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Gaia 3.0 Released

The long awaited release of Gaia 3.0 is available for download now! There are lots of great new features and bug fixes included in 3.0, the biggest of which is Flash CS4 support.

The Gaia panel was completely rewritten in Flex and includes optimization features, easier Gaia project management, and a new publish panel which makes developing with Gaia even easier. Gaia 3 also features a brand new version of SWFAddress (version 2.3) that fixes the Firefox 3 OSX redraw bug.

There is also a completely new addition to the Gaia project: the Gaia Framework Site Creator AIR application. This small AIR application allows you to quickly update your project's site.xml and visualize it as a wireframe sitemap.


Some of the features include XML validation, drag and drop re-ordering, reordering of asset load order, editing project properties, and printing a site map. You can download the first version from Wade Arnold's blog posting about the app.

SWX v2 beta Released, Public Gateway Updated

I have just pushed SWX v2 beta live on the project's Google Code page!

Along with this release the public gateway has also been updated to use SWX PHP v2 beta and allow for AS3 support. You can find documentation here, which shows how to use the new AS3 API as well as provides an introduction to the new Simple Call and Custom Call methods of interacting with your SWX gateway.

Lastly, Folkert Hielema has contributed an updated Twitter service and a new Identi.ca service. Both of these services are live on the public gateway (you can test them in the Service Explorer) and also available in the SWX PHP download available on the Google Code page under "Featured Downloads".

I will continue to work on updating the SWX blog with new documentation, but until then please refer to this documentation - it should provide you with everything you need to get started with v2.

If you notice any issues, please log them here. For support or to discuss the new release, please use the project's mailing list.

This release has been a huge effort by the SWX development team, and has been in the works since September. I'm sure you'll enjoy using it as much as we've enjoyed coding it.

Can't wait to see what you build!

SWFAddress 2.2 Released

Rostislav has announced the release of SWFAddress 2.2 this morning, with a large number of enhancements and bug fixes:

  • Refactored JavaScript implementation
  • New SWFAddress.swc AS3 component
  • New CS4 based Splash screen sample
  • New Digg API sample
  • New up() method for easier deep linking path navigation
  • New XSS protection that doesn't affect special characters
  • Support for Internet Explorer 8
  • Support for custom HTTP status messages in the SEO sample
  • Improved title handling
  • Improved unload event handling for IE
  • Updated Rails sample
  • Fixed getBaseURL() for AS3
  • Fixed Safari 2.0-2.0.3 support
  • Build-in fix for the Firefox 3/Mac OSX blinking effect
  • Additional onLoad fix for application/xml content type
  • Fixed optional options parameter for the popup method
  • Cross platform build script
  • Various optimizations

This looks to be a major release, and took over seven months of development. I remember speaking to Rostislav about this release back at FOTB 2008 Brighton, so he truly has put in a lot of effort. Here's hoping it gets wrapped into the expected new Gaia release.

The new version is available for download here.

Offline AS3 Language Reference, No AIR Application Necessary

Big Spaceship released a nice AIR app today which allows you to download and view the entire AS3 language reference locally. However, you don't need an AIR app to view the language reference offline -- there are actually two other options.

I had previously posted about the offline help and language reference locations in Flash CS4 which allows you to access the local copy of the language reference from within a web browser. But did you know that you could also access these local files from within the Flash CS4 help panel?

Normally when you access the help panel in Flash CS4 it automatically tries to load the online version of the documentation and language reference. I assume Adobe chose to do this so they could keep it updated and you could benefit from other user's comments in the Live Docs.

Keep me offline windowTo access the local copy of Flash CS4 help and the language reference, just tell Flash to “keep you offline”:

Go to Window > Extensions > Connections. In the panel that pops up, click the arrow at the top-right and select “Offline options”. From there you can check the box for “Keep me offline”. Flash will then always default to using the offline help.

I should note that doing this may also prevent you from using any other panels which call out to the internet, such as Kuler and the Flash startup/new file screen. As of now I'm not using any Internet-connected panels and I have the splash screen set to not show on startup, so this works quite well for me.

Code Snippets in Flash IDE with ASExpander

I noticed a post by Keith Peters this morning where he created a JSFL script for the Flash IDE that would allow similar functionality as tab shortcuts in TextMate. This means that you can type shortcuts like "&mousedown", then use a keyboard shortcut you assign to the script to have it replace the shortcut text with real code - in the case just mentioned the addEventListener for a MouseEvent.MOUSE_DOWN. If you are still unclear on how this works, check the short screen capture at this post (note: written in German).

Although Keith's post says he intended it to make AS3 easier for designers and beginners, I promptly installed the script and was happy to be on my way to typing much less when needing to code in the Flash IDE actions panel. I have a feeling other developers will agree that this is a huge time saver.

Keith has already posted an update to the script and made it available via download under the free MIT license, and I highly recommend checking it out.

< head > Conference – Slides from my SWX session

As promised in my session, here are the slides (PDF link) for my talk, Working with SWX: The Native Data Format for the Flash Platform. I have included a bunch of notes on what I spoke about on each slide in an attempt to aid those who couldn't make it to the session. In addition, here are some of the resources I posted in the chat during the session:

SWX on Google Code: http://swx-format.googlecode.com
SWX on twitter (follow for updates on AS3 release): http://twitter.com/swx
My twitter account: http://twitter.com/jonmacdonald

Overall the talk went very well, and seemed to have a great response. At one point there were over 60 people in the room - so an awesome turnout! Also, the announcement of SWX for ActionScript 3 received very positive responses.

As soon as the videos from the conference are released into public domain, I'll post another update with a link to the session recording.

Thanks again to Aral and <head> Conference for having me speak!

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