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sIFR Quirk

25 Jun 2005

I've been working with sIFR since Release Candidate (RC) 3. It's an amazing piece of work by some very dedicated guys. When each new RC was released I downloaded it without question, had a look at the ReadMe file and applied it to the site I was currently working on. There were generally a few minor quirks and changes but nothing difficult. It always worked and that's what I loved about it.

Fast forward to this week. The final 2.0 version has been out for a few months and there was even a minor bug fix to bring us to sIFR 2.0.1. Awesome. This little bundle of code has finally gone final. Yippee! So, I gingerly applied it to the current website project I'm working on, scheduled to launch in a week. All is well and good until I noticed that there is something amiss with my titles. They are cut off halfway through the text. One element on one page is completely different sizes from the same element on another page. What the heck is going on??

Enter the forums. Someone there will have an answer. So I register, I search, I post. Now I can wait. Nope, the stress is building and I need to figure this out. Diving back into the code I try every single combination I can think of to get this working properly.

Nothings working. Suddenly, an email from the forums. Mark Wubben himself has replied. Hooray, salvation. What's this? He's just pointing out that I made the most amateur mistake of all and forgot to post a link to the site in question? Dangit. Repost the link. Hopefully he's still awake and can help me out. Until then, back into the code and pulling my hair out.

Hours pass and no solution is in sight. Maybe I just need sleep. Off to bed I go, looking forward to a new day of renewed vigour and a keener eye to spot, and solve, all of my problems. A quick check of the email tells me nobody else has any thoughts in the forums. No worries, I'm confident I can have this problem licked in no time.

Soon hours pass. Now it's lunch time and I'm still no further ahead than I was yesterday morning. What a waste. If all else fails why not go to the source. With a forced smile on my face I navigate my way to Mike Davidson's website, hoping he'll not smite me for missing such an obvious mistake.

At this time I decide that a quick break would do me well. Off to lunch I go. Lunch is enjoyable as I sit with a colleague and friend who recently moved to Reno but had come back for a visit. It goes quickly though. Next thing I know I'm back in front of the keyboard. But wait, a response from The Man himself. He'll surely have solved my problem and I will rejoice and shout his name.

I fumble over the keyboard to open the message. Uh oh, seems as though I've stumped him as well. This does not bode well for me. Gladly, I take Mike's suggestions to check my CSS and open up the dreaded files again. After a short while and a few validation errors later, a thought to start completely from scratch is starting to take hold.

Begrugingly, I proceed to open the sifr.fla file from the dark recesses of my hard drive. Cursing the slowness of both my aging computer and Flash. Step 1, change the font. Done. Step 2, save the movie. Done. Wait, maybe I should just leave the default movie settings. It doesn't really have to be set up for Flashplayer 7 and/or Actionscript 2.0 does it? Nah, defaults all the way. Step 2, complete.

With the newly created default Flash movie sitting nicely on my hard drive I quickly open up Transmit. Ah, a little faster this time but the G4 in my machine is still showing. Connecting to my website and navigating to the appropriate folder is automatic.

Doubtfull this will work but willing to try anything I upload the brand spanking new Flash movie. With little enthusiasm I bring up Safari. Twiddling my thumbs and rolling my eyes I hit the refresh button. Due to the lack of change the last 150 times I had refreshed this page I was not very eager to lower my eyes to screen level, but I did.

What's this? Are you kidding me?! It's working now?! Fan-freaking-tastic!! A rush of relief flows over me. I can't believe, of all the things that could have been wrong it was this. What a dolt I am. The next several minutes are spent cursing myself out for being so naive.

A lesson was definitely learned today. I guess the sign was right all along, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. ;o) Have a fantastic weekend everyone. I know I will now.

Update: I've created and uploaded a test case to http://screenflicker.com/tests/sifr/flash-file.html for anyone interested. I've also noticed a few interesting things with sizing in relation to line-height and will investigate further.

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