Asual

Wednesday,
29 Apr 2009

SWFAddress 2.3

As of today SWFAddress 2.3 is available for download. It's the next stable release of the project and took a little bit more than initially planned. This update offers various fixes and few interesting optimizations requested by users. There are few backwards incompatible changes but they will affect only some exotic cases. The main new feature is the improved support for unicode values. For Firefox 3 on Mac OSX we switched from ExternalInterface to getURL/navigateToURL and had some additional troubles especially with ActionScript 3.

Here is the full list of changes:

  • New public encodeURI/decodeURI methods for AS1 and AS2.
  • New Unicode sample and improved support for unicode values.
  • Improved detection of ExternalInterface and swfaddress.js availability.
  • Improved fix for Firefox 3/Mac OSX.
  • Improved degradation in uncontrolled cross-domain parent frames.
  • The explicit id attribute of swfobject.embedSWF() is now optional.
  • Simplified browser sniffing.
  • Removed internal eval() statements.
  • Removed support for swfaddress.html.
  • SWFAddress.getParameter() no longer returns an empty string if the parameter is not available.
  • The SWFAddress.getTracker() no longer has a default value but the behavior remains the same.
  • Support for hash fragments in the SEO redirection.
  • MOTW is added to all the static samples.

Download SWFAddress 2.3

Tuesday,
28 Apr 2009

Introducing jQuery Address

I'm happy to announce our first contribution to the jQuery ecosystem. Our brand new project called jQuery Address brings the deep linking functionality to jQuery and hopefully is going to simplify one of the most common tasks for JavaScript developers. In other words it provides an API for creating direct links to specific Ajax states and enables the Back and Forward buttons of the browser.

jQuery Address is a direct port of the SWFAddress library which has become a standard in the Flash world and has been used on many high profile websites. It supports all the major browsers and degrades flawlessly in a small percent of unsupported versions. This first release ships with 2 samples that showcase the different ways to utilize the plugin (API sample) and how to use with jQuery UI (Tabs sample). The next steps we're planning include documentation, SEO samples and integration with the SWFObject plugin.

The work on the plugin started a few months ago but so far I wasn't able to find the time to release it. It's my first serious work that involves jQuery and I'm open for suggestions, critiques and comments. I had great time learning the library and writing the most expressive code ever. The good thing about the plugin is that it has much smaller file size compared to SWFAddress but it also does not target Flash content at this point.

I hope that our experience in this field will be valuable to many jQuery users. The plugin already contains all the improvements included in the upcoming SWFAddress 2.3 which is we're planning to release tomorrow.

Download jQuery Address 1.0

Thursday,
18 Dec 2008

SWFAddress 2.2

The new SWFAddress has just arrived after seven months of active development, various contributions and lots of positive feedback from the community. The list of changes includes the following:

  • Refactored JavaScript implementation
  • New SWFAddress.swc AS3 component
  • New CS4 based Splash screen sample
  • New Digg API sample
  • New up() method for easier deep linking path navigation
  • New XSS protection that doesn't affect special characters
  • Support for Internet Explorer 8
  • Support for custom HTTP status messages in the SEO sample
  • Improved title handling
  • Improved unload event handling for IE
  • Updated Rails sample
  • Fixed getBaseURL() for AS3
  • Fixed Safari 2.0-2.0.3 support
  • Build-in fix for the Firefox 3/Mac OSX blinking effect
  • Additional onLoad fix for application/xml content type
  • Fixed optional options parameter for the popup method
  • Cross platform build script
  • Various optimizations

I believe that this new version is pretty stable and won't require an update soon. There are two known Safari bugs (19202 and 20355) that currently affect the project and we can only hope that they will make it's way into the next major release of the browser.

SWFAddress has grown significantly in the last two years and it's very likely that we're going to provide a lite version for users who need just the basic functionality. Very soon the same API will become available for Silverlight and we're also scheduling the development of a jQuery plugin.

Happy holidays!

Monday,
8 Dec 2008

Deep linking with the Digg API

A sweet new SWFAddress sample that utilizes the Digg API just went live this morning. I wanted to create a simple Ajax based showcase for the project and I almost accomplished the goal. The complexity of the code is a little bit higher than I originally wanted but I hope that most of the people will be able to understand it.

The sample uses a dynamic script tag inclusion in order to access the Digg services in a cross-domain fashion. It lists the popular posts in the Technology section, does paging and shows post details.

Go check it out.

Tuesday,
25 Nov 2008

SWFAddress and robots.txt

During the past few months I started learning and testing how the robots execution standard applies to our website and specifically to the SWFAddress SEO techniques that we promote. The SWF indexing has drawn attention recently with the announced partnership between Adobe and Google but at the moment it's still pretty basic for our needs. We decided that we want to stick with plain indexable HTML and forbid the SWF experiments that Google are currently doing. The robots.txt that we're finally using looks like this:

In addition to the SWF files we also disallowed the indexing of our data sources. Once again I want to mention that the existence of a sitemap is important.

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