[thelist] XML/Flash project preparation

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Tue May 14 00:01:00 CDT 2002

At 2:31 PM -1000 5/13/02, John Corry wrote:
>1) What are the Flash/XML limitations?

There's a bunch, but off the top of my head:

The closer you get to the first release of Flash Player 5, generally
the more bugs there are.

Parsing can go slow enough to create a noticeable lag in animation,
particularly with the Flash 5 Player on a Mac.

It's reported that parsing what Flash knows as Text Nodes (tag pairs
- with an end tag) goes slower than parsing what it knows as XML
Elements (self-closing nodes). I'm not sure if what I heard was a
dumbed down version of "the more nodes you have to examine, thge
slower it will go" or if parsing 1 text node is slower than one self
closing node.

However, for the small number of nodes I imagine your weather app
uses, slowness would not be a consideration.

The best thing to do is to join a Flash specific list ... you can
email me off-list for a suggestion.

>Any actionscript
>functions/methods to steer clear of for maximum compatibility?

For the most part, the Player works identically in all browsers ...
there hasn't been a major issue for anything you're likely to run
into trouble from in years. And I don't know of any platform or
browser-specific XML bug.

If you do run into problems there's enough stuff out there so you can
most likely find an answer from google.

>2) I think my strategy is to deliver XML driven Flash content to flash
>player 5+ users, static flash content to 3+ users and a big .gif +
>imagemap to non-flash users.

I advocate using whatever the latest publishing templates from
Macromedia happen to be, and modifying the stuff in <noscript> and
the part of the JS that writes content if the Player is not detected.

If it were my project, I wouldn't worry about anything less than
Flash 5: the majority of users without it either have no choice in
the matter (in which case they should play pranks on their system
admin) or have no interest in Flash and a GIF would work dandy for

What you're doing with the weather map is a picture perfect use of
Flash ... keep us updated on it.

- Erik Mattheis

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