Category Archives: Flash

Adobe Flash Mobster

adobe_flash_monster

These are the reasons to update Flash?

  • The top 10 Facebook games use the Flash Player.
  • Most of the top video sites on the web use Flash Player
  • Flash Player is installed on over 1.3 billion connected PCs

That first one is most definitely a reason why I would not want Flash on my computer… The second one… well, as someone who knows about “the web” I know that the top video site has started converting a lot of their videos to HMTL5 compatible in addition to showing them in Flash. (I also know this because I can’t get Flash installed correctly for Firefox on my Linux box at work so I have to open up Chrome any time I want to watch a YouTube video that hasn’t been converted yet; but sometimes they just play and I’m like “thank you HTML5”)

Finally, the last one… If I wasn’t someone who knew about “the web” I might be scared that Flash is going to connect my computer to 1.3 billion other PCs… Am I going to get hacked because of that? Is this one of those grids? Or does it have to do with the “cloud” I keep hearing about? Facetiousness aside, you would think they could have said “1.3 billion Internet connected PCs” … or “1.3 billion PCs just like yours” …

Does anyone else feel like Flash is a character in a Game Of Thrones? You may love it, or you may not, but it’s there and it’s a major character… Still you can’t help but wonder if it’s going to be the next person to get beheaded or burned alive…

Colin Moock’s ActionScript 3 Tour – Chicago

On a metaphysical level it was nice to have another day off from work. On a realphysical level, it was nice to get back into the routine. And not having to walk all the way from the entrace of Navy Pier to the back. It was a 10 minute walk and I was trucking it.

I took a picture of Colin with my cameraphone, and I was all excited cause I found out the USB cord for my real camera connects to my phone, too. But when I connected it, Windows couldn’t find the software, and so, no picture.

Anyway…

Colin was a great presenter, and I applaud him for presenting for essentially 8 hours (he kept saying 9, but that included the lunch break). I guess when the name is “ActionScript from the Ground Up” I shouldn’t have been expecting any real advanced coverage of the topic. I got a great review of OOP, though, and I’m sure for all the Flash “design” type people there, it was way too fast. It was essentially a 9 week course crammed into 9 hours with no time for homework. So, yeah, I’m sure there were some minds blown. But I also am sure there were people who were bored out of their minds. I was close, but I hung on and managed to pick up things here and there even in the OOP stuff. That said, I’m pretty sure I can skip his book (sorry Colin!) since the reviews on Amazon say that it goes a lot into the OOP stuff. But that frees up some cash, so I can get the RIAs with Flex and Java book I’ve been wanting forever, or else Adobe’s Flex 3 training book. And for Adobe, I think that was the point anyway; just to get people more exposure to ActionScript and make them more interested in using it; so they can stay on top of Silverlight.

I am also glad I got to see how similar ActionScript is to Java. I’d say that AS is probably more like Java than JavaScript. Of course, names for languages really don’t tell you anything about them.

I overloaded myself with the Flex/ActionScript by reading my Flex 2 with ActionScript 3 book on the train and bus to the event. Now, I will try to busy myself with a game I’d like to develop using Flex/ActionScript, and try to also fit in an extra credit project at work using Ruby on Rails. My FA side project will be a good one since I can probably move quickly to advanced Flex/ActionScript concepts since the languages are so similar to what I already know. The RoR project will have a bit more of a learning curve since I’m still getting to know Ruby.

Just an FYI (while I was finding the picture below), I came across this TIOBE software site that ranks programming languages. As of Dec 2007, Ruby is at #9 while ActionScript is #25 (glad to see it’s at least that high; MXML doesn’t count as a programming language). Java is #1 with a 20% share, so I guess it’s good that I’ve got that one down pretty well.

Ruby Rides the Rails

Nothing to Download

I’ve actually been sitting on this post for about 6 months – which is about how often I manage to post here, so you can kind of see how the process goes.

It wasn’t a revelation in the sense that it led to some insight or allowed me access to new knowledge, but I’m not sure how else to describe it…

something like this…

My wife: You can email me, or I’ll be on Gchat when I’m in my email.

Her friend: Yeah, it’s nice that you don’t have to download anything.

That’s it. Simple as that. Nothing to download.

Now, my wife and her friend (and her friends in general) are technologically savvy, but aren’t the techie type nor usually early adopters. I guess this is part of the genius of Google. It was a lot more obvious when they rewrote pretty much every rule that existed with the release of Gmail. And while the addition of GChat [ed: and now chat in Yahoo Mail] is certainly less revolutionary, it’s another indication of where this all is headed.

Of course, as far as I can tell right now, the advantage of GChat over chat in Yahoo Mail is that GChat saves all your chats for you. It even does that when you chat using the downloaded version of the client. Yahoo Messenger saves your chat history on your hard drive. Now that you can chat in Yahoo Mail, it would certainly make sense to update that. [ed: they might have done that already, but I haven’t opened up the thick client for YMessenger in a while – it’s all about Trilian as the thinnest thick client there is]

The addition of Yahoo Web Messenger adds another level of importance to the need for syncing that history. YWM will save your history to the web, so I’m not sure if YMail also does that now as well. I could probably test it, but I’m lazy.

Since I’m writing this post now and not 6 months ago, I do feel that it warrants a mention that YWM is done in Flash/Flex. Not Silverlight. Yes, Silverlight just hit beta this week. But with what those Metaliq guys have done with it already, it would seem that Yahoo could have done Web Messenger that way if they wanted.

And since I’m inviting fanatics from both sides just by putting the words in the post, I might as well link to one of my favorite posts ever from Eric Dolecki.

Update on Flex stuff

Okay, so it’s been almost a month since the last post and I really haven’t gotten that far… It’s difficult when 8 hours of your day is taken up with work that is not Flex, and another 7-8 is taken up with sleeping. And my social calendar has been fairly packed this month as well, so, all in all, just not much time…

But here’s the most recent Flex articles I’ve read:

Well, that does it

or: There’s a reason that Bruce Eckel is a good writer and speaker and stuff

In case you somehow missed it, the biggest thing going around These Intertubes today is Bruce Eckel’s post on Flex and Flash as The development platform for RIAs (Rich Internet Applications).

Constant Readers will know that I’ve been struggling with the question of Java vs. Flash pretty much since I started this blog. (Those same readers will also note that my style has changed from funny w/ pop-culture references to dull and straightforward).

While my mind (and Apollo) have been steering me in the direction of Flex/Flash, Eckel’s post/essay has solidified in my mind the right way to go (at least for now). I know that I’m going to be doing a lot more Java stuff at work, but my time will be devoted to the learning of Flex and everything that is required to implement it in the most optimal/excellent manner.

Final Note: I’ve added a Flash category to this blog now… Couldn’t help but wonder what kind of posts show up in the Technorati category for flash…