sIFR Update: More Enhancements on the Way
UPDATE: Version 2.0 is now available. See article here.
Three days and tens of thousands of hits later, sIFR has so far held its own as a solid, compatible way to replace browser text with custom typography. I’ve released a few new updates in response to minor glitches reported, but more importantly, a solid release is only days away. In the meantime, please feel to download version 1.1.4 which simply refines the replacement function a bit so that it should work on very complicated replacement rules and such. I’ve also updated the example page.
Here are some of the issues which I plan to address in version 1.2 (to be released hopefully in the next few days):
- Simple instructions your mom can follow. This thing can really be implemented across an entire site in under ten minutes if the instructions are clear enough.
- Support for international character sets. This is an issue I haven’t solved yet because I’m a snooty uncultured American whose foreign language acumen is largely limited to profanities.
- A more rock-solid replacement function that is perhaps even quicker than the current one.
- A built-in adjustment for Flash’s tendency to position text a tiny percentage away from its textbox origin.
- Ability to include a reduced character set, for extra bandwidth savings. Most people probably only need standard letters, numbers, and punctuation, so by eliminating all of the characters you’d never use (like a degree symbol maybe), the .swf filesize can be reduced by, in some cases, 50%. This will involve having an actual textbox on stage in the .fla instead of dynamically creating one. Not as pure as I’d like, but I don’t think there is a way to selectively embed character subsets using pure Actionscript.
- An adjustment for the box-model problem in IE 5.x (PC) whereby offsetHeight and offsetWidth are reported slightly differently if padding is included in the element.
- A change to the display method of the hidden browser text so that it is even more accessible.
- Lockability of .swf files by domain. This will prevent others from using your font .swf file.
I’m probably missing some stuff, but those are the biggies. I want to again thank everyone who has taken the time to put this thing through its paces over the last few days. sIFR is nice in that it is portable enough to pop into your site fairly quickly, and pop out of your site even quicker. The nice side-effect of this is that when I release updates, they should be fairly easy to apply. The upcoming 1.2 release will have its own dedicated page with release notes, but I’m a designer so don’t expect a full-on SourceForge repository or anything.
Please feel free to comment on any of the items above… especially if you have solutions to suggest or additional features to request.