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Site update and getting small

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Okay, I made a couple of big changes to The Code Zone. I'd be much obliged if you'd give 'em a look and let me know how things are working.

Changelog. . .

1. I removed the DHTML pull-down in favor of a modified version of the old Flash-based menu. As I mentioned before, this eliminates the need for the "transparent" attribute in the games, thus getting rid of the biggest compatibility headaches I was having with the site. It fixed the animation glitches in a couple of the games (most noticably ChessCards in Firefox). It's also smaller and runs faster than the old menus.

2. I replaced SWFObject with SWFFix to serve the Flash content. SWFFix is sort of the "next generation" of Flash-content-serving hacks. SWFObject was built chiefly to get around the IE7 click-to-activate issue. SWFFix is a collaborative effort by the developers of SWFObject and UFO (a similar product) to serve Flash to the most browsers possible. The syntax is a bit hairier than the old SWFObject model (you're back to nested object-tags), but it'll run in browsers that don't support javascript (PocketPC, PSP) or have it turned off. I haven't tried the site on a PSP (I think they're running Flash 6, so I'm not hopeful), but it does indeed now work on my old 2002-era PocketPC.

3. The new game, Elementris (aka TANSTAAFL's ChemHex with a couple of improvements), is now live. Check it out here.

SWFFix is now running everywhere but in the high-score tables (which are served dynamically so I have to edit some server-code to do that). If you see anything acting funny, please let me know.

So for today's screenshot goodness, I present daily puzzles running on my 2002-era PocketPC phone. Interestingly, some of the games aren't as unplayable as I thought they'd be. The biggest problem seems to be that the games don't fit on the screen. It probably wouldn't be too difficult to make a mobile-friendly version of the site (ala google mobile) with minimal functionality and sized for a small screen. Perhaps just text-links to pages containing just the puzzles scaled down to phone size. All that'd really involve is some HTML and a little detection code that checks your browser and redirects to the mobile pages.

Biggest problem I see other than resolution is that the site's running too many flash applets at a time on a page. Between the main menu, the game, and the high score tables, the average page on my site's running four or five Flash applets at a time. This isn't a problem for a desktop PC, but it brings an underpowered little handheld to its knees. If I just had a site that looks like this. . .

[daily puzzle scaled down to 240x240 or so]

[text link to previous days' results]

[text link to the main menu]

It'd probably be fairly usable on a handheld browser. The iPhone's gonna get Flash support in an up-coming update, so it might behoove me to do a little mobile-tweaking just so I can be iPhone-friendly when that happens.

That being said, here's the screenshots.

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