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Flash Alternative Content
JAB Creations




msg:1566027
 9:42 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I ran one of my pages through webxact and it told me that I was missing flash alternative content, something that would display if the object wasn't supported. How would I provide alternative content for flash?

 

HughMungus




msg:1566028
 9:45 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

I block Flash on my computer. Some websites can detect this and replaces the Flash ad with an animated .gif ad. Maybe this is what they mean.

JAB Creations




msg:1566029
 9:57 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

You block flash? How odd! You obviously have not heard of adblock. My advice is stop using IE, download Firefox, get the adblock extension, and import a pre-made list like from my site. You can block just advertisements like the ones that annoy you without destroying a site that makes good use of flash.

HughMungus




msg:1566030
 10:01 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

You block flash? How odd! You obviously have not heard of adblock. My advice is stop using IE, download Firefox, get the adblock extension, and import a pre-made list like from my site. You can block just advertisements like the ones that annoy you without destroying a site that makes good use of flash.

Why would I do all that when I can just toggle it on and off?

rocknbil




msg:1566031
 3:32 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Jab - Flash's export options are set up to do exactly what you ask, but to tell the truth, it doesn't always work. It exports a huge hunk of the all-too-familiar convoluted MM Javascript code that does a browser identification which is the worst way possible to decide if your object, be it Flash or whatever, is supported. It also exports a .gif or .jpg as "alternate content" (and does it rather poorly.)

The optimal way to approach this issue (IMO) is to not rely on Flash to distribute information critical to your site, period. But if you absolutely can't do that, the two methods I would use are a Flash support test (not a plug-in test, that is something else and unreliable) or simply a "no flash" link near the flash object in which everything in the Flash is re-laid out in HTML with animated .gifs, if necessary. (this one will still kick the alt. content error on that page.)

The first way, which still has problems, is to create the smallest Flash object possible (I think it's 18 X 18 pixels) and simply code into that object the flash url.

...<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="0; url=noflash.html"> ...
...
<object . . . sniffer.swf . . . >
...

Sniffer.swf has a single actionscript in it.

&getURL('flash_url.html');

So: if the sniffer executes, it will direct to the flash url. If it does not, the meta-refresh will direct to the non-flash (alternate content) url. The biggest problem here is what this does on search engines, but I've got a few sites out there that demanded Flash and it's been working ok for a few years, and their non-flash content pages are indexing. So it appears to be sufficient.

To "return to this page" you have to be sure to either link to the TEST page and not the flash or non-flash pages, or use a script or cookie throughout the site that tracks whether flash is yes or no.

whoisgregg




msg:1566032
 5:25 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can't you also place an <img /> tag into the <object> tag right before the </object> and most browsers will serve the <img /> if Flash is disabled?

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