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Flash Player Detection

One of the most frequently asked questions on any news group or mailing list involves how to detect the Flash Player. The Flash Player comes bundled with the more recent versions of the Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers, but in some instances your user will have chosen not to install it or will have uninstalled the Player. Your user might also have an earlier release of the Player installed. Some companies have a policy dictating that employees cannot have any unapproved plug-in or ActiveX Control installed. So, the question becomes, how do you detect the presence of the Flash Player—and what do you do if it’s not there?

Note

In this chapter, we’ll be referring to the Flash Player rather than the Flash plug-in, except in very specific circumstances. Why? Because the Flash Player is implemented as a plug-in in Netscape and Internet Explorer for the Macintosh, and as an ActiveX Control in Windows versions of Internet Explorer. Either way, it’s still the Flash Player, and it makes more sense to be consistent. That being said, when you look at the code in the Flash Dispatcher section, the code will refer to it as the plug-in. Go figure. If you just think of the terms as being more or less interchangeable, you’ll be fine.



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