Archive for March, 2008

Using SWFObject for More than Just Embedding SWFs

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
Flash Web Development

My favorite mechanism for embedding SWFs, hands down, is Geoff StearnsSWFObject.  It’s clean, lightweight, and easy to use.  Since April 2006, SWFObject has been my first choice for working around the “click to activate and use this control” warning in Internet Explorer.  Microsoft has decided to remove this activation behavior from Internet Explorer in April 2008 — right around the corner, as of this writing — but there’s still plenty of reason to keep right on using SWFObject.  Why?  Because it provides an elegant way to detect what version of Flash Player (if any) a website visitor has installed.  If you’re using the On2 video codec, for example, it means your site requires Flash Player 8 or higher.  With SWFObject, you can detect if your visitor has at least 8 and then display the SWF; otherwise, display a stand-in message (or image), such as “This site requires Flash Player 8 or higher.”  But what if you want to redirect to another page instead?  Or what if you want to display two different SWFs, depending on what’s installed?  Read on.  Keep reading »

New O’Reilly Title, Coming Soon!

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008
ActionScript 2.0 ActionScript 3.0 Flash General

I just finished the last of my eleven chapters for a new O’Reilly title, ActionScript 3.0:  The Quick Answer Guide for Flash Professionals, last Wednesday.  This was shortly after lunch, 12:30 on the dot, and a neat thing happened almost as I lifted my hands from the keyboard (more on that in a sec).  The rest of the book is still being written, and it’s shaping up nicely.  I’m pretty excited about this project already!  :)   The aim of this reference is to help developers, even keyframe coders, get up to speed with AS3, so keep your eyes peeled in June!

I took a wild tumble off the grid while I was researching and writing for the past five or six weeks, so I apologize for my late replies to blog comments and email.  I’ve been catching up on my inbox since last Wednesday and plan to reply to everyone as soon as I can.  Thanks, so much, to my friends for all the encouragement!  (Go, FlashGods.org!)

I’ll be going over author reviews in the coming weeks, but the heavy lifting is behind me.  The neat thing that happened, on day I finished, is this:  I went downstairs to gaze out the window for a few moments, and right as I did, UPS brought a package to the door.  I opened the box, and inside was a huge tin of Turkish coffee (over a pound!), imported from Turkey, sent by reader Çağatay.  What a way to commemorate the milestone!  Thanks, Çağatay!  This coffee is a real treat!