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Bill Floyd Jr
Currently Being Moderated

Running an RMA in 9.5.1

Jun 27, 2012 7:22 AM

Tags: #flash #swf #legacy #rma #9.5.1

I am trying to create a PDF in an Enterprise scenario with the following criteria:

  • all users are non-admin's and unable to install new applications.
  • 70% of the desktops only have IE, and therefore the only flash plugin available is the Active X plugin.
  • ~30% of the desktops also have firefox, and there the NPAPI flash plugin.
  • desktops are running Reader 9.5.1 (with decoupled flash), and 10.1.3 (with authplay still packaged).

 

I need to distribute a PDF with embedded flash media that will run on all these machines. This document CANNOT prompt the users to install a flash plugin, or other multimedia plugin, or the business sponsors will not allow the document to be distributed. My problem is for the group of users who are running only IE and have Reader 9.5.1 installed. These users will not be able to run an RMA, so I will need to launch the media as a Legacy Media object.

 

The solution I am pursuing is to check if an RMA can run, and if so launch that. If the RMA will not run, then I would want to launch the legacy media object. I would preferably like to check if the legacy media will run successfully as well and give users a friendly message letting them know they are missing the media content.

 

Unfortunately all my attempts to this point to check for the existence of the RMA in 9.5.1 result in the user being prompted to download flash, and any checks for the legacy media object result in the user recieving a security prompt to trust the document. My questions are as follows:

 

  • is there any way to check if an RMA will run in 9.5.1 without prompting the user to download flash?
  • is there any way to check if a legacy media object will run in 9.5.1 without giving the user a security prompt?
  • is there any way that I can avoid packaging the swf content into the document separately for both RMA and Legacy to reduce document size??

 

Any answers or other ideas on potential approaches would be greatly appreciated.

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 28, 2012 6:06 AM   in reply to Bill Floyd Jr

    Since version 9, AdobeReader has a built-in Flashplayer. Unfortunately, in the Linux Reader it was removed again at version 9.4.1 or so for unknown (security?) reasons. Thus, users of AR9+ will never be prompted for installing an external Flashplayer plugin when activating an RMA that was embedded according to Adobe Supplement to ISO 32000, BaseVersion 1.7, ExtensionLevel 3. RMA will either work or not, depending on the platform the user is on (Win or OSX versus Linux).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 3:06 AM   in reply to Bill Floyd Jr

    No, no and no. Sorry but this is now the way things  will operate - it is to ensure that when the Flash Player team issues a security update, users don't have to download a patch for Acrobat or Adobe Reader as well (which is usually a much bigger file).

     

    The consequence is that you absolutely must have Flash Player installed in order to display rich media annotations, and you will always be prompted to download it if you try and open a file with an RMA, and haven't got FP installed. This will of course lead to issues for enterprises who ban the use of Flash Player but there is nothing the PDF author can do about it. All attempts to 'sniff' for RMA support will trigger the prompt.

     

    Bill Floyd Jr wrote:

     

     

    • is there any way to check if an RMA will run in 9.5.1 without prompting the user to download flash?
    • is there any way to check if a legacy media object will run in 9.5.1 without giving the user a security prompt?
    • is there any way that I can avoid packaging the swf content into the document separately for both RMA and Legacy to reduce document size??

     

     

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 5:09 AM   in reply to Dave Merchant

    Dave Merchant wrote:

     

    No, no and no. Sorry but this is now the way things  will operate - it is to ensure that when the Flash Player team issues a security update, users don't have to download a patch for Acrobat or Adobe Reader as well (which is usually a much bigger file).

     

    The consequence is that you absolutely must have Flash Player installed in order to display rich media annotations, and you will always be prompted to download it if you try and open a file with an RMA, and haven't got FP installed. This will of course lead to issues for enterprises who ban the use of Flash Player but there is nothing the PDF author can do about it. All attempts to 'sniff' for RMA support will trigger the prompt.

    Oops?! This is in full contradiction to what you said here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3450658#3450658. Please explain. Note, that we are speaking about RMA playback, not legacy media.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 6:36 AM   in reply to A. Grahn

    I made that statement back in 2011 when Flash Player was bundled inside Reader 9. Now it's not. Things change.

    A. Grahn wrote:

     

    Oops?! This is in full contradiction to what you said here: http://forums.adobe.com/message/3450658#3450658. Please explain. Note, that we are speaking about RMA playback, not legacy media.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 8:12 AM   in reply to Dave Merchant

    Does it apply to Reader X too?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2012 9:14 AM   in reply to A. Grahn

    Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat X 10.1.3 include an embedded copy of Flash Player and so follow the usage protocols outlined in my statement from 2011. I'm not able to comment about how that may change in future releases.

     

    A. Grahn wrote:

     

    Does it apply to Reader X too?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 12:49 AM   in reply to Bill Floyd Jr

    Bill Floyd Jr wrote:

     

    Thanks for clarifying Dave, ...

    No clarification at all. Please excuse my nit-pickyness, but in contrast to Dave's statement both AdobeReader 9 (9.5.0) and X use built-in FlashPlayers, not the ones used in the Web browser to be downloaded separately. Thus, you will not be prompted for downloading the player when opening a RMA in AdobeReader. They will work in Win and OSX versions of the Reader but not in the Linux version. For the latter (9.5.1), downloading the web bowser plugin will not help as Flash isn't supported any more.

     

    Just to prove it I downloaded https://www.adobe.com/swf/software/flash/about/flashAbout_info_small.s wf

     

    If embedded as a RMA into PDF and opened in the most recent Reader 9 downloadable for Windows (9.5.0), it displays:

     

    Version Information

    You have version

    10,3,183,18 installed

     

    and when opened directly in Firefox I get

     

    Version Information

    You have version

    11,1,102,63 installed

     

    That is, two different FlashPlayer (major-) versions.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 1:33 AM   in reply to A. Grahn

    A Grahn : Please read Bill's original post and my reply carefully.

     

    Adobe Reader 9.5.1 relies on an externally-downloaded copy of Flash Player and will prompt for one if it's not present.

    Adobe Reader 9.0 through 9.5.0 includes an embedded copy (we call it captive player, it's part of the authplay.dll plugin on Windows)

    Adobe Reader X and Acrobat X include captive player, see my statement in post #7 above.

     

    See http://blogs.adobe.com/asset/2012/04/background-on-security-bulletin-a psb12-08.html if you're still confused.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 3, 2012 3:48 AM   in reply to Dave Merchant

    Dave Merchant wrote:

    Adobe Reader 9.5.1 relies on an externally-downloaded copy of Flash Player and will prompt for one if it's not present.

    The only 9.5.1 Reader I know is the one for Linux without any Flash support, the latest downloadable for Windows is 9.5.0. Is 9.5.1 hypothetical or can it be found somewhere?

     
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