[thelist] Reliable Flash detection

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Thu Feb 1 16:07:48 CST 2001

Meant to get the well known two cents in about this yesterday:

The vast majority of Internet users have some version of the Player 
and IE 5 Mac has the plugins array, so it seems obvious to me that 
detecting the player with JavaScript is the way to go, just so you 
give the visitor the option to view either version of the site, or 
are able to let them know why the page isn't working.

Every "Detect Flash with Flash" I've seen defeats the purpose of 
detection, because those without it (at least those who's browsers 
support Plugins/ActiveX) get the irritating alert about not having 
the player. Seems like more common sense that it would be better to 
just ask the visitor if they have the plug-in.

>So what's the best way to detect if a browser uses Flash? What I've been
>doing is creating a small (3 second) Flash file on the index page that says
>"Detecting Flash..." then shoots visitors off to the flash intro/section
>right away. The index page also contains a 6 second meta refresh to shoot
>visitors the non flash part of the site (since the three second flash movie
>didn't load, they must not have flash installed.) The meta tag doesn't seem
>to start counting until the flash file is fully loaded.
>I've seen a way to do it with JavaScript, but this method doesn't seem to be
>as reliable (or simple) as the one I've described above. Am I wrong?
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- Erik Mattheis
(612) 827 3963

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