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Web pages that present information in novel and effective ways won't really go away. However, the real Internet growth area is in applications running on the web. Although there are plenty of popular applications today, they're just not geared to web delivery. For example, a lot of people have digital cameras that include basic image-manipulation applications. Often these apps get "webified" with certain features (such as those that automatically publish JPGs to a web page). Such apps might even upload the files for you. However, this sort of web feature is an add-onthe app still runs on your computer.
Just having applications installed on your hard drive is not necessarily a bad thing. If you consider what the core task of a particular application is supposed to achieve, however, you will find some apps that are much better suited for Internet delivery. Perhaps a photo editor is most appropriate for the desktop. But what about a calendar application? If you're out of the office and want to check your schedule, you have to perform some minor technical miracle to get access to the calendar on you desktop computer. Wouldn't it be cool if you could connect to your calendar from anywherefrom a laptop, handheld, or even an Internet cafe? That's not to justify Internet applications with just "think how cool it would be." Instead, as you can understand from this example, some of the problems applications intend to solve are best addressed using the benefits of an Internet application.
Keep in mind that although it would be nice to solve all the world's problems, an application need only solve one specific problem. A lot of applications attempt to be the new "everything app." However, as discussed in Chapter 2, "Designing Flash Applications," it's much easier to design, build, and deliver an app that does one thing really well than one that attempts to do everything (and fails to do any of it well). Simply put: Applications are tools that help you achieve a specific task or solve a specific problem.
This book is all about fashioning effective applications using Flash. The reason to use Flash is much more than "because you can." You'll learn in the next couple chapters how Flash is perfectly suited to deliver Internet applications with compelling interactivity, rich media, and advanced data control. Then, in the rest of the book, you'll learn how to actually build such apps.
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