Posts Tagged ‘flash’

Minor Updates to Naque

Monday, March 10th, 2014

We don’t often post about Naque, the site with a nack for creating unique names and words. So, even though today’s updates are relatively modest, it’s a good time to post about it.

What’s changed? The old Flash powered fonts, which broke a long time ago, are finally replaced with Google powered fonts. And we’ve decided to centre the site in the web browser – as screens have gotten much wider over the years, the site has started to feel lopsided, at least to us.

It’s crazy, Naque is over 10 years old now! And crazier still, hundreds of people use it every day!

sIFR (and Flash) is dead. Long live sIFR (and Flash)!

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

It’s hard to believe, but only a few years ago I eagerly looked for excuses to use Adobe Flash to make a website just a bit more interactive or fluid. Now, I have started the process of purging Flash from every site that we operate, and manage for clients. What changed?


It’s truly astounding how much web browsing is done on iPhones and iPads where Flash does not exist (Flash is also on the outs in the Android world). One of our clients has the majority of their web traffic driven by their weekly email newsletter – and I’ve seen the numbers, a very large fraction of people read their email on their phones and tablets. Today, it is critical that your website does not depend on Flash. It’s also a good idea to slowly remove Flash from non-critical parts of your website too.

Which leads to today’s subject. On many of Perceptus’ websites we use sIFR, Scalable Inman Flash Replacement, which 5 or 8 years ago, was a great way to use nicer fonts on your website for headers. sIFR uses Flash. For some reason the most recent Google Chrome web browser broke some, but not all, of the sIFR headlines on, our popular bingo card generator. It might be related to a missing  attribute or something relatively minor. But, rather than debug it, it was time to move to Javascript based fonts. On, we’re now using Google Web Fonts.

Bye bye sIFR. You were a good thing for your day.

Google Chrome Built-in PDF Viewer Incompatibility with IFRAME and a Workaround

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

With the recent automatic upgrade of Google Chrome to version 8, Google made their built in PDF viewer the default viewer *.  I.e. there is now no need to separately download Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash Player to browse the web with Google Chrome.

Generally, I like this addition to Google Chrome; however, it caused some work for us.  Our web based bingo card generator,, is highly dependent on PDF’s.  That’s the sole reason why our bingo cards are dead-easy to print out by the hundreds.  Unfortunately, Chrome’s built-in PDF renderer does not display PDFs that are in an IFRAME tag properly.

For the last few days, this is what users of would see after generating 5 pages of bingo cards on


Broken PDF rendering in an IFRAME in Google Chrome 8 - screenshot from

Broken PDF rendering in an IFRAME in Google Chrome 8 - screenshot from

Chrome tries to scale the parent page to fit everything in… and it fails badly.

We were not able to get things working 100% the way we would like, but we have a workable situation now.

The basic steps that we had to take:

  • Change from IFRAME to OBJECT tag.  For whatever reason, this fixes the zooming issue.  And it was quite simple.  In our case, there wasn’t much difference between the two HTML tags.
  • Unfortunately, we can’t find a way to get Chrome to print the contents of the object tag without printing the rest of the page (though, perhaps using CSS  might work).
  • Instead, we added some bold warning text that gives Chrome users instructions to use the manual download links. We use a little function to identify Chrome users – the two key lines of code are: 
    $u_agent = $_SERVER[‘HTTP_USER_AGENT’]; 
    if(preg_match(‘/Chrome/i’,$u_agent)) { $ub = “Chrome”; }

So, we ended up with a workaround.  We sincerely hope that Google will add the missing interface elements that will make things just work, but until then, we are doing some other site improvements as we prepare to bump up the price of Premium Access to $12 in 2011.

* If you want to go back to using Adobe Reader in Google Chrome, you can turn off the  built-in viewer by going to the special address about:plugins and change Chrome PDF Viewer to Disable.  Of course, website owners should not depend on end-users to do this just to visit your site!