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what tool should I ue for interactive graphics ouput on websites

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Hi guys, im looking to create interactive web content. Basically I need to be able to draw lines, points, images dynamically depending on user input with the mouse. The program has to be able to communicate with a mysql database. Most important factor is that it will run on everyones machine therefore im looking into AJAX and flash. Since I dont know much about wither: Is it possible to do something like this with AJAX?

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It might be, although you're probably better off using either Flash or Java applets (both of which can run on pretty much every machine out there, but they do require plugins be installed on the user's end).

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i would go with flash;
or, if you prefer ajax this article - http://roberthanson.blogspot.com/2006/06/coding-svg-with-gwt.html - might be of interest.

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Another alternative is Microsoft's Silverlight. It doesn't depend on .NET, but does depend on a browser plugin. There's a plugin available for Windows and Mac and I think someone's working on a *nix browser plugin as well. You can interact with Silverlight from ASP.NET, but ASP.NET isn't required -- you can serve up silverlight pages from a PHP server, for instance. The core of silverlight is all client-side javascript.

As for flash vs. javascript, I would pick javascript because the tool chain is less proprietary, but I'm not an expert on this stuff.

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If you want to do complicated, attractive things, AJAX is going to take ages. You're limited to representing everything using DIVs and other HTML.

Flash is by now pretty universal, unless you are writing software for people likely to have very old PCs. Personally I'd recommend Flex if you're a programmer (Flex is a tool which builds Flash files).

Silverlight isn't widely adopted just yet.

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