[thelist] ASP + Flash detection?

John Dowdell jdowdell at macromedia.com
Thu Sep 13 19:48:07 CDT 2001

> What is the percentage of ppeople out there still using 3.0/or
> non-flash enabled browsers

The Macromedia Flash Player works fine in 3.0 browsers, or even earlier
browsers, or even browsers which are not Microsoft or AOL/Netscape
browsers. That's one of the advantages of this technology: you can get
predictable advanced interactivity across a range of viewers.

For numbers, each quarter Media Metrix tests whether its regular consumer
focus groups can immediately view certain types of web content, without
downloading anything new. In the June audit over two-thirds of consumers
could immediately use Flash 5 interactivity, and very few could not view
any Flash content.

(Please be advised that this particular list does have a few who each week
lambaste any use of SWF files; if concerned, you may wish to do a wider
check than just this particular list.)

> How can I include a flash player detection in ASP?

Detect presence? detect version?

(The latter is more useful than the former these days.)

Still, the browsers vary so much that it's hard to even get this basic
information from them. If your message is suitable for plain text, then
straight HTML would be great. But if your message would benefit from a
richer or more interactive presentation, then just stating the requirements
and providing a link to the Player accommodates more browsers, more
reliably and more easily, than attempting to ask them what they can do.

(Still, if you wish, there's tons and tons and tons of presence-detection
and even version-detection routines out there, just search. I'd go with a
straightforward link scheme myself, but your mileage may vary.)

> No, I don't go to websites to be entertained. Give me information,
> not a song and dance. it takes seconds for me to leave websites
> that force Flash down my throat .

Hmm, that doesn't sound quite like the proper installation procedure...?  ;-)

Key concept: A rich-media engine and a predictable interactivity engine can
be used in many ways. Gratuitous cartoons are only one possible use. More
meaningful uses are also enabled. You're a designer, use the tools
available to you.


John Dowdell, Macromedia Tech Support, San Francisco CA US
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