Archive for November, 2006


Have you ever seen the annoying gray box around Flash content on websites? If you have, you must have done the unthinkable and used Windows Update [:O]. To make a long story short, a company called Eolas Technologies got in a yelling match with Microsoft and the two companies have since tried to make life more difficult for each other. Microsoft decided to require Internet Explorer users to click once on EVERY ActiveX control (actually anything in an EMBED or OBJECT tag) as a safety precaution. You can read more about that battle here: Microsoft tweaks browser to avoid liability | CNET News.com. The solution to this problem is to embed the object in the page dynamically – after the page is loaded. This is exactly what SWFObject by deconcept does – and it does it well! SWFObject is also capable of Flash Player version detection in Javascript and has been used on some big name sites like YouTube.

Everytime I want to use SWFObject I am annoyed that I don’t remember the syntax, so I wrote a nice little script that will convert the <object>…</object>¬†code that you get when you publish in Flash into SWFObject friendly code! The script is located here:

http://devel.teratechnologies.net/swfhelp/

As an example, it will convert this HTML code:

<object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000"
codebase="http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash
/swflash.cab#version=8,0,0,0" width="100" height="50" id="flashtab"

align="middle">
<param name="allowScriptAccess" value="sameDomain" />
<param name="movie" value="flashtab.swf" />
<param name="quality" value="high" />
<param name="wmode" value="transparent" />
<param name="bgcolor" value="#ffffff" />
<embed src="flashtab.swf" quality="high" wmode="transparent"
bgcolor="#ffffff" width="100" height="50" name="flashtab"
align="middle" allowscriptaccess="sameDomain"
type="application/x-shockwave-flash"
pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />
</object>

To this SWFObject code:

<div id="swfdiv_flashtab">  
This text is replaced by the Flash movie.  
</div>  
<script type="text/javascript">  
  var so = new SWFObject("flashtab.swf", "flashtab", "100", "50",
"8.0.0", "#ffffff");  
  so.addParam("allowscriptaccess", "samedomain");  
  so.addParam("quality", "high");  
  so.addParam("wmode", "transparent");  
  so.write("swfdiv_flashtab");  
</script>

Let me introduce my latest and greatest software: Tera-WURFL! What the heck is that?!?! Well, ‘Tera’ is just plain cool because it comes from Tera Technologies :) and WURFL is the ‘Wireless Universal Resource FiLe. After a while of testing the WURFL PHP Tools by Andrea Trasatti, I began to notice some major downfalls in the package’s performance. Although the authors did all they could do to make it as fast as possible, the package still uses a file based caching method (albeit a fast one) so store device information. I found the lack of database support disturbing and decided to rewrite the class in my free time and release it myself [:)]. So here it is – Tera-WURFL. My version uses MySQL >= 4.1 and PHP >= 4.3 and performs up to 15x faster than the file based version! I am currently tied down trying to make non-free software and other things so I don’t have a whole lot of extra time to work on Tera-WURFL – sorry.

Basically, this software sits on your webserver and when a web browser requests your site, Tera-WURFL determines whether it’s a desktop web browser or a mobile WAP device, and if it is a mobile device it gives you a TON of information about it like the Make, Model, Screen Size, Ringtone Formats, Image Formats, etc… It’s really quite increadible!

Oh yeah – Tera-Tones.com also uses this detection method to deliver rich media content to handheld devices.