Flash's Transparent Background Performance issues

Almost all of the testing/development on my Flash/XML Slideshow was done either with the actual internal SWF viewer in Flash or in the Firefox browser. I had made the unfortunate mistake of assuming Flash will run extremely similarly, if not the same, on all browsers and therefore I continued on my merry way and actually had a v1.0 on my blog with much pride and adoration.

I soon noticed, after viewing my blog with Internet Explorer, that there were some major performance issues with the fading in/out of objects in the slideshow and it was a complete mystery as to why that could be. The good news is that I soon found out the performance issue had nothing to do with my code. The bad news is I found out it had to do with my choice of how I embedded the slideshow.

Much to my chagrin, the reason for my problem was right under my nose. This article was the very same article I read on publishing with a transparent background which clearly states:

Note: If windowless mode is used, performance can be affected to some degree. If fastest performance is a top priority, you may consider other design options.

What is strange about this whole issue is that the performance problem only showed up in Internet Explorer and ran without a hitch in Firefox. This makes me curious whether there are other performance discrepancies in other situations across various browsers. At least in this case, Firefox’s flash player is far superior with absolutely no performance issues whatsoever.

Unfortunately, this probably means that I’m either going to have to get rid of the transparent background or make sure to warn people about this issue before releasing it.

2 thoughts on “Flash's Transparent Background Performance issues”

  1. I’m not from a visual design or web-developer background – I teethed on GW-BASIC and Pascal – so I probably went into Flash with a crooked head. I finally gave up when my thirty day trial was over and had the lingering feeling that Flash was still a work in progress when it comes to ActionScript. Not that any of this has any bearing on your performance issues…

  2. I just made pretty much the same misstake, I build and tested a transparent site for a customer in IDE/Firefox, and discovered that I ran extemely slow in IE just before pubishing the sharp version. Very annoying :/

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