Workaround CS5 component number problem

July 12th, 2010 by max » (1) » AS3

I came across this problem last week and it drove me nuts!

I had a draggable component with a numerical value for its drop-coordinates. When I entered the first coordinate 0|0, it worked perfectly. But changing this to 10|20 didn’t work anymore. I debugged, and found that the dropX and dropY were »NaN«.

I couldn’t find anything on the net so I tried more. I reopened it in Flash CS4 and found that the value weren’t 10|20, but 10,00|20,00. So I started working around and got to this »solution«:

Instead of typing 10 i tried 0,10 and that works. But only for values up to 99!

I’m not shure whether this is a Number/Integer/Float-problem that I messed up, or if the new Mac OS X 10.6 Flash CS5 IDE has a bug. Anyone firm with datatypes that knows the answer?

My thoughts on Apple’s thoughts on Flash

April 30th, 2010 by max » (1) » this&that

Today, Steve Jobs screamed out his thoughts on Flash!

His six arguments, why Apple keeps Flash away from their mobile devices are

  1. Flash is not open
    Yes, Flash is proprietary, so is Apple. Deuce! But Adobe doesn’t block fdt or Eclipse, if this is your first choice as a developer!
    And Serge Jespers compares HTML5-openess with Flash-openess – his conclusion: they are equal.
  2. Apple devices can access the full web
    It may be that the vast mayority (Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, N.Y. Times …) of video can be watched with an Apple device with the use of H.264 (but have a look  at this footnote), but what about the not so big sites and those little webapps, whichs purpose is not displaying stupid videos? – Apples answer is probably: learn Objective-C and make an app, so that there is an app for everything (and we can earn more money)!
  3. Flash is not secure, slow performing and crashes
    Puh…

    • let’s have a look at the crash-argument: I can’t check if it is correct that »Flash is the number one reason Macs crash«, but from my experience that’s not true: my Mac crashes because of device-drivers (Wacom-Tablet), strange network behavior (Wifi, NAS) and software, that’s written in Objective-C or Cocoa (Pathfinder, ClamXAV).
    • on the FFK10 keynote, Serge Jespers showed some performance examples (particles): and HTML5 canvas was far behind Flash Player 10 and JavaScript.
    • security and Mac… Apple should mind their own business, first!
  4. Battery life
    There are many ways to safe battery life: when I turn down my backlight on the iPod Touch G1 for example, my battery lasts four days instead of one.
  5. Touch
    Apple says, that most Flash webapps would have to be worked over, if iPhone would support Flash, because they rely on rollover-effects. That is true, but keep this in mind:

    • other devices with touchscreen support Flash anyways
    • developers will consider this in future Flash webapps, as they considered it in their HTML-development in the past, when touchscreen-devices became more popular
    • Apple claims to be the usability-kings, they even don’t ship manuals with their products (because they are self-explaining?). I came across two solutions in 30 seconds thinking about how to handle rollovers on a touch device, so they can find a solution, too.
  6. The »most important reason«
    Apple says, that slow third-party layers keep developers from benefitting from plattform enhancements.
    This may be true in some constellations. But developers can benefit from third-party possibilities, when a competition between them and the platforms starts or when they can save time and affort when using third-party material.

Regarding argument 2  and the topic H.264, I would like to cite Serge Jespers: »It [H.264] is owned by a private organization known as MPEG LA who said earlier this year that “Internet Video that is free to end users would continue to be exempt from royalty fees until at least December 31, 2015“. Nobody knows what is going to happen after 2015. The patents awarded to MPEG LA don’t expire until 2028. So… to make this clear… H.264 is not open.« (webkitchen.be on Flash and HTML5)

Today we start off to FFK10

April 13th, 2010 by max » (0) » this&that

I’m very excited: in the afternoon I’m going to join the crüe to start our trip to cologne!

I’ll post some impressions (from our trip with a lot of nerding and geeking and the fabolous flashforum conference) here later this week on fASforward!

FFK10, here we come!

I wasn’t fast enough to get an Earliest Bird Ticket, but at least a Super Early Bird Ticket!!

FFK10 on April, 14th+15th in Cologne
ffk10.flashforum.de
» @flashforum

Looking especially forward to artist Joshua Davis, Serge, Mario Klingemann (Mr. Picture Disko) and Mr. No-Speakingtime-Limit-for-me ;-)

»Flash Engineering« by Sven Busse

October 30th, 2009 by max » (1) » Books

Today my nearly free book (thanks to FFK09 and Addison-Wesley) arrived! Wolkenform recommended it.

Hope I can read it this weekend (the flu has me) and give you a glance about it.

UPDATE: haven’t read it completely so far, so complete resume* later. Until now: it gives a freelancer (that never worked in the development-department of a big company) a lot of insights into software-development.

* probably this resume will be german, because the book is german, too!

Scotch on the Road 2009 Munich

October 20th, 2009 by max » (0) » Conferences and Events

#SotR09

On October 19th, the famous Scotch-On-The-Rocks conference swapped over the channel to Europe: Andy Allen and his bunch of experts gave the honor to tell the german CF-community about ColdFusion9, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Flex and a whole lot more.

It was an informative, enlightening, delighting and well organised event, I would recommend every one in or near Zurich (sold out), Milan, Amsterdam (sold out), Brussles and London (sold out) to register – it is even free (Update: see below for Gary’s post)! Unfortunately a nasty headache kept me away from an after-event-beer :-(

The sessions in detail:

  • Keynote by Terry Ryan, Platform Evangelist for ColdFusion (Blog / Twitter)
    Terry talked about new features and CF9 (some of them aren’t thaaaat new, some of them aren’t thaaaat helpful (but cool).
  • »ColdFusion with Microsoft Office, SharePoint and Exchange« by Terry Ryan again
    Super interesting for all those corporate peope out there, that had problems with a MS infrastructure in the past.
  • »Flash Professional, Flash Catalyst, and Flash Builder: Facts, Features and (Work)Flows« by Serge Jespers, Platform Evangelist for Flash (Blog / Twitter)
    Funny and enjoyable as every time Serge presented how designers, interaction designers and developers could easily cooperate using Flash Catalyst.
  • »CSI: Who killed ColdFusion?« by Darren Pywell, CTO at Intergral Information Solutions
    Darren showed how development-fails can bring servers to an end, how to (stress-)test correctly and gave interesting insights into the admin-problems, that developers like me (luckily) never have to deal with.
  • »CF Envy – Sharing the love with AIR and Flex« by Andy Allen (Twitter)
    Amusing as ever, Scotsman Andy presented his very funny but informative slides and »live«-coded (actually »clicking-on-snippets«) some Flex. Bonus: mocking on some of Adobe’s products.
  • »ColdFusion 9: Server Administration« by Claude Englebert, EMEA ColdFusion Product Specialist (Twitter)
    Again a session more for admins than for me.
  • »Taking ColdFusion Applications Off-line with Adobe AIR« by Sven Ramuschkat, CTO of Herrlich & Ramuschkat
    Sven showed an example for an On/Offline synchornisation of an AIR app with a CF-Server. He became ecstatic, when he told us about the Platinum Support, which is so much cheaper with ColdFusion, than with other products (but don’t forget, he is a reseller ;-)
  • »Introduction to ColdFusion ORM« by Terry Ryan again
    In the last session, Terry (who was severly jetlagged) showed examples of the new ORM-feature that would have impressed me even more, if the Cossack king behind by forhead would have stopped hammering against it for a few minutes.

As soon as the presentations and slides are available, I will post the links here.

UPDATE: Gary writes about the free conference as a double edged sword in his blog.

Pitfalls with mailto-Links in Flash

October 20th, 2009 by max » (3) » AS3

In my last project I had some issues with IE8 (at customer-side), Mail (on agency-side) and my way of placing mailto-links.

In this project, the email-address and the subject come from a XML. This was my first setup:

XML-Node

<node contactAddress="support@acme.com" contactSubject="Kontakt über Homepage">

(Please notice: the german »Umlaut« in the subject)

AS3 (excerpt)

private function mailto(e:MouseEvent):void {
var mailaddress:String=XML.node.attribute("contactAddress");
var mailsubject:String=XML.node.attribute("contactSubject");
navigateToURL( new URLRequest( "mailto:"+mailaddress+"?subject="+mailsubject));
}

So, let’s see, what happened with different clients on different OS:

IE7, IE6, FF, Safari on WinXP worked without any problems (with Outlook Express). IE8 on WinXP opens a new Window with an error message (»Navigation wurde abgebrochen« / »Navigation to the webpage was canceled«), but opens Outlook (Express and Outlook 2007) with correct recipient and correct subject.
Every browser on Mac opens up Mail, but didn’t open a new eMail with recipient or subject.

To cut a long debugging-story short: please no german umlauts in mailsubject, so changing the XML-node the following mail, solved the problem:

<node contactAddress="support@acme.com" contactSubject="Kontakt per Homepage">

Nice, but still IE8 opens up a ugly window with the cancelation message. The solution here was the target-attribute of the navigateToUrl-Method: default is “_blank”, which I thought was the correct way to handle it, because I didn’t want the page to unload, if the mailto-Link was clicked. Turned out, that when you use the code in following way, the page doesn’t unload and new tabs/windows are surpressed.

private function mailto(e:MouseEvent):void {
var mailaddress:String=XML.node.attribute("contactAddress");
var mailsubject:String=XML.node.attribute("contactSubject");
navigateToURL( new URLRequest( "mailto:"+mailaddress+"?subject="+mailsubject), "_self");
}

Conclusion: don’t use Umlauts (and probably no other special characters) with OS X, don’t use “_blank” or default.