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Thread: do i still need a flash player checker?

  1. #1
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    do i still need a flash player checker?

    just about all of the flash sites i've done have had a detection device for the flash player on the first page; if you don't have one your directed to the macromedia download page. i have noticed at times that even with this checking script, my redirect page does not come up but rather a macromedia download box that says you need to install the flash player. with all new machines already having the flash player installed and an over 95% browser saturation for the player already, should i even worry about putting a detection script in my flash sites?

  2. #2
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    If you're running content that relies on the use having the v6 or 7 player, I'd make sure there's some way that they are checked and/or prompted to get that update before entering the site.

    If you're able to complete the project using only v5 (or maybe even older?) scripts, then maybe you don't have to worry so much, as there's a decent chance the user's browser could be equipped (by default) with the necessary player.

    Personally, I have ever only let one site fly free and public without any form of checker, but that was ages ago and v4 script. Even then, I figured that if the user didn't have the player, they probably wouldn't understand the site anyway, so better they stayed out.



    Now, most of my stuff is still v5, but I haven't had the b*lls to launch on up without the Moock script checking for the appropriate player. Maybe someday.
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, like Hurricane said, if your site relies on Flash to display the content, put some type of a detect script there.

    From personal experience:
    Out of all the schools I have attended, only 2/6 of them have had Flash 5( ). Ive always found those detection scripts helpful, because if not, all those Netscape browsers( ) really screw things up.

  4. #4
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    good points. thank you.

  5. #5
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    Hi,

    I also have seen quite a few cases of ancient players...
    It is not to blame netscape here nor the mac, but it is a simple fact:
    at least once a week we read about some new worm, virus, whatever and are talked into updating IE and outlook - now the updates usually come with the latest player.
    On the other hand, there are fewer attacks targeting netscape on windows, and even fewer targeting it on other OS - so the only reason for an otherwise happy N4.x owner to update might be some pages not showing as expected

    Important advice: if you do a detection script that involves playing a movie, be sure to understand how it interacts with an old player

    Musicman

  6. #6
    Senior Member MG315's Avatar
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    here's a recent article from sitepoint on this topic:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/1209
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  7. #7
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    Originally posted by MG315
    here's a recent article from sitepoint on this topic:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/1209

    Thats an intresting read

  8. #8
    FK M.D. pheck's Avatar
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    the way i did it on my most recent project (unpublished as of now) was to write a cookie on the first page after using javascript to detect for the flash version (6 or above). if the new user is following a link to a page within the site without having been to the first page (and therefore the cookie isn't written yet), i used php to ask the user to go to the <link>homepage</link> to have the cookie set. that is, php checks for teh cookie and if it's there, sets flash to 0 or 1 (1 for flash 6 player or higher). if not, the link page shows up.

    if the user doesn't have flash, no activeX or any other install prompt bothers my users. instead, it displays alternate jpg's in the flash movies' places.

    so here's a combo of the methods discussed on that sitepoint article to consider.

  9. #9
    they call me the_jump... le_saut's Avatar
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    flash player detection

    Hi

    As Music says the issue here is not Netscape or Mac - in fact they support the object tag the best by far - I'm talking modern compliant browsers like Safari, Mozilla, Firebird and Opera 7 here. It's the download issue - people worried about worms and viruses etc.
    Player upgrades are also hindered by users only upgrading to new versions when they upgrade their browsers (or when it is done for them). This mostly happens with IE on Win.

    I endeavoured in the article to describe how to bring the download process under your control and away from browser specific junk like the Active X popup, Netscapes jigsaw piece and the Opera "click" button.

    Also accessibility recommendations via the w3c tell us to provide alternative content if the user agent is not able to display the non-w3c content. (WCAG 1).
    This is most easily done with the object tag -put the alternative content inside it.

    With anything like this there will always be the browser issue -older agents like Netscape 4. Audience polling comes in handy here - find out what the audience uses as best you can via access logs for previous versions of the site etc or similar sites.
    At the end of the day, though, we move forward in time rather than the other way so it's time to let the Netscape 4 user base go. 1-2% user base is similar to Opera but at least Opera 7 is compliant and a current browser.

    Anyway, I digress .
    The cookie method is interesting but what happens if the user removes Flash Player after being cookied? Using the object tag will allow for alternate content provision (images, text etc).

    Regards
    James

    http://www.alistapart.com/stories/flashsatay/
    is a good read on the object tag..

  10. #10
    FK M.D. pheck's Avatar
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    Re: flash player detection

    Originally posted by le_saut
    Anyway, I digress .
    The cookie method is interesting but what happens if the user removes Flash Player after being cookied? Using the object tag will allow for alternate content provision (images, text etc).

    Regards
    James

    http://www.alistapart.com/stories/flashsatay/
    is a good read on the object tag..
    Hi James,

    david emberton talked a bit about the object tag and having the alternate text inside it method at the Flashkit conference a couple weeks ago. as i was understanding him, he was saying that some browsers will not display the flash until it is fully loaded with a simple object tag. but you're right on your idea of people removing a flash player and having trouble. i suppose if you wanted to at that point is add alt text in your object tag in addition to doing a cookie detection method. do many people remove their flash players?

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