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Using wine to support transparent backgrounds in Linux for flash

12 May 2007 No Comment

As I have said before, I am a wannabe web design, developer – I’m actually a wannabe everything but that’s another story.

Anyway, I have a few sites I have implemented using Sifr fonts by Mike Davidson. If you don’t know about Sifr fonts, essentially it gives you the ability to use antialiased fonts by using a mixture of flash and javascript to replace the initial text. It’s very cool and has all kind of fallbacks in case no javascript, no flash etc.

Anyway, one things sifr 2.0 doesn’t do is detect whether the browser supports transparency. You see, as I develop my sites mostly in Joomla, I like to keep things Joomlomic (my new word, ie: pythonic). So, I generally try and use the default CSS classes and id’s so that if I decide to replace a template at some stage, it’s no biggy.

Anyway, this particular site has some fancy backgrounds and uses Sifr. The site looks great under any browser that supports flash transparency, which is probably 99% of the site’s users. For those people like me, the site is still useable and looks similar but each “sifr” text block displays the Flash background colour, which doesn’t match the rest.

Anyway, I noticed when running IE6 under wine, that flash transparency works fine. Since I generally use Opera (yes I switched back to Opera from Firefox) as my browser on both windows and linux, I decided to see if the Windows version of Opera would run under Wine. Downloaded and installed it. It installed just like a Windows application.

Running it, the only thing I had to do was to change the Opera fonts for dialogues, toolbars etc. which I just used Bitstream Vera Sans. It worked so well, I thought I might even try and see if it’s voice engine would work – I can report that it didn’t.

So, flash transparency works perfectly. Actually, everything works just as good as the original Linux or Windows version. I downloaded and chose the Tango skin.. perfect.

I may consider running the Wine version of Opera over the Linux version now.. I will continue to test both to see what else does or doesn’t work.

This is running Wine 0.93 on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn btw.

I was getting so brave, I thought I might try and run Skype under Wine.. I can safely report Skype V3.01 doesn’t even get through the installer ;). I can’t be bother trying any harder than that.

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