How the Flash Search Player works

Jim Corbett, Flash Player Engineer at Adobe, did a talk at MAX San Francisco with some good information on how the Flash Search Player works.
45min video

What I got out of it:

  • Adobe has built a headless flash player that runs through a
    swf file really fast.
  • Google has build a virtual user that communicates with the
    headless flash player, the user deals with the logic to make sure it
    clicks all the buttons and decides what to index.
  • All text fields visible on the display list can be accessed
    even dynamic ones
  • Images of text are not found – best way to hide
    text for Easter eggs
  • If you load data via external file i.e. xml and populate
    text boxes, it can be accessed via the headless flash player (Google
    are not yet passing this file back to the headless player, but they do
    index the external file)
  • No sockets, no video
  • A snap shot of the state can be taken (this is at the
    Google virtual users request)
  • No external interface
  • No swfAddress deep linking
  • Flashvars are ok as the virtual user passes the player the
    complete url
  • No accessibility text yet

Amazing innovations at Adobe

This week I have seen 2 amazing bits of technologies come from the Advanced Technologies Lab at Adobe Systems.
The bad thing is you cant get your hands on them yet unless you know someone.

I really want to get my hands on both of these, Zoetrope would be so useful is so many different ways and the video Manipulation will be fun at the start but I’m sure it will have some commercial uses.

Interactive Video Object Manipulation: just amazing video tracking and manipulation

Interactive Video Object Manipulation from Dan Goldman on Vimeo.

Zoetrope : the time machine for the web
Technology Review:
Video demo:

Studio Eighty One

This 100% flash site is for a production and editing house in Soho, it includes video, audio and images.

The site makes use of swf address for the deep linking; I used this project to create a basic framework for swf address based on the pure MVC swf address framework, but much simpler.

The design is by my good friend Andrea Bernauer.

Take a look at the site here:

Studio Eighty One\ Home page:

Studio Eighty One\ Work with video player:

Image overlay:

Multi Touch Input Device

Today I made a multi touch input device from a cardboard box, webcam, picture frame, a piece of paper and some tape.

I followed this tutorial:

It was really easy and I had it up and running in les than 30 minutes after I got all the parts together.

Here is a video of it in action and photos of the box.

Multi touch box from sam hassan on Vimeo.

Its just a webcam in a box!!

Air 1.0 Mouse.hide() work around

Thanks to Tim John for putting me on to this workaround

“This is annoying, but if you set a timer delay of a few hundred milliseconds, then call Mouse.hide() that should work.”

Air 1.0 mouse hide example source code

Air 1.0 doesn’t support Mouse.hide()

I’m currently developing a touch screen application in Flash AS3 and thought I would deploy it as an AIR application. However I found out that the Mouse.hide function doesn’t work in AIR 1.0, even though the documentation sys otherwise:

this isn’t that much of an issue as you can just publish a flash file as an EXE but it does mean that I have to have all the linked assets with the EXE, whereas if it was an Air app all files would be included so less could go wrong when it gets sent to the client.

I was trying this in my full screen application with custom chrome, but also tried it in a brand new AIR file and the mouse cursor is still visible.

If any one has got this to work and I’m just being stupid pleas let me know or if you have the same problem let me know I’m not alone.

Update: Mouse hide Solution found