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How to Fix the WordPress Upload Issue with Flash Player 10

If you work with WordPress 2.6 or before and have recently installed Flash Player 10, then you probably realized that the upload dialog box has stopped working. This is due to a security update the Adobe made in the latest version of the Flash Player.

I have seen a lot of people complaining about this (and Adobe has responded really well and explained their solid reasoning), but the fix is actually really simple and takes only two minutes to install. Just download the ZIP file mentioned in this blog comment on WordPress.org, copy the included files over your current installation, and you'll be all set. The fix includes a new version of SWFUpload, which is used on the WordPress upload page in the admin panel.

You can’t spell crash without CS

Came across http://unexpectedlyquit.com today and found it somewhat comforting. The premise: "Every time an Adobe application misbehaves I upload the error message."

I'm not one to bash Adobe Creative Suite - it does after all make me a living. But this site, in all its simplicity, makes for some great humor. Especially when, as someone who spends most of their working day in Flash and other CS3 applications, I have seen my fair share of CS error messages.

whatismyflashplayerversion.com

I just launched a quick 5 minute project:

http://whatismyflashplayerversion.com

As a developer, I get this question from clients all the time, so I thought it time to create a simple service where I could send them to check.

In the future I'd like to have the site automatically test to see if the version reported from SWFObject is the same as the latest version, and if not, provide a link (or better yet, Express Install) to the latest version. However, I'd prefer to not have to keep the latest version number updated by hand, so if anyone knows where I can find an official data feed (RSS, a simple text file, etc) of the latest general public release version, please post in the comments.

Enjoy!

Adobe Announces SWF Searchability

Adobe has just announced this evening that they have formed a partnership with Google and Yahoo! to enhance the searchability of SWF content by helping their spiders run SWF files in the Adobe Flash Player runtime.

Ryan Stewart does a great job of explaining it in his blog post:

So what does that mean? We are giving a special, search-engine optimized Flash Player to Yahoo and Google which is going to help them crawl through every bit of your SWF file. This Flash Player will act just like a person would in some cases. It will click on your buttons, it will move through the states of your application, get data from the server when your application normally would, and it will capture all of the text and data that you’ve got inside of your Flash-based application. We’ve basically provided a very powerful looking glass into SWF files so Google and Yahoo can pull out meaningful information.

Going a bit further, Justin Everett-Church also has a good post where he explains that content producers do not have to do or change anything for their SWFs to be indexable. My guess is, however, that as developers find out what Google likes best, they'll start building with that in mind. Knowing that will be the case, this announcement could have a huge impact on frameworks such as SWFAddress and other means developers have used recently to help make content more visible to search engines.

One key thing to note is Ted Patrick's post in where he makes a point to mention that dynamic data will also be indexed in the process. Considering I build most of my projects with the content being pulled from XML or some other data source such as SWX, this is great news as well.

It seems like the only search engine company left out of the party was Microsoft. As Brooks mentions, I'd bet Microsoft is not interested in offering a service which enhances a direct competitor's platform file format to their Silverlight. It is a shame, but I doubt it will have much of an effect on the Flash community.

You can find more information on the Adobe Developer Center SWF searchability FAQ and in Google's official announcement.

Adobe’s Open Screen Project and Why You Should Care

Life just got a lot more interesting for those who make a living working with Flash:

http://blogs.adobe.com/open/2008/04/the_open_screen_project.html

As a part of the announcement, Adobe is publishing exactly how the SWF format works without restrictions, and removing all other barriers to getting Flash on the widest range of devices. Set top/cable boxes, all mobile phones, televisions, your appliances... anything technical, really. Even those devices without a screen and/or user interface. Bill Perry does a great job of going into more detail on the implications for devices on his blog.

Ryan Stewart has a great post explaining all the implications of this announcement, for devices and desktop computers alike. He goes into more detail on the several parts of the announcement, so it is worth the read.

As someone who makes their living from the Flash ecosystem, you should care greatly about this announcement. It may not seem like it to a non-developer, but this is huge for anyone who knows how to use Flash. The thought of having Flash everywhere is finally a reality for those who want to include it in their products as a user interface layer, or even to allow developers to control the product using ActionScript. And this means that your capabilities to design, develop, and then deploy your Flash experiences just became more marketable and useful.

Lastly, as a member of the Flash community, you should also be excited about the implications this has on open source projects such as SWX, AMFPHP, and the like. The more open the specifications surrounding the various parts of the Flash ecosystem, the easier it is for members of the community to create tools and open source projects which contribute to the growth and prominence of said ecosystem... and make all of our lives as participants in that ecosystem that much more interesting and fun.

The real deal with Flash on the iPhone, from Adobe

Mike Downey, a Platform Evangelist at Adobe, just posted the entire, correct story of Flash on the iPhone. As mentioned in his post, a lot of people have been blogging about how Flash is coming to the iPhone. However, the reports of Adobe CEO's comments about Flash support on the iPhone yesterday were not necessarily complete and accurate, so Mike has taken upon himself to clear the air.

Worth the read, if nothing else, to help guide you through the hype to what the real story is...

Update: Bill Perry, also from Adobe, has also posted an even a more detailed account of the facts on his Flash Devices blog.

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