Although in Flash, you generally publish both the Flash content (SWF) and the HTML to embed the content, Flash content can be viewed in other ways as well:
The first bullet point is the one to focus on because not all users will have the most current version of the Flash plug-in for the browser. This means that content created in the current player version may not be able to be viewed by all users. Also, any content created in a player version greater than the one on a user's system will not be displayed. You can get the latest Flash player penetration statistics here:
And you can get the most recent player here:
Not only do you need to be concerned with the player version, but you also need to consider the player's subversion. In the Flash 6 player, there were several releases fixing security holes, adding features and increasing performance.
Fortunately, many features in Flash 8 are backward compatible (if not, an error message will appear in the output panel to let you know, such as the message shown in Figure 7.3).
Figure 7.3. When you attempt to use a script that is not supported by your selected player version, you will receive an error like this.
To tell whether an ActionScript action is supported by a given player, you can use the ActionScript dictionary in the Help panel to check the player availability, as shown in Figure 7.4.
Figure 7.4. Checking the player availability for an ActionScript action in the Help panel.
No need to worryFlash 8 has a way of helping you out by creating an automatic Flash Player detection (which is discussed later in the section covering the HTML tab of the Publish Settings dialog box.)
But before you start to worry about having to detect which version of the Flash Player the end user is using, you first have to set which version you are going to publish your content into.