The bottom line of today's Golden Nugget is:
Every few days a new computerized device is released; new computers, new cell phones, new GPS, new portable gizmos of some type that can connect to the internet.
Even though the hardware changes, the underlying programming languages of the internet haven't changed much in several years.
Common programming languages are:
* Flash Actionscript
* Microsoft .net
As computers become faster, the web programmers are able to create new features using the same languages.
HTML is not listed above because technically it's not a "programming" language; rather, it's a "markup language" that controls how we see the web page through the web browsers. It doesn't process high level logical code like the other do.
There is an international organization, called the World Wide Web Consortium, that guides the development of the next version of HTML. As of 2011 we are eagerly awaiting the final version of HTML 5 to be approved. It's been in development since 2004. The goal of HTML 5 is to study contemporary HTML implementations and find easier ways to deploy content.
You should never build a website that requires additional plug-ins or scripts because there will always be a portion of your audience that is unable or unwilling to install or turn on those extra features.
So, the bottom line, as stated above, is that you should not require these technologies in order for your website to function. There should always be an alternative available, which means you might need to double program your website (i.e. create a "non Flash version" or a "non Java version").
It is especially important that you not use these technologies for your Contact Us form page. Many customers will not be able to contact you.