September 26, 2003
A Bloated Widget Tool?

If you take this discussion about Central on Yahooray as a snapshot of public reception (aka non-community) I see a rather mixed feeback with a tendency to the negative side. Two issues are:

What is this thing anyway? People don't see the use of it. Especially mac users already have Konfabulator.

The installation process - the fact that the Flash player is able to install an .exe on your harddrive creates a feeling of uneasyness. As the process is not transparent, there is a fear that the same mechanism might be highjacked to deliver worms or viri.

A quote: "This is Macromedia, so I assume that there is approximately zero security." - Yes, and Flash is an animation software. Macromedia Marketing? - I need backup!

Posted at September 26, 2003 10:39 AM | Further reading

you speak about 'non-community' and the 'installation process':
is it true that non-geek people have the ability to think about such a 'sensible' issue ?
anyway, do you believe that we could have such a vision ? ... I don't like the current shape of central (its apps and its layout) but I view a clear strength for the future of flash developpers! ... isn't it ?

Posted by: cedric on September 26, 2003 02:36 PM


What is it that you dislike about the layout of Central. What do you think could be changed?


Macromedia hasn't really told the public about Central yet, it's just us techies that are following it now. I'd gather that when more apps are released and Macromedia does it's BIG marketing thing, the public will take a warming to it :o)

Posted by: Geoffrey Williams (TMM) on September 26, 2003 03:56 PM

Im excited. Does anyone know if the default layout is set to work with those that have 800x600 displays cause even if i maximize central, the applications are still set to the normal size. Then if I click on another application, the player goes back to the default size. Am i presuming that all applications have to be built for that size, or can we as flash developers utilize a larger screen size for our apps, and stop central from resizing to the smaller size. Also, how did macromedia get central to install like that. I checked out the code, and it seems that they set up a socket server, but it has to be more than that. Does macromedia have the ability to do that since our machines have a signed signiture from Macromedia, and since we downloaded the active x control from their site? In other words, this is impossible for us to do unless we have an active x control to control on others machines. Right?

Posted by: dominick on September 26, 2003 04:36 PM

Hi Mario, I clicked over there and wasn't compelled to read much... anonymous people with uninformed opinions posting merely for the sake of social status among other anonyms doesn't compell me much.

For your own information, there isn't an executable installed. The Macromedia Flash Player 6 had a hook in it to host Central's out-of-browser windows... the Player plugin itself was the executable code, and Central builds as SWF off of this rendering engine.

For Konfabulator, I've tracked it, but I don't know that anyone has done a point-by-point comparison. Although both can host tools I think that the user orientation is very different... because of Konfabulator's security model you're choosing tools you trust and accept on your Mac OS X desktop, where with Central the goal is to create an economy where developers can sell tools into the larger consumer market. There's the whole critical-mass thing too, where it's more useful to put development time into something that many can use regardless of OS. The component library is probably another angle... I'll start collecting these differences, but don't have them together yet, sorry.

Posted by: John Dowdell on September 26, 2003 05:19 PM

Now that's what I call a statement in perfect Dowdell-speak - thanks John for popping in and especially for making that executable thing clear.
But I promise you - this will not be the only place where you'll have to explain that. How about adding this little detail to the FAQ?

Posted by: Mario Klingemann on September 26, 2003 05:32 PM

"... perfect Dowdell-speak...." Please don't say that, it scares me.... ;-)

Unfortunately I was wrong about Central all being in SWF files... the Flash Player 6's hook actually installs a particular standalone Flash Projector from the Macromedia site. Best info so far is in this FlashCoders thread, although there's work being done to get this background info more fully documented.

Posted by: John Dowdell on September 26, 2003 09:59 PM

Whoops, URL didn't take... FlashCoders thread:


Posted by: John Dowdell on September 26, 2003 10:46 PM
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