Yes, the whole Flash scene is very confusing and Adobe has no idea how to make it less so. As I understand it, Shockwave "front-end" apps are mostly things like games, as explained by Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Shockwave
Flash Player plugins are different, and needed on sites like weather.com to render Flash content on the webpage, such as the maps and illustrations--not to mention Flash based advertisements. And there are two Flash Player plugins--one for Internet Explorer and another for all other browsers. To keep it simple, and to enjoy a more smoothed out web experience, it is best to have all three installed (if you use both IE and other browsers). Look in Add/Remove Programs for the following:Adobe Flash Player 10 ActiveX
<--This is the Flash Player Plugin for IE.Adobe Flash Player 10 Plugin
<--This is the Flash Player Plugin for Firefox, Opera, etc.Adobe Shockwave Player 11
<--This is the Shockwave Player that isn't specific to any browser.
I can't tell you if you need the Director plugin--from the Wiki it appears Director is for people who use Flash to design web apps/content. I don't, but have that plugin as well--still it shouldn't hurt to leave it installed.
And I don't know why Adobe installed Adobe DLM extension and getplusplus for Adobe plug-in when I clicked on the flash player download button and yet didn't install "Flash Player". I unchecked the McAfee scan option and there were no other options to uncheck. I disabled both extension & plug-in and the weather feature still works, so I figure I can uninstall those add-ons.
All Adobe products have to be installed online now, including their PDF Reader. Well, you can get the old-fashioned offline installers from Adobe, but the links to them are buried in their online help documentation. I'll link to that in a bit, but let me attempt to explain how this works. I say attempt because Adobe is always changing, but here is how it worked when I successfully used the online installer back in January--these are the notes I took at the time:There is now no option to save the installer stub to your computer--no download button, you have to click Agree and install now. When I do I get an information bar across the top of Firefox saying the site wants to install something and should I allow it. When I click allow, the Firefox Add-ons Manager pops up and I go thru the process of installing Adobe DLM (Download Manager) extension from GetRight. Once the extension is added, I'm told to restart Firefox. When that is done, on Firefox re-opening, the DLM appears to install the Flash Player (and McAfee Security Scan Plus, which I forgot to uncheck before clicking the Install button) then the DLM extension uninstalls itself.
You didn't mention restarting Firefox. Possibly the DLM extension being installed allowed the installation of Flash to be triggered when you visited the weather.com webpage. But once the Flash Player for Firefox is installed, the DLM extension uninstalls itself, so that should explain why you didn't remember exactly when you uninstalled it.
For IE you have to install an ActiveX plugin but don't have to restart the browser for the install to happen.
There are more to my notes, but I was doing an upgrade, among other things, so my other notes don't all apply to you. However, it is important to keep Flash Player up to date, as malware can and will exploit vulnerabilities in Flash to get into your system. To check if you have the latest version go to the following page: http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/
However, you can now have Adobe notify you when updates are available, which I recommend you set up. The Adobe - Flash Player : Settings Manager
can be obtained by clicking links at the following webpage--it looks like a webpage but is where you can configure Flash Player and contains its documentation: http://www.macromedia.com/support/document...ger.html#117118
To go directly to the Global Notifications Settings Panel
, click this link: http://www.macromedia.com/support/document..._manager05.html
Put a check mark in the box to be notified of updates and I recommend setting it to the shortest amount of time possible--every seven days. Then, when an update comes out, you will be notified and you have the option of installing it on the fly--it's been quick and no hassle for me. Except for the fact that they only update one of my two browser plugins. In January it updated my IE plugin but not Firefox. A few days ago it updated Firefox but not IE. So check the About page with both browsers to be sure you have the latest version.
To get IE up to date this time, I used the offline installer. FileHippo and some other sites like it are OK too, but you should be able to get them from Adobe from here:Troubleshoot Flash Player installation for Windows:http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/191/tn_19166.html
The links for the offline installers are buried in that article, so, for the convenince of anyone wanting to use them, here are the direct download links:
For IE: http://fpdownload.adobe.com/get/flashplaye...h_player_ax.exe
For Firefox, Opera, Safari: http://fpdownload.adobe.com/get/flashplaye...lash_player.exe
When doing manual updates, it may be better to first uninstall the plugins from Control Panel's Add/Remove and sometimes I've had to reboot more than once to get the latest version to show up.
Hope this helps.
Edited by Papakid, 21 June 2010 - 10:32 AM.