when old Alan would go nuts if anybody dare embed a image on a web page. His view from years ago... open a seperate window. How dated. Things change. Today most of the more advanced sites use Flash. I've just scratched the surface in what I have planned for down the road so thanks but no thanks I'm not going to limit myself to crude HTML and just CSS, that's so 90ish thinking.

I use full screen because once the site is FINISHED lots of things will be capable of happening at once and to see them all it requires lots of screen real estate. For those that keep their browser at 300x200 or some other silly shrunk down size and go ape when visiting more advanced sites, for sure my site ain't for you or others that think that way. Sorry.

Oh by the way, YEARS AGO I was a web developer and made a bundle. Hope you do as well as I did.

JasonMurray wrote on 8/29/2004, 5:21 PM
Alan Flavell ...? If that's the same Alan Flavell formerly from Amiga-esque circles, that's funny ... I used to have some dealings with him. :) hehehehe

Okay so ... don't get defensive.

Flash isn't the future, sorry. It's inaccessible and counter-intuitive. Deaf users can't see the text of your site. Search engines can't see the text either. If search engines can't see it, they can't index it, so how will you attract visitors to your site? How can it be the future if there are so many drawbacks?

If your site is going to be used to house tutorials, shouldn't users be able to bookmark those tutorials so they can come back to them when they want to? Shouldn't they be able to print them, so they can refer to them when they're not online?

My browser window is kept at around 800x600 over my 1280x1024 screen.

Maybe your site's not for me, then -- but you haven't told me who it *IS* for... Who's the target audience?
ken c wrote on 8/29/2004, 5:31 PM
It's likely best to use a hybrid site design integrating flash with html ..
here's my best flash site (in progress) :

JasonMurray wrote on 8/29/2004, 5:47 PM
Hybrid designs are fine.

Flash has its' place - don't get me wrong about that - it's just that critical information that you want EVERYONE to be able to see shouldn't be placed in it.
apit34356 wrote on 8/29/2004, 6:45 PM
kencalhoun, fast load, nice look! billyboy site would not load. Will try later.
epirb wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:00 PM
BB ,
to answer your question to me , I am viewing it on a 16X9 Lcd monitor with a res. set at 1280X768.
In explorer my text size setting is a" largest" though I dont think that matters with Flash.

BTW Nice site too Ken, those are two things I'm really not very knowlegeable about Website building and Stock trading, got any tips on managing my 401k?
ken c wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:12 PM
Hi, thanks :p sorry I can't give advice ... personally, my idea of a long term hold is 20 minutes ... I trade stocks like video games...

Chienworks wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:17 PM
Hmmm. Browsing to i get a page that says "This should feed a new full screen page" and it just sits there. Browsing to i get a completely blank page and it just sits there.

Netscape 7.1, Windows XP Pro, have not installed SP2.
apit34356 wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:18 PM
Billyboy, your second address worked fine. I like your spinning cd disk and your images on the 3d page. I do not like the spinning world, mostly because of lack of definition. I assume that will change because your 3d page is really great, except the text is too small, its still a great page. Billyboy, your testsite is on the right pathway.
Catwell wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:41 PM
Sorry, but I can't get there. I am running Win 2K and IE6. The screen comes up and says "This should feed a new full screen page ". Then it sits there with no progress.
Spot|DSE wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:46 PM
Looking pretty good, except that on a 1024 x 768 screen, I can't read any of the text at all. I changed my monitor from the Smoke theme that I use most of the time to default Windows theme, and still couldn't read the size/color of text.
JasonMurray wrote on 8/29/2004, 7:52 PM
<antiflash rant>

That's because Flash overrides your preferences ...


thomaskay wrote on 8/29/2004, 8:09 PM
Apparently Google can now index flash:
donp wrote on 8/29/2004, 8:14 PM
I got there and went all the way to the 3D tutorial, no problems except the print size is way too small for these bifocal eyes. It needs to be several times bigger.
JasonMurray wrote on 8/29/2004, 8:28 PM
True, Google can index it, but only if the SWF is written in a particular way.

Also, if your SWF is in a popup window then you've lost Google as it won't follow Javascript popup commands.
BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 8:33 PM
Me like #5, (remember the silly Science fiction movie of the robot that got struck by lighting after being left out in the rain and became ALIVE and couldn't stop getting input? So i too ike input. Thanks.

#1 in my original long post I forgot to mention I only put up the portion that will work with Micro-crap's IE browser. If you're using Netscape or something else for now there are no alternate pages. Remember I'm just testing so far.

#2 if you see my message to myself that says "This should feed a new full screen page" that was just a test. What's happening is more stupid Micro-crap BS. You should only see it if you have installed their SP2, but you'll also you may see if you don't have a IE browser at this point.

Assuming you have IE what the dopes at Micro-crap have done without asking the wider Internet community is they now managed to break what I'm guessing are hundreds of thousands if not millions of web pages in attempting to impose what laughingly they call "security" measures to stop malicious hackers.

You can read all about the crap they did here:

Now in a nutshell what's suppose to happen (did) and now don't because of SP2.

What's effecting my site is I use a browser sniffer script. This detects what browser you're using, what version it is, your're resolution what OS, etc then it branches. Right now EVERYTHING is turned off accept for IE browsers.

IF you have a IE browser and the Flash 7 player installed then the script prior to SP2 opens a new window without any scroll bars or title or address bar.

When the site is further along it will AUTOMATICALLY ask if you want to get the latest Flash player. If you don't have it, you can get it and install it from here:

If your read the white paper linked above (first link, not the Macromeda one) Micro-crap now considers some of the very code THEY dumped on the public years ago a "security risk" so a so-called "pop up" window is not treated as malicious. I know, what a lot of crap... Anyhow that's what is happening. A NEW window that is the only window is a pop-up. Oh well.

've been playing with my new site off and one for several months when time permits. If you don't have Service Pack 2 installed and you have a recent version of IE browser, but not the latest which is apparently updated by SP2 then going to first should take you to a little page with my picture as part of a tiny Flash movie and a brief description of what happens when you push the button.

IF you don't have the latest version of the Flash player installed (version 7) you may hang on this page because like I said this is just a rough preview of what's to come and everything isn't plugged in yet.

If you are using IE AND you have version 7 of Flash's player installed you get to the main portion of the new site, if not you'll see the should feed a new page message only.

If you have SP2 installled, to bypass the mickey mouse warning click through when you goto the 2nd address I gave for SP2.

BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 8:53 PM
About text size. I agree kind of small. Over the next couple days I'll change it, probably adding a choice where you can choose between small, medium large.

Down the road it will have a custom print feature, for now while its a little hard to tell anytime you move over a text field for a tutorial it should be the I beam icon. If so you can use it to select text, the background behind the text changes to overlay a black background over the background pattern then you can use Ctrl + C to copy and Ctrl + L to paste what text you select into Notepad or whatever.

Nobody said anything about Judy, my Poser babe dancing. :(
John_Cline wrote on 8/29/2004, 9:16 PM
Mr. Schlake,

It is my opinion that, in its present condition, your new web site has made it more difficult and cumbersome to get to the "meat" of the information that you have available, specifically your tutorials. It is also my opinion that just because someone can make a purely Flash-based web site, doesn't necessarily mean that they should. In video, sometimes a cut or dissolve is more appropriate than a fancy 3D page turn. I believe the same holds true for web sites.

By the way, is that Gino's East still there on South Washington Street? Fabulous pizza! I had heard that they closed the original one downtown.

rmack350 wrote on 8/29/2004, 9:24 PM

I'm using IE6 and xphome sp1. All I see is the message "This should load..."

If it loads full screen I won't look at the site. That's just the way it is. Good luck!

Rob Mack
BillyBoy wrote on 8/29/2004, 9:59 PM
Well Mr. Cline, I haven't been in that part of downtown for a long time so don't know. Personal preference of course but I think Uno, nearby is better.

Don't look unless you want to get hungry.

Also if you're into deep dish Chicago style pizza one of my favorites is
Lou Malnati's. They do take orders and ship anywhere.

Now I AM hungry.

But if you like Gino's


If anyone cares many surveys rank Lou Malnati's and also Connie's which you can get frozen (yuck) at least locally is good. Use to work near their original location and they are responsible for me gaining at least twenty pounds. I use to bowl with a father son combo that each could put away a Connie large pizza as a snack after the usual munchies and beer while bowling. You think that's why they weighted over 300 pounds?

Grazie wrote on 8/29/2004, 10:10 PM
BB - This from the other side of the pond. Had a brief review of others posts here. So take this as 24 old news to you and others here .. . I wanted to assist and throw in my experience too.

Ok XP2 here:

Load speed is too long. Yes, I run Broadband.

Font size is impossible to read! It's about 1.5mm high.

Oh, please don't use "serif" TIMES font. Especially when it is zooming out .. nasty . . .

But, nice concept - not "clean enough" for my liking. Just 'cos one can do something, maybe you shouldn't.

Oh - when it came to offering to close this window, it closed down the whole of IE too! That's a new one for me?!?! I should've tried just the "Back" button . . . . . Maybe you need to have a message that says "To exit this site just click on that Back Button" . . other wise you are dumped outta IE too!

Best regards,