Note for Flex Newbie: Test Your HTML Wrapper

Note to self (the Flex newbie): Test your HTML wrapper for your SWF files to make sure that the user experience is a good one when you’re setting up your Flex apps on your site! I took the HTML wrapper generated by Flex Builder and modified it to fit into my page. While doing so, I forgot to include the playerProductInstall.swf file with my app, so when a browser with an older Flash Player viewed the page, the JavaScript I had in place to call playerProductInstall.swf would hang since it couldn’t find it. The detection for when no Flash Player is present at all (or only a really old version) was also a bit ungraceful.

But I was clueless to these poor experiences since I hadn’t tested these scenarios. Fortunately, my app was just released, and only to a beta crowd.

To test the absence of Flash Player, you can download a Flash Player Uninstaller and uninstall Flash Player. I’m not sure what the best way is to install and test an old version of the Flash Player; I just had a virtual machine that had an old version on it, so I used that because it was convenient. If you google for “download flash player 8“, there are some non-Adobe links that appear to be valid links, but I did not try these.

Adobe has a Flash Player Detection and Installation support page that is helpful as well.

7 Responses to “Note for Flex Newbie: Test Your HTML Wrapper”

  1. Zohar Says:

    Check out an Adobe TechNote titled “Archived Flash Players available for testing purposes” at http://www.adobe.com/go/tn_14266.

  2. Zohar Says:

    OOps, sorry, the period got appended to the URL. It should be: http://www.adobe.com/go/tn_14266

  3. Josh Says:

    Perfecto! Thanks. With the installers for those past versions, it’ll now be easy to test how the wrapper will act with an old version of the player. Nice. According to the generated code by Flex Builder 3, apparently Flash Player v6.0r65 and newer can upgrade, whereas older versions need to just redirect to Adobe’s Flash Player download page.

  4. Jennifer Says:

    This is nice to know that Flex has similar behavior. For normal flash I use Bobby van der Sluis’ UFO, which includes a SWF that accomplishes the same upgrade/redirect purpose.

  5. Billigflüge Says:

    thanks for the reminder, not for me but many, many developers forget the usability-sight. in my eyes it is a crucial point.

  6. Autoversicherung Vergleich Says:

    Great article and informativ. I have this bookmarked. Regards

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