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flash and browser behaviours

Posted on 2011-09-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
we have a system built in AS3 that loads objects as required - based on webservice data returned, in Firefox and Chrome, this works 100%, in internet explorer this doesn't work - no error messages - just doesn't work.
This is an XP machine with IE 8
A windows 7 machine with IE 9 - same content works 100%

any thoughts/ ideas?
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Question by:blue-genie
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by:conagraman
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make sure the player version is up to date first. then post your code and if you can a file with the problem.
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dgofman earned 500 total points
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In most cases Flash Player add ons is disabled, you can reset all configuration from Internet Options - >Advanced tab
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by:blue-genie
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@conagraman - my FP is up to date and it's impossible to upload the file to make any sense to anyone, as i mentioned it's a system on its own with database/webservices etc .

@dgofman - will check on the XP machine tomorrow.
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by:conagraman
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dgofman is prob right
by the way blue-genie i didn’t realize this was another expert asking. : )  my bad

i asked about the code because I had a similar problem in the past when i was looping using a FileReferenceList to upload multiple files - mixed in was a tween and the order of the code ended up being the problem. I don’t think it was losing a reference any ware I really don’t have a good reason for it but only in IE was it not working before i made the change. Obviously my problem is not the same as what you’re having but thought I’d mention it.
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by:blue-genie
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Hey conagraman - no worries, i ask for the file most times as it makes life much easier, but in this case it would take me 2 days to move everything onto a public server.  and being an "Expert" - what does it matter? life is a learning journey for all of us right?

@dgofman - i used the reset IE settings options, and it works - any understanding why?
i'll add it to my user manual but it would be cool to be able to explain it - as i see it says it's disabling all add ons.
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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BG - this is a flashPlayer 10.3.x bug. We are experiencing the same thing. It's been logged with Adobe since April I think with no sign of being addressed. There are some workarounds. I'll point you to them in a followup.

T
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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If you suspect it's your loaded content that's just not loading, you may be experiencing something like this:
http://forums.adobe.com/message/3709393

The workaround is to set a 1ms timeout on your LoaderEvent.INIT or LoaderEvent.COMPLETE handler (basically turning it into a proxy handler). This solves a problem of gotoAndPlay() not working on loaded SWFs in FP 10.3.x - totally bogus.

There's also a thread (which I can't seem to locate ATM) that puts the issue on re-cycling Loader objects (as opposed to creating a new Loader for each thing you want to load). Apparently it's the re-use of the same Loader that causes the issue. Which reminds me of another thread you asked about 6 months ago where we all jumped on the recycling bandwagon (which IMO is still the right call, in an ideal "bug free" world). If the setTimeout option is distasteful to you, you might try that. Guess it depends on how many assets you're loading and how much confidence you have in FP'3 GC and memory leaks...

If you think it's a display issue, not related to the loader at all, check your Intel video drivers and / or ensure that GPU rendering is turned off (in the browser settings) - this IMO is a sh#tty workaround because how can you reasonably expect your clients to even know how to do that, let alone comply, but that's Adobe stand at the moment.
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by:blue-genie
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hey tom, i'll give you a break down on what's going on.

i get an xml result from a soap service and build up a menu structure which has play buttons and leaderboard buttons
the play btns call a loadSwf method which processes some xml, builds up a query string and then does a simple navigateToURL

the leaderboard buttons are simply doing an addChild to attach a leaderboard instance to the display list which in turn will get data to display, but the point is that the addChild doesn't even kick in.
I would be so much happier if threw some errors at me but no such luck.

what do you think?
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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The buttons are embedded library items that you instantiate through AS? Or are they being loaded in dynamically from external assets?
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by:blue-genie
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library items.
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by:dgofman
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@blue-genie: as I already explained the problem with Add-ons settings. I think the Adobe team decided to fix issue on user compliance about for Flash Player installation previous we have to close all browsers. In the latest FP you can install without closing or rebooting. Replacing DLL(s) on Windows possible when all references to library is disabled. In this case Adobe needs to remove from registry current registry to FP add-ons. After installation my guess they are recovering the same registry key but not registering app for auto generating the key(s). And that maybe a problem,
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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Can you confirm whether you're seeing nothing at all (ie: white area where you were expecting the SWF to be) vs. you're seeing all the design-time elements, just not those added with AS? Trying to eliminate the whole plugin issue.
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by:blue-genie
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@dgofman - i wanted to make sure I understood you properly - based on your comment "Flash Player add ons is disabled" - i understood it to mean that is should be ENABLED - hence when resetting the settings as advised - I noticed it said DISABLING addons which I thought was contradictory - hence my request for clarity.

@Tom I'm loading the movieclip on top of existing content - so it should eg.

var lbObj:LBObj = new LBObj(); //where LBObj extends MovieClip..
addChild(lbObj);
no lbObj loaded. <-- works fine in all other browers and on IE9 win 7

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by:dgofman
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@blue-genie:
You are expert in ActionScript and Flash like me, so you should understand if my fix working for you the problem was in ActiveX controls. I found that issue when I upgraded IE 8 to IE 9 and two month waiting from Google team when they will fix layout in GMAIL. Flash Player at that time works on all sites except GMAIL. And when I reset my IE I got working GMAIL without any problems.
So, in this case looks like during upgrading of IE some ActiveX settings was corrupted and after resetting all Add-ons was re- registering.
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by:blue-genie
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dude i have every intention to award the points and close the thread but while engaging with Tom, i'm learning some new things, and he's shedding some light hence my leaving the thread open for a while.
it's because we're all "so called" experts that i'm using this thread to engage a little bit deeper and try to share some knowledge instead of just do this -  now give me points - my bad.  

I said it fixed it, but i'm trying to garner further understanding as to why.

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by:blue-genie
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@Tom - mail me if you come up with something
tx :-)
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by:dgofman
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Ok, nice to see other explanation for this behavior for me too :)
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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Okay, so refreshing the IE plugin fixed the issue? Could it have been an outdated ActiveX control?

Anyway, the bugs I have been following are related to 1: Intel video drivers on the one hand and 2: dynamically loading objects using a Loader(). In your case, 2 doesn't seem to apply since you're instantiating embedded Library items, not using a loader. It seems you are not having issues displaying author-time graphics, only dynamically instantiated Library items. addChild() is not erroring out, so you have a stage. The only thing left is to wonder whether a) is it somehow a different root that you're adding to, for some reason (seems far-fetched, but you could install Monster Debugger and traverse your display list to see if you detect any anomalies when viewing in IE9 (that piece of sh$#) ) or b) is it a redraw region issue (somewhat more likely), but then you'll have to install the debug version of the ActiveX control , and it sounds like just re-installing the plugin did the trick anyway, so it's likely you won't catch the error.

If you still have the original system that's exhibiting the issue and can consistently replicate it with your HTML embedded SWF, you might consider creating a very simple test SWF that has a few author-time elements on the stage and instantiates one or two library items via AS and then substitute that in place of the SWF that's giving you grief. If they both exhibit the same behaviour, it's almost certainly not a flash issue but an implementation of the ActiveX control.

Another thought that just crossed my mind, related to the Intel issue, is checking your wmode in your embed parameters. Are you using anything funky like wmode=direct or wmode=gpu? You might try something standard like wmode=opaque and see whether that changes anything. While you're at it, check your Publish settings under the Flash tab and see whether you have gpu acceleration turned on and toggle it.

I'm just shooting around in the dark here. Let us know if anything turns up roses, in case we all face the same issue some day.
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by:blue-genie
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Hey tom that sounds like some homework over the weekend.
'wmode', 'transparent' currently and i always publish with.
will revert - hopefully with a light bulb moment

:-)
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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Good luck!
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by:blue-genie
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so far not much luck - the resetting to factory settings works when it feels like it.
i couldn't get the monster debugger to work, maybe i need to RTFM - but haven't had time, I ended up nearly breaking some stuff.
after some mad refreshing - it loads sometimes.

grrrr annoying.
will keep update if i find a solution.
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by:blue-genie
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hey guys. i promised to get back to you so get back to you i am.
I'm still not sure why this makes a difference but it does.

explanation in pic

Untitled-1.png
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by:tomaugerdotcom
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So you're finding that you have to have the library item completely loaded prior to accessing the web service that wants to place it on the stage? This sort of makes sense, in a back-asswards sort of way...
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