File extension: .swf
To find out more, check the What is flash wiki that has been setup by the Flask community. Flash is a web programming specification designed to provide a range of multimedia with HTML and a web browser as a plugin. It is like Java or ActiveX.
Flash is mostly used for advertisements, with small animations and graphics. You will also find political information presented with Flash, for example, at Take Back the Media you can find lots of good flash animations. One can also find the occasional decent flash game and introductory presentations for many websites.
Flash is popular because its ECMAscript-based programming language, Actionscript, is powerful enough to support complex tasks, but the IDE is easy enough to use that non-programmers can still create animations and layouts. Since it also has broad cross-platform support, this often makes it an attractive alternative to other options, such as Java programming with the Swing libraries, since interfaces are easier to build, and non-programmers are more easily involved.
- F4L - Open Source Flash Development Environment at Sourceforge.
- Freshmeat - Search :: Flash and Search :: Swf for more Flash and open source-related programs.
- Adding Flash to MediaWiki - a blog entry on how to set up a MediaWiki Extension so that you can embed a Flash movie in a mediaWiki page.