Adobe Adopts Microsoft’s Drunk Thinking

Adobe Adopts Microsoft’s Drunk Thinking

Well now this is just stupid.

Taking a chapter right out of Microsoft’s intrusive “We’ll block everything for you until you say it’s ok” Vista book, Adobe has suddenly and annoyingly decided to block every flash file from trying to play on your computer without warning or explanation.

Great idea on paper maybe, but as a well-crafted Apple ad points out, it’s ultimately just pointless and frustrating.

This happened to me soon after I updated to the latest flash player, v.9, and attempted to upload a site I created in an Mac only web site creation app called RapidWeaver. RapidWeaver allows you to create slide shows that accesses a flickr account by way of an RSS feed. So RapidWeaver apparently utilizes flash to generate the slideshow as it creates the page. As it did so, I got an annoying error:

Adobe Flash Player has stopped a potentially unsafe operation.
The following local application on your computer or network:
/private/car/folders/gb/ … / slideshow.swf is trying to communicate with this Internet-enabled location: api.flickr.com
To let this application communicate with the Internet, click on Settings.
You must restart the application after changing your settings.

So, not only could I not upload the slideshow (or any part of the site for that matter) from RapidWeaver to the internet, I couldn’t preview the site on my own machine before I did anything with it because it was trying to access flickr to create the slideshow, which is obviously on the internet.

Ok, so I’m a little annoyed, but I can get around this, right? Sure. There’s a little button on the annoying pop up warning that says I’ll need to “click on the settings” button, then relaunch the application, but gives me no hint on what I’m suppose to do after I click the settings button. Nor what application I’m suppose to quit. RapidWeaver or the Flash Player? I assume RapidWeaver, so ok, I’ll click on the “Settings” button. Of course nothing happens. No matter what I do or how many times I relaunch the “Application”. Whatever call their trying to achieve with the “Settings” button is broken for whatever unknown reason.

So Flash Player is the culprit. I’ll just launch it and manually attempt to troubleshoot whatever I’m suppose to. There is another rub here. There is no Flash Player application to launch. There used to be in version 6, but now nothing. When installing Flash 9, only browser plugins are installed. This is a problem if you’re trying to change the “Settings” in flash.

How do you access the settings in Flash 9?

I figured I launch a browser and go to a site that uses flash, right click the flash window and change the settings there. No good ’cause that only modifies the settings on that one flash movie. So what the heck do I have on my hard drive that I can modify to just fix this stupid setting?

Answer is: nothing.

Adobe just changed the rules and is making you go to a special Adobe.com link. On a very specific web page on Adobe’s site is a little window running a little app, that, you guessed it, uses flash. Here you can add accepted files to a list that you tell flash is ok to play.

It took me almost an hour to figure this out. I googled every term I could think of: “Fix Flash, change Flash settings, allow flash files,” on and on. Google wasn’t a big help which really bummed me out, because usually when I get frustrated enough to have to actually go find some way of stupid thinking that some moron thought was a good idea, Google has been there like a shining star to show me the way to the explanation of their dumbness. Not this time.

I scoured Adobe’s site, concentrating on their new flash area. (Adobe, by the way, swallowed up one of my favorite software companies, Macromedia, some time ago, ditching Freehand – which is another story – and they are apparently still working on integrating stuff). Finally FINALLY I found a page that allowed me to access settings for an application installed on MY MACHINE? I have never in my life seen this approach. Control the settings of something on someone’s personal computer by way of their web interface. Not a great idea in my book, although I can understand why they might think it was a good idea.

Anyway, to try to wrap this blog entry up. Here is the gold at the end of this frustrating rainbow:

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/
flashplayer/help/settings_manager04.html

Now it’s up to you try and figure out their brilliant wording and tabbing (not to mention their really tiny non-comforming interface) if you want to play a flash file that accesses the internet from your computer. Believe me, the mini-nightmare isn’t quite over. You’re still about 5 minutes away from any resolution. And once you think you’ve finally got it, click on a different tab, then click back.

BLOOOOP!

Where’d your settings go? Did it save? Not sure. It might be a secret hiding place that stored your setting somewhere in Adobe internet land. Check it out. Apparently not only did Adobe feel like not telling us how, or even that we would need to do any of this, they didn’t feel it necessary to give us any kind of feedback of any kind.

Good luck with this. And a pox on you Adobe for wasting over an hour of my life.

Kyle MacLean holds degrees in Marketing, Design and Advertising. Always neck deep in technology, he carefully juggles a passion for gadgets with one for rustic travel and the great outdoors.