Making Flash less browser-hostile (WAS: why is flash so awesome?)

25 Oct 2007 - 3:07pm
1175 reads
Will Parker

I got lucky this week and was able to write up my research on making
Flash more browser-friendly. Whether or not the methods I found will
be adopted by our Flash devs is still TBD (but I still have my +2
Email Of Overwhelming Persuasion on hand if there's trouble).

Here are the best references I found. The Penner article appears to
be the grandaddy of them all, while the Chakramedia article gives a
very complete discussion of current implementations, including deep

Will Parker
WParker at


Robert Penner's original implementation (May 2001)
(only worked in IE 5 and up, but IE 5 is currently pretty much dead)

Adobe implementation (Jul 2002)
Full tutorial

Using Flash 'named anchors' feature - Flash Magazine (May 2004)

Justin Smith / Chakramedia - Deep Link & Back Button Integration with
Flash (Apr 2005, updated 2006)
Includes fix for Eolas click patent issues. Very complete reference
to related articles.

Enabling a back button within Flash (Sep 2005)
Full tutorial. See Comment #4 at the bottom of the article for an
alternate implementation that may improve user experience

=== Related Articles ===

Universal Javascript to Flash Communication (cited in article)

Adobe Knowlegebase Technote - How to make a back button in a SWF file
(Jun 2007)
Describes implementing nav history within the SWF, not 'browser back'

On Oct 23, 2007, at 8:32 AM, Matthew Nish-Lapidus wrote:

> The issue with all these techniques for adding bookmarks, deep links,
> etc.. is that they are a lot of work and have to be integrated at the
> very beginning of the project.. and in the end they give you a lesser
> version of what you get for free in a browser.
> On 10/23/07, Will Parker <wparker at> wrote:
>> On Oct 23, 2007, at 5:17 AM, James Leslie wrote:
>>> Additionally, I don't believe that Flash pages can be bookmarked at
>>> anything other than the root level.
>> There has been some work done on creating bookmarkable URLs in Flash
>> pages, and apparently there are two or three methods that work
>> reasonably well. I don't have my collection of links handy at the
>> moment, but see
>> flash-
>> deep-linking/ for one example. If there's interest, I can dig out
>> more.
>> The *real* problem is getting Flash-only developers to think of HTML
>> as anything but a wrapper to be added on later.
> --
> Matt Nish-Lapidus
> email/gtalk: mattnl at
> ++
> LinkedIn:
> Home:

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