Check out the trailer to Portal. It’s a first-person puzzler where your only ability is to create circular space/time portals between two locations. Your movement (and gravity!) does the rest. The trailer is also pretty funny.

This would’ve made Berzerk so much easier.

LoadVars implements HTTP caching

Searching for info about Flash’s caching mechanism turned up endless posts on how to prevent caching, but none mentioned how LoadVars.load() handled server-sent Cache-Control headers. So I tested this myself.

In the SWF, I loaded the same URL once every 5 seconds using setInterval() and LoadVars.

The URL ran a PHP script that sent content along with Last-Modified and ETag headers based on its own mtime, and the header Cache-Control: max-age=0, private, must-revalidate. This basically means “browsers may cache this item, but must always check the server for updates before using it.”

It worked! Once Flash got those headers, load() would then make “conditional” GET requests: Flash included If-None-Match and If-Modified-Since headers, allowing PHP to respond with 304 Not Modified, and Flash used its cached copy of the data.

Flash seems to use the browser as a proxy to handle these requests and manage the cache, because Flash in Safari 3 shared a limitation of that browser, namely not supporting ETags; Safari only sends back an If-Modified-Since header for conditional GETs.