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Flash
Macromedia Studio 8 Now Shipping!
I'll probably end up with a copy of Macromedia Studio 8 in the very near future.  I use Dreamweaver for writing web documents, but I don't actually use any of the auto-design or tools built in.  I just sort-of got use to the color coded interface, and it became my regular code editor.  I'm hoping that there will be some great ActionScript improvements in Flash 8.  I good search and replace interface would improve it 100 times, but that may be wishful thinking.  After all, Microsoft hasn't improved the notepad search and replace (if you can call it that) functionality since the first version of windows shipped.  It's a shame in the software industry you have to keep on top of the current technologies, even if you know something better is comming out just around the corner.  I'm not sure if your aware, but Macromedia was bought out by Adobe to create a web graphics super-power.  I can't wait to see the studio they release that has both Flash and Photoshop, and the designers will love what they end up doing with Illustrator and Flash.  Big changes are coming in 2006, are you ready?

What is Flash?  Well if you have ever browsed the web and saw an animated ad, most likely it was Flash.  Macromedia (who is now owned by Adobe) Flash has become so popular on the web that it is almost as standard as JavaScript or HTML.  Flash is a very powerful animation tool that uses Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG).  By using SVG, Flash can display large animations with very low file sizes.

While Flash is great for adding a little zing to a web site, Flash is also the most abused technology on the web.  It is real easy to distract from the content on the site using a Flash piece.  I always say that people should be required to have a license to put Flash on the web, but I doubt that law will ever pass.