Welcome Safari Users

In a welcome surprise, my referrer stats recently revealed that Master Designers John Oxton and Jon Hicks have generously decided to link to my latest Installment: Stagecraft.

Unfortunately, my Installments system has been suffering from a Safari bug for a while. Now, with the sudden surge of new traffic, I figured it was time to take action, and things should be fixed. Safari users will get the whole essential experience…

The bug, which was discussed in the comments of another post a while back, means that deep links to named Flash anchors such as

/installments/2005/05/#5

would infinitely refresh the page if seen using Safari. On the other hand, a plain link such as

/installments/2005/05/

would work just fine. I’ve encountered no other browsers with this behaviour.

Named Flash Anchors

When I initially built the installments system, I had 2 simple goals:

  1. Ability to link directly to each image in an installment of 5
  2. Allow music to play uninterrupted while looking at the 5 pictures
  3. As the sharp reader will notice, this is a pickle. On one hand, it’s easy to let music play uninterrupted if the music is being played in a permanent frame. On the other hand, this pretty much kills the ability to have different URLs for main content.
  4. The solution, which I remember being very proud of, was to use the new Flash 6 feature called named anchors. It worked wonderfully, and I described the process in a detailed tutorial.
  5. A good month later, that very tutorial would reveal the first reports of the problem. Since then, I’ve tried to ignore the problem due to other things of higher importance. That is, until today.

The Problem with Anchors

While Safari users will no longer experience infinite loops, they won’t get the whole experience either. In order to “fix” the problem, I’ve quite simply disabled the JavaScript that updates the URL with anchors, on the entire Mac platform. Unfortunately I’m unable to specifically target Safari when in Flash, so Firefox and other browsers will also get the axed usability.

In the end, URLs such as /installments/2005/05/#5 will still work for Mac users, but the anchors will no longer update to represent the active page, when the page is navigated.

Whether the problem is with Safari, or Safari’s handling of the JavaScript involved remains to be seen. I hope to be able to fix it in the future. For now: Welcome Safari users!

(This link would prevoiusly refresh infinitely for Safari users)

4 thoughts on “Welcome Safari Users”

  1. Chris says:

    Oh, I see. So you have to be Jon Hicks to get some respect around this place. 🙂

  2. Joen says:

    When YOU design a logo that’s seen by 40 million people daily, we’ll talk.

    I keed. But seriously, I’ve been meaning to do so for ages, but since mr. Hicks linked directly to an anchor, I knew that all visitors from him would infiniely refresh, so I figured now was the time.

  3. AkaXakA says:

    There should be music?

    I’m not getting any music on FF/winXP. Is that correct?

  4. Joen says:

    No music this month no. I’m taking a short break from adding music, just to see how things stand on their own. Not only that, but I was beginning to get tired of re-hashing Kate’s otherwise excellent music.

Comments are closed.