[R] use R Group SFBA April meeting reminder; video of Feb k

Ron @ Lecturemaker ronf at lecturemaker.com
Wed Apr 1 23:57:55 CEST 2009

Hi Ted and others,

I appreciate your time in sharing R user group experience with my video
player scheme.  Over time, I hope to iron out all issues your views

For now I think I have a good solution for flash 10 upgrade issue.  See
screenshot "flash10warning.png" for example of flash version error handler
from my Ubantu box - large error message with alternate playback link to the
swf file itself.

My mac plays the video just fine, and the upgrade detect worked just fine
too. The problem that Gad describes may be more complicated. I suspect he is
encountering a security mechanism resulting from my chosen method of flash
version detection.  It is a very popular technique called SWFObject
developed by google.  To narrow down Gad's problem, I'll request of Gad to
try the following link's test suite and see if he finds some tests that
fail...  http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/wiki/test_suite If one or more
of these tests fail, then I can work backward to identify the problem /
solution matrix.  The error message he encountered is consistent with my
catch all error (with 15 1-second retry's before finally aborting) for
security related issues and/or transient Internet connectivity errors.  

Thanks again for your feedback,

Ron Fredericks

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted Harding [mailto:Ted.Harding at manchester.ac.uk] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 2009 3:17 AM
To: Gad Abraham; r-help; Ron @ Lecturemaker
Cc: Jim Porzak; Rolf Turner
Subject: Re: [R] use R Group SFBA April meeting reminder; video of Feb k

On 01-Apr-09 09:37:49, Gad Abraham wrote:
> Rolf Turner wrote:
>> I get to the video screen OK --- there's a large greenish sideways
>> triangle waiting to be clicked on.  I do so; there's a message that
>> says it's downloading, with a little progress bar.  That seems to
>> complete quite rapidly.  Then nothing for a while.  Then an error
>> message on the video screen saying ``Fatal error --- video source
>> not ready.''  Then that error message goes away.  Long wait.  Then
>> I get audio, but never any video.  Give up.
>> I'm using Firefox on an Imac; the ``About Mozilla Firefox'' button
>> on the Firefox dropdown menu says I've got Mozilla 5.0, Firefox
>> --- whatever that means.
>> Bottom line --- I can't watch the video.
> Firefox 3.0.8 on OS X doesn't work either.
> But you can go directly to 
> http://www.lecturemaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/lmpremovie.swf 
> and it will work.
> -- 
> Gad Abraham

AND it works beautfully using FlashPlayer v.9 on Linux too!

This was the version I already had installed when I first failed
to locate the video -- instead seeing the little panel for installing
FlashPlayer, which I ignored, since I already had it, not realising
that it was telling me I should install FlashPhayer 10.

It is now clear that this advice was erroneous, since version 9
in fact works fine!

Furthermore, when (as I previously reported) I did install version 10,
that didn't work either. I later found that version 10 was looking
for versions of Linux libraries which I didn't have; and also that
FlashPlayer no longer worked (e.g.) on the BBC website.

So I re-installed version 9, and everything again worked on the BBC
and for videos in Press reports, etc. But of course still the same
failure for the SFBA video. Now, using the direct URL for the same
video as kindly revealed by Gad, it works and could have worked
all along!

It is, therefore, clear that the HTML in the original URL is doing
the wrong thing, by somehow detecting a version < 10 of FlashPlayer
and refusing to cooperate, when this was erroneous.

I (and Jim Porzak and Mike Driscoll) received a private email from
  Ron Fredericks
  Video director and Multimedia expressionist
  Ron @ Lecturemaker <ronf at lecturemaker.com>
(whom I'm adding to the address-list for this mail) which stated:

  The video may be hard find, admittedly, if you do not have
  version 10 of flash player installed. If you do not have a
  recent version of Flash in your web browser, I present a
  smallish Adobe image with the words "you do not have
  version 10 of flash installed, click to install". 

  Attached is a screenshot of what you should be seeing at this link

  I'll take your feedback from the R User Group list server
  as a suggestion to make the "need to update your flash player"
  a lot bigger on the screen. 

  Ron Fredericks

So, message to Ron Fredericks: The video works with version 9.
If (for some reason) it is essential for the original URL to
detect when version 10 is not installed, then there should be
a pointer on the folloowing lines:

  "You appear not to have version 10 of Flach Player installed.
   If you are using an earlier version, please click on the
   following link ..... "

which would take people to the URL provided by Gad, which does work
on earlier versions (well, version 9 at least). Then it would no
longer be the case that "The video may be hard find, admittedly,
if you do not have version 10 of flash player installed."!

My thanks to everyone who hsd helped to delve into this tangle,
and especially to Gad who found where the solution was lurking!

Best wishes to all,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <Ted.Harding at manchester.ac.uk>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 094 0861
Date: 01-Apr-09                                       Time: 11:17:02
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