I thought I would expound a little bit on the Flash detection we are using in the new UA Video Newsroom (and elsewhere). Andy mentioned it briefly, but I would like to explain in more detail why I went this route.
The previous method we were using was Adobe’s Flash Detection Kit. Up until recently, this was truly the best method for trying to create a better experience for users when they encountered Flash. However, the practical application of this code made adding videos to your page convoluted and confusing.
I wanted a simple to integrate and easy to read solution. Luckily, a natural successor to the Flash Detection Kit is out there and it’s called SWFObject.
What is SWFObject and why is it better than Flash Detection Kit?
- It’s an open source code base
- Allows me to deliver multiple forms of alternate content I want (more on this shortly)
- SEO-friendly embed code
Now, we can do some cool stuff with SWFObject. The best part is that we can integrate Adobe’s Auto Install SWF with a simple variable declaration and local file. Using this method shows a dialog box to install the latest version of Flash and, after installing the update, it automatically brings the user back to the previous page.
Ideally, the Adobe Auto Install initiates. and at the very least, the user will be presented with a link to download the latest version of Flash. If you have any Flash video to embed on your websites, I recommend using SWFObject.