'flensed' Announces Two Revolutionary Projects, CheckPlayer and flXHR

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CheckPlayer (a tool for easy Flash Player plugin detection, upgrades, and SWF embedding), and flXHR (pronounced flex-er, a tool for direct, client-side, cross-domain fl-AJAX communication) are two new foundation projects from the 'flensed' family.


flXHR has really improved the way I write cross-domain scripting code. It removes all the headaches from ugly workarounds -- it's so powerful and easy to use.

The flensed family announces CheckPlayer and flXHR (pronounced flex-er), two revolutionary projects that redefine how websites can leverage and interact with SWF assets. CheckPlayer provides a powerful yet dead-simple interface for web authors to check the Flash Player plugin version, initiate inline auto-updating, and embed SWF assets at any time. flXHR is a drop-in replacement for the browser's native XMLHttpRequest (XHR) object, but with powerful new features like direct cross-domain communication support.

flensed (http://www.flensed.com/) is a free, open-source (MIT licensed) family of projects for harnessing the largely untapped power of Javascript+SWF(+HTML/CSS). These projects are a re-thinking of how SWF's are used on web pages, bringing the power and usefulness back to Flash-on-the-web. Because Flash is so common now (Adobe claims almost 99%), flensed is positioned as the best way to solve many of the most challenging cross-browser problems in a totally consistent, predictable medium.

CheckPlayer is a repackaging and extension of the well-known SWFObject (v2.1) library, which means the web author gets both libraries -- the best of both worlds. It provides some revolutionary new features, and makes adding SWF's to a page almost effortless, compared to the old days of hand-coding "object" and "embed" tags. In addition, CheckPlayer provides an incredibly easy-to-use interface for checking the version of a browser's Flash Player plugin, and prompting the user to update it if the page requires a newer version.

Combined with the powerful functionality of SWFObject, CheckPlayer is a complete solution for embedding and interacting with SWF's on a web page. Any page already written to utilize SWFObject 2.0+ will integrate easily with CheckPlayer.

flXHR is a powerful new approach to the frustrating cross-domain security restriction problem (Javascript is blocked from communicating with a server at a different domain than the page). Mash-ups, third-party application integration, and code re-use are just some of the many reasons why this type of behavior is so important to today's Web 2.0 pages. But until now, Javascript-only (or worse, server-proxy-based) solutions have had to jump through many ugly, insecure, inefficient hoops to make this happen.

flXHR changes all that. flXHR implements a compatible API to the native XMLHttpRequest (XHR) browser object, while adding a few helpful nuggets to the mix. Most importantly, flXHR uses an invisible SWF instance which makes use of Flash Player's robust cross-domain security model, to directly punch through this domain barrier, instead of working around the barrier in sub-optimal ways like the current solutions do. The result: flXHR is literally a drop-in replacement for XHR, with more power, security, consistency, and ease-of-use than XHR itself ever had. Because the API is fully compatible with XHR, flXHR can easily be adapted to work with many of the most popular Javascript frameworks, including Dojo, Prototype, and YUI to name a few.

CheckPlayer and flXHR were jointly developed for open-source release and for a commercial application for software company Pointserve, Inc., located in Austin, TX. Pointserve is using the flensed projects to strengthen how their application interacts with partner applications and with the end-user. "flXHR has really improved the way I write cross-domain scripting code. It removes all the headaches from ugly workarounds -- it's so powerful and easy to use." (Brian Ruhl, Lead UI Developer, Pointserve, Inc.)

CheckPlayer and flXHR are battle-tested and ready, but now promise to get even better as the open-source web community gets ahold of them. flensed is blazing a new path for how SWF's can be used not just to bring bells and whistles to a page, but to truly integrate with and strengthen its architecture and its scope.

About flensed:
flensed is an open-source offering from Getify Solutions, Inc., a web development company based in Austin, TX. Kyle Simpson is the primary author and developer.


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