Jitendra Madhav Ramchandani

June 01, 2007

Keymapping Issue in Firefox and Flash


With almost every European language settings when we run a Flash movie with an input box in Firefox, a weird problem occurs. That is, the [@] and [“] symbols produced by the keyboard are swapped on screen. When we type [@] symbol, it shows [“] double quote symbol and vice-versa.

This is in case of UK English. While in French, German, Spanish, Latin, Danish, Finnish, Swedish, Greek and other language settings many characters that are specific to these languages are displayed incorrectly.

This is annoying when what you type is not what you see. One of our clients shouted on us considering this as our fault. He thought there is some blah in our Flash movie. I was surprised to know the issue and very keen to solve it.


I presumed this is due to some problem in Firefox as the issue has nothing to do with ActionScript and Flash input box. Later, I found that the Firefox is actually not reading European language mappings correctly. It works absolutely well with US English (...and, a note for all Firefox lovers that there is no such issue in Internet Explorer).

Later, I started reviewing the HTML code and found that when I remove window mode parameter "wmode" from both "object" and "embed" tags, it worked well! (See solution 1 below for detail).

This will solve the issue but with limitations. Firefox developers should "fire-fix" this bug permanently.

Below are a few solutions, use them as per your need and please do tell me if the problem still persists or you find any other solution!


Solution 1
Remove wmode from <object> and <embed> tags.

<param name="..." value="..."/>
<param name="wmode" value="transparent"/>
<embed src=".... wmode="transparent"></embed>

This has to be done in all the following cases:

1. When simple <object> and <embed> tags are used in HTML or XHTML.
2. When object and embed tags are written in an external JavaScript file.
3. When SWFObject is used.

Or in any other way, doesn't matter, remove the window mode till Firefox resolves this.

Solution 2
If you do not want to remove the "wmode" then keep the value of this parameter as "normal" but never keep it “transparent".

<param name="..." value="..."/>
<param name="wmode" value="normal"/>
<embed src=".... wmode="normal"></embed>

Solution 3
Solve this programmatically. Trap the pressed key and replace the character with what is required. For, e.g., If user presses ["] key then trap the key and assign "@" to the input box in ActionScript. and vice-versa. Treat other European characters similarily.

I haven't coded this yet but this will work. If you need the code, mail jitendramrATgmailDOTcom. I may help you if I get time.

Solution 4
If your issue is limited to email address input then don't ask users to type in the [@] symbol. Divide the email input box in to two and connect them with an [@] symbol as shown below.



Adobe team has acknowledged this bug but closed the error after concluding that this is an external bug and is purely related to Firefox. (http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/FP-479)

Firefox has also acknowledged this. Masayuki Nakano of Mozilla, Japan is resolving the bug and the current status of the bug is set to "assigned". (https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=347185)

[Keywords: keymapping, key mapping, flash, firefox, transparent issue, @ symbol, at symbol, key input bug, wmode, ]


Anonymous said...

I have the same problems in dutch .. and not only with the @ character :(

Well now I know I'm not crazy ...

Jitendra said...

Did you try removing the transparent parameter?

antoniobrandao said...

you just made my day. THANKS :D

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