Any Flash Guru's about today?

Giganews Newsgroups
Subject: Any Flash Guru's about today?
Posted by:  Fat Sam (samandjanetkn…@tessco.net)
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007

A mate of mine, a pro photographer was working on his website recently, and
he asked me for some advice (what was he thinking?).
Anyway, the issues he was having and the solution I suggested are outlined
below.
Not being particularly experienced in Flash, I was hoping to get the
thoughts of some folks who work a lot with Flash.

Anyway, he's put together a very nice flash site which is clean, loads fast,
and looks good.

I advised him that this might be an issue for a couple of reasons. Not
everybody has flash installed and it's unreasonable to expect them to
install it just to view your website. Some people might not be able to
install flash. And he'll find it much harder to get indexed by search
engines with a flash page than he would with a good old fashioned html page.
So I suggested he find some way of *sniffing* for a flash plugin in the
visitors browser, and redirecting to an html or flash version accordingly.

A few days later, he ame back to me with a couple of seemingly over-complex
javascript solutions.
Again, I advised him that javascript is very much dependant on whether or
not the visitor has it switched on, and that using a technology with
compatabiliy issues to solve a compatability issue was madness.

But then that got me to thinking.
Is it really madness?
Or is there a spark of genius lurking inside that notion, just waiting to
get out?
What if we were to use that compatibility issue to solve itself.
A sort of self-healing problem.

So, my suggestion to him was to create an HTML version of his site, with the
homepage named "index.htm", to make it the default homepage.
Then rename the HTML file containing the Flash version as "flashversion.htm"

Then, create a tiny flash movie (I suggested 1px x 1px, but I think the
smalles you can do is 18px), with only 1 keyframe. In this keyframe there is
a redirect to "flashversion.htm". Then save the movie to the same Flash
version number that you saved your main site body.

Now lastly, embed that flash movie in the "index.htm" page.

My theory being that if anyone visits the site and they have Flash
installed, they'll be whisked instantly off to the Flash version of the
site.
But if they don't have Flash installed, the movie on "index.htm" won't run
and they'll continue to see the default HTML version, perhaps with a message
telling them that there's also a flash version available if they're
interested in downloading the plugin.

To my mind, this is a much more elegant and simple solution than the
javascript ones you see littered around the net.
This way, the first thing to load is the most compatible technology, and the
opion is given to stp up to a more advanced technology if available.
Other solutions seem to start by trying to load the more advanced technology
first, then shoe-horning in some older, more basic technology if it all
falls over.
This also means that the search engines have some good raw content to get
their teeth into when they index the page.

Can anyone think of any real issues or problems with using this solution?

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