sIFR 2.0 RC 3 is Here… Come Get Some

UPDATE: Version 2.0 is now available. See article here.

Alright, I know I said Release Candidate 2 might be the final release of sIFR 2.0, but hey, Mark and I found some more things to improve on… so we did. Today’s release of sIFR 2.0 RC3 introduces the following new features/fixes/improvements:

  • The javascript file has been reduced down to 8.8k.
  • Replacement calls now use named arguments so you don’t need to specify parameters in any particular order. The function is backwards-compatible, however, so existing installs will remain functional.
  • Newline support (<br> and <br />) now works perfectly.
  • Now compatible with Opera 7 and above.
  • New support for a “fallback” transparency color for browsers which don’t support transparency. This eliminates the green background displayed in some older browsers when specifying transparency.
  • A shiny new sIFR logo!

Since all changes from RC2 to RC3 are contained within the “sifr.js” file, you need only replace your existing “sifr.js” file to complete the upgrade. No .html or .swf work is necessary. You may, however, decide to change your replacement calls to the new named argument syntax if you wish. This is not necessary, but you may find it preferable.

Note: if you are using a version earlier than RC2, please re-export your swfs as well.

Here are links to the new files and updated example page:

Incidentally, it looks like Metafilter has picked up on sIFR today and is sending over a ton of traffic to the original sIFR article. Thanks guys!

Reading the Metafilter comment thread is a bit humorous, however. It never ceases to amaze me how some people will see the word “Flash” and cry about imaginary accessibility issues, imaginary proprietary file format issues, and other imaginary “sky is falling” issues. Look at the code people. Study it. Analyze it. Understand it before you jump to conclusions. And above all else, understand that the entire web as we know it is a hack. I’d respond on the Metafilter thread myself but I don’t feel like paying $5 to join.

This article contains information on sIFR Release Candidate 3 — the latest version of sIFR. For an explanation of exactly what sIFR is, please see the original article: sIFR: The Healthy Alternative to Browser Text.
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338 Responses:

  1. Joey says:

    Stephanie, thanks a lot. I found the offset and that fixed it. I’m still having a problem with it not showing up with permalinks in WP, though. My URL can be reached by clicking my name.

  2. Joey, what do you mean by it not showing up with permalinks?

  3. Joey… as to the text being different sizes, I just added to the wiki page on “how to use” — in the section about tuning. Just some tips I’ve found by trial and error that may help you with sizing issues:

  4. Paul Visser says:

    All, I am a Firefox user and one of the most appreciated plugins is the Flash stopper: instead of the animation itself a button shows. This is great to avoid the annoying shouting ads. However, with this plugin, you can imagine how your example page looks like …. Perhaps there is the possibility to pre-check if the user has anti-flash installed?

  5. Paul… see post 286 — It seems that on the 24th, the FlashBlock team released an update – version that is reported to have fixed the doubling-up issue. You may want to test the upgrade. :)

  6. Okay RC4 is out, so I suggest we continue our discussion there.

    (I’ve also posted my reply to Paul there…)

  7. Joey says:

    Mark, I may be using a term that refers to something you’re familiar with, but is dubbed differently in the WordPress community. Permalinks is the function in WP that changes links like “” to more search engine friendly links like “” by using .htaccess uri rewriting. When I have the rewriting function on, and when I go to any page via a permalink instead of the true address, the flash files don’t show up.

    I hope that makes sense. Thanks.

  8. Joey, the cruft-free link you gave above does not work. As for sIFR itself, it’s not dependant on the URI, it depends on whether it’s included in the page or not… so I assume there is a template conflict somewhere.

  9. Joey says:

    Hey Mike. Sorry, that address was just an example. Here’s a real one:


  10. Danilo says:


    The problem is that your SWFs are here:

    but your archive pages are looking for them here:

    Try using a root relative link in the replaceElement function:
    sIFR.replaceElement(“h2”, “/wp-content/text-replace/dirtyheadline.swf”….

  11. Joey says:

    Hey, Danilo. That fixed it. Thank you very much for your help. :)

  12. Daniel says:

    I’m wondering if, given what Todd Dominey has to say about Flash, sIFR might not be headed toward deprecation before it’s fully embraced. On that note, is there a way to anti-alias text dynamically generated in SVG files? Please note that I’m pretty much talking out of my ass on that, having only cursorily, and quite accidentally, come across SVG files lately. When I see “SVG” I think vector graphics, then Illustrator, then anti-aliasing. Is there any room for innovation there?

    (Editor’s Note: sIFR has been headed for deprecation since the day we released it… by design actually. It’s hard to think that browsers won’t eventually support truly rich typography. It’s just a stop-gap until there is something better. As for SVG, not sure about that.)

  13. Daniel, the way I understand Todd’s article now is that the popups are caused by Flash? If so, Macromedia/browser devs better fix that! As for the (ab)use of flash for advertising, well, too bad. If you don’t like Flash, don’t install it. I suppose that some day it could be possible that Flash penetration is so low that nobody will take the effort to use sIFR anymore, but I don’t think it’ll be anytime soon – or ever, for that matter.

    But we’ll see. Interesting times ahead :)

  14. Adam Bell says:

    I just noticed something interesting tonight. I have a new site I’m developing using sIFR to replace the h# tags and I also am using YoungPup’s slideout/transmenus as well. I was just looking at my sample page in IE/XP and when I see the menu slide out it goes underneath the sIFR so it’s like the menu is partially hidden by the text and the white background from the .swf. Doesn’t seem to happen in Firefox or IE/Mac. So is there a workaround to this?

  15. Adam… have you downloaded version 4 yet? I would do that and then set the background of the sIFR to transparent… Flash will take over the stage as if it’s a z index above everything else unless you change the WMODE… I wrote a free article on that at CMX if you want to check it out, but I’d guess that will handle it.

  16. Alexis Gallisá says:

    I think wmode:opaque is a little less processor intensive and will let you stack elements over the sIFR.

  17. You’re absolutely correct Alexis… Opaque will do the same thing and is less processor intensive… I even said that in my article… I just got home from playing Beach Volleyball games and must admit the brain is not on web developement. Haha!

    (Editor’s Note: Jealous.)

  18. Marschant says:

    I’ve been messing around with the “” file and noticed that you’ve applied a 100% alpha treatment to the textfiled and was wondering if you could consider adding another attribute to affect this value allowing the use of semi-transparent swf files.

    This would be a great feature for a future release.


  19. Diane says:

    Uh-oh, Your beautiful web page is displaying rather oddly in Firefox 1.7.5

    Comments are all displaying off-screen to the left about 2 em’s or so.

  20. Lou Vanek says:

    Finally got around to upgrading to rc3.
    Had problems with green backgrounds until I added this line from rc2
    into the rc3 code base:

    if(nPaddingLeft == null){ nPaddingLeft = 0 };
    if(sBgColor == “transparent” && sWmode == null){ sWmode = “transparent” };

  21. Lou, it’s a pity that Mike hasn’t updated this page yet.. cause we are at RC4 already! But, to answer your questions:

    Background transparency is controlled via sWmode now. The background color you specify is the fallback color for browsers which don’t support transparency.

    As for those warnings, I think the error level in Mozilla is set a bit too high. I’ll try to get it out anyway, though :)

  22. Franck says:


    I was using RC3 and just updated to RC4 and i still got the same problem: When browsing the site with firefox 1.0 with the adblock extension ON, I’ve got the flash files detected. Annoying. Any solution ?

    See it there

    If you need some more info just let me know, just let me know:
    info at 55 thinking dot com

    Thanks by advance

  23. Franck, just disable the Obj-Tabs. We can’t, nor want, to detect AdBlock.

  24. dave hogge says:

    Does anyone have experience with nesting sIFR objects? I’m building a navigation system using unordered lists and running into a problem with the nested links not being clickable.

    Could stacking be a fix?

  25. Mike D. says:

    I am closing this thread because sIFR 2.0 is now out. Read about it and download the new files here.

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