Jason Jacobs, a recruiter for firstPRO, has a job opening in Buckhead that he describes this way:
- Flash 8/CS3
- Flash Communication Server/Flash Media Server
- Flash Video delivery
- ActionScript 2.0 OOP architectures
- Flash Remoting
If you are interested in this position, have your resume ready and contact him at 404-257-7329 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I wanted to bump this event up for everyone in the Atlanta area. Tonight, Stacey Mulcahy will be presenting "Actionscript 2 to Actionscript 3 Migration" presentation that she originally presented at last month's Flash in the Can.
For those of you who are interested, feel free to RSVP at the Adobe Flash Platform User Group of Atlanta site.Comments (0) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
UPDATE: When you use the setting "multiline" you should never capitalize the "L" in that word. Too bad that neither the Flash IDE Compiler nor MTASC barks at me about this. Live and learn, people!
Normally I don't have a lot of problems with Flash. But when the LiveDocs say that the "<p>" tag works in Flash, then it should work, right?
Well, I am in a situation with some Flash code that makes no sense to me. I have some simple code that puts text into a Label (using createLabel() so that it makes a TextField) but I can't seem to load HTML into it. The "<p>" and "<br>" (and "<br />") tags are being ignored, or skipped. I am very confused.
To prove myself wrong I ceated a very simple piece of code to go into frame one of an FLA timeline and sent it to JesterXL for another diagnosis:
leif_lbl.html = true;
leif_lbl.multiLine = true;
leif_lbl.wordWrap = true;
leif_lbl.border = true;
leif_lbl.htmlText = "<P>Hello.</P><P>My name is Leif.</P><P>Why don't you say hello?</P>";
trace("leif: " + leif_lbl);
trace(" text: " + leif_lbl.htmlText);
His response: " Um... ok, that's f'd up. I'm seeing the same thing you are on my Mac."
So, in all my Model-View-Control patterned, ARP frameworked, Eclipse environment I must have forgotten something about the TextField object that makes something like this work.
The following code will output this:
text: <P ALIGN="LEFT"><FONT FACE="Times New Roman" SIZE="12" COLOR="#000000">Hello.My name is Leif.Why don't you say hello?</FONT></P>
Please note that the paragraph tags have been completely removed from the string and the string is butted together. That makes no sense to me at all.
Someone, anyone out there — what the heck is going on?Comments (6) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
Mind you, 18 respondents to a survey does not make for scientific survey results, but that is not the point here. The people who responded are best audience. But I know that there are more people and companies using ARP. I just wish more people and companies using ARP. Just as I wish more people were building Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Just as I wish more clients were asking for them.
Just so that you know, ARP is a RIA Framework for Actionscript 2.0 that Mr. Balkan has provided, with the assistance of a lot of great developers, to the Flash community. Balkan has also been a great leader in the Open Source Flash movement. Roundbox Media, my employer, used ARP on three projects in 2005. It's pretty lean and mean. We started using our own little version, but there is another version, ARPX (which I can't seem to find a link to right now), that a lot of people seem to be using and we are reviewing at Roundbox.
Let me put it as frankly as I can: if you are working with a team of Flash developers, using ARP is almost as important as is getting your developers away from using the Flash IDE. Not using ARP is a waste of your client's money and your time and effort.
And if you are a developer working all by yourself, working with ARP can be just as important — if you are looking to take your Actionscript skills up to another level and draw more clients or employers into your reach. ARP will keep you organized and make bug fixes and maintenance a no-brainer.
And speaking or the Flash IDE, when asked what client-side technologies developers were using, Balkan states "The winner here is the Flash IDE. It was used in 17 out of 18 projects, usually alongside open source technologies." Although I have to agree with Balkan when he says that this proves that open source tools "compliment the Flash IDE", I honestly view this result a little differently — if it weren't for the Flash Components V2, I'd probably not use the Flash IDE anymore. In fact, Roundbox isn't interested in upgrading to Flash 8 right now and it has been out for a long time. I honestly feel that we have not been given incentive. When creating an RIA with Flash, version 8 has not given me anything that I can't seriously live without. Not to fault Macromedia — they made it quite clear that Flash 8 was going to be more creatively focused. It's just that we haven't found a client that has needed those features (o.k., maybe file upload might make us upgrade). And there are alternatives to the Flash Components V2 like ActionStep, but we have not had the time to review that project lately and it appears to still be in Alpha.
And that, too, is another point I'd like to make: keeping up with all of the options you have for creating great Flash Platform-based applications can be a huge pain. Things are always in flux. All the projects seem to be pre-Alpha or Alpha. The MTASC compiler, a product without which there would probably be no open source Flash movement, seems to be the only other truly mature project (and thank goodness for that). I mean, a lot of people responded to the survey appear to still be using Flashout, a great piece of software, albeit not open source. But we left Flashout behind when we started using the latest version of the Actionscript Development Tool (ASDT).
And now a moment of unfortunate criticism: what the heck is going on with ASDT?. Unfortunately, I do not have the skills necessary to donate properly to the ASDT project so I hate complaining about a project that I can't assist. But I must. If I can convince the powers-that-be at Roundbox, we are going to start using *gasp* the Flash Development Tool (FDT) for development of our Flash RIA projects. We compiled the latest version that is in the repository, but that version is still doesn't come close to what FDT is shipping today. Is there another version of ASDT on the way? Will ASDT turn the corner soon and have a solid 1.0 version soon? Will ASDT and FDT both support Actionscript 3.0 in the future using the recently announced free compiler from Adobe? Will it be as good as Flex Builder 2 Beta appears to be? I do not have the answers to these questions and although I'd hate it, I may soon be paying US $253.53 per seat so that my team can code as efficiently as possible.
But, again, back to the survey and one last observation: it looks like AMFPHP is being used a lot. Not too surprising, see how we are talking about a lot of open source software here, but I was a little disappointed that OpenAMF wasn't better represented —not only because I am an OpenAMF user, but because I feel that the more RIA's that have Java back-ends serving and handling data, the more support of Flash-based, and thus Flex-based, RIA's will have in the Java community. Those Java folks are very focused on AJAX!
And speaking of OpenAMF and AMFPHP, have we heard anything about future support for the new version of the Remoting protocol AMF3 which is included with the Flex 2 Beta? (What? You haven't downloaded it yet? Keep up, will ya?) I would really like to hear that someone is working on it? Heck, I'd like to hear that Adobe is going to have new Actionscript 3.0 version of Remoting Components ready when Flash 9 ships.
And speaking of AMF3 (I'm on a roll!), I absolutely love the way Coldfusion works with Flex 2. Absolutely. I can't wait to see it being used by someone who really knows how to do it right!
With all this excitement with Flash, how could anyone even consider AJAX?
Aral Balkan, thanks for the survey, thanks for ARP and I look forward to ARP 3.0!Comments (2) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
My situation is this: we have a long title inside a cell in a DataGrid. It's too long for the on-screen area we are working with (The real problem is that the client's product's names are too damn long!). So I said, obviously while smoking crack, "we should add a tool tip to the data grid!"
What the hell was I thinking?!?
I put together an example (oh-my-god-I-did-it-in-as1-on-purpose) to show here as the project code is too complicated to make any sense. This example was created to remove any rogue code elements.
The code I created works fine up to a point. The tool tip appears most of the time. But every now and then a "I" cursor, or edit cursor shows up and a new rollOver event gets fired.
For instance, roll into the area to the right of the price. Looks nice, eh? Now roll your cursor across the "M M M" of the title; you'll see a rapid-fire set of events making the tool tip flicker. Shouldn't there only be one "itemRollOver" event being fired? What the heck is firing off these events and making the cursor change? Is the lable (or whatever is created to put the text into it) firing off a rollOver event?
Does anyone have any furthur insights into this?
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I am always amazed at what can happen when a bunch of people decide to make a change in their lives either personally or professionally. The ActionStep crew looks to be in that "transitional" mode right now, taking themselves (and us) into a new direction for Flash development.
What I thought ActionStep was is not what it is; I thought it was simply a new set of components, something like mCom (the component set that once was glic). But no, that is not exactly what they are doing. The OS Flash site states that the effort is to "ActionStep is an Actionscript 2.0 implementation of a subset of the OpenStep Application Kit. The intent is to create an open-source component framework for writing Rich Internet Applications for the Flash Player." and they appear to be quite on their way to doing just that.
Think about it: a completely open source component framework that is based upon NextStep/OpenStep/GNUStep/Cocoa Application Kit which is an already established framework. It will compile properly with MTASC, the open source Flash compiler. If there are bugs or issues with a component, you have access to a group of developers that created all the elements of that component. If you fix a bug in a component, you can submit it to the repository so that everyone can make use of it. If you want to distribute the components or the framework, you can without breaking any liscencing agreement with Macromedia.
What also amazes me is the progress that the ActionStep developers are making. If you take a look at their roadmap you will see that they are trying their best to be completed by the end of the year. Take a look at the estimated progress that they have already made. And this is from volunteers.
I have been attempting to keep a close eye on this effort because I strongly believe that it will be something that I will be using in the future. If I end up with some free time I will be jumping in to assist, if only for testing.
One note to remind everyone: Richard Kilmer will be presenting at this week's OSCON. I look forward to seeing his presentation online after his session as I am unable to attend.Comments (3) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
As of late, we have been using the FAME IDE solution for a project and although there have been some problems, things have been moving along quite well.
One of my problems with coding in general is that I type poorly. On Instant Messenger my friends feel that I am not responding to their questions because I type so slowly. As you can imagine, I enjoy finding faster and easier ways to enter text.
As I was watching the recently created capture of a demonstration of Flashout, I noticed that the user typed a couple of letters and suddenly a block of code appeared and the user change a couple of things and was done. They created a class file and the class's constructor in a few key strokes. "What?!?" I said very loudly.
I then blurted out "How do those Eclipse code shortener things work?" Obviously, having only used Eclipse for a month I have barely scratched the surface. Co-worker Jonathan to the rescue.
The things I called "code shortener things" are templates. For the Actionscript Development Tool (ASDT) you can find them in Eclipse in the Windows > Preferences > Actionscript > Templates. Special thanks to the folks putting ASDT togther for providing these!
To access the ASDT Eclipse Templates while editing an Actionscript file you can type a few letters, for instance, "for" and then hit Ctrl-SPACE on your key board. Up pops a box that will allow you to select a couple of things like "for - Iterator over an array over an array". Highlight the item and hit ENTER -- then your code appears.
But it's not over there. You'll notice that the Iterator "i" is highlighted in each of the three places it appears. Type "k" and see all three change to "k". Hit TAB and your focus is changed to the name of the array for you to input. Hit TAB again and you are moved to a position between the braces.
Holy crap! Why the hell is something like this not in the Flash IDE?!?
Since discovering these features I have made a few templates of my own which have absolutely made my day much nicer. Now, not only do I save typing time I also have Eclipse assist me in remembering how to properly write my code as well as assist me with documenting my code as I go along (think JavaDocs, people).
I'll be making a few of my ASDT plugin for Eclipse Templates availble to everyone later today.Comments (2) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
While reviewing the comments from my recent post "FAME: Why I switched (Part Six: What's Missing and Should Macromedia Care?)" I discovered that I have not made it clear the reasons why I've started using FAME in daily development.
Just to be clear, I am not an open source zealot. I don't hate every software product company from Microsoft on down. I do not seek out open source software to replace the products that I use professionally unless the open source product actually works better for me. I actually purchase and upgrade software. I have also been known to Pay Pal developers who create open source applications that make my life easier. And I do not feel that all software should be free.
The reason I was looking for some way to change my workflow was clearly addressed in my original post on this topic:
It was just that using the tools I knew all at the same time the workflow was impossible. I ended up with a screen full of windows. I had Flash MX 2004 open to edit my .fla and .as files. My Netdebugger.swf file was running. To peek into the MySQL database, I had my old copy of MySQL Control Center open. To deal with Java and XML files, I had Dreamweaver MX 2004 open. I had a few Cygwin windows open: one to start and stop my Tomcat server, one to review my Tomcat server's output file, one to run Ant to compile my Java files, one to load or reload my data into MySQL. Then I had a few Windows XP windows open. Don't forget to throw in my email client, my instant message client and window and a browser window (thank God for tabbed browsing)
Add it all up and you end up with an Alt-Tab key combination nightmare.
So let me attempt to communicate this in very clear language: If you are a Flash MX 2004 developer who does not use external Actionscript files, does not use object oriented programming and/or does not dislike the Flash IDE as a development environment then the FAME solution is not for you!
If you are a developer who uses external Actionscript files, who enjoys object oriented programming and who feels like the Flash IDE slows you down then I suggest that you give FAME a try.Comments (4) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
Alright, let's be honest. FAME is not a perfect solution.
Let's look at all the pieces and see where I have some difficulties.
Eclipse: OK, I really don't think that I have any issues here. It seems to be solid enough, although I've heard tale of crashing problems with some people. The price for Eclipse is just about right, though. I mean, seriously; you get a ton of features, a ton of add-ons and all of it for free. Thank you very much!
Now, one item I would like to mention in relation to Eclipse are the MyEclipse add-ins. Want to add Struts or Hibernate support? Want to view your database or make SQL calls? Want to start, stop and view application server output? All inside Eclipse? Take a long hard look at MyEclipse and imagine how much time you'll save. MyEclipse is sold at the yearly subscription price of $29.95. You make the call.
Actionscript Development Tool (ASDT): What's missing in ASDT is true integration with MTASC, better handling of color coding and code hinting, and easier set-up. When an .as file fails to compile, I want the line(s) that fail to highlight. I want a console window to list the errors on a line by line basis. The color coding and code hinting are very pre-version 1 which surprises no one due to ASDT's version number of 0.0.7. This is all really easy for me to say, of course; I can't even successfully subscribe to the ASDT listserv.
Motion Twin Actionscript Compiler (MTASC): As a command line application, MTASC has come a very long way. I think that one of the things that the MTASC team could use is something that they probably don't want to deal with (face it, they are working hard producing revision after revision). What they need is a new set of components to replace the ones that Macromedia has provided to us. This could assist developers from feeling frustrated being forced to use Macromedia's young-but-already-old mish-mash of a component architecture (Not a complaint! It's the only architecture we have!) and perhaps give us smaller, more easily skinned and styled components. There are several efforts underway, but I fear mentioning them as it seems that blogging about new components that have not been created tends to drive developers crazy.
Flashout: I think that Flashout needs to go back to the drawing board from a user experience perspective. Should there be a compile and refresh button inside the document pane or on the tool bar? Should there be a Flashout Logs tab or should the output go to another window, one that the developer can see while they interact with the SWF?
Now on to the more difficult question: Should Macromedia and Adobe Systems care?
I have almost completely given up on my tried-and-true seventh version of a professionally developed, tested and supported IDE from a company I deeply respect to use four open source tools, two of which are pre-version 1. Should they care?
I feel that using FAME is making me more efficient and more focused.
I feel that I have a more intelligent workflow with FAME.
But, I also understand that I am not the typical Flash developer. I am extremely advanced compared to most owners of a Flash MX 2004 license. I don't want to use the timeline. The Flash IDE experience has actually slowed me down. And although I know I am not alone out there, is the niche I am representative of large enough to make a larger corporation like Adobe Systems take notice?
Is Macromedia's revelation that version 8 of Flash is going to be "creatively oriented" mean that they have given up on the coders? I doubt it. But the truest test for everyone will come when Flash 8 is released. If you asked me today whether I was planning on purchasing the next version of Studio MX, for the first time since Dreamweaver was released, I would have to say "I don't think so". And I fear that I would not be alone.
Next: AddendumComments (9) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs
Becoming a FAME user was not about "going Open Source" or about bucking the system. It was about cleaning up my workflow. What is missing from this discussion is one last process: not having to change applications just to view a new SWF file. You see, the application that I am working on, although it connects to a J2EE back-end is not browser based. And even if it were, I'd hate popping out of Eclipse and into a browser to see my results. I want to test my SWF just like I would in the Flash IDE. So, I look around once more and find Flashout.
Flashout is "[an] eclipse plugin for view[ing] and logging SWF [files]" to (sort of) quote their website.
There are three things that I want to mention about Flashout for readers here:
Creating a Flashout document: Once you get your Flashout plugin installed, you won't find Flashout listed as a window for Eclipse to open like you would with the console or the MTASC windows. You have to create a Flashout document. You have to navigate to File > New > File an create and save a file with the ".flashout" extension. Once you do that, Eclipse knows how to handle the file.
Flashout Preferences: There are two sets of preferences in Eclipse to consider for Flashout. One is under Window > Preferences. Here, just follow the rules we used with the ASDT settings mentioned earlier. The other preferences appear in the tabs at the bottom of your Flashout document. The tab in question is the "Compilation Preferences" tab. Here you will find several input fields and check boxes to fill out. Setting these up can be as big a pain as with the ASDT (and I will blog about them at length at a later date).
Logging: I believe that the logging functionality used with Flashout makes this solution extremely powerful! There is an Actionscript file that you can place on the root of your application's classes folder that allows for you to display output from your code. Think Flash's Output Window, only on steroids. Seriously. Instead of calling trace() you call Flashout.debug("text here"), or Flashout.info("info here") Hey! That's just like it is in Java!
Next: What is Missing and Should Macromedia/Adobe Care?Comments (4) | Print | Send | del.icio.us | Digg It! | Linking Blogs