Getting browser features to work in Flash

  • Getting browser features to work in Flash

    Getting browser features to work in Flash

    Posted by FIZIX Richard on Tue 7th October 2008 1:24pm

    In this article we will be discussing deep linking in Flash web applications, implementing browser features and addressing accessibility issues. When looking at the suitability of Flash for websites one of the big problems that comes up time and time again is the lack of support for basic browser features. The problem with Flash is that it cannot natively support the basic features of web browsers. This always was and still is one of the big issues to address, Flash applications need to interact with the browser in the same way that HTML sites do.

    While Flash is not relevant for all web applications, there are plenty of cases where Flash is the best solution; such as sites that require rich interactions, animated content, sites with game content, sites that rely heavily on multimedia content; interactive experience sites. Therefore we will be looking at the problems and presenting a solution.

    The Problems Flash Encounters Include:

    There are a multitude of problems that are introduced when building a flash website or application:

    1. Basic browser features such as the back and forward buttons don't work

    2. The title bar does not update as you click links between screens/pages

    3. The url does not update as you click links between screens/pages

    4. You cannot directly access screens/pages within a flash application from the url like you can a html website

    5. You cannot bookmark individual pages

    The Solution

    There is a solution out there that addresses all 5 of these problems, that solution is called SWF Address, a JavaScript class with accompanying ActionScript classes for deep linking in Flash applications.

    With SWF Address implemented the browsers address bar will update as you navigate around the application, the back/forward buttons and refresh buttons will work, you can bookmark/favorite pages, you can access specific pages within the flash application via the url and the browsers title bar can be updated.

    When coupled with accessibility solutions for Flash applications you can deliver cross platform, seo friendly, accessible solutions with Flash. The benefits are significant, so it's well forth investing the time into; and lends itself towards Flash applications that are correctly structured and use dynamic content, which is another plus if developers take the initiative to approach Flash applications that way.