Last Comment Bug 284057 - The default install of mozilla contains incorrect / corrupt flash player installation
: The default install of mozilla contains incorrect / corrupt flash player inst...
Status: RESOLVED WORKSFORME
:
Product: Core
Classification: Components
Component: Plug-ins (show other bugs)
: Trunk
: x86 Windows XP
: -- major (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody; OK to take it and work on it
:
Mentors:
http://dev.neomyz.com/url_test.html
Depends on:
Blocks:
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2005-02-28 03:12 PST by Radoslav Bielik
Modified: 2013-06-21 13:31 PDT (History)
5 users (show)
See Also:
Crash Signature:
(edit)
QA Whiteboard:
Iteration: ---
Points: ---
Has Regression Range: ---
Has STR: ---


Attachments
Simple test-case, contains HTML page, and a Flash movie along with the FLA source (6.83 KB, application/x-zip-compressed)
2005-02-28 03:16 PST, Radoslav Bielik
no flags Details

Description Radoslav Bielik 2005-02-28 03:12:59 PST
User-Agent:       Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.7.5) Gecko/20041217

Hi there,

We have identified a Flash player issue within all recent versions of Mozilla 
and Mozilla Firefox. I've spent the last 2 days trying to figure out why 
SetVariable / GetVariable javascript calls do not work with the default 
install of Mozilla, and these are the results:

When you do a clean install of Mozilla or Mozilla Firefox into an empty 
directory, it will be able to play the Flash movies, so you will not be 
prompted to download and install the Flash player. However, this default Flash 
player installation is either corrupt, or incomplete - there is no 
flashplayer.xpt file in the components subdirectory, nor the NPSWF32.dll in 
the plugins subdirectory. This causes that the SetVariable / GetVariable 
JavaScript calls will fail. Reinstalling the Flash player by running the 
latest exe installer available from Macromedia will fix this problem.

The about:plugins will list the Flash plugin as installed after the initial 
default installation (eventhough the NPSWF32.dll is not there):

Shockwave Flash
    File name: NPSWF32.dll
    Shockwave Flash 7.0 r19
application/x-shockwave-flash 	Macromedia Flash movie 	swf 	Yes
application/futuresplash 	FutureSplash movie 	spl 	Yes

After running the exe Flash player installer from Macromedia, the information 
listed by about:plugins will not change, but the Shockwave Flash section is on 
the top of the list (right after the Mozilla Default Plug-in, after the 
initial installation of Mozilla it was the last item on the list).

I consider this to be a major bug in the default installation of both Mozilla 
and Mozilla Firefox (the url_test.html page in the test case lists all browser 
I have tested). The reason is that it has the ability to play the flash movies 
within the default installation, and therefore it does not ask the user to 
download and install the Flash player, however, the default installation does 
not contain a fully-functioning Flash player.

I have been able to find a number of bug reports remotely connected to this 
issue, such as inability to use GetVariable and SetVariable methods, or 
inability to play some movies in Mozilla which play fine in IE, but none of 
them offered a solution, and some were already closed.

A solution, in my opinion, would be to either have a fully-functioning Flash 
player installed with the default installation, or to have no Flash player 
preinstalled and the user would be asked to download and install the Flash 
player from Macromedia once needed.

Please let me know what can be done about this.

Thanks,
Radoslav Bielik

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Do a clean install of Mozilla or Mozilla Firefox into an empty directory.
2. Open the attached test-case or open the test-case page available here: 
http://dev.neomyz.com/url_test.html.

Actual Results:  
The GetVariable / SetVariable methods will not work

Expected Results:  
The methods should have been working!!! :)

N/A
Comment 1 Radoslav Bielik 2005-02-28 03:16:40 PST
Created attachment 175810 [details]
Simple test-case, contains HTML page, and a Flash movie along with the FLA source
Comment 2 Boris Zbarsky [:bz] (Out June 25-July 6) 2005-03-01 11:34:02 PST
We search for plugins already installed on the system and use them if they're
there; so if you have flash for Netscape 4 or something installed, we'll pick
that up.  That doesn't pick up xpt files, however, as you noticed.  For that you
actually need to install Flash for use with Firefox/Mozilla...

The default Mozilla install doesn't contain Flash itself (as you can trivially
check by just looking at the files it installs).
Comment 3 Radoslav Bielik 2005-03-01 11:51:31 PST
(In reply to comment #2)
> We search for plugins already installed on the system and use them if they're
> there; so if you have flash for Netscape 4 or something installed, we'll pick
> that up.  That doesn't pick up xpt files, however, as you noticed.  For that 
you
> actually need to install Flash for use with Firefox/Mozilla...
> The default Mozilla install doesn't contain Flash itself (as you can 
trivially
> check by just looking at the files it installs).

Okay, I have noticed that there are no flash plugin files, but I didn't know 
what flsah player it was using since it was installed into a new empty folder. 
However, the question is, why does it pick up a copy of flash plugin it finds 
on the system, when a full flash plugin installation is required in order for 
it to work properly? 
Comment 4 Boris Zbarsky [:bz] (Out June 25-July 6) 2005-03-01 11:57:29 PST
In general, all installed plugins are picked up, on the assumption that if
they're installed they're meant to be used.  Most flash works just fine with
just the plugin; some advanced features also require the xpt...

In any case, this is not an installer issue.
Comment 5 Radoslav Bielik 2005-03-02 01:18:52 PST
I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with the argument "most flash works just fine". 
To me, it sounds the same as when someone says "most people are using IE so we 
don't need to care about anything else", and we all know how wrong this is.

It would be OK if, when missing funcionality is requested by the flash movie, 
it would throw an error message requesting the installation of the flash 
plugin or something like that, but not when it will just appear to hang, or 
throw a JavaScript error.

Anyway, now that this issue has been moved to the plug-ins component, is there 
any chance of a fix anytime soon?
Comment 6 Boris Zbarsky [:bz] (Out June 25-July 6) 2005-03-02 08:19:25 PST
Probably not, because I, for one, can't think of a reasonable way to "fix" this.
 Care to suggest one?
Comment 7 Radoslav Bielik 2005-03-02 08:57:27 PST
I already did in my first comment :-)

Either pick the existing flash plugin from the system in such a way that it 
will function properly as it should, or, if this is not possible, do not pick 
the existing flash plugin with partial functionality at all.

Since I'm mainly working with SQL and don't know how all this is working, I 
can't suggest any other solution. In this case, the solution is not so 
important to me - but the result is.
Comment 8 Boris Zbarsky [:bz] (Out June 25-July 6) 2005-03-02 09:31:59 PST
How, exactly, are we supposed to tell that it won't have full functionality?  In
fact, what is "full functionality"?  Note that a number of users actually want
the non-scriptable flash only, because it's less of a security risk.
Comment 9 Kevin Newman 2005-08-15 16:05:05 PDT
This is the same as bug 233533 (which has been ignored for a long time now).

I wonder how many other plugins loose functionality because an important part of
the plugin is not copied during the first run.

How does the flash plugin use the xpt file? Is there some way to initialize a
plugin when it is copied to try to see if it is loading an xpt file? If so, that
file could then be copied along with the plugin (from the same directory tree
that the original plugin was copied). I'd say that if it does try to load an xpt
file, and it is not available, the plugin should not be copied at all, and the
user required to reinstall it manually.

Since it is conceivable that this problem is not unique to flash, and could
actually be a problem with future plugins, as well as possibly some older or
more obscure plugins, I'd say that is deserves attention - even if that
attention is simply a note about it in the plugin development docs.


> Note that a number of users actually want
> the non-scriptable flash only, because it's 
> less of a security risk.

This is absolutely not a valid reason to not fix a bug. There may be a valid
reason, or even a whole bunch, but this is not one of them.

Finally, it looks like Macromedia has removed the need for the xpt file in Flash
8, since fscommand and flash scripting both work without this file.

This is still a bug though, with more general possible future implications with
regard to plugins in general.
Comment 10 Wayne Mery (:wsmwk, NI for questions) 2007-06-18 09:37:45 PDT
if anything, is this an enhancement?  And, would it not require adobe to deliver some change?
Comment 11 Kevin Newman 2007-07-11 09:12:21 PDT
Not an enhancement. Unless there is some warning about using external support files in the plugin development docs, then this is a bug in the way that Mozilla searches for and copies installed plugins from other installed browsers - namely, when Mozilla copies the plugins, it does not copy all possible support files (like flashplayer.xpt).

The fixes are:

1. Find some way to copy the external support files (maybe it isn't possible).

2. Don't search and copy plugins at all, if you can't be sure you are getting everything (which means you will have to manually install, or be prompted by Mozilla, and as a bonus, will get the most recent version of whatever plugin - a bonus in my book).

3. Add bright red blinking text to various places in the plugin development docs that warn plugin developers that their plugins may not function properly if they distribute and use external support files with their plugins.
Comment 12 Wayne Mery (:wsmwk, NI for questions) 2008-02-03 04:28:45 PST
if this, as you say, this the same as bug 233533, and bug 233533 is confirmed, doesn't it make sense to dupe this to bug 233533?
Comment 13 alex_mayorga 2013-06-21 13:31:16 PDT
http://dev.neomyz.com/url_test.html WFM on Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20130621 Firefox/24.0 ID:20130621031051 CSet: 7ba8c86f1a56 It shows the URL and the version of Flash 11.7.700.202

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