SWFPut – SWFlash Put

Description

SWFPut provides ‘responsive’ video for posts and pages.
SWFPut makes the presentation of video reliable for your
visitors: several conditions are handled well, such as
the uneven support for HTML5 video formats in the major
browsers, the possible lack of support for either HTML5
video or flash video in the visitor’s browser, and even
the possiblilty that JavaScript might be disabled in your
visitor’s browser.

In addition to video for posts and pages, SWFPut provides
a video widget for use in widget areas, such as a sidebar.

SWFPut video is ‘responsive’: it should display at a
suitable size on your visitor’s device, whether large
or small (a responsive WordPress theme is necessary).

SWFPut makes video setup easy and flexible by providing
an easy dialog based setup similar to (and based on)
that used by WordPress core media, and also an
advanced form with additional settings, which
appears in a new “metabox”
on the editor page. For widgets, the form appears with
the usual drag and drop widget interface. After adding
video objects, the form will continue to be useful for
making changes (or, if you wish, to delete the video).

In WordPress versions 3.3 and greater, video added by
SWFPut will be visible in the post/page visual editor.

As many video objects as you wish can be placed in posts
pages, and of course the widget supports as many instances
as you wish.
You may specify HTML5 or flash video, or both with one
being primary content and the other as fallback.

Here are some features of SWFPut to consider:

  • SWFPut works directly with media file
    URL’s; that is, SWFPut does not embed
    the video players of providers such as YouTube or Vimeo.
    SWFPut is for video files which are accessible by URL,
    whether hosted at your site or off-site.
    The setup form provides two media selection lists.
    The first is a selection of files found (recursively)
    under your wp-content/uploads directory. This list
    has the advantage that it does not use the
    WordPress media library — it will find files that
    you upload ‘by hand’ (with ftp, ssh, etc.). This feature
    will work around upload size limits that might prevent
    you from uploading large video files to the media library.
    The second is a selection of files found in the
    WordPress media library and is presented with the
    file name and the ‘attachment id’. This refers to files
    by ID, so it might be helpful if you manipulate media
    and expect ID associations to be valid. Files selections
    are filtered by name extension: FLV and MP4 for flash,
    and MP4, OGG and OGV, and WEBM for HTML5 video.

  • Video resources do not need to be on your site:
    any URL can be specified, so you may present players
    for off-site of 3rd party resources.

  • SWFPut does not interfere with the appearance of
    a site: a video is presented jsut as an image
    (such as .png or .jpg) is, with the same sort of
    style, and optional caption. The appearance of the
    video control interface, or control bar, is simple
    and quiet so it should not clash with site design.

  • SWFPut allows you to set the display aspect ratio
    for the video. Some video is ‘anamorphic’ in that
    the pixel width and height do not match the intended
    proportion of display width and height. You might
    film your child’s school play as 16:9 ‘widescreen’
    but use a space saving feature of your recorder that
    saves the video at 480×360 (which is not 16:9). You can
    set SWFPut to display the video at the intended 16:9
    aspect ratio. You may set any aspect ratio (make it
    distorted if you wish).

  • The core features of the flash video player program
    included with SWFPut have been verified to work with
    the Gnash free-software browser plugin, which is good
    if you care about free/libre software users. (At the
    time of this writing, Gnash does not handle the MP4
    video container format, so it is preferable that you
    prepare flash video in the FLV container, even using the
    h.264 and AAC codecs. Of course, you may use MP4 if
    you must.)

  • The flash video player program included with SWFPut
    is written and compiled with the Ming PHP extension,
    and the code is included, so you may modify the player.
    The HTML5 player is written JavaScript, and the original,
    un-minified version is included, so you may modify it.
    In fact, the zip archive available at the WordPress
    repository includes all sources, although a POSIX/Unix
    environment with certain tools is required to build.

  • Localization sources are included; hopefully, polyglot
    users will help with translations.

Screenshots

  • The SWFPut widget setup form (bottom).

  • The SWFPut posts/page setup setup details dialog.

  • The appearance of video placed by SWFPut (Twentyeleven theme with dark custom colors, sidebar on left), not yet playing.

Installation

There are no special installation requirements.

Preferably, install SWFPut from the WordPress Plugin
Repository through the WordPress administrative interface.

To install from a zip archive:

  1. Log in at your WordPress site

  2. Select ‘Plugins -> Add New’

  3. Select ‘Upload’

  4. Select ‘Browse’

  5. In your system’s file selector, select the SWFPut zip file;
    select ‘OK’ or equivalent

  6. Select ‘Install Now’

  7. Select ‘Activate Plugin’

At this point “SWFPut” should be an entry on the plugins page.
The Settings menu should have an item “SWFPut Plugin”.

If the above is not so, there is probably a problem at your site’s
host; for example if the host is Unix system there is very likely
a problem with incorrect permissions metadata (mode) on a directory
such as wp-content/uploads, or an unsuitable user or group ownership
of (probably several) files and directories. This can be a frequent
problem if the host has PHP configured in “safe mode”.

If the host is not a Unix system, I’m sorry to say I cannot help;
maybe your hosting provider can.

If the installation was successful, you should see a “SWFPut Video Player”
widget under ‘Appearance -> Widgets’ and a meta-box entitled
“SWFPut Video” on the posts and pages editing pages.

For additional help, you will find README* files (differing in format,
and excluding ‘readme.txt’, which is this file) that discuss the
flash video player in more detail.

FAQ

Installation Instructions

There are no special installation requirements.

Preferably, install SWFPut from the WordPress Plugin
Repository through the WordPress administrative interface.

To install from a zip archive:

  1. Log in at your WordPress site

  2. Select ‘Plugins -> Add New’

  3. Select ‘Upload’

  4. Select ‘Browse’

  5. In your system’s file selector, select the SWFPut zip file;
    select ‘OK’ or equivalent

  6. Select ‘Install Now’

  7. Select ‘Activate Plugin’

At this point “SWFPut” should be an entry on the plugins page.
The Settings menu should have an item “SWFPut Plugin”.

If the above is not so, there is probably a problem at your site’s
host; for example if the host is Unix system there is very likely
a problem with incorrect permissions metadata (mode) on a directory
such as wp-content/uploads, or an unsuitable user or group ownership
of (probably several) files and directories. This can be a frequent
problem if the host has PHP configured in “safe mode”.

If the host is not a Unix system, I’m sorry to say I cannot help;
maybe your hosting provider can.

If the installation was successful, you should see a “SWFPut Video Player”
widget under ‘Appearance -> Widgets’ and a meta-box entitled
“SWFPut Video” on the posts and pages editing pages.

For additional help, you will find README* files (differing in format,
and excluding ‘readme.txt’, which is this file) that discuss the
flash video player in more detail.

I installed SWFPut, now what?

First, note that in the editor page for posts/pages,
there is a new ‘metabox’ named “SWFPut Video.” It
might be near the bottom of the page, but metaboxes
can be moved by dragging with the mouse. (When using
SWFPut it might be useful to drag its metabox to
just below the editor.) If necessary click the metabox
title to show the form.

The SWFPut form might look complicated, but don’t
worry! There is help. At the top right of the WordPress
editor pages there is a tab named (in english)
“Help.” Click that, and editor help material will drop
down. SWFPut adds a new tab here called “SWFPut Video”
(what else?). Click that tab and . . .

. . . another drop-down, this time specifically
for this plugin. Near the top there are two hyperlinks
which open in a new tab/page, one for PDF documentation
and one for (old-time style) HTML documentation. These
are versions of the same detailed document. The remainder
of the in-place help text addresses just a few items
that the author (I) thought would need more explanation
for a quick start. Please peruse these for use.

Quickest of all, see the FAQ below entitled
“Do I really need video in 3 or 4 formats?” which
in spite of the name addresses quick and easy use
as well as video formats.

Do I really need to understand “aspect ratio” and things?

Probably not. In most case the width and height of the
video will match the intended display proportion.
“Anamorphic” video is not rare, but probably not too common
either. The author has seen videos on e.g., YouTube,
that are distorted by wrong display aspect ratio
(which is not YouTube’s fault), but only a few.
If you find that your video looks squeezed or stretched,
you can always use a little trial & error with the display
aspect setting until it looks good.

Do I really need video in 3 or 4 formats?

Possibly not. The help documention included with SWFPut
discusses file formats for HTML5 and flash with a level
of detail that — it is hoped — will help you make your video
available to the broadest range of browsers used by your
visitors. The cost of this detail is the loss of simplicity.

The simplest use with not-too-bad availability would be like this:
prepare your video in MP4 format; place the URL in either
the “Flash video URL…” or “HTML5 video URLs…” fields[*]
in the setup form, and set display size in the “Pixel Width:”
and “x Height:” fields; make sure that the cursor in the
editor is at the spot you want, and click the
“Place new in post” button. Publish the post/page with
the “Update” button. Not too difficult!

Currently many browsers support MP4 for HTML5 video,
but not all! The flash browser plugin has supported MP4
for a long time, but alternatives such as Gnash
(a free-software flash plugin) might not. Availability
will be increased significantly by adding FLV (flash)
and OGG (or ‘ogv’, a patent-free, free-licensed type) formats.
If you need video conversion software,
a quick web search should yield several options.
Change the procedure in the above paragraph like this:
place the URL for the FLV type in the “Flash video URL…”
field, place the URL for the MP4 type and
the URL for the OGG type separated by a ‘|’
in the “HTML5 video URLs…” field (and don’t worry about
‘codec’ types discussed in the help docs). Easy, and fun!

Finally, to cover all the bases, amend the the above paragraph
like this: place the URL for the FLV type in the “Flash video URL…”
field, place the URL for the MP4 type and
the URL for the OGG type and
the URL for the WEBM type separated by a ‘|’
between each in the “HTML5 video URLs…” field . . . .

[*] MP4 can be placed in either the flash or HTML5
URL fields and it will be effective for both, as long
as the visitor’s browser has JavaScript enabled.

What if a visitor has JavaScript disabled?

SWFPut is designed with that in mind. If scripting
is disabled, but either flash or HTML5 video is
available, then your video should be viewable.
HTML5 video will have the browser’s native interface
and basic features.

How do contact to the developer?

Post a comment at
//agalena.nfshost.com/b1/software/swfput-html5-flash-wordpress-plugin/
or email edhynan at the email provider ‘gmail’ with the
top level domain ‘com’, or of course go the the SWFPut
WordPress page at https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/swfput
and select the “Support” tab.

Does the developer want to know I use SWFPut?

Yes, the developer would consider it kind of you
to leave a comment with the URLs of your using pages.

Contributors & Developers

“SWFPut – SWFlash Put” is open source software. The following people have contributed to this plugin.

Contributors

Changelog

3.0.8

  • Fix new mce-view visual editor presentation with WP 4.6.
  • Widget support for WP 4.5 preview ‘selective refresh’ bug fix: stop play.
  • Change default for aspect ratio auto adjust to false.

3.0.7

  • Add widget support for WP 4.5 preview ‘selective refresh’.
  • Confirmed working with WP 4.5.

3.0.6

  • Poster image might have been too small after stop button
    click; this should be OK now.
  • Confirmed working with WP 4.4.

3.0.5

  • Fix for URLs without scheme (e.g. “//www.example.com/foo/”).
  • Editor button: changed to .
  • Cleanup minor JS warnings on web console.
  • Misc. cleanup, source comment edits.

3.0.4

  • Further improve controls for mobile.

3.0.3

  • Make controls work in Chrome/Chromium mobile.

3.0.2.1

  • Same as 3.0.3 (Seems new WP version no longer handles 4th minor
    revision number, so 2.1 is now 3).

3.0.2

  • The just released WordPress 4.2.3 security revision includes
    a change that appeared in WP 4.3beta1. This release of SWFPut
    adjusts a version check so that the changes of SWFPut 3.0.1
    take effect for WordPress 4.2.3.
  • Fixed bug in new visual editor dialog code that caused changes
    in the caption field to be lost on switching to another tab.

3.0.1

  • Fix new mce-view visual editor presentation with WP 4.3beta1.
  • Fix URL preparation bug in plugin_page_addlink().
  • Misc. code cleanups.
  • New .htaccess file.

3.0

  • This release includes an improvement to the responsive
    sizing of video: the height of a video is now limited
    to fit within the visible vertical area. Previously, sizing
    was applied to width alone. This change should be
    most noticeable on small devices, particularly
    handheld devices in landscape orientation. This change
    applies to desktop browsers too, although it will
    probably not be evident unless the browser window
    is at a small size.

    This version has small documentation updates regarding
    the new visual editor interface of release 2.9, and
    one bugfix needed because of using a new WP function
    signature changed at some point before 4.x — this
    would not have affected users of current WordPress,
    but SFWPut is still supporting (i.e., working with)
    WP as old as 3.0.2 (hopefully for no reason, since
    old versions are probably insecure and should not be
    used).

2.9

  • A new interface for adding and configuring videos in the
    visual editor. The interface now shares many properties
    with the WordPress media interface, and uses much of the
    new and maturing core code. Users will find video setup
    easier, and familiar. The origonal setup form in a
    metabox remains available and may be considered an
    advanced form, as it retains configuration items that
    will not be added to the new simplified interface.
    The new interface is only available for WordPress 4.x,
    and support for 4.0 and 4.1 might be removed in the future
    (users are advised to keep WordPress up to date).

2.2.2.1

  • Sigh. Just added a forgotten file (from 2.2.2). The default
    video (mentioned in the 2.2.2 entry, below) would be
    missing, because I neglected to ‘svn add’ it. Simple
    mistake updating the repository.

    This should not affect any but those who might try
    using a URL that SWFPut rejects. Upgrade at your
    convenience.

2.2.2

  • Bug fix release in response to a kind user query.
    URLs provided for video files are checked before they
    are used (good), but elsewhere in code an array key
    would be missing if the URL was rejected (bad), possibly
    leading to PHP error messages appearing on page.

    Now, if a faulty URL is rejected, a default video URL
    is used, linking to a small video that says “OOPS […]”
    and which should get the site owners attention (site
    visitors should find the default video inoffensive, even
    if unexpected).

2.2.1

  • Confirmed working with WP 4.1.

2.2

  • Added long overdue alignment options.
  • Added video preload option. Before now, the video element was always
    given preload=”none”. Now, the specification values “none”,
    “metadata”, and “auto” may be selected, or one special option
    named (in english) “per initial image”, which will use “none”
    if if an initial image (poster) is set, or else “metadata” so
    that the browser may display a frame of video as a poster.
    NOTE: the new default is “per initial image” which will
    change the behavior of existing videos that do not have
    an initial image (or ‘poster’): they will now have the
    preload=”metadata” attribute, so the browser will make a
    small unsolicited fetch from the server, and might display
    a frame. If that is unwanted, the preload option should
    be set to “none.”
  • Some code cleanups and reorganization.
  • Check with WordPress 4.0: OK. (Actually, WordPress 4.0-beta3,
    and in the unlikely event that a problem arises with the
    real WP 4.0 release, it will be addressed in a minor revision.)

2.1.1

  • This release is called “Sigh” and its only change is a
    workaround for a chromium 3.4 bug — not on the front end, but
    in the Visual editor plugin. You want details, you say? OK:
    this plugin’s video in the tinymce visual editor is housed
    in an iframe element. The iframe was given, for principle only,
    a sandbox attribute (with the “allow-scripts” argument), even
    thought the content is generated by a plugin script and is a
    known quantity. This worked in the major browsers including the
    Chromium 22 and 3.[123] tested with, but Chromium 3.4 would
    no longer run scripts in the iframe. Persons-of-curiosity may
    web search ‘chromium iframe scripts’ and see at a glance that
    Chromium has dithered on this subject. Bottom line: the sandbox
    attribute is removed. Apologies for this release so soon after
    2.1 a few days ago.

2.1

  • Several small bug fixes and improvements.
  • Now, by default HTML5 video will be placed as primary
    content with flash as fallback (see settings page).
  • Now, if the stop button is clicked the initial poster
    image, if provided, should reappear.
  • Better handling of unsupported HTML5 video types: if
    an MP4 was given it will passed to the flash player
    when necessary.

2.0

  • Video will now display in the TinyMCE “Visual” editor. This
    requires HTML5 compatible video files, and a recent and
    not-too-buggy browser (Chromium is fine on GNU/Linux, but
    as on MS it might not run the script in the iframe,
    but the display is still useful; MSIE has some oddities but
    overall works). The settings page has a new option to control
    SWFPut video in the editor: always, only non-mobile, or
    never. If the video display feature is disabled, the
    shortcode will simply appear in the editor.
  • Overdue improvement to the video control bar: if the display
    is too narrow for all buttons, then the non-essential
    fullscreen and natural-scale buttons are hidden.
  • Miscellaneous small fixes.
  • Checked with new WordPress 3.9.

1.0.9

  • Vacated in quantum leap to ring 2 resulting from increased
    energy state induced by scale of recent changes.

1.0.8

  • HTML5 video support now equals the original flash video support, and
    a new HTML5 video player provides an interface with the same
    design as the flash player, and as much of the same behavior
    as can be implemented with the HTML5 video specification.
  • A new option (on the settings page) to make HTML5 video be primary
    content, with flash video as fallback. The default is to place
    flash video as primary content with HTML5 video as fallback due
    to the burden HTML5 video puts on users to provide several
    video file formats, but users who are confident in the use
    of HTML5 video will find this new option preferable.
  • It is not necessary to specify both flash and and html video
    resources; either can be left out (i.e., SWFPut is no longer
    a flash video player first with html video as an afterthought).
  • Incompatible change: a checkbox on the setup form to specify that
    the medium is audio, not video, has been removed. That feature
    really had no place in this plugin, and audio-only support in
    the flash player was bare-bones minimal.
  • Interface: when a mobile browser is detected, the control bar
    removes the natural-scale and full-scale buttons, which do
    not make sense on mobile. The simpler control bar is more
    appropriate and usable.
  • Improved help under the “Help” button the editor and widgets pages.
  • Interface: volume control slider now presents vertically on
    non-mobile, and horizontally on mobile. It now scales down
    at small display sizes (previously it was clipped).
  • The original design goal that JavaScript will not be necessary so
    that your site remains useful to visitors with scripting
    disabled has been retained, albeit with necessary qualification:
    the html video player requires JavaScript, but where scripting
    is not available, the default interface and behavior for the
    HTML5 video element provided by the browser will be present,
    so all is not lost.
  • The several .swf binaries for control bar sizes are gone, now
    a single binary simply scales the control bar (which of course
    was the original intent and meant to be among the first
    updates, but time flies like a banana).
  • Directory and file file name changes.
  • Bug fixes, of course.

1.0.7

  • Presentation improvements. Display should be well scaled now,
    at least for themes that handle scaling; e.g., ‘viewport’
    meta element. This improvement should be particularly
    appreciable with regard to mobile platforms (on which the
    display was very poor in previous versions), but desktop/notebook
    machines benefit too when the window is made small. Video
    widgets place on sidebar should now be resized to sidebar
    width regardless of user-set dimensions, but on mobile if
    secondary content is placed below primary content (i.e.
    sidebar appears below main area) video object will use
    available space up up to the dimensions set.
  • The original description through version 1.0.6 stated that
    “SWFPut does not add any JavaScript.” That is no longer
    the case. Video object size adjustments depend on JavaScript,
    but on non-mobile platforms the display does not depend on
    script, and if scripts are disabled the video objects will
    behave as they have through version 1.0.6. On mobile platforms
    JavaScript is necessary because on those platforms the plugin now
    builds the elements by script rather than putting out HTML
    directly. (It is probably uncommon and impractical for
    scripting to be disabled in mobile browsers.)
  • There is a new input field on the setup forms, just below the
    dimensions fields. This is to provide a width to use only
    if a mobile browser is detected; the height is automatically
    proportional, according to the regular dimensions. This might
    be useful for widgets placed on the sidebar, because the
    sidebar might be placed below, rather than beside, the main
    content. In this case more space might be available, and
    larger display might be suitable. This feature is disabled
    with a value of ‘0’ which is the default. Experiment.

1.0.6

  • Added do-nothing index.php to prevent directory listing, as WP does.
  • Made the “Screen Options” tab -> “Section Introductions” checkbox
    value persistent, if the “Save Settings” button is clicked.
  • Style tweaks and size tweaks (admin) in response to WP 3.8 changes.
  • Checked with WP 3.8: OK.

1.0.5

  • BUG[unimportant]: tested a defined(FOO) (rather than ‘FOO’),
    but PHP handles that common mistake anyway, and
    it could only matter in the very exceedingly extremely unlikely
    case that a .mo translation binary for this plugin’s
    text domain has been installed under the WP’s WP_LANG_DIR.
  • Added check for naughty direct invocation.
  • Checked (Oct 25 2013) with just-released WP 3.7: OK.

1.0.4

  • Fixed duplicated message on settings page update resulting from
    unneeded settings_errors() call: this call did not cause a dup
    from 3.0.1 to 3.3.1 (but was not needed either), but between
    WP 3.3.1 and 3.5.? some core guard against the duplicate was
    removed (or broken?).
  • Updated swf object element and added optional alternative
    img and video (html5) nested elements. Removed classid from
    object, except when MSIE is in user agent string. (inspired
    by suggestion from aileenf).
  • Added help tabs.
  • Some code cleanups.

1.0.3

  • Maintenance.
  • Put i18n final code (__() was already present), added make rules to
    build *.mo using (added) script in new locale dir, added FPO/test
    en_US.mo, confirmed working with dummy string replacement.
  • Changed Opt* support classes to use display strings borrowed
    exactly from WP (3.6) core; these classes are not tied to this
    plugin and should not use its text-domain. Using core strings,
    they might still get translated (might get translated when the
    plugin does not — that is deemed OK).
  • Added is_admin() check in init code to avoid setting admin-only
    hooks when not needed (and executing associated code); plus a
    few more specific current_user_can() checks.
  • Increased maximum “attachment” queried when finding suitable
    media files to present in posts/pages shortcode form.

1.0.2

  • Corrections in (vaguely distinguished)
    add_(action|filter) calls, according to tag used, checked against
    WP source (whether do_action() or apply_filters() is invoked
    for the tag in question).
  • Changed JS unescape() to decodeURIComponent().
  • Removed compiled README.{tty,tt8} from distribution.
  • Changed ‘wptexturize’ to ‘htmlentities’ for paths and things that
    should not be pretty-pretty’d.
  • Changed ‘Tags:’ in readme.txt (and stable, etc.).

1.0.1

  • Maintenance.
  • Editing and corrections in readme.txt.
  • Behavior change: without initial image (‘poster’), medium is no
    longer fetched automatically (without visitor play); was a
    misfeature that would simulate an initial image by pausing
    at a random point within first few seconds of the video, but
    the unsolicited download is a bad idea. (Might be an option
    in future.)

1.0.0

  • Initial release.