All about RIA development using Flash, Flex, Flash Media Server (Flashcom) with various middleware and backends.
My Personal View:
This is really a good news for me personally and of course it’s good for all flash developers and who have content in Flash SWFs. So far everyone was trying to optimize their flash applications and other techniques to read XML content to give somewhat assurance that Google or Yahoo! will find something from their content. But now Google and Yahoo! can search and in fact view virtually SWFs and click at every links, menus or buttons like their robots / spiders are doing it with normal HTML content in web pages.
SEO Industry Perspective:
This news means a lot for SEO industry as well. Most of my clients were doing argument that, If we are making this whole application in Flash, don’t you think that searching the content would be a problem? Or I will not get much hits through search engines and blah blah. So now, all the flash and flex developers can answer their clients with single sentence that Flash is now search-able too.
So in deep view, what exactly it does and how everything is possible now and why it was not there before? These are the main question everybody should be asking to their own and trying to find out answers for the same. Here you go:
Why searching in a Flash content was not possible till now?
The reason is simple. SWF is a binary file, not an ASCII file where a spider can read it like it is reading some text file. But still, Google and other search engines were trying to read somewhat information about the SWF through the comments posted in HTML file. These comments were generated automatically by Adobe DreamWeaver or by Adobe Flash IDE, while you are generating SWF file or embedding SWF file into the HTML or other scripted pages. So at that time, these IDEs were trying to find out all the static text contents from the SWF files and it was creating a string of all these contents and putting that as comments inside HTML file. So Google and other search engines were able to read that much part of SWF and whatever content was there. So the searching functionality was there but it was too limited. It was not there at all for dynamic contents you are dealing with inside Flash content, which is very common for all the Rich Internet Applications (RIAs).
Why searching in a Flash content is possible now?
Now Adobe is trying to open boundaries by opening SWF file format and some other protocols. Adobe wants that more and more third party vendors use Flash SWF as part of their platform, solution or services. So part of that whole strategy, Adobe provided some special version of Flash Player to Google and Yahoo! which they can integrate with their current searching technology tools and spiders to search and store the static and dynamic content in to their database. So with direct help of Adobe, Google and other search engines can virtually surf the Flash content. They can virtually click on various links, menus etc., inside SWF and can store all the data comes in between. So, SWF works like a HTML page and search engines can store the data like they are crawling the HTML pages.
What I need to do if my site contains SWF files to make them search-able by Google?
Absolutely nothing! That’s the great part of the deal. Adobe gave Google and Yahoo! a special version of Flash Player and Google already integrated that player into their searching tools / spiders. It also automatically available for all the flash player versions. Means, it really doesn’t matter that your SWF is compatible with Adobe Flash Player version 6 or 9.
Here is the video from Ryan’s Video, which we can consider as official Adobe statement:
Other Interesting Links / URLs:
Adobe today announces AIR 1.0. In their words, here are how it’s important for Developers and for How it’s good for business.
The Adobe AIR runtime lets developers use proven web technologies to build rich Internet applications that deploy to the desktop and run across operating systems. It’s for all developers like AJAX, Adobe Flex Developers and Adobe Flash Developers.
Adobe AIR offers an exciting new way to engage customers with innovative, branded desktop applications, without requiring changes to existing technology, people, or processes. Click here to know more on this.
Here are other important links:
Last month Yahoo! released version 1.1 of Yahoo! ASTRA libraries for Flash and Flex. Based on community feedback, they revised it and came up with a maintenance release as 1.1.1. Hence there are no new components but many fixes to minor bugs. Here are release notes from Josh Tynjala directly:
Â This updated version is available on Yahoo! Flash Developer Center as following:
I just noticed that Macromedia changed a new homepage which confirms completion of acquisition on 3rd December.
New Top navigation with Adobe logo and the page style is now completely according to the Adobe Homepage. I am waiting to hear how the community related issues come up with this acquisition.
Congratulations to Macromedia and Adobe.
Who should attend:
Special Promotion Scheme:
Save US $100 :: Buy Studio MX 2004 at US$899 (SRP) and get FREE upgrade to Studio 8 (SRP US$999) Includes Freehand MX (available as part of Studio MX 2004) Includes Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2 (available as part of Studio MX
Attend this special Studio 8 event to see:
The new Macromedia Studio 8 includes Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 3, and FlashPaper 2
Dates & Venue:
I am planning to go at Mumbai on 2nd September. Will meet new guys there!!!