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Chrome Blocking Flash Plugin – Flash PPAPI to the Rescue

plugin blocked

A recent update to the Google Chrome browser has introduced a step towards the removal of support for the The Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI). The result is that any pages that utilize a plugin using the NPAPI (such as Flash, Silverlight, etc.) will be disabled, you will receive a “Plug-in Blocked” notification, and any object on the page utilizing the plugin will display the beloved “missing plugin” image.

From here you have the option of individually enabling the plugin on a per-domain basis (this is done by clicking the “Plug-in blocked” notification, and selecting the option to allow plugins for this domain). This is a fast, but rather annoying workaround that will only work for the next few months until Google permanently disables NPAPI support (at which point, this option will no longer be available).

The Solution:

Unfortunately, the solution is to replace any plugins that use the NPAPI with new versions written using alternative (and still supported) methods. One example of this is the Adobe Flash Player plugin which now offers a version written using the Chromium Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI). This version will be supported going forward, and will allow you to run content requiring the Flash Plugin in new versions of Chrome. More information about the Flash Plugin update can be found at http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2014/12/flash-runtime-16-update-new-ppapi-installers-and-air-news.html and you can download the updated Flash Plugin at http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/flashplayer.html

flash-plugin-ppapi

Thoughts:

With Googles decision to back WebRTC and other HTML5 based streaming and real-time communications API’s, I don’t find it the least bit surprising that they have decided to take another step towards shutting down alternative methods of implementing such functionality. While many people have been claiming for years that “Flash is Dead,” and I have finding myself more and more inclined to agree, this does serve as a gentle reminder of just how much content out there still runs on Flash. That being said, let us not forget that on the world wide webs, dead does not mean gone…


Debugging Flash/Flex Apps in Google Chrome (and killing the cache)

Since switching over to Google Chrome as my default browse some months back, I have had one persistent (see also annoying) issue: I have been unable to get the Flash Debugger to run properly in Chrome. I initially tried a number of fixes, none of which seemed to resolve the issue. Eventually, I gave up, and simply started using FireFox for debugging. Fast-forward a few months, and I am now ready to bail on FireFox due to memory usage issues (my Macbook AIR has almost gone up in smoke a few times thanks to these lil problems). To add to the fire, I have also been dealing with the HUGELY bothersome (and very common) issue of the browser caching my .swf files while I am debugging (i.e. I run debug, and the file displayed is a cached version, so I end up trying to resolve bugs that may not even exist anymore). So this morning, sitting in a cafe in Little Italy (San Diego), listening to the rain falling softly on the concrete outside, I decided it was high time I tackle theses issues. Luckily for me (and you), the solutions came quickly, and I now have Google Chrome debugging my flash builds, and running the latest build every time no less!

Debugging in Chrome:

Aaron West wrote a nice blog post outlining the how to make sure Google Chrome is using the debug version of the flash player here: http://www.aaronwest.net/blog/index.cfm/2010/4/27/Configuring-Chrome-with-Flash-Player-Debugger . Aaron did a very nice job of explaining the changes necessary to make force Chrome to use the debug player, so I will not reiterate them here; however, I will add one thing (which turned out to be the missing link for me): In order to find the correct Flash plugin to disable, you may first need to click the “Details” link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Doing this will expand the list of plugins (in my case, there were 2) and allow you to disable the correct one.

Plug ins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disabling Caching:

I saw a number of fixes for the caching issue, some of them better than others, but none quite as elegant as I would hope (i.e. a setting in Chrome to simple disable caching). Then I came across a blog post by Andre Gil’s (sorry for the spelling, I don’t know how to make the fancy accent over the e), which outlined a very nice solution in which Andre had written a small application that essentially gives you the option to launch Google Chrome with the cache disabled. You can get the app, and read about its’ use in the section titled “Cache Problems” of the following post: http://blog.somepixels.net/2010/05/how-to-develop-and-debug-flex-on-google-chrome/

 

That’s all folks. Now get back to work, and happy debugging!

 

**Update**

I am still having some issues with caching. Currently, I have found that I most often have to do a hard-refresh in Chrome in order to force it to load the latest build of the .swf. I will be working on finding a solution for this and will update once I have it!


How to Enable SSH on the Chumby 8

“Secure Shell or SSH is a network protocol that allows data to be exchanged using a secure channel between two networked devices.” (Secure Shell – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ).

What does this mean, and why should it matter to a Chumby developer? To put it simply, SSH allows us to easily connect to the Chumby device through the command line. In turn, this let’s us force the Chumby to do our bidding (insert evil laugh here). What might you want to tell your Chumby device to do? Well, for starters, you might want to tell it to run your application. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to test and debug your Chumby apps. If you’d like to learn more about creating and testing Chumby apps, you can read my full blog post on the topic HERE! But first, make sure you read through this tutorial and get SSH enabled on your Chumby!

Before you can enable SSH, you will first need to unlock the mysteries of the hidden Geek Menu. If you are unfamiliar with how to access the Geek Menu, I recommend that you read my blog post “Accessing the Geek Menu on Your Chumby Device” before continuing. If you’re already skilled in the arts of Chumby geekery, then feel free to move to the next step!


Once you’ve made your way into the Geek Menu, enabling SSH is a simple matter of clicking the button labeled “SSHD.” You should see a small Chumby logo appear next to the button, then quickly disappear. SSH is now enabled on your chumby device!

It’s important to note that SSH will only stay enabled until you reboot your Chumby. If you shut down your device, then start it up again, you will need to go through these steps again to re-enable SSH.

If you’re lazy like me, and don’t want to have to go through the process of enabling SSH each time you restart your device, you can SSH into your Chumby and enter the following command:

Once this command has been entered, SSHD will be enabled on your Chumby device by default! You can find more info. on this as well ass other cool tips and tricks at you can do with SSH at: Chumby tricks – ChumbyWiki

That’s all there is to it! Now that you have SSH enabled, why not check out my post on “Connecting to a Chumby Device Over SSH.”

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