Viral Flash

I intended to write a post today about the PDF format and how it doesn't have a scripting language and so has never been affected by any kind of virus. Unfortunately facts got in the way. Just peachy.

And it doesn't stop there. I was also going to write some more about the possibility that after the Macromedia acquisition, it might be possible to embed Flash in PDF documents, and yet again the facts threaten to ruin my post.

You see, I've been thinking about how to create flash content that people can e-mail to each other and so can become viral[1]. Most users have at least Flash 6 installed, but if they receive an .swf file in their inbox, they don't know what to do with it, because there's no association for that file type. IE could handle it if only the association was there, but it isn't and so the file doesn't go viral, it goes in the bin instead.

I tried embedding in a powerpoint document, and that's supposed to work, but doesn't and is just a whole world of pain. I tried embedding in an html document - doesn't work. Or an .mhtml archive - it gets stripped out. There's really no good way to e-mail flash content. So I was thinking, maybe someday I'll be able to embed flash in a pdf, and email that, so that it is instantly viewable.

But now my searching suggests that's already possible, made easier by activePDF toolkit. It's bad for my post, but maybe good for my viral flash.

[1] That's viral in the good sense where people are motivated to distribute the content.

Posted by Alexander at April 24, 2005 03:00 PM

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