Flex accessibility

A good post from Aral regarding the state of accessibility within Flex. I hope they concentrate on this side of Flash soon rather than adding more wizzy features; it seems with Flash and AJAX you’re always having to hold your hands up and admit that they don’t bring a lot to the party when it comes to people with specific accessibility issues.

Get Flash you stupid hippie!

One of the major pains of web development is having to factor in users with “non-standard configurations”. What looks good on your machine doesn’t mean it will for a proportion of your users. However, this no-flash warning up on the South Park website is pure genius, as is the 404. I wish I was given the green light at work to do this!

As read originally on Compiler.

SWFObject 2.0

The new SWFObject is out. There are two main ways to embed Flash content on a page, with Option 2 sounding like the best fit for the rules/regulations we have to adhere to for work (progressive enhancement, no click-to-activate rubbish in IE, you HAVE to have JS to view the Flash, etc). Option 2 follows a similar method to SWFObject 1.5 as well.

Will have to look into the documentation in detail and try out some examples on a range of browsers if I have the time…

Microsoft removing Eolas “click to activate” behaviour

If you’ve worked with Flash and Internet Explorer within the past few years, this will be a godsend. It should have accessibility benefits too, as sites which aren’t embedding Flash via JavaScript won’t have to click into content anymore.

Stupid ruling in the first place. Another example of money coming before the best interests of the internet and its users.

Flash subtitle creator

I’ve been messing around with captions within Flash CS3 recently, but one of the things I thought was a little annoying was creating the timed text XML itself. Previous searches on the net didn’t seem to highlight any decent free caption creators, but then today I discovered the Subtitle Creator on Subtitle Horse’s website.

While I haven’t put it through its paces yet it looks pretty much like what I was planning on mocking-up myself. Will look to play around with it soon. One thing I wasn’t quite sure about however is that the site says you don’t have any power to change fonts, but the captioning component within Flash CS3 will allow this providing the caption is within CDATA blocks.

Font embedding in Flash CS3 + initial thoughs on Yahoo’s Flash Developer Center

Yahoo! have launched their Flash Developer Center, and among the interesting articles and downloads is this article about runtime font embedding in Flash CS3.

It looks like embedding fonts might be a hell of a lot easier in the latest version of Flash. Anyone who’s dabbled in Flash and non-standard system fonts knows it’s been a pain in the ass in the past to get working (hidden font fields off-stage, etc), so I’m eager to see how things now fair in the latest version of Flash.

As for the other stuff up on the site, I expect they’ll flesh out things as time goes on. I wonder how easy to skin and customise their components are, as one of the reasons people opt for Flash is because it allows them total control over the look and feel of the user interface.

Another thing I’m wondering about is the accessibility of their components. I’m writing this on a MacBook and checked out their components in Firefox (admittedly not a great browser when it comes to tabbing and Flash), but even when focused within the Flash movie my tabbing didn’t seem to do anything.