Monthly Archives: September 2003

Windows, panels & applications add up to a new monitor

With all the windows and panels, Flash and similar apps need as much screen resolutions as possible. Thanks to Chafic Kazoun‘s recommendation, I bit the bullet and picked up a Samsung 213T LCD monitor this weekend.

What a change from my laptop’s 1920×1200 resolution (at 15.4″) to 1600×1200 (at 21.3″) – now everything looks so BIG. I do miss the extra 320 pixels horizontally, but at least it’s not killing my eyes after 8-12 hours a day. Verdict: I’ll have to work longer hours now to pay off this thing! 😎

What resolution do you use Flash at? Which window/panel dominates your Flash MX 2004’s workspace? I wonder if the result is split between designers and developers (or deselopers)…

Auto Format your logic!

I just discovered a pretty serious bug with Auto-Format (MX 2004):

If you run the following code, you’ll get “true 2”:

Now if you auto-format this code, and then run it, you’ll get:

true 2
false 2
false 1

Why? Because Auto-Format turns the code into:

Note the last two trace() statements, they’re moved outside of the else blocks! This is because of the comments at the end of the two else statements (which are now inside the else blocks). So watch where you put your comments! You can try this by auto-formatting mx.events.EventDispatcher.as and see the same (make sure you don’t save it!)

By the way, I always put my curly braces like this, so I haven’t ran into this bug before, until I tried to auto-format EventDispatcher.as:

The lesson of the day is: Don’t put your comments at the end of a statement and use auto-format, or you’ll run into logic changes like this!

CSS and font size

I just wished that people who are designing HTML/CSS content use relative font sizes instead of fixed pixel font sizes.

For example, Macromedia’s new Help content uses relative font sizes (such as x-small or xx-small), instead of fixed point sizes (such as 8-pt or 6-pt). Why is this good? Because if I find the font size too small, I can bump it up easily by Ctrl-scrolling my mouse wheel (you can try it on this page if you’re using Windows(?) Internet Explorer)! However, if the font sizes are fixed in points, this doesn’t work.

Many sites/blogs I visit use fixed point sizes, some text are so tiny (especially if they’re using the <code> tag), that it makes reading difficult (especially at my 1920×1200 laptop screen). Sites such as Macromedia.com or Microsoft.com use relative font size – makes sense for everyone, including those of us who are not visually-challenged (yet).

Central – the center of the world

Macromedia released the first public beta of Central today, even though the SDK is not yet available.

None of the three installed applications do anything for me. As a Canadian, both AccuWeather and MovieFinder aren’t useful because they require U.S. zipcode. The third one – Application Finder, is not active until final release.

Until general/international applications are available for it, I suppose Central is only useful if you live in the United States.

Updated Class Browser with hidden classes

The “class browser” has been updated – it now includes hidden class files for data connectivity.

Unless you add these hidden files to the actual paths, you’ll see a little yellow triangle (see diagram) and won’t be able to double-click and see the class definitions. However, they’re still useful as a quick lookup of the class paths for entering into your code.

Note that the Include folder contains files that are part of Flash Remoting Components for Flash MX 2004.

For non-English installations, you may have to change the class paths in this .flp file. Open it up in a text editor, Find & Replace words like “/Program Files/” and “/en/” to your OS settings.

You can download the updated file here.

Owen van Dijk released JSFLCreator

Owen released the first beta version of his JSFLCreator.

From the readme:

This will go through a directory including subdirectories,
find the files that matches filePattern ( usually .FLA files )
and write them to a JSFL file in this format:

var f = fl.openDocument( “file:///foo.fla” , false );
f.publish();
f.close( false );

var f = fl.openDocument( “file:///Bar/bar.fla” , false );
f.publish();
f.close( false );

Its main purpose is to generate an JSFL file for batching publishing FLA files to SWFs. You can get it from here.

Still no go with BabelFish redirection proxy

I’ve updated the BabelFish tutorial, now using a server-side proxy for redirection to the actual BabelFish web service. The proxy taken from Macromedia does not work when the movie is accessed through HTTP in a browser, but works fine when playing inside Flash’s IDE or the standalone projector.

Has anyone got a redirection proxy that works with the new WebServiceConnector component?

Read more…