Archive for April, 2007

Bling

For future releases of the Adobe Flash Player for Unix platforms, we would like to use a better method of integrating with the encapsulating web browser. This method is known as XEmbed. It is supported by some Unix web browsers but not all. Naturally, the best reason for a browser to support this interface would be if the Flash Player supported it. But without a reasonable test plugin, browser authors are a little stuck.

That’s why I threw together such a test plugin. Further, my corporate masters have authorized me to release it as open source! I call the plugin DiamondX. It operates by drawing a diamond in the specified plugin space as such (note that this is a static image and not the actual plugin in action):

DiamondX

The plugin can pop up a few modal dialog boxes which ought to be honored by the browser. There is a better-looking context menu than the one seen in the current Flash Player. Via the standard output, the plugin will also communicate which relevant events it is receiving. And get this: Keyboard focus should not follow the mouse with this example plugin!

There will hopefully be more iterations of this plugin as I plan to use it as a testbench for implementing windowless support (a.k.a. wmode, transparency) in the plugin. This way, Linux can finally be on equal footing with Windows and Mac for displaying the kind of advertisements that take over the entire browser window. And I know Linux users want that. Seriously, there are legitimate uses for said feature as highlighted by the oft-reported “Javascript menus are covered by SWF” bug.

So download DiamondX, compile it, and try it out with your favorite browser. If your favorite browser does not yet have XEmbed support, you may wish to ask the authors to think about implementing it.