CMXtraneous: Flash

Right on the edge of useful

sIFR -- the Release Candidate

Posted Thursday, October 07, 2004 1:30:11 AM by Stephanie


I just noticed that Mike and Mark have a release candidate of the sIFR technique (pronounced "siffer"). Can't wait to put it up on a couple sites. I think I'll put it here on the blog for you guys to see over the weekend (if I can find some extra time. :)

The technique grew out of Shaun Inman's IFR technique which wasn't scalable. You had to export the swf in the size you wanted it rendered in. This technique is scalable and dynamic. Shaun writes, 'IFR is just an anagram of FIR, and pays homage to Fahrner Image Replacement. And it's "Flash Replacement" instead of "Text Replacement" for the same reason, to parallel FIR.'

Read their notes and download release candidate one. If you put it on a site, leave me a note and let me know how it works out for you.

Category tags: Accessibility, CSS, Dreamweaver, Flash, JavaScript

Flash Remoting and Proxy Servers

Posted Saturday, October 02, 2004 10:37:11 AM by Newman


Recently, I've noticed that Flash Remoting data is blocked by Mozilla-based browsers if they're connected to the Internet using an HTTP proxy server. My satellite broadband provider uses a proxy server, and so does AOL. I suspect that other major ISPs, like Earthlink and Road Runner, do as well. I Googled the subject but was only able to find one question in the macromedia.flash.flash_remoting newsgroup.

Of course, the workaround is to use Internet Explorer or disable the HTTP proxy in Netscape or Firefox, but that degrades the browser's performance. Currently, Macromedia Flex and Flash Communication Server both offer HTTP tunneling solutions to overcome this (see the following FlashComm article on DevNet).

Has anyone discovered a solution to this for Flash Remoting?

Category tags: Flash

Creating SWF Screen Captures in OS X

Posted Saturday, October 02, 2004 7:43:49 AM by Kim


Screen Captures to Flash in OS X: OK you Macintosh/Unix geeks, this one is for you. Mac OS X Hints--my fav for cool things that you can do with your Mac--has an article on how to capture from your screen and output to a SWF file. With detailed instructions and links to the downloads you'll need to make this happen, this is a pretty cool concept, if you're one of those folks who think a command line is a good place to be. I'm not really in that category myself, but this looks interesting enough to give it a go. With the limited software products Mac users have for doing screen captures something like this might be an attractive option.

Category tags: Flash

Accessible, Beautiful Flash Text

Posted Friday, October 01, 2004 5:27:02 PM by Stephanie


I've got to hand it to Mike Davidson. He's putting together one of the most inventive things I've seen in quite some time. I'll be writing an article about it soon. But for now, I'll give you the basics.

Mike's developing a way to use an image replacement technique (obviously most useful for headings) using JavaScript, Flash and CSS. You simply style your headings as always using your h1, h2, h3 elements and cascade the fonts as always. The technique then uses JavaScript (if installed), and replaces whatever text you've put into the heading element with dynamic text (using Flash). This means that we can use beautiful fonts, not installed on the user's system, on our web pages. This rocks!

I've been playing around with it and so far I'm excited about the results. The method is due out of beta soon and I've already got two client sites I'll be adding it to. The thing I like best is that if the surfer's browser does not have the Flash 6 player installed or has JavaScript turned off, the text renders using the CSS and they don't feel they're missing anything. This is not only good for accessibility, but it's also wonderful for search engines. This text can be indexed and read by all. Excellent!

You can read Mike's very long explanation at Introducing sIFR: The Healthy Alternative to Browser Text. And the most recent beta (check his site's blog for releases after this date) is version 2.0b2. You can download and play with the files -- sans instructions for now -- at sIFR 2.0b2: The Mo’ Betta Beta.

Category tags: Accessibility, CSS, Dreamweaver, Flash, JavaScript