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Flash Player Release Notes

Macromedia Flash Player 8 Release Notes

This document is for Macromedia Flash 8 developers and addresses issues which are not discussed in the Macromedia Flash 8 documentation or release notes. This document may be updated periodically as more information becomes available.

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Macromedia Flash Player version

Ensure that you have the latest version of Flash Player installed by clicking here to check the version. The current version of Flash Player 8 is 8.0.34.0.

Features in Macromedia Flash Player 8, Version 8.0.22.0

This release of Macromedia Flash Player includes:

  • New features for creative expression such as new video capabilities, filter effects, and text rendering enhancements
  • Application development features such as File Upload/Download, a new browser scripting API for improved JavaScript integration (External API), and improved Input Method Editor integration
  • Improved performance for rendering and code execution operations
  • An enhanced security model for local Flash content
  • Improvements to the installation and update experience

The features in Macromedia Flash Player 8 are covered in detail in Flash Help in the Flash 8 and Flash Professional 8 authoring environments. Features that developers should be aware of include:

Expressive Capabilities:

Bitmap Effects/Filters

This feature provides expressive graphic effects at runtime without significantly increasing the SWF file size. Some of the new filters are Blur, DropShadow, Glow, Bevel, Gradient Glow, Gradient Bevel, Displacement Map, Convolution, and Color Matrix.

Advanced Text Rendering (FlashType)

Advanced Text Rendering leverages a new anti-aliasing technology that renders fonts at very high quality, especially at small point sizes. The new text engine combines exceptional readability while maintaining the aesthetic "look and feel" of the fonts.

Scale 9 (or 9-Slice Scaling)

Scale 9 applies "component" scaling to shapes and movie clips. When grid scaling is applied, the curvature of corners does not change while the center stretches. This allows the developer to utilize high performance, component-style scaling of vector images.

Blend Modes

This feature introduces a MovieClip property that filters colors and alpha display of all elements at lower depths. It is similar to Blending Modes applied to layers in Macromedia Fireworks.

GIF, PNG, and JPEG support

This feature adds support for dynamic loading of GIF, PNG, and progressive JPEG files.

BitmapData API

This feature provides a BitmapData object and other objects at runtime and a low-level API to support pixel manipulation, programmatic rendering of movie clips onto images, and bitmap effect access.

Stroke Enhancements

This feature allows the use of strokes that do not scale when the movie clip is resized and ensures hairline strokes always join correctly. It adds support for new joins (miter, round, bevel) and end caps (butt, square, and round). Fill colors or gradient fills can now be applied to strokes.

Text Layout API

The Text Layout API feature adds low-level text APIs that allow more control over the layout of text in the Flash Player, including support for kerning, full justification, and character spacing.

Video Enhancements

Flash Player 8 integrates a new video codec from On2 that works with the VP6.2 encoding support provided in the toolset. The Player now also supports alpha channel video when using the new codec.

Linear and Radial Gradient Enhancements

Users can now control the focal point of a radial gradient fill, set up to 16 color stops, and set the repeat mode for any fill.

32 Sound Channels

Flash Player 8 now supports 32 simultaneous sound channels, increased from the 8 sound channel limit previously in Flash Player.

Custom Context Menu Enhancements

The CustomContextMenu API can now be applied to objects which are nested movieclips. This will improve the usability of components developed in ActionScript.

Robust Application Runtime:

File Upload/Download

This feature allows developers to create content that uploads files to the server and allows users to download and save files.

External API

The External API provides seamless ActionScript/JavaScript communication. Features include:

  • Ability to pass multiple data types (not just strings)
  • Function calls are synchronous, so you can get return values
  • Built into the Player (unlike the Flash/JavaScript Integration Kit)
  • Works in all modern browsers

IME Enhancements

This feature adds ActionScript access to features in the platform Input Method Editor (IME), such as getting and setting the conversion mode.

Performance:

Reduced Memory Footprint

Flash Player 8 implements more efficient memory management to improve ActionScript and Player performance.

Faster ActionScript Performance

ActionScript performance has been optimized in Flash Player 8.

Rendering Performance

A number of other optimizations have been made to improve rendering performance, particularly on the Mac platform.

Bitmap Caching

Vector graphics can now be accelerated through bitmap caching.

User Privacy and Security:

Privacy Control for Shared Objects

We have added a user setting to the online Settings Manager to permit users to opt out of third-party cookies. The option is found on the existing Global Storage tab of the Flash Player Settings Manager. It will be enabled by default; users can disable it if they wish. When third-party LSOs (local shared objects) are disabled, the Flash Player will not allow LSOs to be read or written by SWFs unless their domain of origin matches the domain of the URL in the browser's address bar. This restriction will only be enforced in the browser Players.

Code Signing

With Flash Player 8, all applications downloaded by the Player, such as for Auto-Update and Express Install, are digitally signed by Macromedia and verified by the Flash Player.

Local File Security

Flash Player 8 introduces a new security model for trusted local content. Beginning with Flash Player 8, SWFs of any version that are played back as local files in the Player will have limited access to communications with the Internet. The new restrictions apply only to browser Players and standalone Players; the test-movie Players, projectors, and instances of the ActiveX control embedded in non-browser applications are unaffected.

Local content will now be divided into 3 basic categories:

  • Untrusted – SWF can only access the local file system. This is the default for local files.
  • Local with Networking – SWF can only access the Internet.
  • Trusted – SWF is free to interact with both local and Internet content

The Local File Security restrictions may affect some content that is already deployed. If you have deployed content that runs as local SWFs which play in a browser and need to contact the Internet, users who upgrade to Flash Player 8 will see a dialog that advises them of a potentially insecure operation. For more information on issues related to Local File Security, start with this Tech Note.

Installation Experience:

Auto-Update Enhancements

Client notification of Flash Player updates has changed with Flash Player 8. With Flash Player 7, if an update is detected, the Player launches an application which waits five minutes before showing a tray icon (with bubble help). If the user clicks on the icon or bubble help, they are presented with an update dialog.

With Flash Player 8, if an update is detected, the Player will schedule the updater application to be launched the next time the users starts up their machine. On startup, the user will be presented with an update dialog. The tray icon has been removed.

Express Install

To allow developers to more easily update the version of the Flash Player required to view the latest content, Macromedia is introducing an integrated update process. A new Flash Player Detection Kit is available that documents how to offer an update to the latest version of the Flash Player that does not require a system reboot and brings the end user back to the originating content once the Player has been updated.

Fixes and Improvements for Flash Player 8.0.24.0

Macromedia Flash Player 8.0.24.0 includes security enhancements described in Security Bulletin APSB06-03.

This update introduces additional version checking to the installation process. Because older installers and controls do not contain the new version checking logic, the Flash Player control is locked upon installation. Starting with this update, installers and uninstallers from Adobe are designed to work with this change, and there is no impact to the end-user installation experience. Flash and Flex developers may need to make slight modifications to their normal methods of switching between player versions during testing to account for this change. This is described in TechNote 4da116d3.

Known Issues

General

  • Flash components using device text will not work correctly when filters are applied (due to the use of masks). (132624)
  • If a dynamically loaded child movie plays streaming sound, the parent movie will drop to the framerate of the child movie. (114870)
  • Flash Player does not play streamed sounds on the first frame. This is by design to prevent the playback of a snippet of sound during a stop() action on the first frame of a movie. The workaround is to place a sound on the second frame of a movie. (84631)
  • Loading an FLV from a non-system drive (such as a separate partition or CD-ROM) fails to load relative paths. Mac only. Workaround: Use the absolute path to FLV; delimit with colons. (97823)
  • FTP download is not supported for the following configurations (125203):
    • Standalone Player on Mac 10.2 and higher will return a 404 error.
    • Active X and Standalone Players on Windows 98 and XP will return a SecurityError.

Installation/Uninstallation

  • During player installation, Microsoft AntiSpy will display a pop-up notification alerting users that Flash Player has created an entry in the startup registry. The registry entry is used to enable the auto-update notification dialog on machine startup. Auto-update notification settings can be configured in the Settings Manager.
  • If the uninstaller is launched while the Flash Player is in use by another application, such as Yahoo Instant Messenger, the uninstall will silently fail and Flash Player will not be removed. Please close all applications before running the uninstaller.

Printing

  • Printing does not work in the following scenarios:
    • bitmapData and video objects cannot be printed in vector mode. (136539)
    • When printing any Flash document (with print function, printJob or contextual right-click menu), the printed document will not contain any hard-coded or scripting filters effects. (135182)
  • Flash Player does not support printer resolutions higher than 300 dpi in this release. If you see printing artifacts, ensure your printer resolution is set to 300 dpi. (111216)

Browser

  • Opera does not currently support trusting local SWFs that have high ASCII in the filename or path. (131328)
  • Firefox browser will crash using the External API if JavaScript calls an ActionScript function in the onUnload handler, followed by the ActionScript function then calling another ActionScript function. This issue has been reported to Mozilla as Bugzilla Bug 304088. (135795)
  • Internet Explorer incorrectly directs some URL requests (HTTP post of form data) that return SWFs with no HTML wrapper to point to an incorrect location. As a result, Flash Player 8 will prevent the content from loading-- debugger players will display an error message, and Web players will fail silently. The issue has been reported to Microsoft. (134253)
  • In Safari, printing from the File menu does not print the Flash content on a web page. This issue has been reported to Apple. Workaround: Print from the Flash Player context menu.
  • Firefox does not notify the Flash Player when the user creates and switches to a new tab, and Flash content continues to render on screen. Mozilla has been notified of this issue in Bugzilla Bug 298961.
  • Current event manager code in Firefox on Mac causes Flash Player to run very slowly, unless the user holds the mouse button down on the content. Mozilla has addressed this issue, and the fix is expected in the upcoming Firefox 1.5 release (Bugzilla Bug 106397).

Fixes and Improvements in Flash Player 8.0.33.0

Adobe Flash Player 8.0.33.0 includes security enhancements described in Security Bulletin APSB06-11.

Fixes and Improvements in Flash Player 8.0.34.0

Adobe Flash Player 8.0.34.0 includes security enhancements described in Security Bulletin APSB06-18.

Fixes and Improvements in Flash Player 8.0.35.0

Adobe Flash Player 8.0.35.0 includes security enhancements described in Security Bulletin APSB07-12.

Fixes and Improvements in Flash Player 8.0.39.0

Adobe Flash Player 8.0.39.0 includes security enhancements described in Security Bulletin APSB07-20.

Reporting a bug to the Macromedia Flash Player Team

Found a bug? Please send the detailed bug information via the online Macromedia Software Feature Request and Bug Report form.

Note: Due to the high volume of email we receive, we are unable to respond to every request.

Thank you for using Macromedia Flash Player and for taking the time to send us your feedback!