Friday, August 29, 2008

Flash FireFox 3 Bug - Please help us!

People - we need your help on this one. The issue:

There are reports from various parties on a Firefox 3, Flash bug pertaining to video playback. A post on the Fireox Bugzilla site by Kirsten sums it up nicely:

Googling this problem, I've seen it's a persistant and ongoing problem for a lot of people, but I don't see that it's been addressed anywhere by firefox.

I've noticed since the latest update that sometimes (not all the time) flash audio/video will load and look as if it's starting to play, but then will freeze at two seconds. Even if you open a new browser, or tab, the problem persists. I will then have to close all currently open firefox windows and tabs, start again, and then (usually) videos will play.

This is a persistent, frustrating problem. IE will play these vids/audio no problem. It's a bummer. I certainly don't want to go back to go back to IE. Yuk.

Firefox, Help!!

I have the latest versions of both Firefox, Flash (and java). And I don't have the ActiveX plugin.

Sadly, today this has not been solved. WHY? It is not as easy to solve this as it appears.
Rafe Needleman made a fairly interesting post about how this problem has been known about since May yet neither Adobe nor Mozilla seem to be able to fix it. We actually have not even determined what causes the behavior or where it originates from. Rays post was very well balanced although the Mozilla spokesperson Mike Beltzner's quote really made me twitch when I read it. A very myopic mind might be inclined to blame Adobe solely for the purpose he views us as "proprietary" based on his narrow definition of "Open Source" (Adobe has moved a lot towards open source in the last 3 years and we love open source). I would rather avoid finger pointing and concentrate on how we (all of us) work together to solve this issue.

So what is the real problem? Why can this bug not be squashed? How can you help?

Kudos to John Dowdell who took the time to really illustrate the difficulties in tracking it down and document his thoughts (linked to from Rafe’s page). Before you read the rest of this, you might want to read John's post.

Additionally, since this is a non-fatal error, it does not generate one of those system snapshots and send it back to us or anyone else. This means we do not have a very good picture of what is exactly happening.


I would like to invite all invite people to contact us who can produce this bug on demand. As John states, you cannot fix something you cannot see and it seems no one has been able to produce this behavior on demand in a sandbox. Since we (Microsoft, Adobe, Mozilla, Users) cannot produce this bug on demand, it is not possible to fix. John also notes that it might be a mistake to assume this is only "a" bug; it may be several.

Here are some clues:
1. It (apparently) only appears on XP and Vista with FF and FP9. Since I am on a Mac, I have never noticed this.
2. Many people seem to note that Java somehow has an influence. It seems to be possible but there are not yet consistent patterns.
3. While running Windows XP/Vista in Safe mode, the bug does not happen. Note that this is possibly due to coincidence and if you have managed to encounter it in safe mode, please drop a comment here to tell us so we don't look up the wrong tree.
4. Many people report they only encounter it only after FF has been running for a while (>60 min).

Here is what you can help with.

- if you encounter this bug, please note the following:

1. What specific version of FF and Flash Player are you on?
2. What specific version of Windows are you using?
3. how long has FF3 been open before the crash occurs?
4. What specific video are you trying to play?
5. What language settings do you have?

Bonus points for the following:

6. How many tabs did you have open? Are any of them also playing video or Flash content?
7. Can you capture your system memory profile?
8. Check your system error log and note any peculiar information.
9. By taking the exacty same steps, can you reproduce it?

Be vigilent for any extra bits of details to help notice the pattern. Are you VPN'd when it happens vs direct connection? What other applications were open?

Most important - if you can produce this on demand, please contact us directly (email me at dnickull at adobe dot com) and we can rush it to the right people.

There is a page set up to collect input. While you can post relevant information here to help others out, please don't forget to tell the Adobe and others teams working on this:

That's all for now - thank you in advance.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Eine neues Web Zwei-punkt-null Filme mit Tim und Duane?

Hier, ein neuer Web 2.0 Film aus dem Netz mit Tim O'Reilly, mir und anderen. Wir sprechen nur Deutsch (Berliner Akzent?) aber es ist fuer alle ein guter Film. Wir fragen "Was ist Web 2.0".

Unendliche Weiten, jeder redet darüber, aber die wenigsten wissen überhaupt, was sich hinter diesem Bergriff versteckt: Web 2.0. Ein Erklärungsversuch ist vielleicht die Definition, dass man viele bekannte Web-Programmiertechnologien intelligent zusammengefügt hat, um die Benutzung des Internets einfacher zu machen.

Tim ist ganz Kool!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Duane's World 9 - Tim O'Reilly and John Markoff @ FooCamp

This episode of Duane's World is by far my favorite and has two spectacular interviews. One is with Web 2.0 guru and media mogul Tim O'Reilly (founder - O'Reilly Media); the second interview is a killer exploration of the new media with New York Times Reporter John Markoff. During this interview, we discuss the Iranian Missile test Photoshop debacle and the importance of a free, independent press for any democracy. John raises some great thoughts on why we might be in ambiguity for a few years. Tim provides some interesting thoughts on the future of technology as well as mind-body hacking and what Foo Camp is all about.

BitPakkit (a.k.a. Ben Watson) provides the mix for Code and Tunes. The Code and Tunes segment is based on fault event detection and handling as submitted by Matt MacKenzie. Very worthwhile for anyone who wants to learn how to interact with remote resources in Flex or AIR.

I have to say that Duane's World has been more successful than I ever imagined and I am honored by the guests who are willing to be interviewed for the show. This is truly a humbling experience. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

SMX - the premiere Search Engine Optimization event

SMX East, scheduled for Oct 6-8, 2008, is fast approaching. I have only been to one SMX event, but I believe it is the premiere Search Engine Optimization event in the world. SMX East is 3 days long and holds more than 50 sessions and keynotes.

SMX is the brain child of two experts in SEO: long time SEO guru Danny Sullivan (formerly of and Vanessa Fox. Most of the SEO tips and tricks I learned in the 1990s were gleaned from Danny's writing and research. I consider both of them formidable experts on the subject of SEO. Google's Tim Armstrong will also be on hand to present.

I have posted some recent tips for Flash SEO and will be speaking at the Web 2.0 event with an all new presentation in Berlin called "Search Engines and Flash: Secrets, Tricks, and Black Magic". The talk will cover several key workarounds for better SEO results on Flash and new technical developments that have made new functionality available to search engines and developers alike. I will showcase some advanced tips and tricks to give you the edge over the competition as well as share some secrets so attendees will learn how to increase initial page rankings as well as monitor and increase dynamic page ranks.

Oh yeah - get to both of these events if you want to know more about Flash and SEO.