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Flash woes

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Jun. 20th, 2012 | 02:16 pm

This is a heads-up for anyone who's having trouble with Flash in Firefox on Windows after updating the former to 11.3 (which you should, since it fixes a bunch of new security holes).

I've been having a lot of trouble with this new version myself; videos (e.g. on Youtube) have not been playing acceptably anymore, with regular ten-second delays where the video proper isn't being updated anymore, and there's been a ton of crashes (see image).

Poking through the crash reports quickly revealed a Firefox ticket, as well as an Adobe ticket; I cannot say who's ultimately at fault here, but it's worth observing that disabling the new "protected mode" (sandboxing) that Flash 11.3 introduced fixes all the above issues (so far; claws crossed).

Adobe has an FAQ post on how to do troubleshoot protected mode issues, but they want you to go through a long series of attempts at diagnosis etc. first; understandable from their point of view, but unnecessary if you just want to get rid of it. So for all y'all's benefit, here's the important bits:

  1. Find your system-wide Flash player config file; on a 32-bit Windows, that's c:\windows\system32\macromed\flash\mms.cfg, while on a 64-bit version, it's c:\windows\syswow64\macromed\flash\mms.cfg. If the file doesn't exist yet, create it.
  2. Add a line that says ProtectedMode=0.

That's all! Just remember to reenable it (tentatively) when there's a newer Flash or Firefox version again; maybe these problems'll be fixed then (one can hope!), and protected mode (intended to guard against malicious Flash files) should be useful.

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Comments {2}

The Mystery of the Supranational Rabbit

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from: porsupah
date: Jun. 21st, 2012 09:33 pm (UTC)
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How well does the non-Flash version of video sites work for you, such as on YouTube or Vimeo? It's always seemed fantastically pointless for video to pretend to be Flash, when it's actually just plain ole H.264/AAC, just within a Flash container.

syswow64

I'm sure that pathname was chosen entirely pragmatically. =:)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jun. 22nd, 2012 11:04 am (UTC)
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Oh, good question! The last time I tried the HTML5 version of Youtube I was still using Firefox 3.6, which was woefully lacking in that department — slow and unusable. Presumably the newer versions will have fixed that; I'll have to give that a try.

I'm sure that pathname was chosen entirely pragmatically. =:)

I'm sure it was. :) But I'm curious now...

Hmm, according to Wikipedia, it supposedly means "Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit"; still chose entirely pragmatically, of course. ;) (It sure beats names like "GIMP", too.)

On an interesting if unrelated side note, Wikipedia also notes that "[a] bug in the translation layer of the x64 version of WoW64 also renders all 32-bit applications that rely on the Windows API function GetThreadContext incompatible. Such applications include application debuggers, call stack tracers (e.g. IDEs displaying call stack) and applications that use garbage collection (GC) engines. One of the more widely used but affected GC engines is the Boehm GC. It is also used as the default garbage collector of the equally popular Mono. While Mono has introduced a new (but optional) GC as of October 2010 called SGen-GC, it performs stack scanning in the same manner as Boehm GC, thus also making it incompatible under WoW64. No fix is planned and no workarounds have been provided by Microsoft as of 15th November 2010."

Honi soit qui mal y pense...

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