IE error message - swfobject is undefined

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Oct 14, 2008, 5:35:51 AM10/14/08
to SWFObject
My Problem:

I used swfObject 2 method to embed a flash movie into a xhtml page.
used the google generator

The page can be verified by W3c, and has no problems in Firefox and
Safari, but the page comes up with a warning of errors on in IE 7.
“swfobject” undefined
It also has another error which doesn’t make sense as it refers to an
error located in blank space on line 2.

I don’t know if this is part of the problem but, it is not clear to me
what is suppose to be contained in "swfobject.js" file linked in the
head section of the page.

I apologise if this question has been resolve before, I couldn't find
and identical problem with a satisfactory solution, so please educate
me or point me in the right direction.



Oct 14, 2008, 11:16:12 AM10/14/08
to SWFObject
The swfobject.js file cannot be located at:

Inside <script type="text/javascript" src="swfobject.js"></script> you
can set your path to your swfobject.js file on your Web server, e.g.:
<script type="text/javascript" src="js/swfobject.js"></script>

Where you upload it is up to you.


Oct 15, 2008, 5:31:11 AM10/15/08
to SWFObject
Cheers Bobby,
Obviously I was missing the link to that important little file.
I appreciate all the work you guys are putting into this, it would be
really good if someone could write an idiot guide on how to implement
the method. Even after reading all the documentation carefully I’m
still fuzzy about a couple of things.

Anyway, fuzzy but now happy and grateful for your help


Oct 15, 2008, 5:47:48 AM10/15/08
to SWFObject
Your wish has been granted, in the coming month Adobe Devnet will
publish 2 SWFObject introductory articles, so keep an eye on Adobe
Devnet :-)

I will also give a masterclass at the global Head conference (an
online event):


Oct 15, 2008, 8:52:41 AM10/15/08
to SWFObject


Oct 15, 2008, 10:13:10 AM10/15/08
Hi all in SWFObject, I would like to add a small comment to this picking up
the "idiot guide" below. I read all the q's and a's in this forum to help
build my understanding of SWFObject and so many like me and the writer below
send in questions only because to new 'idiots' many bits of what we read is
not understandable, for example just finding the .js script. It took me 3
weeks after reading all on deconcept and many Google searches to find the
actual location and what to click. I seen others on this forum asking the

You guys supporting SWFObject put in an amazing amount of time answering
questions, some of you seem to answer no matter what time of day, for a free
resource I don't know how you manage it, no doubt there are payoffs in other
ways. Anyway you do a great job dealing with our 'idiot' questions - and
those where people have not bothered to look, or frustrate you so much you
terminate the thread !!!

You give your instructions assuming the reader has a level of basic
knowledge, but, if only someone could write them assuming that nothing is
known. Although I have got reasonable html knowledge and web experience,
reading SWFObject notes leaves my head spinning trying to work out what some
terms mean or leave me in mid air not understanding what happens next.

If it helps, I could send your user notes highlighting what leaves me, as an
'idiot' completely perplexed, including the ones I have since got to
understand. It could greatly reduce the calls on your time.

Regards Jonathan

Getify Solutions, Inc.

Oct 15, 2008, 12:23:12 PM10/15/08
I think you've got some good points... but I would say that there are
several ways that have been attempted to "idiot-proof" SWFObject, or at
least cushion the blow to a person who doesn't have as much experience. One
is the code generator ( , which
we promote on here all the time. Another is the FAQ's and the API guide,
and even just the test-suite (looking at real, working code is really
helpful, I think!). Another is this tutorial video that was made by Lee

All these are resources that are free and available, and most of the time,
when an "idiot" (and I don't mean that in a bad way at all!) asks a question
here, we try to calmly guide them back to one or more of those resources, as
99% of the time it resolves their issues.

The problem is, as Bobby says, SWFObject is like a box of legos... we could
put together 10 different sets of instructions on building 10 different lego
models. But in the end, the model that you want will have to have some (or
a lot) of customization to work well on your site. SWFObject is not
turn-key, but it's pretty good at doing *most* of the work for an author, if
they just get the first 10% right. Those resources are there to help them
do just that.

I think it'd be great if you could compile a list (in a separate email
thread) of "what you know, and what you don't know, and what know now but
wish you knew then". If nothing else, it'd be a thread that we could point
to as yet another resource when those new to the land of SWFObject come
calling. :)

Thanks for your feedback!


From: "Jonathan" <>
Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 9:13 AM
To: <>
Subject: RE: IE error message - swfobject is undefined


Oct 15, 2008, 12:49:12 PM10/15/08
Hi, happy to do that and understand what you say. As specifier for our own
web development, mainly e-learning and VoIP networks, I have good global
knowledge with pockets of intense knowledge as and where needed, currently
Flash and SWFObject being a pocket to get up to speed with enough so I can
to ensure we benefit from Flash best.

It will take about a week and will be under its own thread.

Again, I really congratulate you all for the way you support your product.
Wish proprietary products developers would get even half way to what you do.


Oct 15, 2008, 1:46:48 PM10/15/08
I wonder, will it be aimed at semi experienced people upwards. Have you
ever, or do you remember back to, when you knew little, tried to follow
Adobe product manuals. Even their on-line tutorials leaving yawning gaps
just when you think its making sense. As one who founded on DOS when a 33Mhz
computer was leading edge and cost £6k, I think its even worse today. Even
their current website is frustrating to follow. I follow several Adobe
forums, the extent of questions and their nature shows just how others
struggle to get up to working speed with their products - hence the number
of 'xyz' for dummies books in my collection. But, Adobe is by no means alone
in this.

Anyway, I will do my suggestion over the next week and hope it will lead to
helping others. As I have gained much from your forums, I would like to put
something back in.

Regards Jonathan

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Bobby
Sent: 15 October 2008 10:48
To: SWFObject
Subject: Re: IE error message - swfobject is undefined

Philip Hutchison

Oct 15, 2008, 5:20:24 PM10/15/08
one of the best things anyone can do -- experienced or novice -- is use "view source" on working examples.

i've spent countless hours creating swfobject examples and posting them on my site ( with basic instructions.  i've never included instructions that explain how to add a <script> element to the page, because i assume a certain level of competence in JavaScript.  however, anyone wishing to learn -- or just trying to get it to work without caring how -- should always start by copying working examples.  that's how i learned, and how i continue to learn.  it's also what you'd do if you bought a book on a programming language and followed the book's examples.  :)

as for this group providing instructions for someone completely new to JavaScript, i believe that's outside the scope of the group and the SWFObject documentation.  it's obvious we'd like to help, it's just that starting from zero requires an awful lot of explanation and teaching, and we're not really here for that.  we do care, but our time and resources aren't unlimited.

the best thing i can do is recommend some books or sites that help a person get the basics before trying to do the more advanced stuff.  there are literally hundreds of thousands of JavaScript tutorials and how-tos on the www, the most famous probably being and  as for books, i think Jeremy Keith's DOM Scripting is an excellent primer for JavaScript newbies; it's well-written in an easy-to-understand style, contains practical examples with lots of context, and follows today's best practices.

RE: Adobe's poor documentation, i agree. I think most of it is very dense and hard to read, even for experienced developers.  what's funny is that in their early days they had excellent documentation.  i used to work in prepress as a typesetter, and the books and other printed materials that shipped with Adobe's software was extremely useful and well-crafted.  i still use some of those books to teach people about printing concepts such as CMYK, registration, and basic color theory.

- philip


Oct 15, 2008, 6:52:54 PM10/15/08
Hi, certainly agree re early days of Adobe being better, but, then most of us were new to it all. I do read threads and articles in Pipwerks as we are one of the early e-learning providers. And it is some of your examples that helped me understand Flash much better. I sorted my problem before finding your help on SWFObject. The code generator is excellent, but, I was left with "um, what do I do now" for a while. In my case I wanted to try using Slideshowpro in our system before involving the cost of our professional developers, so, wanted to utilise SWFObject to do that. There must be many like me who are not coders, do not have coding skills and understanding, but, benefit from SWFObject being so well written it is virtually a turnkey solution to embed Flash. In which case the instructions need just a slight added comments for code ignorant 'idiots' like me.
In fact SWFObject worked better than Slideshowpro's own embed code which failed when used in our application.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't referring to learning Javascript, it was the instructions for deploying SWFObject that I was really referring to, it sort of got stretched to other things on the way. I started by reading all in deconcept first version, then version 2, and while it is very detailed step by step, there are quite a few points were a leap in explanation is made assuming the reader knows what is meant or knows what to do.
I will send a copy of the instructions with those points noted for your comment. Suggest under a new thread called "SWF Leaps". It is not just me as I joined in this thread seeing someone else note the same thing, and quite a few before.

Philip Hutchison

Oct 15, 2008, 7:20:35 PM10/15/08
i think any input on the documentation would be much appreciated.

and for what it's worth, many of those media players and slideshow SWFs can be pretty tricky to set up, even for experienced users.  i find myself troubleshooting FLV players every time i use them.  :)

- philip
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