Flash movies can only be played in Web browsers that have the Flash Player plug-in or ActiveX control installed. Macromedia has made huge strides in making the plug-in prepackaged with newer Web browsers and operating system installation programs, eliminating the need for users to manually download and install the plug-in themselves.
Unfortunately, the Flash 5 version of the plug-in will only be included in future releases of Web browsers and operating systems. Remember that the Flash 3 and 4 Player plug-ins can try to play Flash 5 movies however, new features in Flash 5 movies will not be available (such as new ActionScript syntax and features).
Supported operating systems
Since Flash 3, Macromedia has greatly expanded its platform support for the Flash Player plug-in. At the time of this writing, you can download Flash 5 Players for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 and for Mac Power PCs. By the time this book is published, version 5 players should be available for Sun Solaris and Linux x86. At the FlashForward2000 March conference, the Flash Player was demonstrated on Windows CE! While this was an “unofficial” player that is not publicly available (it was a “proof of concept” demo), Macromedia has proven that Flash graphics can be ported to a variety of GUIs (graphical user interfaces) and operating systems. We’ve also heard reports of Flash 3 graphics showing up in add-on applications for the Sega Dreamcast.
The Flash Player plug-in works best with Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers.
Any browser that is compliant with Netscape Navigator 2.0’s plug-in specification or Internet Explorer’s ActiveX technology can support the Flash Player plug-in or ActiveX control. Note that Mac versions of Internet Explorer use a Netscape plug-in emulator to use the Flash Player plug-in rather than an ActiveX control.
For AOL subscribers, any version of AOL’s 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, or 6.0 browsers (except for the earliest 3.0 release that used a non-Microsoft Internet Explorer shell) will support Macromedia plug-ins.
Plug-in and Flash movie distribution on the Web
Anyone can download the Flash Player plug-in for free from the Macromedia Web site. In fact, according to Macromedia’s licensing agreement, if you’re publishing Flash movies on your Web site, you need to display the “Get Shockwave Player” logo or “Get Flash Player” logo on your Web site. This logo should link to Macromedia’s download page, just listed. However, you need to license the right to distribute any Shockwave plug-in installer from Macromedia.
The template and/or handwritten HTML that you use for your Flashenabled Web pages determines the degree of difficulty your visitors will have upon loading a Flash movie.
Because Web browsers vary dramatically between operating systems (for example, Internet Explorer for the Mac behaves very differently from Internet Explorer for Windows), you should make the plug-in process as invisible as possible. The following are the possible outcomes of each HTML template that Flash 5 uses:
Flash Related Interview Questions
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Understanding The Flash Framework
Exploring The Interface: Panels, Settings, And More
Using Tools For Navigation And Viewing
Working With Selections And The Pen Tool
Working With The Drawing And Painting Tools
Working With Text
Exploring The Timeline
Checking Out The Library: Symbols And Instances
Drawing In Flash
Animating In Flash
Using Bitmaps And Other Media With Flash
Designing Interfaces And Interface Elements
Understanding Sound For Flash
Importing And Editing Sounds In Flash
Optimizing Flash Sound For Export
Understanding Actions And Event Handlers
Navigating Flash Timelines
Controlling Movie Clips
Sharing And Loading Assets
Planning Code Structures
Creating Subroutines And Manipulating Data
Understanding Movie Clips As Complex Objects
Sending Data In And Out Of Flash
Understanding Html And Text Field Functions In Flash
What Is Generator?
Revving Up Generator
Working With Third-party, Server-side Applications
Working With Raster Graphics
Working With Vector Graphics
Working With Audio Applications
Working With 3d Graphics
Working With Quicktime
Working With Realplayer
Creating Full-motion Video With Flash
Creating Cartoon Animation With Flash
Planning Flash Production With Flowcharting Software
Working With Authoring Applications
Publishing Flash Movies
Integrating Flash Content With Html
Using Players, Projectors, And Screensaver Utilities
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