In the interest of accessibility I have created a site that loafs extremely fast, becuse it contains mostly text (information material, we are not talking about e-business here). I have onw seen that there are programs out there, allowing you to animate content.
My question is now: Will they require a plugin to display that content, or is there a way to 'steam' the content down the line, regardless of the browser?
This will make it easy for you [wildform.com]
Very lightweight text animations.
You gotta promise to keep it a secret. ;)
First off, a lot depends on how much text you want to animate. A little bit goes a long way, IMO.
Gif animation has very wide browser support, and animated gif text can be a very small file size, depending on what kind of movement you program. Effects such as a "wipe", where the letters stay in place after they appear, can only a little more file space than static gif lettering.
Flash (which does require a plug-in) has wide support. Not as much as animated gif, but somewhere between 83% and 97% depending on whose stats you believe.
Java can also animate text, but I wouldn't mess with it -- many people are long-time frustrated with client side Java. It is slow to render (the Java Virtual Machine has to load first) and often hangs or crashes various browsers.
Just a side note here. One thing that I have found is if you have content (read text) that you want someone to digest keep animations away from it. It gets very distracting. On some sites I even turn off graphics as it gets too intrusive.
Right on, GWJ --
Especially if the animation is set to loop infinitely.
Sometimes, used very sparingly, a single loop animation can be an attention getter. But then any further motion is distracting.
The most easy to take animations are those that duplicate natural motion, rather than cartoon-like antics. Wind, water, or even a drop of blood dripping from a rose ;) -- that kind of subtle effect can enhance a page when used with good taste.