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Archive for August, 2007

Flickr Adds crossdomain.xml to Image Server

This morning Flickr finally added a crossdomain.xml file (located here) to their image server. No more setting up a proxy on your server to access the bitmap data of Flickr images!

More details can be found on the Yahoo! Flash Blog.

SWFAddress: Issues with Flash Player 9 Beta “Moviestar”

This past week Adobe released an update to Flash Player 9, dubbed "Moviestar". As of build there are issues with ExternalInterface causing SWFAddress not to function correctly in AS2 projects. The release notes on Adobe Labs says that ExternalInterface has been improved, and after some tests it has been determined this is the source of SWFAddress failing silently.

So, just to be clear, the bug only affects ActionScript 2 (AVM1) websites and applications - those written in ActionScript 3 (which uses AVM2), such as Flex applications, are immune to this bug.

This was first brought to my attention through a blog post on the issue, and Rostislav was quick to research the issue and post his findings. He also submitted a bug on Adobe's website so they would be aware of the issue. I suggest if you are also experiencing problems that you submit the bug as well, as the more reports Adobe receives about a bug the faster it will get solved.

If you have any further questions, the Sourceforge email list or forums is a great resource. I also suggest reading Rostislav's blog post for more detailed information.

Helping out with SWFAddress

SWFAddress logoAbout a month ago I got an email from Rostislav Hristov, the main developer for SWFAddress, taking me up on my offer to help him with the project. I have blogged about SWFAddress a few times and was a very early adopter when I used it to enable deep linking on the XPLANE corporate website. I had run into some bugs which I reported to Rostislav and he fixed in a very timely manner. Since then I have used SWFAddress in just about every project I have developed.

While to date I have only put together a couple of ActionScript 3 and Flash CS3 examples of how to use SWFAddress, I look forward to helping out the open source project more in the future and continuing to blog about the project as it progresses.

On that note, keep an eye out for a new version that includes functionality updates and additions, including better SEO support.

More info about SWFAddress can be found on Rostislav's blog, the SWFAddress website, and Sourceforge. I highly suggest you subscribe to the mailing list to be the first to hear about updates and new releases.

360Flex / Overall Wrap-up

Hopefully this wrap-up falls under the "better late than never" heading, because it has been almost two weeks since the conference and I am just now getting up my notes from days two and three, as well as this wrap-up. This is by no means a reflection on the conference (which was extremely well run), but more a reflection on how insane my schedule has been lately.

That said, this conference was the best value for a conference that I have attended to date. And, I'm not sure the value aspect of the conference could be improved upon. For example, the $360 attendance fee included breakfast, lunch and dinner/parties every day. The welcome kits included great polo shirts (as opposed to regular t-shirts) and beta invites for projects such as Buzzword. And the speakers and their sessions were generally great - I've written reviews/recaps of all the ones I attended here.

But, as is usually the case with conferences, you don't attend just to see the speakers - you attend for the community aspects. To meet like-minded people and to inspire and be inspired. So here's a list of some inspiring people and projects from the conference:

+ Buzzword Beta: For me, this is _the_ example of how Flex and AS3 can be used to build an application. Adobe contributed some money to this project to enable them to bring on additional developers and really make this a showcase for the Flex platform. And, showcase it is. I highly suggest trying to get your hands on a beta invite if you can. If you'd like one leave a comment on my blog and I'll add you as a collaborator on a document, which forces you to create an account and is a sort-of "back door" to a beta invite (Dave or anyone else from Virtual Ubiquity, let me know if this is going to cause a problem for you...). More on Buzzword can be found here.

+ Ribbit: VOIP (voice over IP) in Flex. The example I saw at the conference was where Charles Freedman used Ribbit to call a cell phone of someone in the audience. Being able to place and receive phone calls through Flex is truly cool stuff. Imagine the uses - tech support, fax capabilities... More info at Ribbit's developer site (now taking applications for the beta) and on Charles' blog. There is also a writeup at RIApedia and on Ryan Stewart's blog.

+ Charity Code Jam: As part of the conference there was also a charity code jam which benefited the local food bank, Northwest Harvest. Developers were encouraged to give whatever time they felt comfortable donating toward building an online portal for the charity. According to the project's website, over $158,225 worth of time was spent for the cause, writing a total of 5681 lines of code. That's a lot of work. All in all this appears to have been a very large success, even gathering some press from around the blogosphere. Hopefully other conferences will take this idea and help out a good cause by enabling the collective minds in attendance to work together for charity.

A few sessions I didn't mention in my daily wrap-up posts that are worth mention include:

+ Programmatic Visualizations - Andrew Trice
Andrew has a nice write-up along with his slides and links to some other resources on his blog.

+ Deep Linking Flex Applications - Simeon
Since I have been involved with the SWFAddress project, I have become much more aware of the options available for deep-linking, and how the included scheme with Flex isn't really all it is cracked up to be. Slides and commentary can be found on Simeon's blog.

+ Flex and PHP for Rich Internet Application Development - Charles Bihis
Seeing as how I use PHP for all of my server-side development, this probably should have been at the top of my list of sessions to attend. Now I'm sorry I missed out on it! Code samples, slides and notes on Charles' blog.

All in all 360|Flex was a wonderful conference. Here's hoping the guys from 360 Conferences keep delivering wonderful experiences and maybe even expand out into other interactive development subject matter for future conferences. Well done, guys!

360Flex / Day 3 / Sessions

Keynote - John Wilker, Tom Ortega
"FlexBuilder Debugger" - Mike Morearty
"Project Artemis: Accessing Devices & Processes in AIR" - Adam Flater
"Custom Flex Component Development" - Doug McCune

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360Flex / Day 2 / Sessions

"Creating a Visual Experience - Theory & Strategy" - Juan Sanchez and Andy McIntosh
"Creating a Visual Experience - Part 2, Hands-on"- Juan Sanchez and Andy McIntosh
"ByteArray 202" - Ben Stucki
"Buzzword: How'd They Build That?"- David Coletta
"WebOrb" - Mark Piller

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