Difference between shockwave and flash
Shockwave vs Flash:
Shockwave and Flash are internet software that people easily confuse to be the same. This is mostly Adobe’s (formerly Macromedia) fault. The Shockwave plugin came first, back in 1995, as a way to play back multimedia content, animation and small programs in a Web page. Flash came a few years later, and was dubbed “Shockwave Flash” for a while. The files still use the extension .swf even today. These two applications cover mostly the same ground. While the players appear to work the same to the average user, they do differ in function and design. Therefore, this article aims to clarify the distinction between Shockwave and Flash providing brief descriptions regarding the two.
What is Shockwave?
Shockwave is the initial attempt of Macromedia of an online multimedia player. It allows Adobe Director Applications to be published on the Internet and viewed in a web browser on any computer which has the Shockwave plug-in installed. Shockwave is especially popular for interactive games. However, Macromedia has identified over 2,000 sites that offer Shockwave files, including sites for General Motors, Nissan, Kodak, Microsoft, Intel and Apple. While there is support for including Flash movies inside Shockwave files, authors often choose the Shockwave Director combination over Flash because it offers more features and more powerful tools. Director, the software application used to create Shockwave files, has been around for a long time, longer than the Internet in its current form. It was originally developed to create dynamic content for CD-ROMs and it is still used for this purpose. As dynamic content has become more popular on the Internet, however, updated versions of Director have included more features that tailor Shockwave files for use on the Web.
What is Flash?
What is the difference between Shockwave and Flash?
According to Adobe, Shockwave and Flash players both provide a clear and fast way of viewing online content, but each has its own purpose. Flash is ideal for loading front-end web applications (those with which users interact directly), websites with numerous user interaction features, interactive advertising, and short animation movies. Shockwave works best with destination web content such as product demos, presentations, online shopping carts and multi-user games. Flash and Shockwave also differs largely in popularity due to the availability of their plugins. Flash is thought to be installed in around 95 per cent of computers that are connected to the internet while Shockwave is only installed on 55 per cent. This is because you can get a Flash plugin for just about any browser running on any operating system. For shockwave, it is only available on Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. People who are using other operating systems like Linux or Solaris cannot view content with shockwave.
Flash is the faster, sleeker version, which requires less technical know-how to use, and it costs less to master (in terms of classes, books and buying the program to create Flash files). Shockwave is mostly costly to learn and requires advanced scripting and technical knowledge. But it can integrate Flash files (Flash cannot do the same for Shockwave files) and is more challenging to decode and modify. While Flash is more ubiquitous, Shockwave is more powerful. It includes a full 3D playback environment that uses 3D software and hardware, which is why Shockwave is used for a lot of 3D games on the Web. Shockwave can also incorporate Flash content inside Shockwave applications, which further confuses the two. Flash was built from the ground up for use on the Web. Macromedia adapted Flash from Future Splash Animator, a vector art animation program. Macromedia’s version was tailored specifically for transmission over phone line connections. Therefore, Flash and Shockwave have two different specialties.
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