A journal that focuses on Flash Platform development, and a little bit about what I am up to on any given day.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Just give me an uninstaller for pete's sake!

At home I installed the Flash Player 8.5 just so I could test out some stuff I was working on at work. I now have the player stuck in my Firefox browser and I cannot seem to uninstall it. Right now it is a pain in particular, because the Flash 8 content I am trying to get to is obviously not compatible with the new player for some reason.

Anyways I went here:

Adobe Labs - Downloads

And followed the download link, but everything points to this 123meg Full Flex 2 download that is coming in so slow at home for some reason.

What a pain. Come on guys, make the Flash Player 8.5 available spearately, especially the uninstaller.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Take the whole team Curling!

So we decided to take a little time out in the everyday effort to take the whole team out for an afternoon of curling. It was a bizarre idea but everyone seemed to have an awesome time.

We split into 2 teams:

Team 1:
Gabor Vida
Steve Mackenzie
Stacey Mulcahy
Issac Garcia

Team 2:
Tony MacDonell
Mike Martin
Erin Fraser (Rockin Ronny Frashe)
Kathrine Burke

Most of us had never curled before so it took us all awhile to figure out the form. And it didn't take to long before people were wiping out all over the place like Gab below:

the one stupid thing was that I forgot to bring shoes, and all I had was big massive boots that I certainly couldn't curl in. I ended up taping up my socked feet and going raw dog.

Gab's team won in the end by a slight margin. We'll get them on the next one.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fun at the PhotoClub

Last night I attended an evening hosted by the PhotClub here in Ottawa. I went to see an old friend of my family Fred Cattroll who is a very well respected Professional Photographer in Canada. The focus of the evening was just photo critique, by Fred. He critiqued a few shots from all the members of the group.

As the critique progressed I found myself unable to hold back, I really felt like taking part in the critique. I spent the first 4 years of my career as a designer before I moved to the world of development. All of a sudden memories of design in college started creeping back, and realized how disconnected I have been from that process for quite awhile now.

All I do these days, is advise our designers on what the development team needs for certain projects from a technical standpoint, but I have rarely taken time to criticize their design work.

Anyways, in the critique i did end up getting involved, and it was so much fun. People in the group actually started asking me directly as well as Fred how I percieved certain parts of their work. It was so refreshing to get away from the headaches of working for clients for awhile, and just take a breath and enjoy the work of others.

Anyways, it was really fun, and I was thinking of how cool it would be to do a night where I would go in and do a really cool presentation on the power of Flash when it comes to presentation of work on the web. Most of the people in the club have great photography skills, but few really understand the power of the web as a medium.

i think I will attend events like that more often, and it kind of makes me wonder why the same type of events in the local design community have always failed...?

Monday, January 16, 2006

!I Look Forward to Killing You Soon!

Ever since I got my video IPod, I have been hunting down as much awesome content for it as I can find. It seems lately though that there is a great surge of awesome video podcasts coming out that crack me up. TikiBar is pretty cool, but the best I have come across by far is:

Ask A Ninja

I won't ruin it for you, go check it out yourself.

It is content like this that really gets me excited about the future of podcasting, and really makes an IPod video worth having. I am working on a question for the ninja right now. Considering how fast it is moving up the ITunes rankings though, I'm sure he is getting a tonne of them. but who cares,

It's all in a days work for a Ninnnjaaa!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Flash for Flex

We have been spending quite a bit of time lately ramping up our Flex skills around the office for both Flex 1.5 and Flex 2. We have been focused mainly on developing custom components in Flash for use in Flex. Seems that most of the Flex work that we are being approached on is up that alley.

Now while the process is quite straight forward, I have found that there are a few annoyances that come with getting into this. The are small but still worth mentioning.

1/ Documentation:


The usual issue of course, but while there are some resources in relation to getting started on basic components, very little exists when it comes to what I would consider an advanced component. Extending containers, custom layout routines for containers, etc. Containers I have found to be the most unclear part of the documentation.

You find yourself trying to dig through the few Flex classes that are bundled in the Flex component development package, and many of those are precomiled, so you have to do alot of guess work.

So ultimately, I definitely think there is alot of room for more documentation and tutorials on component development for the Flash for Flex scene.

2/ Exporting SWC from Flash

Now this process again is pretty straight forward, however again I have a few complaints about SWC development and export from Flash 8.

First, you have to bind the class to the component in two places. 1 in the Linkage properties, and again in the Component Definition properties. This is no big deal, but it is annoying. They could eliminate the one in component properties. Save us a step.

The other annoyance is linkage items in a SWC file. If I am developing a component I have to make sure that any linkage item is included within the component. They say in the docs, that you should create an assets layer and put an instance of each linkage item on a frame. You then move that frame out of the way and put a stop action on the timeline.

This is doable I guess, but it is really messy. There has to be a better way to designate that you want the items to export with the SWC.

So anyways not huge deals here, but I think as the popularity of Flex grows, this process will become a little bit more important to refine.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Apple Keynote - RIA style

This seems like the best way to get live coverage of the keynote event at MacWorld:


Macrumors is using AJAX to give live updates on the fly. Way better than constantly refreshing on the other pages like engadet that are so slow.