News is back online

I’m back! The complete blog has been rebuilt from scratch after the hard drive suddenly disappeared from the BIOS (probably the circuit board on it fried). I’ve never seen a hard drive went out like that, and it wasn’t even a very old drive.

Every post and comment has been recovered from backups. Since the index of the blog entries have been reset, some links (here or external) may not be pointing to the correct blog entries. I’ve fixed all the links found, please let me know if you see any problem. One thing I learned: the backup from MovableType does not fully back up everything, leaving much recovery to be done by hand.

In the process of rebuilding the blog, I considered other alternative blogging systems because I’m not a big Perl fan. Getting the old posts and comments back was my first priority; so I went with MovableType for now. However, I may switch to one of these: .Text, pMachine, or one using ColdFusion. Any recommendations?

Events News

Flash in the Can presentation

Once again, I’ll be speaking at Flash in the Can this year. The presentation title is Object-Oriented Programming in ActionScript 2.0 (OOP in AS2).

Here is a list of possible topics:

  • What’s new in AS2 for AS1 developers?
  • Brief comparison of AS2 to Java and C#
  • Designing an AS2 OO application
  • EventDispatcher and the event model
  • Design patterns examples in AS2
  • Pitfalls and tips in AS2

Other suggestions? Leave comments and I’ll give them some thought. Remember though, with 70+ speakers this year, each presentation is only 45 minutes long; so I’ll consider the most wished for topics that can fit within this limited time. Thanks!


PrimalScript 3.1 released

Here’s a worthwhile piece of software for ActionScript 2.0 developers. Sapien has just released PrimalScript 3.1, a powerful scripting IDE supporting over 30 scripting languages.

What is especially important in this release is the extensive support for ActionScript 2.0, JSFL, Flex, Flashcom ActionScript and ColdFusion CFML. Some of the new features include:

  • PrimalSense – code hinting, code completion, object member lists, parameter help, function list…
  • Class browser
  • Support for intrinsic classes
  • Integrated Flash and ActionScript help

Check out the press release, and download a 30-day trial.


What a release: Director MX 2004!

Macromedia announced Director MX 2004 today. This is the most significant release in Director’s history. Why am I excited about this? As a developer who used Director since version 3, it’s been an amazing tool for many projects in the last 13 years or so. The new features in this release brings Director back to the spotlight with features that will attract Flash developers.

Although Flash got all the attention in the last couple of years, Director is still an important tool for:

  • content-heavy projects such as CDs / DVDs / kiosks
  • true 3D games / product demos / interface / environments
  • interacting with the local operating system and devices
  • third-party author-time and runtime plug-ins (Xtras)
  • pixel-based access
  • performance

Here are some of the exciting new features in this release:

  • JavaScript 1.5 (SpiderMonkey engine) support
  • Cross-platform projector publishing
  • DVD video/event/content support
  • Sprite and channel naming
  • Improved XML parsing
  • Extensive media support
  • Flash MX 2004 components

By the way, I’m still deciding on what to do with these old Director boxes. There’s both Mac and Windows versions, and even one unopened Director 5! The later versions were electronically shipped so I don’t have boxes to fill up my space, but they also lacked printed manuals that I still find easier to read than on-screen text… well, at least they saved a few trees.

Looks like it’s time to allocate budget for the upgrade again!


Flash Player Updater

Macromedia released an update to the Flash Player today. For browser-only installations, get the player here. Developers who want to update the internal (test movie) player and standalone players can download the updater.

There are quite a few improvements, among them: New policy file location can be specified in ActionScript with this version of the Flash Player. More info in the release notes.


Flash MX Components for Flash MX 2004 released

Macromedia released the basic set of Flash MX components that can be used in Flash MX 2004 and Flash Player 7. Here is the list of included components:

* CheckBox
* ComboBox
* ListBox
* PushButton
* RadioButton
* ScrollBar
* ScrollPane

Given that the new version 2 components are the preferred choice in the new environment, the purpose of this update is to address problems of migrating old FLAs with v1 components to the new player. Get them from Flash Exchange.


Brajeshwar has a new forum

Brajeshwar just announced a new forum:

Events News

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:


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.close( false );

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


Japanese translation of my inheritance article

Bascule of Japan posted a translation of a previous inheritance article (for Flash 5 & MX) to their FACEs site.

I love the graphics and animation they use on their site – very clean and detailed. If only I could read Japanese to play some of their games… Now, where’s my babelfish…