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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!

< 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!

See me speak at the < head > Conference

This Saturday, October 25th at 2pm PST, I'll be speaking at the <head> Conference on Working with SWX: The Native Data Format for the Flash Platform. Here is my session description:

In this session we'll cover the basics of SWX: what it is and what it is best used for, how systemwide simplicity benefits developers, how to use the free public gateway for integrating APIs into your mobile and web applications, and plans for the upcoming ActionScript 3 release.

If you are unfamiliar, <head> is a global web conference -- all sessions are attended online using Adobe's Acrobat Connect. There are a few local hubs scattered around the world, so you can also sign up to attend those hubs if you'd like to network, meet speakers in person, etc. Aral, the conference organizer, has arranged for an amazing line-up of speakers over three days.

Hope to see you there!

SWX Bug with Flash Player 10

If you have been using the FP 10 RC and came across a site or widget using SWX, you undoubtedly noticed that it wasn't working. After a couple of days of back-and-forth on the SWX mailing list, the issue has been found and a solution posted.

[Update September 5, 2008 - a different fix was suggested in an attempt to allow SWX to continue to be used by hitting the gateway directly, allowing for easier debugging. Code below reflects this update.]

The problem is that FP 10 does not like one of the headers returned from SWX. To fix the issue, open SwxAssembler.php and change line 538 from:

header('Content-Disposition: attachment; filename="data.swf"');

to:

header('Content-Disposition: inline; filename="data.swf"');

This seems to fix the issue, as all SWX sites this has been tested on now work in FP 10.

Thanks to Fabrício for finding the proper solution, and to Folkert Hielema and Ben Lagoutte for helping test broken sites and debug the issue.

Released: The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development

The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development CoverI am super late in posting this, but the book in which I recently co-authored, The Essential Guide To Open Source Flash Development, was released toward the end of July and is available for purchase.

The book covers a completely open source work flow for Flash and Flex developers, as well as providing concrete examples and documentation for some of the most popular open source projects, including: PaperVision3D, SWX, Red5, Fuse, and AMFPHP. I contributed the chapter on SWX, featuring both mobile and website uses with the p.i.n.k. Sprits website as a case study. More details can be found on the Friends of Ed website. Marc Hughes, one of the main authors on the project, also has a good write-up on his blog.

Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of writing and hope to continue to do so in the future. If I learned anything, it is how much time and effort really goes in to these books -- I can't imagine what Colin Moock must have felt like writing the massive 1000 page effort that is Essential ActionScript 3.0. Just getting the 40 pages I wrote through the whole publishing system took over a month, including writing, technical and editing reviews, page formatting and proofing.

All of this has led me to start thinking about why as a developer I own such a large and ever-expanding library of printed material. The photo to the right is of my library of work-related books. Mostly reference material and inspiration, but all in print. To this day I still buy printed copies of books even when a PDF version is available. As a developer who helps create digital experiences, shouldn't I be trying to help expand the digital world? I doubt that I'll ever stop buying printed materials, but the notion is certainly one to think about.

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.

 
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