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A Polarized New-Media Industry

A real war started taking shape among the multimedia developers, too. Even though the generally good-natured Mac community was still mainly print publishing–centric, "Mac-head" camps were divided between Web site developers using Flash and print developers using InDesign and PDF.

Because the world of the interactive CD was dying a slow death, the Director developers decided to port their skills to Flash and spent an enormous amount of time and money doing so. Instead of large bitmapped pictures, Flash requires vector graphics, and it was a real grind for them to relearn their craft to make highly interactive presentations that were bandwidth efficient for the Web.

The Flash camp saw the possibility of interactive QuickTime video inside full-screen interactive PDF as a threat that could make their talents obsolete. Flash had grown to be more than just flashing banner advertising and was now capable of providing cool navigation for Web pages. In some cases, entire Web sites that included video were being created in Flash. Rich-media PDF was clearly disrupting their plans to have SWF files replace HTML Web pages.

  • PDF 1.7 (Acrobat/Reader 8) has the potential to replace the HTML Web page.
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