While I was at Flash on the Beach back in December, I met Dave and didn’t even realize he was the dave from Pilotvibe and the organizer of Flashbelt. Schematic sent a few people up there last year to give presentations, and they all said it was fantastic, so I was very excited when Dave invited me to speak at this year’s conference.
I’ll be giving a talk called Progressive Enhancement with Flash that will cover stuff like:
- Using SWFObject (maybe SWFFix by then) to embed Flash content
- Using progressive enhancement to allow search engines to properly index your content and increase SEO for Flash websites
- Flash content vs. Flash style, and how to treat them differently
- Deep linking and back button support in Flash
And a few other areas. I should also be able to talk about SWFFix a bit (hopefully it will be fully released by then, but who knows).
Go check out the Flashbelt page for more info. I can’t give you a direct link to my session, but it’s listed there in the session list. Hopefully I’ll see some of you there!
We’ve put up a dev blog on the site, and will be asking for help and feedback throughout the development cycle, so head over and watch the blog for updates in the coming weeks.
Bobby also has a great A List Apart article out today that talks about the problems with current Flash embed techniques.
I’ve been hearing a lot of Flash vs. Ajax arguments lately, and unfortunately, they almost always start off in the wrong way.
It’s very common to hear people argue about Flash websites or RIAs vs. Ajax websites or RIAs, but this is always the wrong way to approach building any website. Would you have an argument with an architect about whether to build a house out of wood vs concrete? Of course not, they would use each material to build the parts of the house that the respective material is best for. Sometimes you might want to build a shack or barn out of all wood, sometimes you might want to build an all brick house, but many times you’ll want to use the best material for each section of the house. Build the foundation out of concrete, the walls and roof out of wood.
Another example is Flickr. They started out using Flash to display all of the images, including the image notes and the other toolbar options along with each image. While this might have been a good choice as the site started out, it was soon replaced by a more efficient HTML version of the toolbar and notes system that works just as well as the Flash version. They did end up keeping one small bit of Flash so users can rotate images and see a preview before they save it.
After my session at Flash on the Beach I was interviewed by a BBC reporter. I ended up getting into the article and on the air (or was it just the podcast? who knows).
Here’s the article, and here’s a direct link to the mp3. Fast forward to around 24:00 to hear my part.
I’ve been seeing a few mails about this since the Internet Explorer update was released, so I wanted to post some info about it to maybe help the people having issues.
The complaint generally goes something like this:
A user has Flash Player 9 (or other version) installed on their system and everything works fine with IE6. That user then runs the IE7 update and their computer stops showing Flash content on sites like YouTube or MSN video and other Flash sites. However, if the user goes to some other sites with Flash content, the content will play just fine, even if the site requires the Flash 9 Player.
I’m not sure of the official cause for this, and am still doing some research into what causes it, but a first guess I have is that when you upgrade from IE7, the browser install is not correctly reinstalling your existing Flash Plugin, so scripts that check for the Flash Player are failing, but since the plugin file is there, if you visit a site that does not use a detection script (like SWFObject) you will see the Flash content just fine.
There may not be a solution to this for the sites using detection scripts – they rely on a series of Windows registry entries that seem to be missing after an IE7 upgrade.
For users, here is a fix that seems to work well:
- Quit all open programs. This step is important because other programs may be using the Flash Player, and if they are, the uninstaller will fail silently.
- Run the Adobe Flash Player Uninstaller.
- Reinstall your Flash player.
If you are still having problems after running the uninstaller and reinstalling the plugin, please post a comment with your system setup and other relevant details. (And remember, sometimes a system restart can make a difference with problems like this, so try that first).
UPDATE (1-8-2007): Added a new step 1.