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Dated: Jan. 16, 2010

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As far as technology is concerned updates and upgrades are a daily affair. Web development is not an exception to this trend. With many advanced software carving niches for themselves in the field of web development we can see a radical change in the way websites are created these days. Flash has proven to be one of the most important and effective tools in web development.

sIFRsIFR, which stands for Scalable Inman Flash Replacement is a tool that lets the web administrator to use Flash based textual content style in the place of normal ones. In short, the designer (who hopefully has had some flash training classes) will be able to use whichever font he wants to, no matter he has it installed in his computer or not. Hence one can be certain that they will be able to provide a rich and stylish look to their webpages. This highly effective and attractive technology was developed by Mike Davidson and Mark Wubben.

FlashFlash in itself is a complicated and advanced software to use, which can be handled skillfully only by those who have taken actionscript training. Apart from actionscript training, one also needs to possess a sound knowledge in Javascript in order to implement sIFR in his webpage. There are several issues like browser incompatibility and Flash plugin incompatibility which end up in the browser not being able to display the content in the required style. This means that we can’t say with certainty if the browser really supports your Flash content.

sIFR does a browser detection process and stores the findings in an object called sIFR.UA. Based on these findings one can use the following objects to create the page:

  • bIsWebKit
  • nWebKitVersion
  • bIsSafari
  • bIsKonq (Konqueror)
  • bIsKHTML
  • bIsOpera
  • nOperaVersion
  • bIsGecko
  • nGeckoBuildDate
  • bIsIE
  • bIsIEMac
  • bIsXML
  • bUseDOM
  • nFlashVersion
  • bHasTransparencySupport
  • bUseInnerHTMLHack

Some variables must always be declared globally while using sIFR and it has to be made sure that no function ever overwrites these variables. Given below are the variables that have to follow this rule:

hasFlash, named, parseSelector and sIFR.

The overwriting of the aforementioned variables results in breakage of code.

Export the sIFR.fla file which comes along with the sIFR package when you download it [sIFR is an open source software] and run it using Flash Professional. Go to the Windows menu and choose Properties in the main window. You can select the type of font you’d like to modify from the Properties window. One will be able to incorporate ordinary text formatting styles such as ‘Bold’ and ‘Italics’ when they use TrueType fonts. Export the newly created file as a .swf file and save it under the name ‘fontname.swf’. Additional characters and languages can be added with the help of the ‘Character’ or ‘Embed’ buttons.

Don’t forget to set the scripting language to Javascript in the <head> tag. The replacements will be properly implemented only then. Besides, one will also be able to use Cascading Style Sheets too along with sIFR.

With the right combination of JS expertise and Flash mastery one will be able to use sIFR easily to create stylish fonts and make the website look more attractive. This can be achieved by taking up flash training courses. Some of the most famous companies that have made use of sIFR in their website are Red Hat, Nike, GE, Aston Martin and Vodafone (Romania). 

Now that you've gotten free know-how on this topic, try to grow your skills even faster with online video training. Then finally, put these skills to the test and make a name for yourself by offering these skills to others by becoming a freelancer. There are literally 2000+ new projects that are posted every single freakin' day, no lie!

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