On Searching and Distributing


Adobe has been creating a buzz lately with the announcement that Google and Yahoo will be using a specialized Flash player to allow indexing Flash content. This is appears to be big news for the Flash world, even though Google was scraping text content previously (and this still only applies to text content). Now, search engines (or at least Google and Yahoo) will have more context for the text.

I am left wondering if other search engine providers will get access to the proprietary, search-enabled Adobe Flash player? Also, even though some have stated that this new search capability puts Flash on the same level as HTML, I wonder how linkable the Flash search hits will be? Yes, I am referring to the Flash “Bookmark Problem”. Just because Google gives me a link to some text it found in a Flash application, can I jump directly to it? Without doing any special coding?


While I am poking Adobe, I noticed that the new Adobe Reader 9 release will include Adobe AIR. Hmm, does Reader use AIR? or is this yet another attempt by a software vendor to stuff unwanted, unneeded software on my machine? Oh, I see. AIR is needed to run an AIR application to allow me to use the Acrobat.com website. I’m still calling shenanigans.

So, 33.5MB download (just download) for Reader 9. Goes up to 52.4MB if you choose to download the “eBay desktop” application too, and it’s checked by default. How about letting me skip the AIR download too? Didn’t we just go through this with Apple?

5 Replies to “On Searching and Distributing”

  1. I called this out in Batelle’s blog and got responses from Adobe’s Ryan Stewart, et al.

    The flash developer community has built some strong support for deep linking – SWFAddress. Adobe took the hint and added it to AS3 Flex. But will those destinations be readable using Adobe’s new decompiler (or whatever the limited distro SDK is)? If it’s readable, will Google and Yahoo actually take advantage of the opportunity?

    Aiy, I wish there was a stronger story for RIA’s in Mozilla. It’s challenging that the very mechanism of success of Adobe and MSFT in this space (proprietary & closed) is blocking the Mozilla foundation’s success in the RIA arena. The platform has all the tech it needs to whoop the heck out of AIR and Silverlight, but the mission of embracing the open web seems to result in Mozilla not advocating RIA development, or investing in key places (e.g. XUL Runner)

  2. @AndyEd – The “RIA” plan for Mozilla is making the Web stronger, not just our renderer. Firefox 3.1 will be landing many good-for-the-web features based on Specifications.

    What would you like to see “invested” into XULRunner, seriously. Lots of people (even inside Mozilla) are working hard to make XULRunner a first class desktop runtime. So your feedback is welcome.

  3. Indexing SWFs means nothing if it’s not “content” to begin with. Many SWFs on the web today aren’t used as content, but compiled application code. Does Google need to index Jar files, or Firefox Add-Ons, or a JavaScript library? No. The same goes for a Flash/Flex application.

    I think this this issue that the SproutCore folks bring up is important: There is a big difference between websites and webapps:


Comments are closed.