If you’re still churning out Flash banners, please use this!
I created this simple utility, called SWFIdle, to enable the Flash Player to lower its CPU usage while the user is not interacting with it. Since it’s possible to have multiple Flash instances embedded in one page (for example, a game and a couple of banners), I recommend using this in your projects, so that Flash instances needn’t fight for CPU and give Flash a worse name than it has already 😉
I know there’s the hasPriority embed attribute now. But:
That assumes you have access to the HTML that embeds your SWF
If no other players are present, it has no effect
There’s still usually little reason to be running your SWF at a high framerate if the user isn’t interacting with it
Flash banners with wastefully unoptimised drawing routines are probably one of the key reasons that Flash got poo-pooed off of mobile platforms and disabled on everyone’s laptops – CPU usage = battery usage!
In moving to compiling projects with the new Flex SDK 4, I noticed a couple of gotchas to do with the EMBED metatag that I thought I’d share:
Runtime Shared Libraries
If you wish to embed assets in your SWF with the EMBED metatag, so you can manage and update things easily, there’s an extra compiler parameter you must add, in order for your project to compile properly:
This is already added as a new default parameter in FlashDevelop projects. But if you’re planning to build projects from outside a similar IDE, you must add this to your compiler string. Otherwise, the compiler will think you have uninitialised constants and warn you so.
Using the EMBED metatag, or even better runtime loading, for fonts is the sensible way forward. The amount of projects I’ve seen where you need to build from an FLA file full of fonts, which you need to hunt down and install is crazy. With Flex SDK 4, you’ll need to add an extra attribute to your embed tag for fonts, called ’embedAsCFF’: