Zeke: a Drupal 7 All-Flash Front-End (2007-2012)

Zeke (as in "geek" with a "Z") is a homebrew all-Flash Drupal 7 creative framework. It accelerates Flash website development, facilitates content administration, and enhances user experience, while compensating for a few of basic problems that comes with using Flash.

But in spite of its apparent technological tilt, Zeke's primary benefit is on the creative end. By taking down technical hurdles, Zeke allows to spend less time on redundant and code-heavy tasks, and more time on actual creative work.
 

Sidestepping Flash's Inherent Flaws

Manageability

Zeke is built on top of Drupal, a robust and flexible content management system, so the administrator remains in control of the information: once logged in, items can be added/edited at will, with easy-to-use visual text editor. No knowledge of HTML or Flash required.

Search Engines

Zeke is technically two websites in one: a Flash version and an HTML version. Maintaining two websites may sound like an administration nightmare, but it really isn't the case, actual information management being handled in one central place.

In fact, having two "versions" becomes an advantage: the Flash version becomes the user-oriented, media rich portion of the site, while the underlying HTML version can be geared towards better serving search engines. 

Back Button

Historically, using the back button resulted in the user leaving the application, regardless of the time spent on the website or the number of clicks. Now, back button requests are handled the same way a regular HTML site would.

Asset Loading

The streamlining effort also affected assets library and class loading, and in most of the cases, downright eliminated through automation.

Transition Management

Zeke handles seamless transitioning from one page to another, coordination of data and assets loading, as well as page initialization.

 

The result

You end up with a mix between a website and an application. On one hand, it behaves like a regular website: you click, it takes you to a page; click the back button, it takes you back to the previous page. From a search engine's perspective, it's a good ol' website.

On the other, it behaves like one big application, granting creative opportunities you don't generally encounter with regular websites. For example, you can play a tune or a video, and have it run without interruption while you keep navigating the site. You could have a smooth, atmosphere-setting animation playing in the background at all time; transitions from one page to the other can become entertaining in itself... In fact, anything pretty goes: it's not just a bunch of regular web pages--it's a world of its own, unbound by the linear nature of the websites of old. The only limit is how creative you want it to be.