Flash 5 has greatly expanded the interactive and programmatic features of Flash
movies. Flash movies can now communicate directly with server-side scripts and
programs, using standard URL-encoded variables or XML-formatted structures.
Sounds can be imported and exported as MP3 audio, for high-quality music on the
Web at the smallest file sizes. The Flash interface now looks and feels like other
Macromedia products, with tool options contained in user-configurable panels.
Third-party developers are creating applications that output to the Flash movie
format, .SWF files. Flash is poised to be the central application for generating hot,
low-bandwidth, interactive content for delivery over the Web....