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On creating rich, flashy and immersive advertising experiences online by Owen van Dijk

Archive for October 2006

The fight for *.as files with FlexBuilder 2 and FDT…use workspaces!

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I’ve seen some posts on the clash that manifest itself when you have both FlexBuilder 2 and FDT installed. Both plugins want to claim the *.as ( Actionscript ) file type association for their editors which results in weird errors such as disappearing views, opening Actionscript 3 files with FDT (which does not support AS3 yet ).

The solution is quite simple: use different workspaces for your Flex projects versus your Actionscript 2 projects. You can then link the *.as file type association for AS3 files to FlexBuilder 2 in your Flex projects workspace and in your other workspace you link the *.as file type to FDT. Now till FDT doesn’t support AS3 i’d say this is the easiest way to handle your projects. Darron has some more tips on different workspaces. Note that FDT 1.5 ( a free update that was released last week ) supports file association of as files via Content Types in Eclipse but i think seperating your projects between workspaces is a much better solution.

Link: Resources and the workspace – Eclipse Platform.

Written by ohwhen

October 29, 2006 at 4:15 pm

Posted in Web/Tech

FDT 1.5 out, now with Eclipse 3.2 support and much more!

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Just for the weekend the new FDT 1.5 release. This is a free update to existing customers and include the following changes:

  • Eclipse 3.2 support
  • MAC help update improved
  • Better UTF-8 Support
  • New: Project- and workspace wide reference search
  • New: Mark occurrence in the editor area
  • New: ass kick´in external Flashplayer with real helpful features and ANT support (windows only for the first step)
  • New: classpath editor (imports projectclasspaths to the Flash IDE)
  • And of course bugfixes and small other improved things

To install the update, launch Eclipse, go to Help -> Software Updates -> Find and Install and select Search for new features to install. Then mark the checkbox with the PowerFlasher FDT site and you’re good to go.

Link: MX Traveler: Free FDT 1.5 Update, with Eclipse 3.2 support.

Written by ohwhen

October 27, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Web/Tech

No love for FMS 2 at MAX?

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Were there any announcements made for Flash Media Server 2 at MAX? Some sneak-peek maybe? A BoF session with the engineers? I count 3 sessions that have a bit of FMS but that’s all. Stefan got the scoop a few weeks back that the new Flash Media Server can now be used commercially in projects ( same kinda deal as FDS ) but that got little coverage at all. Why is that?

The success and attention the opensource project Red5 gets with it’s upcoming 1.0 release ( i expect it somewhere Q2 or maybe Q3 2007 ) cleary shows there is an interest in true streaming video on the web. Red5 doesn’t offer the clustering features of FMS 2 and it’s still much a work in progress, both in technology as in APIs, but when it launches everyone will be able to use video and realtime collaboration features, the latter depending on RED5’s Scripting API that is defined at the moment. I think scripting support is essential for rapid prototyping of Red5 applications as otherwise you’d be recompiling everytime you add new code.

So where does that lead FMS2? Should Adobe make the technology more accessible to lower-budget clients and projects? Should it position FMS as an application platform, instead of a streaming video server?

From a developers pov i think it should upgrade it’s serverside scripting support to align it more with the clientside scripting languages. As Flashmagzine point out, it is not uncommon to tackle three different languages in a FMS project. Actionscript version 1 for the serverside api, Actionscript 2/3 for Flash and Flex applications. Adobe could use the same trick as was used for Actionscript 2 ( compiling the class based syntax down to prototype based syntax ) or it could update the actual engine ( Rhino was used ) to a newer version that supports ECMA-262. A release-candidate of Rhino that supports ECMA-262 is already available. I can come up with a zillion other things that would be a great add for FMS2 but for now the silence on Adobe’s side is odd..someone there to chime in?

Link: Macromedia XML News Aggregator – Smart Category: MAX.

Written by ohwhen

October 27, 2006 at 10:53 am

Posted in Web/Tech

The Results Are In… BOOM! – My Dream App ends

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Who would have ever thought that a simple Weather app would win from innovative ideas such as ‘Whistling a tune in your mic to create a song‘ or ‘Grow a virtual plant that represents your productivity‘. Well done to the winners and what a refreshing contest to watch. I think the hidden value is watching the ideas from the contestants evolve through several iterations, involving both community as judge feedback (and maybe responding to other contestants).

Link: My Dream App � News.

Written by ohwhen

October 27, 2006 at 12:12 am

Posted in Web/Tech

Odd bug in mxmlc compiler and setting up a build environment with Ant

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I ran into an odd bug with the mxmlc compiler while i was setting up a build environment for our project. It turns out the compiler fails if your project does the following:

  • Your ‘main’ class ( think of the Document class used in Blaze/Flash 9 ) sits in a package other then the default ( ie. com.foo.bar )
  • Your application classes are in a different folder then the Build file ( ie your classes are in a subdirectory called ‘src’ while the Build file sits in the root of your project
  • Your project directory sits on a disk that starts with a capital ( ie D:\eclipse instead of d:\eclipse )

The compiler expects a lower case ( ie d:\eclipse\workspace\…. instead of D:\eclipse\workspace\… ) for the -source-file-specs and -file-specs arguments. I solved the problem by setting an Environment variable called eclipseworkspace that i set to d:\eclipse\workspace and then using the following code:

 

<property environment="env">
<property value="${env.eclipseworkspace}\project\src" name="mxmlc.start">

<target name="compilewithmxmlc">
        <exec failonerror="true" executable="${mxmlc.exe}">
            <arg line="-source-path ${mxmlc.start}">
            <arg line="-file-specs ${mxmlc.start}\\com\\foo\\bar\\Application.as">
            <arg line="-default-size 960 700"/>
            <arg line="-default-frame-rate 31"/>
            <arg line="-default-background-color 0xFFFFFF"/>
        </exec>
</target>

 

The compiler now warns me that my source-path is the same as my package but it does compile the code. If i have more time i’ll fix the warnings too but for now this works for me. Normally you let FlexBuilder do all the plumbing code but i wanted my Ant buildfile run standalone ( it checks out the code from SVN, runs some tests, compiles the code, sets up documentation and makes a build.zip ) in a continuous integration process. The error message i got was ‘Error: A file found in a source-path must have the same package structure’ (if you happen to Google on the error code). Good luck! 🙂

Link: [Flashcoders] as3: weird package problem.

Written by ohwhen

October 25, 2006 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Web/Tech

Flex Scheduling Framework on Adobe Labs

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A while ago Alistair from the European Adobe Consulting team announced a Scheduling Framework and last night it appeared on the Lab. Who needs sleep anyway…. 🙂

The
Adobe Consulting team have made available an open-source Scheduling
Framework for Flex 2. More than just a calendar component, the
Scheduling Framework allows you to create and fully customize any
number of Scheduling Components.

Link: Flex Scheduling Framework – Adobe Labs.

Written by ohwhen

October 24, 2006 at 12:28 pm

Posted in Web/Tech

Brand new Cairngorm resource

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In my research for a current project i was looking into Cairngorm for a solution on how to handle multiple services with multiple interaction points. I found the (lack of) documentation a bit annoying but last week Evan Gifford made a start with an excellent interactive framework map. Have a look if you’re looking into Cairngorm but need a visual overview.

Link: Cairngorm Documentation Group.

Written by ohwhen

October 23, 2006 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Web/Tech