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malevolent design weblog

This blog is now defunct, but you can find more stuff over at my personal site

The Flashy Rodent Dilemma

Last year this site was the neglected one, with a tired old design and infrequent updates; now the situation is pretty much reversed and it’s malevole (my ‘stupid’ weblog) that’s stagnant and uninspiring.

I’ve got a redesign plus several new features planned out, but have dithered over one key decision: whether to switch to a Flash interface.

The temptation is obvious — producing slick, seamless effects and smooth movement is a doddle in Flash. It’d also be interesting to make use of some of the server communication features, play around with interface ideas (including tightly-integrated games), and tackle the usability and accessibility challenges.

But one detail, which may seem relatively minor, really bothers me and currently tips the scales in favour of JavaScript. Like many Firefox users I’m hooked on middle-clicking to open links in a new tab in the background, but there’s no way to support this (and other similar behaviours such as shift-clicking) in a Flash site. As browsers allow buttons to be configured, and Flash can’t reliably associate clicks with page loads anyway (everything’s flexibly scripted), this isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future.

Is this a valid concern, or am I being too picky over what is an intentionally trivial, stupid site? Should I just live with Flash’s inherent limitations and go all-out for a multimedia malevole?


I really don't like Flash so I'd appreciate it if you don't go down that route. It's not much of an argument against it I know but I also use Firefox and would miss the tab opening mouse button thing.
I regularly check Malevole to see if anything new has appeared. It usually hasn't so the archive is great to fall back on. I particularly like the Identikit Project but I'm vain so I would.

— Dave Beard, 16th Feb, 1:49am

It must be like stepping into a hall of mirrors!

Matt Round, 18th Feb, 8:53pm

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