Monthly Archives: March 2006

Internet Explorer 7 really don’t like Swf

Update:(July 26 2007)To avoid this behavior you need to load your Flash via Javascript. For this you can use the SWFObject, I made an extension for Dreamweaver to ease the use of it.


In IE7 there is one more thing that they add that I find completely useless and unusable.
There is now a little info box telling you:

Click to activate and use this control

When you rollOver() a flash animation. It do load and play your animation but every first time you want to click on your Flash (on a button for exemple), the first click is to active the control and then you got to make a second click to interact with the Flash…
So I went to the Microsoft site where they use a very nice (lol) flash animation.

You can check their ie7Flash.js file that they use.

And so everything work without the info box !

 
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Internet Explorer 7 don’t like Swf

Update:(July 26 2007)To avoid this behavior you need to load your Flash via Javascript. For this you can use the SWFObject, I made an extension for Dreamweaver to ease the use of it.


I just wanted to make a quick test of my website with IE7 beta 2, thinking that all would work normally but I had a bad surprised.
My Flash site is launch in a pop up, it’s a swf file and IE7 give an error: Access is denied.
This error appears every time I try to access a swf that is not embedded in an Html. If the swf is embedded it works perfectly.
So what to do if IE7 doesn’t play your swf ?

  • Just reload [ press F5 ] and then it play your file.
  • Anyway it’s seems that we have to take the habit of using Html embedding in a pop-up.
    Maybe M$ will solve this problem, if it’s an option to change I prefer to consider it may not be used by all the user, so to forget. Or am I the only one with this error?

     
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    Getting Things Done

    I’ve read (in Make vol 05) about the GTDTiddlyWiki (Getting things done wiki), I have used it a bit and I must say that it’s a really nice and useful application.
    It’s a sort of notebook very usable. It’s not serverside but all take place in your browser (so you can use it offline). It’s under a BSD open source license (so it’s free).
    For info, Getting Things Done is the title of a book written by D. Allen.
    You really need to take a look at GTDTiddlyWiki if you don’t already know it.

     
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    Quaero by the end of 2006 ?

    The European multimedia search engine Quaero (the european google in short) is predicted to be launch by the end of 2006. More and more it become a “high-tech reality”. It will introduce the ability to search by a “query image” and by a query sound”.
    From www.upi.com :

    Although current search engines can be used to hunt for text, sound-files, videos and images, these searches are limited in that they can only be conducted using keywords rather than by the actual nature of the files. A search for a picture of an elephant will only retrieve images that are currently tagged with “elephant” keywords. Quaero aims to change that. By introducing the ability to search by a “query image” and “query sound clips” instead of just basic keywords, users will be able to search by images and sounds as well as text. Through a process of “image mining,” software that recognizes colors and shapes will be able to identify pictures and videos containing images similar to the query image. “Keyword propagation” will also be used: When Quaero finds a descriptionless image containing some or all elements of a properly labeled image it will append the description from the labeled image to the unlabeled one, creating faster searches. By introducing image and audio components to online searches, Quaero is looking to not just rival Google but to take a major leap forward in the entire field of search-engine technologies and capabilities.

    It may also reveal to be a good solution for Flash referencing 🙂
    The full article from UPI.

     
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    Flex 2.0 beta Videos Tutorials

    On the macromedia labs I just discover some Flex videos,

  • Flex Data Services
  • Flex Framework
  • Flex Builder
    • New coding features and shortcuts.
    • New productivity features in Flex Builder 2.0 Code and Design views
    • Create and compile an application with Flex Builder
    • Create a constraint based layout with Flex Builder
    • Building a Flex application in 15 minutes

    Nearly make me wonder about putting myself to Flex …

     
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    Spring 2006, an early alpha build of Blaze (Flash 9) shall come

    As Mike Downey blog it a few month ago, the new Flash 9 alpha shall be available soon. Now that we had a look at AS3, we are ready to Flash with it! ! I can’t wait to use all the new features and I hope that all sample made with Flex will be exportable to Flash 9.

    […] We’re planning to release a very early alpha build of BLAZE publicly to all Flash Professional 8 or Studio 8 customers that will allow Flash developers to use ActionScript 3.0 and compile to Flash Player 8.5. We plan to release this public preview alpha release of BLAZE in the Spring of 2006 when Flash Player 8.5 is released. We’re doing so in order to give developers who use the Flash authoring tool a chance to start learning ActionScript 3.0, migrate existing projects, and slowly transition to the new language.[…]

    Now that Fp 8.5 is an official public beta like Flex 2.0 beta, it’s smell like it will soon come.

     
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    First online video in the “Great Minds in Development” series

    Microsoft (DevSource), had put online a nice vidéos series “Great Minds in Development”. The First is with Jakob Nielsen, he talks about :

  • Recognise that developer are not average people.
    Developer thinks what they do is simple to use, but it’s simple for them.
  • Importance of prototyping, or you’ll loose time.
  • User testing can be cheap. Just sit with the user and write note (why don’t they click here?), observe the user.
  • Be more conservative with technologies (most of people don’t care about computer, they you want their job to be done).
  • Exemple of good or bad website.
  • Make information optimized for the medium.
  • Search on we site generally don’t work well but people depend a lot on search.
  • View the video
    It’s not a course about usability but it’s good thinking.

     
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    Video tutorial for ActionScript beginner (en Français)

    Un tutorial vidéo pour les débutants en ActionScript que je viens de mettre en place. Au début je testais seulement le logiciel (IshowU) et le tout a fini en petit tutorial 😉
    Vous verrez comment faire pour manipuler un objet graphique directement avec AS.
    Le tutorial dure environ 5 min.

    Visionner la vidéo
    Télécharger la source
    Voir l’exemple

    Video tutorial for the beginner in ActionScript that I just have finished.
    It was supposed to be only the test of IshowU, a Mac video capture free tools but it ended in a tutorial.
    You’ll see how to manipulate a MovieClip directly from AS.
    It’s about 5 min length.

    Watch the video ( in French)
    Download the source
    See the sample

     
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    Macromedia Flash Player, Technology Breakdown

    Flash Player is the number one of Internet enabled PCs according a NPD Online survey published in December 2005.

  • Flash Player would be enabled in 97.7% of PCs
  • Acrobat Reader in 89.4%
  • Java in 86.2%
  • Media Player in 85.6%
  • Flash Player versions less than 5 are no longer measured. The sampling error for the NPD study is +/- 2% at the 95% confidence level.

    The study measures Windows Media Player versions 7 and above using “.wmv” media files.

    Flash Technologies BreakDown

    You can have more informations on the site of Macromedia

     
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    How to NOT use your fonts folder on a win Xp

    If your are working with your fonts folder on win Xp, be careful to not do what I’ve just done:
    I was under my fonts folder (that you can find in the -> control panel -> fonts) and I selected all files (Ctrl-A). Then right-click and click on properties …
    Don’t do it ! Normally WinXP would open one properties box for all the files but in the fonts folder WinXP just open one properties box FOR-EACH fonts, which take me to a “not enough memory”, warning and then a win98 like freeze (with less than 5000 fonts). I had to reboot manually. Anyway it’s seems that it’s not a good idea to install all the fonts in the fonts folder (slow dramatically boot time), install the fonts you use only instead.

     
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    Opera and Css

    I have just reinstall Opera since it is free and I want my website to be cross platform.
    I used it a bit, and went to labs.macromedia.com and I noticed that even them had trouble with Opera.
    Normally we shall see this:


    Css Bug picture


    With Opera (8.5 on mac and pc) we see this:


    Css Bug picture 2

    When will we have a unified web browser standard? It already exists, but seems hard to be followed. It would really be time for browser publisher to respect a maximum the web standard. Why is that so hard?
    It is really a pain for webdeveloper to make test on all browser, all version and so one (or at least on mostly used Ie and Ff).

     
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    Help search engines indexing your Flash content

    Update: I have presented a clearer model to help search engines index your Flash content with a minimal work.


    Bad referencing in search engine is the only point that really bothers me with Flash.
    Why is it so hard for search engines to understand Flash content?
    Because it’s not text like they use to read it, it’s vectorial text or imported text, search engine mostly see the swf (swf = flash files) like an “image” or like something they don’t understand.
    Official solution: using the tags :

    ‹!--url's used in the movie-->

    ‹!--text used in the movie-->

    But it seems to be a very little help in that issue.

    Another reasons is that search engine follow link and as they don’t understand the link in swf they just don’t see all the structure of your swf.

    So what can we do for them?

    I would say that it’s important to separate the content in different swf that would be loaded in a main swf. If this main swf is loaded once in “a.html” you don’t need to load it again in “b.html” (because it’s in your browser cache), which allow us to make our swf having a structure like: “mygreatdog.html”, “mygreatcat.html”, “blabla.html”. Doing so will make your site more understandable by search engines (who care about the page name), and as a bonus it will make the back and forward button works naturally.

    To make your page understandable for search engines and with Flash on the same page is quite easy finally: my way is to make a transparent swf

    ‹param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
    that would go over the content (placed with CSS) that must be understand by the search engines (like the title, some keywords or any important text). So in this case Flash is more here only to beautify your web content (which is not the main purpose of Flash or is it ?).

    The bonus of using Css under a swf is that all accessibility standard from the browser will be saved (like making the text resizable, or making your text be read by voice application). By the way if a user don’t have the correct plugin or don’t have JavaScript enabled he will see the important part of your content and if he likes it, he‘ll be more willing to install the plugin.

    Last bonus, your flash animation will be understand by the search engines, at least what you want them to understand.

    Ahmet

     
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    Flash Video (flv) actionscripting

    I have regroup some of the examples from the Flash Help Document in one (little) working example.

  • Example of how to load and preload a flv.
  • How to manage the buffer time and length
  • How to access the metadata of a flv
  • The only things you need to do to make it work is to edit path to your flv.

    Download the fla

     
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