I received an email today from Watchitoo video conferencing saying “The latest flash plugin (version 188.8.131.52) is currently blocking Watchitoo meeting connections. This plugin is automatically installed for Windows users of Chrome.”
Interesting. I did a quick check online and sure enough, I have that version of Flash installed in my Google Chrome web browser. I did a lookup on Google and found that there are quite a few reports of audio problems with this version of Flash – in some cases preventing sound from being played while watching YouTube videos (YouTube uses Flash for its content).
I then checked the Adobe Flash Player version page and saw that they show the latest version of Flash for Chrome is 11.3.300.268. This brings up a few interesting questions:
1) Is .31 larger or smaller than .300? The average user would have a hard time answering that question. Which is the later release? The integer 31 is a smaller number than 300, but the individual digits 3-1 seem to be an increment from the digits 3-0. I spent some time looking for a definitive answer under “Release History” “Version History” “Release Notes” etc. with no luck. Shouldn’t there be a list somewhere with a version history easily accessible to users of the software?
2) It turns out that .31 is the newer release. Why does Adobe’s master page announcing “Latest Flash Player Version” show an older number?
And the big issue remains… When your web conferencing product relies on third party software in order to run, what do you do when the third party software suddenly changes automatically for all your users, rendering your product useless?
Man, am I happy to be out of the commercial software manufacturing business!
Please go to this blog post online and add a comment if you have seen issues recently with your Flash-based web conferencing software. I’m interested to know whether the symptoms are more widespread than Watchitoo and YouTube.