Recently I found out that Macromedia Flash versions 5 and up support sockets.
Anyone ever use it for this sort of thing?
I've always been under the opinion that Flash is one of the more annoying technologies out there, as sites that rely heavily on it tend to violate a lot of (well justified) expectations people have about user interface design - as well as soak up a ton of bandwidth and take forever to load. Call me a minimalist if you will, but I usually don't like the web pages I visit screaming at me. :>
That said, this is VERY interesting. I've written a Perl script that runs as a daemon on the server, communicating back and forth with the Flash movie on the client-side. A user can actually input text, which is then sent to the Perl script on the server, and re-sent back to the Flash movie for presentation. I've actually created a very simple chatroom with this.
(This is primarily for a personal project of mine, but could eventually end up being used for DreamHost-related offerings of some kind.)
As far as I can tell, it's very light-weight resource-wise, and the Flash movie itself is just a hair over 4k.
It was also a lot easier for me than writing a similar Java client (as I'm not a Java expert by any definition), and I suspect a lot less CPU intensive.
Anyone ever do anything like this? Have you had good experiences with Flash implementations of this type?
- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin