Updated: 1/6/2004; 11:08:43 PM.
Jeremy Allaire's Radio
An exploration of media, communications and applications over the Internet.

This is a personal weblog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer.


Friday, September 27, 2002

FlashGuru picked up this jewel -- a German fellow who's built a PDF-to-SWF conversion utility. The sample website is in German, but you get the idea.

Why is this so cool and powerful -- e.g. why wouldn't someone just use Adobe Acrobat?

  • The utility supports Flash 4 and upwards, giving you an electronic document with 95%+ ubiquity, way higher than any version of Acrobat, ensuring a broader set of capable viewers.
  • It's built as a SOAP web service --- pass it a PDF and get a SWF back. I love it!
  • Acrobat has a fixed interface that is out of the context of the host website or application, whereas a SWF file can be dynamically loaded into a more complex piece of content or a custom application. For example, you can't embed and view a PDF in a section of a webpage, but you can easily do this with a SWF.
  • Because you can contain the SWF file inside another Flash application, you can build higher-order navigation and text-reading tools
  • The Flash runtime download is about 375k --- Adobe Acrobat is about 9MB to download
  • As a portable format, Flash 4 compatible SWF runs on pretty much any desktop operating system, and very broadly on Pocket PCs

It will be interesting to see how people use this...
9:51:49 PM    comment []

This piece on CNet today was picked up by FlashtheFuture.com and is right on the money. I've been watching the quickly developing market for higher-powered 802.11b technologies. At sub-$5K, this looks like a VERY attractive approach to delivering WiFi broadband services not just in rural areas but also commercial areas. For example, I can see a business in the center of a town serving it up as WiFi and offering subscription services at any of the small business, restaurants and cafe's in that area. Seems like connecting these cheap devices with billing/provisioning networks so that users have a consistent service provider would go a long way. I'm looking forward to it!
4:45:57 PM    comment []

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