October 28, 2009

Shares Well With Others?

Expect your site to be shared with Facebook users and on other social media platforms? Don't forget to provide page/article appropriate thumbnail and copy.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 6:29 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2009

IE8 et compatible, vous

Microsoft released the final version of IE8 last week (3.19.2009); your users will soon be automatically upgraded unless auto-updates have been explicitly blocked. Are you ready?

Posted by Lewis Francis at 8:51 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 20, 2008

MacNikto 1.1 Released

MacNikto iconMacNikto is an Universal Binary, Open Source (GPL) AppleScript GUI shell script wrapper built in Xcode and Interface Builder. It provides easy access to a subset of the features available in the award-winning Perl-based Nikto web security scanner, installed along with the MacNikto application.

MacNikto 1.1 Scan tab screenMacNikto 1.1 Advanced tab screenMacNikto 1.1 Advanced tab screen

Use it to audit and lock down your web servers. Works on Panther, Tiger, and Leopard OSen (OS X.3-.5), and now supports Nikto 2.03 along with interface enhancements and bug fixes. More info and downloads at the MacNikto page.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 10:58 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

August 10, 2008

The Web Design Survey, 2008

The Web Design Survey, 2008

33,000 web workers took A List Apart's first survey in 2007, won't you help make this year's even better?

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June 23, 2008

Firefox 3 Blocklisting

Firefox 3 phones home at launch daily and checks to see if it should disable any of your plug-in/extensions. One plug-in currently being considered for blocking is pre 9.0r124 releases of Flash Player. If you are a Firefox 3 user and your Flash content suddenly no longer works, this new feature may be the reason why. Via John Dowdell.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 18, 2008

Flash Player 10 Public Beta

Code-named Astro, Flash Player 10 was announced last October at Max 2007 and released for public preview mid-May. I highly recommend immediately downloading and installing the beta and testing your Flash content, submitting any issues you run across to Adobe's bugbase -- better that issues are uncovered early and given a chance to be addressed before general release.

A common problem with upgrades are older detection scripts that fail to recognize newer versions -- fix these now rather than when your client calls to complain (hint: swfobject 2.0 was recently released).

Key New Features (from Flash Player's Sr. Product Manager's coverage):

3D Effects - transform any display object in 3D with easy to use ActionScript APIs while retaining full interactivity.

Custom Filters and Effects - In addition to the native filters in Flash Player you can also make your own using Adobe Pixel Bender. These filters, blend modes and fills can be scripted and animated using ActionScript

New Text Engine - Bi-directional text, vertical layout, styeable device fonts are all part of the capabilities of the new text engine. In addition, this generic engine will power a new set of text components with really mazing typographic and layout functionality.

Visual Performance - through two new wmode settings you will be able to take advantage of the video card to speed up rendering and blitting.

Vector - A new ECMAScript 4 data type that is very much like an array but only accepts one type. By knowing what type will be stored in the array access performanc is dramatically faster.

Runtime FileReference access - With Flash Player 10 beta you can open a file dialog box to ask a user to select a file and load it into the runtime. You can also save content from the runtime to the desktop.
Really cool stuff discussed by Adobe engineer/product mgr types:

Justin Everett-Church's Peer to Peer (P2P) in Flash Player 10 beta and RTMFP in Flash Player 10 beta.

Tinic Uro's Adobe Pixel Bender in Flash Player 10 Beta, What does GPU acceleration mean? and what one of my colleagues calls The Holy Grail of Flash audio, the three-part Adobe Is Making Some Noise.

Finally, and once you've installed the prerelease, get on over to Adobe Labs and check out the feature demos and feature videos, hosted by members of the Flash Player team. TETO!

Posted by Lewis Francis at 9:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 07, 2008

Flash Hardens, Some Sites May Shatter

Skinny: upcoming Flash Player update may break sites that use Flash to talk
cross-domain, via sockets, or to the hosting html, especially via javascript:. Also affected are Flash apps that use custom headers. Accommodation may require the inclusion of the allowScriptAccess object/embed parameter, the creation and hosting of socket security policy files, or recoding of your content.

The Security update is expected to be released this month, so the time for retrofitting and testing potentially affected content grows short.

Full details in the Adobe Dev Center article Preparing for the Flash Player 9 April 2008 Security Update.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 9:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 14, 2008


Turns out that later-model Flash Player 9 ActiveX installers "fix" the registry to prevent IE users from downgrading.

So if you are running the latest and greatest but need to test an earlier version, say the first release of Flash 9, it will install but won't run. Starting with r45 the installer will helpfully complain and then refuse to complete.


Preventing users from downgrading protects same from security vulnerabilities, but makes the life of a tester difficult. The fix is to run the official Flash Uninstaller from the command line while passing a special argument that tells it to delete the relevant registry settings. Simply open a command line prompt, cd to the Flash Uninstaller's directory and run the following:

uninstall_flash_player.exe /clean

Now you can confirm that your baseline r28 detection works and your interactive does what it's supposed to. Angst lifted.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 7:17 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

March 06, 2008

IE8b1 released, Literally Breaks With The Past

This week Microsoft released a public beta of Internet Explorer 8 for developers, which promises to fix long-endured standards compliance issues while breaking all of your sites.

Don't panic -- this is actually a Good Thing�!

Why? Because better standards support means easier/faster development and maintenance. And breaking all your sites? A stop-gap solution is trivial to implement (see below) and provides an opportunity to renew old client contacts and relationships which could lead to more work. Perhaps now is a good time to consider/pitch that redesign?

Posted by Lewis Francis at 7:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

December 11, 2007

Faviconic Revisited

The Favicon Support Chart has been updated to reflect changes in newer versions of Safari and AOL along with needed corrections due to an improperly formed multi-res favicon. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Posted by Lewis Francis at 8:17 PM | Permalink | TrackBack (0)