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Test for Security Settings

Is there a way to test for security settings in a users browser AND
their firewall. Lets say someone is using zonealarm. Is there a way
to test for their setting in zonealarm, so I can then redirect them to
a specific page.

The reason I am asking is that I have a flash front page. A user
cannot see the page because he has his security settings set so that he
does not see activex controls. I want to be able to test for those
settings then redirect him to a static page. Any thoughts?

Sep 1 '05 #1
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11 Replies
je*********@hotmail.com wrote:
The reason I am asking is that I have a flash front page.


Well, that right there is a horrible idea. Get rid of it, and your problem
is solved. :)

Nothing says "amateur" and "annoying" to me quite like a pointless flash
"intro" page. I browse with flash disabled because it's mostly used for
annoying things like intro pages. Plus the fact that it can play sound over
my speakers annoys me.

In cases where you REALLY want a flash intro page, then a prominant "Skip
Intro" link should always be available, which persons such as myself will
find and click to get to your real content. :)

--
Matt Kruse
http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com
http://www.AjaxToolbox.com
Sep 1 '05 #2
The front page is not an intro page. It is a page that will take the
user to two different sections of the company.

Sep 1 '05 #3
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je*********@hotmail.com wrote:
The front page is not an intro page. It is a page that will take the
user to two different sections of the company.


So if it has actual content, it should be HTML, not flash.

By using flash you're restricting your readership to: (1) people with flash
intalled; (2) people with browsers that support flash; (3) people with
browsers that support graphics; and (4) people who can read.

(Not to mention (5), people who won't get so irritated by the pointless
flash intro page that they'll give up and go elsewhere.)

If it's a corporate website, then (4) may hit you quite hard --- doesn't the
ADA decree that websites should be accessible to the blind?

- --
+- David Given --McQ-+ "You cannot truly appreciate _Atlas Shrugged_
| dg@cowlark.com | until you have read it in the original Klingon."
| (dg@tao-group.com) | --- Sea Wasp on r.a.sf.w
+- www.cowlark.com --+

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Sep 1 '05 #4
>>If it's a corporate website, then (4) may hit you quite hard --- doesn't the ADA decree that websites should be accessible to the blind?

The only people that HAVE to follow the 508 compliance are goverment
agencies, but even they do not follow it to the tee. Trust me I worked
for the government.

The reason I created the flash page, which is not an intro page, was
because the page was very simple and the client wanted something a
little more eye catching than the static web page.

This is beside the point. I am asking if there is a way to detect
users security settings, not asking your opinion on how the site should
be designed.

Sep 1 '05 #5
je*********@hotmail.com wrote:
The front page is not an intro page. It is a page that will take the
user to two different sections of the company.


Still, using Flash for this seems like a bad idea.

But to answer your original question - no. You can't detect whether or not a
flash animation is actually displayed in the user's browser. Not that I know
of, at least.

--
Matt Kruse
http://www.JavascriptToolbox.com
http://www.AjaxToolbox.com
Sep 1 '05 #6
Thank you Matt that is all I wanted to know. Now I can go back to the
client with more information.

Sep 1 '05 #7
"David Given" <dg@cowlark.com> wrote in message
news:ub*****************@newsfe2-win.ntli.net...
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(Not to mention (5), people who won't get so irritated by the pointless
flash intro page that they'll give up and go elsewhere.)

If it's a corporate website, then (4) may hit you quite hard --- doesn't
the
ADA decree that websites should be accessible to the blind?


The ADA can't "decree" anything for private web sites (at least not yet)
although there has been some legislation in that direction where limitations
on commerce have occured.

Specifially a large airline was successfully sued because a non-accessible
web site offered cheaper air fares than other methods of ordering (the site,
by the way, didn't use Flash). This was found to constitute an unfar
disadvantage for the disabled.

In any case the point is moot because Flash (at least the last few versions)
is accessible to screen readers and can provide the same (or more)
accessibilty than HTML content. Like HTML it's a matter of design and
understanding, not a technical limitation.

This link collects some information about the latest version (7), but most
of this was also available in version 6:

< http://www.macromedia.com/macromedia...eatures/flash/ >

The traditional complaints against Flash just don't apply any longer
(although many of the complaints about it's uses are still as valid as
ever).

Now... having said all that. I would also agree that in this case it seems
a waste of effort to make this kind of "this way or that way" descison using
Flash.

Jim Davis
Sep 2 '05 #8
<je*********@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@z14g2000cwz.googlegr oups.com...
Is there a way to test for security settings in a users browser AND
their firewall. Lets say someone is using zonealarm. Is there a way
to test for their setting in zonealarm, so I can then redirect them to
a specific page.

The reason I am asking is that I have a flash front page. A user
cannot see the page because he has his security settings set so that he
does not see activex controls. I want to be able to test for those
settings then redirect him to a static page. Any thoughts?


It doesn't sound like you need to know security settings (which you can't
get at) but whether or not the browser can do Flash (which you can get at),
right?

Are you using the Flash IDE? It provides an option to generation the
detection script (and degraded versions of your movie) automatically.

Here are two MM tech notes that you might find useful:

< http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/kn...fm?id=tn_14526 >
< http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/kn...fm?id=tn_14294 >

But, in general, I urge you to ask the question in a Flash group: you'll get
a lot less guff. ;^)

Good luck!

Jim Davis
Sep 2 '05 #9
The script detects if the user has the plugin. I need a script that
can detect if they have active x controls turned off or on. Someone
could have the flash plugin, but have activex controls turned off not
just in their browser, but in their firewall.

Sep 2 '05 #10

<je*********@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:11**********************@f14g2000cwb.googlegr oups.com...
The script detects if the user has the plugin. I need a script that
can detect if they have active x controls turned off or on. Someone
could have the flash plugin, but have activex controls turned off not
just in their browser, but in their firewall.


I'm not clear then... are you saying that if the control is installed but
disabled the script still replies that it's there? This doesn't seem right.

If that were the case you could try to pass a variable variable from Flash
to JavaScript. The Script (running on a short timer) would need to check
for the variable change: if it saw it then it would know that Flash is
installed AND running.

Hope this helps,

Jim Davis
Sep 2 '05 #11
Jim Davis wrote:
David Given wrote:
(Not to mention (5), people who won't get so irritated by the
pointless flash intro page that they'll give up and go elsewhere.)
As it hasn't been specifically raised it may be worth pointing out that
the company for which I work has flash disabled for all of the browsers
on its network. I have not spoken to the system administrators as to why
they have made that decision but I would suspect that it is a (possibly
misplaced) security concern. I don't really care why they do it because
I have long since tired of having my time wasted with pointless Flash
into pages (when you have seen one you have seen them all) so I don't
miss them. But the bottom line is that if getting into a web site is
dependent on successful Flash execution we don't get in.

It is not part of my job to research and purchase goods and services
from third parties, but I will bet that the individuals who do have that
responsibility don't do much business with companies who have Flash
dependent web sites. And I don't imagine the our network administrators
are the only ones in the world who have made a decision to eliminate
Flash from their networks.
If it's a corporate website, then (4) may hit you quite hard ---
doesn't the
ADA decree that websites should be accessible to the blind?
The ADA can't "decree" anything for private web sites (at least not
yet) although there has been some legislation in that direction where
limitations on commerce have occured.

Specifially a large airline was successfully sued because a
non-accessible web site offered cheaper air fares than other methods
of ordering (the site, by the way, didn't use Flash). This was found
to constitute an unfar disadvantage for the disabled.


While the ADA clearly does apply to the OP it does not apply outside of
the United States. Because this is an international newsgroup it may be
worth adding that other countries may or may not have their own
disability legislation, and where they do it may impose different
criteria.

The legislation under which I work in the U.K. states:-

<quote cite="U.K. Disability Discrimination Act (1995),
Part III: Discrimination in Other Areas:
Goods, facilities and services">

19.Discrimination in relation to goods, facilities and services.
....
(3) The following are examples of services to which this section and
sections 20 and 21 apply-

...

(c) access to and use of information services;

...

(e) facilities by way of banking or insurance or for grants,
loans, credit or finance;

(f) facilities for entertainment, recreation or refreshment;

...

(h) the services of any profession or trade, or any local or
other public authority.

....
</quote>

- and it is difficult to see how many web sites (including purely
personal sites) can avoid coming under the categories of "information
service" or "facilities for entertainment".

The U.K. DDA is civil law rather than criminal, so there is no
enforcement agency and only aggrieved parties may bring a case (at their
own expense).

In U.K. law the interpretation of the law is the responsibility of the
judiciary so you cannot tell how a law is to be interpreted until there
have been some actual cases (and preferably some cases that have gone
through the full appeals procedure, which now ends in the European
court). So far all web site related cases brought under the DDA have
been settled out of court, thus we don't have a final word on how the
legislation will apply to web development.

On the other hand, the fact that all of the cases have been settled out
of court suggests that the legal advice given was along the lines of:
"you don't have a leg to stand on and will lose, so it will be least
expensive to settle out of court".
In any case the point is moot because Flash (at least the last few
versions) is accessible to screen readers and can provide the same
(or more) accessibilty than HTML content. Like HTML it's a matter of
design and understanding, not a technical limitation.

This link collects some information about the latest version (7), but
most of this was also available in version 6:

< http://www.macromedia.com/macromedia...eatures/flash/ >

The traditional complaints against Flash just don't apply any longer
(although many of the complaints about it's uses are still as valid as
ever).

<snip>

While it is true that Flash is capable of satisfying the ADA (and also
unfortunately true that most of the people using Flash are not aware of
this, don't know haw to achieve it, or don't see any reason for trying)
it is questionable whether Flash is capable of satisfying web
accessibility legislation in other countries.

As I understand it the ADA considers a web site accessible if there
exists a particular combination of hardware, OS and accessibility
software that would allow it to be accessed. Thus the onus is on the
user to acquire the tools needed to access the site.

Currently the preferred interpretation of the UK (and it seems
Australian and other's) legislation is that a web site should be
accessible independently of hardware and software used. So, while the
ADA might be satisfied if a site can be access by an individual using a
recent Windows OS, an IE browser, a Flash plug-in and a screen reader,
the U.K. DDA would require that site to also be accessible to an
individual using a text-only browser on a Mac/Unix/Linux OS with a
Braille tablet (and any other set-up you can think off). The onus is on
the site author to accommodate the user.

Flash cannot do that (obviously it cannot 'do' anything without a Flash
plug-in). Which isn't to say that Flash cannot be authored accessibly
under these other legislations/criteria as HTML itself provides
mechanisms for supplying text+html alternatives where OBJECT/EMBED
content is unusable. But again you don't see much evidence of an
awareness, or use, of these mechanisms.

Richard.
Sep 4 '05 #12

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