Shock Wave

Shockwave is a web browser plugin which allows the user to view software developed with Macromedia Director. The programming language used in Director is Lingo and many dynamic and powerful applications can be created using multimedia elements controlled with the Lingo scripting language. The shockwave plug-in is capable of displaying hardware-accelerated 3D graphics, connecting with multiuser servers, and executes code around 10 times faster than Flash.

Example links of pages which make use of the Shockwave Plug-In are listed below.

"What can I say? I'm honored to be listed alongside RobotDuck and Barry 'The Gerbil' down at the Burrow!! Thanks for the kind words." - Parrot.

Uninstalling the ShockWave plugin is a great way of speeding up webpage display.

The above statement is not true. Uninstalling the shockwave plug-in simply renders shockwave content unviewable. It makes no difference to the speed of pages that do not have shockwave content.

Concur. I blow away all Macromedia junk out of my machines so that I can have a Web cruising experience unencumbered by useless fluff that takes forever to load and exe-"cute." Somebody didn't appreciate that statement and deleted it, so I guess now I have to sign it. <sigh> -- MartySchrader

A site using pure HTML gets my vote over a site that requires ShockWave to get to the data. ShockWave is fine for glitz but it really just gets in the way of the data. Part of looking after your readers is making sure they don't get caught behind flash and pomp (without having to click a tiny little "skip intro" button.)

Yeah, and don't forget that the "Skip Intro" button may, itself, be part of the Shockwave presentation, so if you don't have a means of displaying the movie you may never get the chance to skip it. You may also never see the dumb-ass "Click here to continue" drivel that so many Shockwave "artists" insist on tacking on to the end of the featurette. Oy.

The above negative comments lack depth, for the following reasons. Firstly, shockwave is, in fact, very rarely used for intro pages (perhaps you're confusing shockwave with flash?).

Second, it is agreed that lengthy intros and supurfluous guff which delays your access to meaningful content (whatever plug-in is used) is always a pain in the ass. However, bad design like this is *always* the fault of the web site's designer, rather than an inherent problem with the plug-in itself. If you don't like crap flash intros, then don't visit crap sites with crap flash intros.

With well designed sites that make use of flash or shockwave, it is often the case that the shockwave (or flash) files actually *are* the meaningful and desired content (such as an online games site, for instance), and are not merely decorative 'glitz'.

-- RobotDuck

Yeah, well, Shockwave, Flash, whatever. Decorative glitz one and all, and no content conveyed in the mean time. Sorry, that's just the fact of the matter.

Again, the above is an ill-conceived comment, because the contributor is describing an opinion based soley on their own requirements for valuable content. If they would think outside of their own idea of valuable content for a moment, they might consider why many millions of visitors per month visit sites with shockwave content, and even pay for that content? It is specifically because they value the content of these sites. Just because this particular type of content does not appeal to you as an individual, it does not mean that it is not valuable to others. You might be interested in using the internet to read articles, or look up textual information (which can be valid, valuable content), however others may be interested in images, sound, animation, video, live audio, shockwave, flash, or any other type of content that the internet can provide (which can also valid, valuable content). Valuable content comes in many forms, and text is only one of those forms. (And all forms are susceptible to bad design and lack of content!). It would be nice to have a little wider thought put into the comments left here. -- RobotDuck

I have to agree with Robotduck. All forms of internet material are suspeptible to bad design and lack of content. But I have also seen some sites (notably sites geared towards children) where the interactive and/or 3D capabilities of shockwave content can be both entertaining and educational. It is true that not everyone using the internet may like having the shockwave plugin because it interferes with their needs, you can't deny that for people interested in using shockwave content where it is an advantage to them means that shockwave is not a worthless application. Luckily, on the internet, people have the ultimate say in what content they view or don't view. -- kate

The point is that Glitz-O-Matic, in whatever form it takes, gets between me and the information I am seeking. It is a barrier to the conveyance of data. If a site is trying to convey visuals then all this wonderful animation stuff is great. If a site is simply conveying text and images for the purpose of documentation then the glitz is a pain in the ass, period.

Of course a glitzy shockwave or flash intro would get in the way of a site intended to convey textual content. We all agree with you. It just shouldn't be there. But that doesn't mean that all shockwave content is a pain in the ass. It would be like me saying all jpegs are a pain in the ass, just because some site that I visited stuck a 300k jpeg that says 'welcome' on their front page. In both cases, it means the designers of those offending sites sites are the 'pain in the ass'.

If the user in question happens to be looking for a multiplayer shockwave game, or a 3d walkthrough of an architects building plan, or any other type of shockwave content, the shockwave file is not going to be a glitzy-pain-in-the-ass-barrier to their desired data. It's going to actually be their desired data.

Unless I'm mistaken, this page is supposed to describe what the shockwave plug-in is and does, not just what it does when it's used inappropriately by bad designers.

- RobotDuck

Yes, quite right. We needed descriptions of the proper use of Shockwave to put the correct perspective on all this. Described this way I can't argue against the use of Shockwave as a means to present such visually dense data, particularly the 3D stuff. By the way, use RealNames, please. Thanks.

I don't understand the ranting here too. Of course if someone is searching information or documentations in text form, then shockwave would be disturbing or a barrier. But if someone is seeking online games, that long text would be a barrier. Simple as that.

CategorySucks, CategoryRant

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