Smokescreen, formats, runtimes

SWF file format has had a public specification, like HTML, for over a decade. As browsers’ script-execution improves it becomes possible to read SWF files and render parts of them. As a coding effort, impressive work. As a publishing solution, look at its efficiency.

Folks on Techmeme picked up on Chris Smoak’s Smokescreen a SWF-consuming JavaScript application in similar vein to Tobias Schneider’s Gordon project.

My close to that January essay on Gordon still stands: “There are differences between HTML and SWF, but even a JavaScript engine can understand simple SWF files… nothing mysterious or alien about it.”

The logical error in Techmeme headlines right now is that because some files work, many files work, and work well enough to be practical, if not preferable. Technologies are only tools… you use each where each works best.

Some people do seem to harvest their news mostly from quick newspaper headlines. They’ll pay the cost. But it would be good if the news writers did a little more digging, a little more original thought, before promoting such headlines to their readers. Please, read around a little more… think things through for yourself.