Monthly Archives: October 2003

iTunes (and AAC) for Windows

Apple released iTunes 4.1 today, and now it is also available for Windows XP and 2000. This looks like a winner already being the first free AAC encoder and player for Windows. Interestingly, it does not support or playback Windows Media Audio (.wma) – a format that Microsoft is pushing so hard.

As for the Apple music store, it is still unavailable outside of the U.S. However, Canada just got the first download music store a few days ago: PureTracks.com. Unfortunately, they only support Windows (and their files are in .wma only).

Adobe… Windows only?

Adobe released Photoshop Album 2.0, a Windows-only consumer digital photo album with some interesting features such as the calendar. The free Starter Edition is available for download (requires activation).

It seems Adobe is releasing more Windows-only applications these days (Premiere Pro, Encore DVD…etc.) I suppose the market share determines the R&D spending, similar to what happened to the browser wars. At least Mozilla and Mozilla Firebird are making a come back, but browser usage is still dominated by Windows Internet Explorer. Google has some interesting browser usage stats.

Reduce Flash MX 2004 launch time

If you are experiencing long launch time in Flash MX 2004, try deleting all the files and folders in your “temp” folder. For me, this reduces the launch time anywhere from 40+ seconds down to about 8 seconds.

In Windows, the user temp folder is located here:

C:Documents and Settings[USERNAME]Local SettingsTemp

where [USERNAME] is your login user name. “Local Settings” is a hidden directory, you have to enable “Show hidden files and folders” under Tools > Folder Options… > View from any desktop window, or Control Panels > Folder Options > View.

Let me know if this works for you or not…

Case sensitivity

One of the new features in Flash MX 2004 and the new Flash Player 7 is ActionScript case-sensitivity. Case-sensitivity is enforced only if the movie is published for Flash Player 7, and is not related to whether it is ActionScript 1.0 or 2.0.

For example, a Flash MX 2004 movie set to use ActionScript 2.0 and published to Flash Player 6, is not case-sensitive: swfoo and swFOO are the same.

On the other hand, a movie set to use ActionScript 1.0 and published to Flash Player 7 is case-sensitive: swfoo is different from swFOO.

So case-sensitivity is determined by the Flash player setting, not the version of ActionScript used. Thanks to Chafic Kazoun for the tip.

Import statement and code hints

Unlike the include directive, the import statement in ActionScript 2.0 requires a semi-colon at the end for code hints to work.

For example, without the semi-colon, code hints for the Accordion class is not displayed:

import mx.containers.Accordion
var ac:Accordion;
ac.

Code hints now work:

import mx.containers.Accordion;
var ac:Accordion;
ac.

Note that with or without the semi-colon, the class is still imported.

Flash in the Can CDs

If you missed Flash in the Can Festival earlier this year, you can now view most of the presentations on CDs. Shawn Pucknell (Flash in TO & Flash in the Can Festival), notified me that my presentation on “OOP and Design Patterns” at the festival has been put on a CD for sale.

CD content:

  • video (QuickTime movies @ 354×240) of the one hour presentation
  • presentation files
  • source files (some require ColdFusion/Flash Remoting)

Here is the CD information page if you’re interested: http://www.flashinto.com/cds/yang/

Ultrashock released a new series of Flash MX 2004 tutorials

Ultrashock has just released a whole series of tutorials on Flash MX 2004.

I was asked to write an article on Flash MX 2004 ActionScript 2.0.

Other topics include:

There are a few things I left out of the tutorial because of the little time I had:

Error class
try {} catch() {} throw {} finally {}
New event model
EventDispatcher vs. AsBroadcaster

BabelFish web service works!

The BabelFish web service is now working! Looks like they have implemented the policy file for Flash developers. Check it out (Flash Player 7 required):

Here are the source files. For more info, see the original post.

UPDATE: Looks like this still doesn’t work in Mozilla! Is this a player problem, the new security policy, or something else? Please leave a comment if you find anything (I’m too busy to look into this right now).