Due to a non-disk related failure on a SAN, we have had to restore our forums server and blog servers from backup while this problem is being attended to by the device vendor. This has resulted in a few posts made since 2009-01-22 Australian EST being lost due to the timings of our backups. The hardware issue has now been resolved.
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One of the long standing issues with Flash based websites and content is the size of the file and consequently the time they take to load. When developing Flash content you should always consider the end user’s viewing experience. That’s why you need to give feedback to the viewer and tell them that content is loading – this is the purpose of a preloader. Welcome to The Art of the Preloader!
During the evolution of the Internet loading times have improved for the viewer, and so the designer. File sizes have been reduced by designers and web developers trimming down the amount of embedded images, videos and content. Streamed content has also contributed as it loads content as needed e.g. streaming FLVs and music. The Flash Player has also become more efficient at compressing content. Finally there is a steady growth in the number of high speed connections – although not to the extent multimedia designers from the 90′s would have hoped for. All these improvements have considerably improved the viewer’s experience but good designers still need to incorporate a Preloader and you should know how this is done. (more…)