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Archive for July, 2008

SWX Is Still Alive, Help Needed with AS3 Version

I just posted over on the SWX blog about some recent updates with the project. If you have been wondering what has happened with SWX since the blog was last updated a few months ago, go check out this post.

Highlights include a solution to using the current AS2 version of SWX within AS3 projects, and SWX being featured in a chapter of the new Friends of Ed book entitled "The Essential Guide to Open Source Flash Development", written by me!

I will also be posting more about this on the SWX blog in the coming days, but I am starting an initiative to form a development team for an AS3 version. If you are interested in helping out with writing the necessary byte code, have started something similar on your own, or would like to help out in some other way, please post to the SWX mailing list.

Singularity Web Conference Tickets Now On Sale

singularity web conference

Aral Balkan just launched the Singularity Web Conference website this morning, and tickets are now on sale.

I have been looking forward to attending a conference without needing to fly across the world, and when Aral first announced this close to a year ago I was excited at the possibilities. Congrats to Aral for putting in the effort for the community to make this a reality.

If anyone else in Portland, Oregon would be interested in hosting a meet-up location, it'd be great to get a group of attendees together to watch the presentations, discuss, and network. Leave a comment below or use the contact form on my portfolio site to get in touch if you know of a good venue or would like to help plan.

You can’t spell crash without CS

Came across http://unexpectedlyquit.com today and found it somewhat comforting. The premise: "Every time an Adobe application misbehaves I upload the error message."

I'm not one to bash Adobe Creative Suite - it does after all make me a living. But this site, in all its simplicity, makes for some great humor. Especially when, as someone who spends most of their working day in Flash and other CS3 applications, I have seen my fair share of CS error messages.

whatismyflashplayerversion.com

I just launched a quick 5 minute project:

http://whatismyflashplayerversion.com

As a developer, I get this question from clients all the time, so I thought it time to create a simple service where I could send them to check.

In the future I'd like to have the site automatically test to see if the version reported from SWFObject is the same as the latest version, and if not, provide a link (or better yet, Express Install) to the latest version. However, I'd prefer to not have to keep the latest version number updated by hand, so if anyone knows where I can find an official data feed (RSS, a simple text file, etc) of the latest general public release version, please post in the comments.

Enjoy!

Flash on the Beach 2008 Schedule Posted

The work-in-progress Flash on the Beach 2008 schedule was posted this afternoon, and since I bought my ticket the day registration opened, you can imagine how I immediately went to the site to check out exactly who was speaking and when.

As expected, it looks like this year's conference is going to rock as much as last year's. An amazing line-up of speakers, a great new hotel right next to the venue, and even the 'inspire' sessions have made their way back this year.

However, I have to take issue with one particular time slot in the schedule:

Why would you have three of the most active Flash community members present during the same time slot? All three of these are speakers who could easily fill the room, and I'm disappointed that I'll have to choose to only see one.

Maybe this is indicitive of how popular the conference has become that two of the best known developers (Grant and Peter), and a designer/developer (Dr. Whoohoo) who has contributed largely to one of Adobe's most innovative new releases, Switchboard, could only be fit into the schedule at the same time. If so, that's great for the conference... but it is still such a Catch-22 for attendees to have great speakers and no way to see them all.

Update: I just got an email from John Davey, who runs FOTB, and he has updated the schedule so these three do not sit on the same timeslot! Thanks, John -- it is reasons like your willingness to take suggestions from the community which makes the conference such a great success.

Flash Player 10 – Loader.unloadAndStop()

Adobe released beta 2 of Flash Player 10 this afternoon, and I was very excited to see in the release notes that they have added in a new method of the Loader class, unloadAndStop(). From said release notes:

unloadAndStop — This new ActionScript 3.0 API adds unload functionality similar to the unload behavior in ActionScript 2.0. After calling unloadAndStop on loaded content it will be immediately removed stopping all audio, removing eventListeners, and becoming inaccessible through ActionScript.

In short, this should make it much simpler to free a loaded SWF for garbage collection, as opposed to having to resort to hacks like SoundMixer.stopAll() and then praying that the content isn't just floating around somewhere waiting to be picked up.

Grant Skinner had written a post about Flash Player 9's inability to completely free loaded content from memory and force garbage collection. It became a very active post with almost 60 comments, including some from the Flash Player development team.

In the comments of Grant's post I read about an additional item that has found its way into FP10 beta 2: calling System.gc() will now work in all Flash Players, not just the debug versions as stated in the AS3 documentation:

System.gc()
Language Version : ActionScript 3.0
Runtime Versions : AIR 1.0, Flash Player 9.0.115.0

Forces the garbage collection process.

For the Flash Player debugger version and AIR applications only. In an AIR application, the System.gc() method is only enabled in content running in the AIR Debug Launcher (ADL) or, in an installed applcation, in content in the application security sandbox.

Once again, great job Adobe at listening to the requests of your developers!

 
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