30 December 2007

Flanture Plans for 2008

One more year is at it's end. It is time to make plans for next year. In last year my most successful thing was actually this blog, which started in April. This is a place which describes my personal adventure through interesting world of Flash and all my expectation are exceeded, so for next year I only want to keep the same pace.

Main goal for next year is to finish building myself as AS2.0 programmer and beside that to deepen knowledge of AS3.0, AIR and Flex. Beside that I would like to create good portfolio here and on FlashDen as well.

If there is chance and if time allows as a bonus I would like to become part of some small flash games development team (or to create one?).

In last year, Flash was more of my hobby and it would be great if it become more of my profession.

Happy New Year to all of my readers !!!

25 December 2007

Nicely crafted fear campaign or else?

Few days ago The Register wrote about serious Flash bug discovered by researchers from Google and some well-known security firm. This bug could allow attacks that steal the personal details of visitors. However article focuses on a book that will be out very soon, Hacking Exposed Web 2.0: Web 2.0 Security Secrets and Solutions and this book explain this Flash bug.



Discussion took place in incredible direction where some people even suggest that we should all turn off Flash content! Why not, let's turn off JavaScript, images and everything else and leave text as only web content. Let's go back to Web 0.2

Newest Flash Player 9,0,115,0 doesn't resolve this bug and there are still some security issues out there like page faults problem and some others. At least this will make some people to pay more attention and address these problems, but that doesn't mean we should forget about Flash. I don't have a clue why these attacks on Flash are happening, but I would like to know. Are you afraid of Flash?

20 December 2007

Template tweaks

This Blogger template is quite good, but I had to change some small things. Something that doesn't have anything to do with template is that I removed Box widget. Names of the files were unreadable and widget itself took certain time to load which increased overall blog loading time. Instead I introduced simple html / javascript field. Also I removed rentacoder's job widget and link - it seemed little odd, widget that is.

Now regarding template, posts margins have flaw in this template because right margin is set to zero and it shouldn't be, so I changed it to 15px. Archives flat list have default left alignment and I couldn't find the way to make it center, so instead I used hierarchy list with posts titles which has center alignment. Post titles now have different background color.

My CSS contribution is small piece of code that change color of links in sidebar, nothing special. Just it's name :) I entered new code inside style definition template HTML.

#sidebar-special a:link {
color:#333333;
}

#sidebar-special a:hover {
color:#999999;
}

That's all. Now, new HTML / JavaScript widget links are inside div tag like this:

< id= "sidebar-special "> links < / div >

and that's it. Easy to do, small tweak but looks better than before. At least to me.

16 December 2007

Part of Flash Community

Flanture finally joined FlashDen. I was aware of this great Flash community for quite a while now listening and watching, but just few days ago I finally decided it's time for me to take part.

I'm sure FlashDen is THE best flash stock community online right now. Members are good ActionScript coders and even better designers. Forum is excellent too and besides Flash projects site is rich with audio files, video loops and pixel fonts. If we talk about Flash files everything is available: intros, 3D effects, Flash cards, menus and buttons, preloaders, amazing site templates, even games and components.



Why should I lose my precious time to code and design every single thing in my project, when I can have already made menus and preloaders for $1 - $5. This will allow me to focus on more complex things and my productivity will increase.



13 December 2007

AIR beta 3 confusion

Yes, Adobe AIR, cross-operating system runtime version beta 3 is now available for download, along side with SDK. But please be careful.

If you install beta 3 (AIR, not SDK) you will not be able to install applications via install badge. When you install beta 3 and then you install or reinstall beta 2 will make beta 3 installations to fail. So if you want to run apps on beta 2, you have to install it before you install beta 3. Also beta 3 (but now SDK) is not compatible with previous versions.

Confused?


07 December 2007

2/5 for bookshef widget poll results

Poll is closed now. You rated my flash bookshelf widget with 2/5, which is pretty much what I was expected. Next step will be to introduce Categories. Every category will be another XML node, so just small modifications will be needed. In this way you can have let's say flash related books category, horror books category, my books category if you have written some books or whatever.

Bookshelf widget is not aiming to be something original and wowish, it's just my little experiment since right now I'm very interested in XML-Flash integration. That's all to it. I'm also searching for some subject related books so if anyone have good tip, you are welcomed to share. Thanks.


05 December 2007

Jaws 2.0 - Great White


Open source 3D engine for Flash platform Papervision 3D latest version is out - 2.0 Alpha (Great White).

Also watch video interview with one of the authors Ralph Hawert. (70 Mb)


01 December 2007

Custom Gradients Flash Tutorial

level: novice
tool: Flash 8
time: 5 min


Open new document File > New… > Flash document. If you don’t see Color Panel select Window > Color Swatches (or ctrl + F9). Now, you will create new gradient color swatch. Hoover with mouse over gradient swatches, eyedropper tool will appear. Select first swatch from the left.



With swatch selected open drop-down menu on upper right side and select Duplicate Swatch. Copy of first swatch will appear on the far right side. Select new swatch and then go to Color Mixer. Now you will create new gradient to look something like this:





Colors are #FFFFFF, #F4C98A, #CF9E55, #000000, from left to right. With Oval tool draw circle on Stage and then with paint bucket tool, use new gradient. With Color Swatches tab selected on upper right drop-down menu select Save Colors and name your file, myGradients.clr, for example or something like that.

Change document background color to black, add some stars and you got yourself a Universe!




This tutorial teaches you how to create custom gradient swatch in Flash. Expand this knowledge by creating several gradients. This technique can make you easy organizing your work. You can create different gradients for planets, balloons etc. In this way, when your collection of gradients become large, you will save a lot of time on making them.

Download Tutorial: PDF
.

26 November 2007

search array actionscript functions

Few months ago I wrote some search array functions. Since than I found them very useful, so I decided to publish them here. I have added one more function shuffle, which gives new array from given one but with randomly located elements.

here is short description of functions:

function search finds element in array and displays result
function searchB finds element in array and returns Boolean value
function searchCount returns number of apperances of element in array
function union returns union array of two arrays
function shuffle simply shuffles elements of given array and returns new array

will continue to add more.

...

22 November 2007

Rate my widget


I don't have exact number how many people have downloaded flash bookshelf widget, because Box doesn't have statistics (or I don't know about it), but from direct link there was about 20 downloads. I didn't receive any feedback and I would like to here your opinion (good or bad). Also feel free to rate my bookshelf widget, give vote on right sidebar at the bottom. Thanks!

21 November 2007

Free Flash Bookshelf Widget


As I promised, here is XML based completely free flash bookshelf widget which you can use in any way you wish on your website, blog or whatever.

Download files from the Box or here.

How to use widget

Set your books/products images to 91x110 pixels. They are placed inside “imgs” folder. Change preferences in shelf.xml file.

url parameter – location and name of image files
caption parameter – text displayed below image
link parameter – this link opens in new window when “more info…” is clicked

You can have as many books / products as you like. Information is loaded dynamically from shelf.xml file. Instead regular links, you can have affiliate links included or links to zip files for direct download. Use your imagination.

Widget customization

Blogger version of widget (example of which you can see on my right sidebar) is also available on demand. Colors, sizes and more options are some of the details I’m ready to implement for specific needs, again on demand. Email me for further agreement.

Enjoy! (and please share)

19 November 2007

Simple Flash bookshelf widget

After yesterday's discovery of Lee Brimelow website and after watching Flash XML Basics video tutorials I was inspired to create flash bookshelf widget (right sidebar at the bottom). This particular widget, however, does not include loading and parsing xml file and external images. This one is one time swf file (29 kb) with embed images and arrays.

Example which includes parsing xml and loading external images and links will be ready soon along with tutorial on how to use it.

p.s. Am I the only one who is not thrilled with new AIR logo? I really don't like it, rocket was much better. But that's just my opinion.

Flash and AIR video tutorials


Some of the good Video Tutorials by Lee Brimelow you can find on http://www.gotoandlearn.com/ are titled:

- Webcams, PNG's and AIR
- Drag and Drop in AIR
- Flash MP3 Player (parts 1 - 3)
- Creating 3D Carouseles (parts 1 - 3)
- Sound-Driven Animation
- Flash 8 Filter Animation
- Flash XML Basics
- PHP, MySQL and Flash
- Flash Math
- Video Basics (parts 1 - 8)
- Basic Flash Preloader

and many more...

15 November 2007

Project reactivated : Flash Comics Album


Comic's Album project has been reactivated after few months when v1.0 was released. Next release will include complete Tutorial on how to use Album on your blog / website. In the meantime, check out version 1.0 which you can download from the Box or here.

12 November 2007

Flash on Blogger ... again

Earlier I wrote about how to put flash content on Blogger blog. My suggestion about where you should host your swf file was on PhotoBucket and that worked just fine until now.

Reason is because PhotoBucket is not hosting swf files any more. To be honest, actually they do, but if you have PRO account. If you try to upload swf file you will get: "Upload Error - SWF file uploading is no longer available on free accounts. SWF files can be uploaded to PRO accounts only". WTF! $25/year or 3$/month. I wonder who is that clever guy out there who actually said: "Hey! Let's cut only swf files and make them pay for it!".

So, much better alternative is googlepages. Everyone who have google acount also is a proud owner of googlepages storage place of 100 Mb. Go to pages, login with your google acount user name and password. Site manager page appears and on right side you have "uploaded stuff" box where you can upload your swf. Right click on file and choose "copy link location" or similar.
Everything else about how to include that link on your Blogger blog I have posted here. Ask me for help if you need it. Enjoy.

11 November 2007

Bad predictions


Every now and then adding new flash menus to "flash menus" folder on my workspace is pleasure to do. Sometimes more, sometimes less. However I tend to fail to predict what version of menu will client choose. This choise is usually tween 3 or 4 working versions, and my favorite is choosen in less than 50%. This one was also a reject.



And I was 95% sure it is THE one. I must stop making predictions.

p.s. wow! Just realized that PhotoBucket stopped hosting swf files for basic and allows it only for pro accounts! Something that was free, it's no longer free? I think they are moving in wrong direction. However, I will have to rewrite my "Flash on Blogger" post.

08 November 2007

Dust and fog above blogosphere

Many bloggers have reported recently page rank drop with new update. There was a lot of discussion about it everywhere, but as dust and fog falls down some interesting facts appear on the scene.

Big losers here are big bloggers. Those who sell links on their blogs reported page rank drop by one or even two points. But in general, many bloggers gain with this update a lot. Because money making blogs have huge traffic they are often those who decide most of, let's say, mainstream opinion about subject, in this case PR update, so blogosphere reacted on this update in negative way because of them.

This Flanture blog is new, so this update is first one it encountered. Result is not bad, from PR0 to PR7! That's right, I have page rank 7 now. Not bad at all. Will this change something? No, I will still write about my one true interest, my flash adventure.

04 November 2007

AIR beta 2, SQL and getting rich programming

Just wanted to point to some interesting articles I read recently. First one is AIR embedded SQL database: What's new in beta 2 written by Paul Robertson and another one is How to Get Rich Programming written by Jeff Atwood at coding horror.

I have no clue why Desktop Tower Defense flash game is so popular. Yes, it is addictive, but there are many, many other surely better and more addictive flash games out there which are not so popular. And how important is self-marketing at social bookmark sites? Is it the key for this kind of success?


28 October 2007

Crowded RIA ecosystem

It seems that it has become very crowded in RIA ecosystem. After Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight and Sun JavaFX (more...), now there is one more tehnology out there from Mozilla called Prizm.

It seems that this ecosystem becomes to small for all this new stuff and some discussions have appeared between Mike Chambers and LabRats about what Adobe AIR is and what it's not. This is strange to me because I think both technologies are enough open so they can only be complementary nothing else. I'm sure this is just a misunderstanding, nothing else. And what about Tamarin?


24 October 2007

New Flash 10 features sneak peek at MAX

This video is from Adobe MAX at Chicago. It is presentation by Tony D. and Jethro Villegas on new features of next Flash release, Flash version 10, code name "Diesel". You can see example of new Stage rendering core, live preview and interactive video, extreme Timeline changes.

23 October 2007

AIRifier yourself

We are just starting to see how web desktop relationship will evolve and one interesting experiment is AIRifier which allows you to turn any web application into desktop application that works 100% like it was started inside your browser. Watch this video for instructions.




Also, some interesting reads about WidgetSummit you can read here. Finally, Andre is wondering Can Flash and AIR make the browser and OS irrelevant?. Enjoy!

16 October 2007

MTV Adobe Air challenge

From October 1st until December 31st there is open competition with some prizes organized by Mtv and Adobe. Adobe has Air and Mtv has Mtv assets. Combination of this two into one creates legal entry for this challenge.



Prizes are in a range from trip for 2 to NY to Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection. There are 3 categories: Toatl request application, Pimp my assets and Making the wildcard. Assets available are video and podcast RSS, Mtv RSS, Mtv blog feeds and Mtv art. Any ideas?

More info...

12 October 2007

Flash-based widgets taking over?

Reports say that in first week WidgetBucks registered over 5.000 bloggers and affiliates which becomes maybe the fastest growing ad network of shopping widgets. Over 25 million impressions are reported. One of the factors for this amazing result is free $25 bonus just for signing up (see graphic).

WidgetBucks Total Users

On this blog sidebar there is example of 160x600 skyscraper widget, done in Flash and working perfectly. For now, widget design is limited on choosing size and color. However, WidgetBucks has announced on their blog new widget designs very soon. This will be interesting to see. I wonder if they will allow custom user made flash widgets?

edit: WOW! I can't believe what happened! I just posted above and widget shows 'data temporarily unavailable'. Checked other blogs, same thing. Widgetbucks.com is down!!! I hope this is just due to some upgrade.

11 October 2007

bLog tEmplate cHanges

Flanture has changes it's template a little bit. It is the same Blogger template, "sand dollar", but older one had just one sidebar. There was way to much empty space around and I decide to use this modification and to change some colors. Link to this modification authors is available at the bottom of blog. Changing template was much easier than I thought it will be.

I have to notice jump in number of RSS subscribers for 50% since new button was installed. Button is so cool I get sudden wish to click it every time I see it. It seems that this is not case just with me.

10 October 2007

Flash Animation

Fun Flash animation done by Federica Giulietti

Pacman meets Matrix at Mtv:___> PacMtv

05 October 2007

Easy transition to beta 2 AIR SDK

Installation of AIR SDK beta 2 was easy. I just deleted old files and unzipped new files in the same directory, so not path modification was needed.

However, when I tried to run older sample files, following error occured:
"initialWindow/content must have non-empty value"!

After looking at documentation I realized that there are some changes in description xml file structure. Besides <application xmlns="http://ns.adobe.com/air/application/1.0.M5" where 1.0.M5 is new moment, RootContent tag has changed. Actually there is now "content" tag and systemChrome, transparent and visible are no longer properties. Here is example:

beta 1:

<rootContent
systemChrome="standard"
transparent="false"
visible="true">
window.html
</rootContent>


becomes in beta 2:

<initialWindow>
<content>window.html</content>
<systemChrome>standard</systemChrome>
<transparent>false</transparent>
<visible>true</visible>
</initialWindow>


Now everything is OK, apps are running smoothly.

03 October 2007

Ah, those AIR developers!

We love you too Lee...



There is so much news around Adobe AIR, nobody can keep up. First, there are AIR Derby Winners. Also check out Devnet AIR page and AIR Marketplace.

Did you already get new AIR SDK? This is really too much :)

What's new in Beta 2? Here is the list:

- System Tray icon/Dock Bar Bounce
- Synchronous database API(tm)
- Native menus
- Drag and drop enhancements including bitmap support
- Windowing improvements such as Z-order control and enhanced
activation and focus support
- Improved Install dialog look and feel
- Application-initiated runtime updates
- HTML security model improvements
- Mouse support for double-click and scroll-wheel
- Per-machine runtime installs
- Performance and memory enhancements
- Hundreds of bug fixes

01 October 2007

AIR Beta 2 released!


After four months after release of Adobe AIR beta 1, from today new Beta2 version is among us. Don't get surprised if your AIR installation files icons change after installing beta 2. New shaded icons with .air letters have interesting and unexpected look. There is, first of all difference in size. While beta 1 has 8.51 Mb, beta 2 is slightly heavier, 9.14 Mb.
Download link for beta 2 and changes available here:

Beta 2 Download Page.

Don't forget to download documentation which is BIIIG, 63 Mb, compared to 3,2 Mb for beta 1. You will get 8 pdf fool books ready for development and html language reference. Installer for Macintosh is also available. This time you don't need to uninstall beta 1 in order to instal new version like it was case in cross between Apollo and AIR beta 1.

28 September 2007

Lazy Programmer's Shortcut




This flash image gallery is for rownm001.

Now, something completely different. Lazy programmer's shortcut. When working with AIR SDK, if you don't use Ant or anything, but just plain old console you can create batch file for starting ADL. But also, and this is what I did, right-click on your application.xml description file, choose open with and then Choose Program.. Dialog box appears where you click on Browse and than find and select ADL.exe file which is in your air/bin SDK directory and check Always use the selected program to open this type of file checkbox. Now I only have to double click on my application.xml in order to start my AIR application.

25 September 2007

Hidden Air Apps

Some directories like ApolloHunter are trying to gather as many as possible air applications in one place, but this is very hard to do now and it will be much harder to do it in the future. But effort counts. However, here are some AIR applications that I couldn't find in directories.

- MXNAQube is a way to view posts aggregated by mxna (Macromedia XML News Aggregator). It currently provides access to the newest posts, most popular posts and the ability to search posts. On top of that, it auto-archives all posts that are consumed by the widget.

- Runtime Design Accelerator is a successor of RealTime CSS Updater.

- MICON is a application that allows you to extract system icons used for a file/folder, and save them as a transparent png.

- Air909 is rhythm composer.

Enjoy!

18 September 2007

Twitter Out Blogrush In

After reading some reviews about BlogRush widget I decided to try it for a while and see if it is any good. But sidebar started to look packed with twitter badge and box widget, so I decided to exclude twitter widget since in the last few weeks it became obligation for me to twitt, I just lost interest.

BlogRush is just 2 days old and 99% of bloggers doesn't know about it yet. But those famous meta bloggers are using it already, so if it is good for why not for the rest of us. Let's just wait for a week or two and see how it will work. I tried this little experiment with it however.




Since blogs that appear inside widget should all have installed widget on blog and they all should be in same category, since you have to choose only one category I wanted to see how many jumps I can take with it. So, I clicked on random link on widget and it took me to another interesting blog in my category. However, I made only few jumps and last blog didn't have widget installed! I repeated this few times and result is the same. So some blogs that appear don't have widget installed. How this is possible? You tell me.

15 September 2007

So, what's the deal with DealDotCom?

There is a lot of buzz around about DealDotCom. One of the reasons is that they are not yet public! They are in silent mode for TWO MORE DAYS. Yet, everyone is talking about how this is great opportunity to join because you will be two days ahead of others.

But how to join? You got to have invitation from someone to do this, and I have made it! So, since every minute is important, no more delays, grab it while you can: www.dealdotcom.com/invite/5911/.

Those who find out about this from you will be thankful one day. Spread the word.

DealDotCom invitation banner

12 September 2007

Best Flex Examples Blog


As I put more and more pressure on myself to finally start with Flex, my useful bookmarks collection of blogs is getting bigger. There isn't better way of learning things than learning from the source, and in this case that source+ is Peter deHaan's Flex Examples blog, who works for Adobe on the Flex SDK QA team.

Blog is updated more than daily and every post is new Flex lesson with source code. I will mention just few recent post titles:

- Styling the HSlider control using CSS (12. sept)
- Customing the Flex HSlider and VSlider controls (11. sept)
- Changing the cursor in a flex application using cursormanager class (10. sept)
- Styling the titlewindow container (10. sept)

and many, many more...

11 September 2007

Code for scale menu

Previous scale flash menu has just few lines of code in first frame of Timeline.




Menu items instances are named from "item1" ... "item5". They change xscale and yscale property as a function of distance from xmouse position. That is all.

If you need to add more menu items, code is the same, you only have to change line 2. If you have 10 menu items, you will write in line 2: i<11. Everything else is unchanged.

08 September 2007

Flash Scale Menu

Here is one file that pop out of my archive. It is Flash scale menu done with some simple math in as1.

04 September 2007

Flash Image Gallery Improved



This version of Flash image gallery widget is little better. Everything is the same except for new stop / play button. I have added 20 new lines of code for that ugly green button. Text field is dynamic and button has alpha. Actually, functionality was pretty easy to do. Only thing I did is set new global variable onLoad root function animation_ctrl to true. On button release, this variable changes to false while text field inside button changes to "Play".

Code is clean onEnterFrame it has just 3 functions. Now, everything I did is wrote this line

if (animation_ctrl) {
function1();
function2();
function3();
}

That's all! When animation_ctrl is false, functions are not execute, images are in full stop. Simple logical solution. My favorite.

03 September 2007

Favorite ActionScript Version - Part III

Kirupa Chinnathambi have posted a comment on my discussion about Favorite AS version. I think his opinion is valuable and I will extract it here. I used Kirupa's forum in my research and he felt like he has something to say about it.

comment:

Hi Flanture!
Interesting analysis, though I think you are narrowing your sample by focusing exclusively on the forums of kirupa.com and AS.org. With regards to the kirupa.com forums and their coverage of AS3 topics, it is a chicken/egg situation.

The kirupa.com content, which draws most of the users to the forums, is still largely focused on ActionScript 2. Unless there really is more AS3 content, there is a good chance there will not be more AS3-related questions.

Content on the site, though, is largely fed from questions posted on the forums. Without sufficient AS3-related questions, it is tough for me to focus on writing AS3 content when AS2 questions dominate and require further elaboration in article form.

But, I also feel that AS3 adoption is slow is because it left a lot of designers behind. Developers jumped at AS3, for many of them liked its familiarity with more modern programming languages.

Designers rarely wrote application-level code, so AS1/AS2 with all of their faults was good enough for them. Unlike the transition from AS1->AS2 where where applications could be written using a mix of both AS1 and AS2, AS3 is all or nothing. You have to use the AS3 style/naming/syntax for all code if you want to use the new virtual machine and all of its goodies.

Cheers!
Kirupa :)

Interesting thoughts about difference between designers and developers and their use of ActionScript versions. Does this mean that most of designers will stay with Flash8 for some time or they already have their hands on CS3? Maybe this is the question for another research...

01 September 2007

Traffic Report

I have doubled traffic on Flanture in August. First, July was holiday month. Other than that, posts are more interesting I suppose.

My Simple Event Mechanism Flash Tutorial has just been accepted on Pixel2Life, where I am known as "neutron". This is my first tutorial there, but I hope more will come very soon.


traffic report chart

29 August 2007

Flash Image Gallery Widget


Widget-like image gallery is still work in progress, but functionality is now good enough. File is most suitable for blog sidebar. Code is small, only 60 lines and only 3 functions: move(), adjust() and setToStage().

If you would like to have this gallery for free (with your images, off course) on your blog, email me at flanture [at] gmail. You can have as many images as you like. Colors and links customized.

Next, I will do is stop and resume rotation functions, scale images on sides, info button. Later on I'll try to make xml driven component from it.

27 August 2007

Cool AIR applications

What can you do with Adobe AIR? Here are examples.

24 August 2007

Simple Event Mechanism Flash Tutorial



This tutorial will teach you how to create simple event mechanism.

First, create MovieClip ball, place instance on Stage and name that instance mc_ball. Then, enter next code in first and only frame on main Timeline and test your movie.




Function doIt() is activated when some event happens. In this case, when ball x coordinate is smaller than 25. Function doIt() places ball on right side of Stage. Point is that doIt() executes only once but it is placed on onEnterFrame for instance. In this way you can create very complex movements and reactions.

For example, you can write event2, …, event3, etc and every event reacts on different occasion. Also, you can use different actions and function when event1 AND event2 are true, but something else when only event1 has values true. You can also put within onEnterFrame function for root, doIt() function inside for or while loop for multiple executions. Simple code, but useful.

18 August 2007

Howto: Flash content on Blogger's blog

Few days ago I wrote about how simple is to put flash content on your Blogger's blog because it uses only embed tag. Tim e-mailed me for details, so here they are.

How to put flash content on your Blogger's blog? Just use code shown on picture.


code explanation:

1 - Change "{swf url}" with url of your swf, hosted on PhotoBucket or wherever.
2 - Color for background.
4 - Here you can change width and height according to your flash file sizes.
6 - You can use "adobe" instead of "macromedia" if you like.

That's all, actually. Feel free to ask anything about this subject. Thanks.
I apologize for poor image quality, but you can download it for better view.

14 August 2007

Favorite AS version - part II


Few weeks ago I posted about favorite AS version.I was trying to answer the question what is most used version among programmers. My first conclusion was that over 95% of people are using AS2. I was using number of threads on forums as representative number.

However, one of readers, known as 5566 said that this idea can't really show this relation because AS2 threads exists much longer on forums and this is true. I tried to compare number of threads from date AS3 has appeared, but it was impossible for me to do that on Kirupa forum.

How about my poll? Well, My poll shows different story. Here are the results:
  1. ActionScript 2.0 (10 votes) 66%
  2. ActionScript 3.0 (5 votes) 33%
  3. ActionScript 1.0 (0 votes) 0%
Representative sample is too small for right conclusion, but I can say that favorite ActionScript version between programmers is ActionScript 2.0 for sure. Numbers are approximately: 60 % - 80 % uses AS2, rest is learning AS3.

I'm sure this relation for AS2 and AS3 will change in near future as more and more people learn AS3, but I'm not convinced that AS2 will be forgotten so fast as ActionScript1.0 is.

08 August 2007

How To Start Online Business


Is it hard to start your own online business? What does it takes to be a success and what kind of differences are bringing new technologies?

These are tough questions and I can only guess how many of you have that PERFECT idea right now. I don't know the answer, not yet. But I can see some things that can give me an idea about how things will change, in what direction. I'm talking about MixBook. This is where Flex becomes not only interesting technology for geeks, but you can see how simple Flex application becomes backbone for a company.

Create your own book, share it and get it's printed version delivered to your door. Prices are from $12.99 for 20 pages to $44.99 for 100 pages book and more. And when you see how those books pages turn so nicely within Flex application on website, you will be thrilled for sure.

Simple idea, available technology and people with ambition. Maybe this is the answer to my question.

06 August 2007

Flash on Blogger

I have been reading a little bit about how to place Flash content on your Blogger's blog. It is actually very easy. Technique uses only embed tag. Flash swf file can be placed anywhere you want, one of those places is PhotoBucket. Yes, I didn't know that they can host flash file along with images.

I have made small widget-like image gallery, but this is very work-in-progress version and have many bugs. But, yes it works ok. You can see it at the bottom of 3dmaps blog sidebar. You can control rotation speed of images with mouse movement.

Rotation is not perfect, because code is just stupid. I wanted to see if it will work. I will make corrections, so widget will be independent from number of images. Also I will improve looks, maybe add some nice effect etc.


30 July 2007

Computer OFF

This is creepy. I just came across one comment I left 47 days on http://onrails.org/articles/2007/06/13/websnapshot-a-simple-adobe-air-application and I don't remember that I was there !

I suppose I'm to much online :)
OK, computer OFF...

28 July 2007

Favorite ActionScript version?

ActionScript3.0 is relatively new, I know, but how many people have decided to use only that version? My most used version is ActionScript2.0, but I'm learning new version. Differences are big enough to keep me with previous version at least for one more year and that's maybe, 'cause I really like 2.0.

I'm trying to find out a little about this question and I figured that best thing to do is look at popular forum statistics and number of threads within different categories. I think this can really show what is reality in using ActionScript. Here are results.

My first reference is Kirupa forum since I'm regular there. Kirupa has two categories AS1/AS2 and AS3.

- AS1/AS2 = 37,722 threads ( 97,09 %)
- AS3 = 1,128 threads ( 2,91 %)

From this I can't get difference between AS1 and AS2, so I visited ActionScript.org. Results are:

- AS1 = 35,727 threads (40,38 %)
- AS2 = 51,123 threads (57,79 %)
- AS3 = 1,619 threads (1,83 %)

You can notice that results for both forums on AS1+AS2 are similar and this could indicate that this is credible statistics. Interesting. Is this showing that gap between AS2 and AS3 is just too big?

What about you, what version do you use? You can give your vote on sidebar poll. Thanks.

24 July 2007

Flash Platform Marathon

What is the best ActionScript3.0 book out there? I would like to know also. There are plenty of Flex and ActionScript books and one just CAN'T read them all. With 500 pages every one of them is big time investment. So, how to decide?

Surely that right pick depends on what one wants to learn most, but for begginers, like me, it's harder to choose, I think.



Maybe most popular is the best one. On Amazon, one of the best-sellers of all times became recently Colin Moock's "Essential ActionScript 3.0 (Essential)". I will repeat that: of all times ! It seems that everybody is running Flash Platform Marathon. I know I am.

So, what ActionScript3.0 / Flex / Flash book are you reading right now?


22 July 2007

AIR Extensions


Adobe has released AIR extension for Dreamweaver. In order to use this extension you will need Dreamweaver CS3 and earlier versions are not supported. Extension comes as MXP file 25 Mb. In this way you can create AIR applications using Dreamweaver. Also, Galvan wrote about plans for AIR extension for Flash CS3 in near future.

What else is new? Employee Directory sample application with source code at labs . And what I'm doing? Finished reading about Strings and now on Arrays in AS3.0. I have also removed collection of Apollo applications from Box Downloads since they are not AIR capable.


18 July 2007

Timer saves time

I just read about new Timer class in ActionScript3.0. With this class things get very simple when it comes to programming events in time intervals. With just few lines I have total control of time driven events. Also, TIMER property of TimerEvent and TIMER_COMPLETE property of Event class are very useful.

I'm already imagine complex shemas with extending of this class when one tick triggers another timer and so on. Very time saving. Next are Strings.

I got to find some small project to write while I'm reading or I'll end up with 'useless knowledge' that hangs over my empty flex folder. But what?

29 June 2007

iPhone AIR simulation

Are you waiting in line for few days already to buy new Apple's iPhone? Your parents miss you. And they also miss money you took for damn iPhone...

If you don't have money to buy iPhone or you live in some distant place you can try iPhone simulation built on AIR. Merhl has started to make iPhone simulation using AIR, Adobe Integrated Runtime, just for fun. Check it out!

22 June 2007

Code Names code


Finally I have time to learn a bit about mxml and I started to read about Flex. Result of my curiosity is my first flex code. It is not real application, just something small. Code is only 30 lines.

CodeNames.mxml and Main.css inside CodeNames.zip.

You can download files from box. I hope I will speed up my learning.

13 June 2007

Bus that runs on AIR

Not usual Air but new one, beta Air. So what's the story? Air promotion across United States starting from July 10 in Seattle, Washington and finishing in Chicago, Illinois. Complete schedule available at new established website with weblog : ONAIR .

I have to notice from reactions on mentioned weblog that people outside of United States are more interested in Tour and this promotion than Americans. Requests for new Bus stops at Brazil, Mexico City, London. Why not? At least major cities in Europe. I'm sure people are "getting" Air in the outside world also. Until new tour happens, those will enjoy live streams from inside and around Bus, because it will be heavily wired. They will be first "developers on wheels".

11 June 2007

Apollo has disappeared in The AIR !

Apollo has landed, finally! Instead we have AIR, which stands for Adobe Integrated Runtime. This is beta release, available at labs. Macintosh version is 8 Mb, Windows exe is 9 Mb. There is important note that Apollo alpha must be uninstalled before installing Adobe AIR beta.

What about applications that run on Apollo? Do they have to be reinstalled or they will work on AIR? I didn't find answer anywhere, so if anyone know, please answer.

AIR SDK is also available along with documentation which is 3 Mb for HTML developers and 32 Mb for Flex developers. Documentation for HTML developers includes 185 page book "Developing AIR Applications with HTML", which is first thing I'm reading, for sure. There are also samples, quick start and JavaScript Language Reference. Wonderful.

And you are still reading this post? Go to labs, NOW!

Edit: Thanks Mike for such quick comment! Let's get that AIR running...

07 June 2007

Surfing The Wave

- Yo, dude !
- Yo...
- So, what's up?
- ...
- Yo, man, let's make a company?
- Company?
- Yeah, man, let's make a company and get rich really quick.
- ...
- ...
- What kind of company?
- You know, man, like those ReviewMe guys or PayPerPost company, man, you know, ...
- Yeah?
- Yeah, dude, so,..., like, it's gonna be cool, you know.
- Yeah.
- So, like, how about we start tomorrow?
- Cool.

06 June 2007

StyleManager component

StyleManager is a panel extension for Adobe Flash MX 2004, Flash 8 or Flash CS3. It should allow you to create and than apply styles to any text field, no matter if it's static, dynamic or input. Other features are saving all properties of a textfield as a style on your local drive, saving movie clip filter settings, updating existing styles. Style can be imported or exported as .jsfl file.

Check screenshots at Flashloaded.com , and my suggestion is to check support forum too.

31 May 2007

Apollo Beta with Embedded SQLite DB

Mike Chambers has announced that Apollo Beta release will have SQLite embedded database, but only after that same news is announced by Google related with Google Gears. How Google knows better than Adobe's gurus about Apollo? Don't ask me.

What is SQLite? SQLite Website tells the story: "SQLite is a small C library that implements a self-contained, zero-configuration SQL database engine". SQLite db will be available both via JavaScript and ActionScript. Sounds exciting? Apollo with DB - sure!


Edit: Google doesn't know better than Adobe's guru ! My mistake.

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21 May 2007

free apollo ebook

I really don't know how I haven't noticed this before. It's about Adobe book: Apollo for Adobe Flex Developers Pocket Guide. U can buy it in paper at Amazon if u like, but u can also download it freely from this page.

Book is written by Mike Chambers, Rob Dixon and Jeff Swartz. It's a positive intro to Apollo for Flex developers, but u don't need to know flex to write ria in apollo, u can also do it only with html / css / javascript. I'll repeat that: For writing RIA in Apollo u can use html / css / javascript only. Insane? Totally!

17 May 2007

publisher verification reactions

Since, I'm still in process of moving my blog here, I have posted last post in both blogs, older and here. Reactions came from some interesting people, so I decided to transfer comments from old blog here, to have all comments in one place.

Once again, thank you all for paying attention to this issue.

1. - Hello,

At ApolloApps.com we are attempting to address this problem.
We are building an App registry, where the primary key is the AppId and we will have a validation service that will evolve.
We also plan to introduce an App Certification process very soon.
In order for an app to be certified, the application developers would need to publish their Apollo project to our CVS/SVN repository, and we would certify that the app contained no malicious code or procedures that, as you point out, could otherwise be very dangerous if someone uses an untrusted, malicious application.
Tune into ApolloApps.com (http://www.apolloapps.com) for details that will emerge soon.
Edward Mansouri

2. My first point is that the verification system is not supported in the alpha release.
The second point is that unless ApolloApps is going to do on-the-fly compilation, verifying the source code is pointless.
Tom Chiverton

3.Signatures and verification are not implemented in the alpha, so we
thought it best to indicate in the UI that the publisher was
unverified--which, in fact, is correct. Once the signature and
verification feature is fully implemented you will see applications
with verified publisher information and a different set of warnings.

To your second point, yes, all Apollo applications currently have the
same filesystem access as any other desktop application. As with any
desktop application, an Apollo application should not be installed
unless you trust it. The signing and verification feature is designed
to give you additional reliable information with which to make this
decision, but you still have to make that decision for yourself.

regards,
Oliver Goldman
Apollo Engineering
Adobe Systems Inc

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16 May 2007

adobe publisher verification

As I wrote earlier, I have installed and tested about 20+ apollo applications so far. I have noticed one thing. Every one of them had unverified publisher identity. Even Ascension that was written by Mike Chambers, Adobe guru.

Now, I tried to find informations about this verification, why none application has been verified and all of them have unrestricted access to users file system. This can be BIG threat to security. I can now see how much I haven't been careful, but I'm not sure that Adobe gave enough warning about this.

If anyone has some info about publisher verification system, please comment about it. Thank you.

13 May 2007

apollo apps collection

There are still small number of apollo applications out there. Some new websites like apolloapps.com and apollohunter.com are trying to collect all those new air files in one place.

I have tried so far about 20 apollo apps and one game. Many are still betas, but some already have nice functions. I have prepared something for those who want to try apollo for first time.
I have made small collection of apollo applications (various authors). All apps are free to use. There are 10 apps inside zip file and complete collection is only 3 Mb. Offcourse, you'll need apollo runtime.

My favorite ones are fresh, lookup and apollobook. This is list of apollo applications you will download:

ApolloTwitter.air 268 kb
Ascension-0.6.air 425 kb
Fresh.air 525 kb
Lookup.air 322 kb
Tweetr.air 263 kb
YoutubePlayer.air 286 kb
Apollobook.air 206 kb
ASCodeAnalyzer.air 295 kb
ProjectTracker.air 351 kb
MyUrlShortener.air 241 kb
===========================
All 3.1 Mb
===========================
Enjoy !
Download


Please, note that I'm not author of those applications and I don't accept ANY responsibility for ANY damage made by those apps. All apps are downloaded from above websites. Thanks.

11 May 2007

widget madness

New project I'm currently working on is this widget-like website gadget (see image). I don't really know what will it be, I don't have any plans, but I'm sure something will come up along the way.

It's dimensions are 200x200. For now it has only one function. But that function works great! Little grey triangle in the left bottom corner is button, which has on rollOver function that shows tooltip. On press, button opens movieClip in the top, that have 3 input text fields, for red, green and blue colors in hexadecimal values. When you press button with new values, background color is changed accordingly.

And that's it. Simple but functional. I just couldn't wait to finish it before I presented it here :)

Feedback is very appreciated.

10 May 2007

project tracker v0.5

ApolloApps already have 23 apollo applications, many of them free to use, and one of them is Project Tracker v0.5 by Jacob Wright. He and his company are somewhere from Utah, as google maps on site shows. Highly interactive. We are talking about withincode.com , but they are not yet open for business.

However, Project Tracker is built with apollo and you must have runtime to see application. I'm writing about it, cause I noticed that this application is perfect for bloggers. If you wanna be pro blogger or you already are one, this is nice app to work with. You can enter your every blog as client, and than every future post is new project. You have timer, calendar built in, and stopwatch. Using project tracker in this way gives you advantage in organizing your posting schedules.

Every pro blogger wanna be can save some time with Project Tracker and it is only v0.5. Can't wait for v1.

09 May 2007

to widget or not to widget

  What about using a widget on your website/blog? First of let's see what is widget. Wikipedia defines widget or web widget as a portable chunk of code (flash or javascript) that can be installed and executed within separate HTML-based web page without additional compilation. Other terms are gadgets, badge, module, capsule, etc. widgetbox, widgets marketplace, says that widgets are every html code or flash that can be integrated in web page.

 This definitions are quite loose. Everything can be a widget. What if I have flash based web site, and I insert some game on it, is that a widget? Or just another page? If my website is made in frames, than one frame is widget? In that case, every counter you entered on your website represents one widget. I can recognize twitter badge or "box" as widgets, but I'm still searching for right definition of it. Maybe flash widget should be known as fladgets. Cool name.

I can't imagine my blog without them. (Ok, I can, but this way is muuuuch better) So, how many of them is ok? If they have correct purpose within blog or website, if they display informations or give content that is useful or can contribute in better functionality of web site than using widget is fine. But if one puts x number of widgets on blog or website, just because they exist, he downgrades his blog.

 To answer the question in my title: to widget, but properly.

08 May 2007

new storage

Somehow, my ticker files have disappeared from my store site 4shared, so I decided to claim a new one, nicer, free 1Gb and cool widget, as you can see. Uploaded ticker.zip and album.zip files. From now on BOX.

05 May 2007

comics album flash application

Flanture is proud to present next flash project, Comics Album.

Album is simple but useful. It uses flash power to include dynamic content loaded from any xml file and combine it with already done comic image pages. Comic is usually separated in pages, and every page has different text clouds. This Album shows pages one by one. It has two navigation buttons. Main characteristic is that text can be changed from xml file, but also and text font, color, size. Xml file contain text clouds for every page.

Comic Album is great way to separate graphics from text in your comic creations. Text can be modified dynamicaly, font, it's size and color. Let's see how to use it. This is how looks like part of xml file that describes one comic page:

< page purl="page1.jpg" tboxn="1">

< tbox posx="420" posy="220" bw="300" bh="100" txt="Third text box!" fnt="Verdana" fnts="26" fc="0x000000" />

So, what we have here? Parametars for one comic page are:
purl - page url
tboxn - number of text boxes (clouds)

Parametars for one text box are:
posx - x position of text box
posy - y position of text box
bw - box width
bh - box height
txt - text
fnt - font face
fnts - font size
fc - font color (hexadecimal numbers)

That's it ! Simple, but nice. If you are interested in using Comics Album, please leave comment.

download: here



I have posted on several forums that I'm looking for partner to help with my comics flash album. For better presentation I want someone who has nice artistic skills and who wants to present his/hers work. Any comics author who provide several interesting comic pages will get free promotion. I'm not offering any money. This is about collaboration and partnership.

You can contact me here (leave a comment) or at flanture [at] gmail [dot] com. Please, remember that comics album is work in progress, so I hope it will be better in every new version in the future.

Post transfered from older blog.

02 May 2007

hidden news ticker

post moved from blog.com>

This news ticker is just a little bit different. It can be hidden between others
page flash elements, but on button press, it becomes wider, and news are displayed.
There is small animation guilty for this effect. News string comes from xml file.
You can download zipped swf and example xml (4Kb) on this address:

http://www.4shared.com/file/12321181/f03b05c0/ticker.html


This is created on first hand, but can be converted to component, later.
It should have some nice skin, different transition effects, maybe 2 or
more rows of data with more colors, etc. I'm making todo list for next version.
I know this ticker is everywhere and it is easy to make it, but this one is
done by me, and I like it :)

23 April 2007

array functions tutorial

Recently I needed some arrays search functions for better performance so I wrote few of them. First one is simple.

function search(wor, arr){
var exist = false;
for(i=0; i< arr.length; i=i+1){
if(arr[i ]==wor){
trace("Element exist on position "+i);
exist = true;
}
}
if(!(exist)){
trace("Element don't exist in array.");
}
}

In for loop we ask if wor is identical to any of array's elements. Note that we use == not = (common mistake). Boolean variable exists is responsible for finding our word in array. If word multiple times in array, all positions will be find. Second function is almost the same. Difference is that this one returns true or false. True if wor is in arr, false otherwise. It goes like this.

function searchB(wor, arr){
var exist = false;
for(i=0; i< arr.length; i=i+1){
if(arr[i]==wor){
return true;
exist = true;
}
}
if(!(exist)){
return false;
}
}

This function will end on first appearence of wor in arr. If wor don't exist in arr, function will return false. You can test these functions like this:

_root.onMouseDown=function(){
planets = new Array("Merkur", "Venus", "Earth", "Mars");
habitable = "Earth";
what = search(habitable, planets);
trace(what);
}

Similar for searchB function.

Third function is called searchCount, simply beacuse it counts number of wor in array. It goes something like this:

function searchCount(wor, arr){
var count = 0;
for(i=0; i< arr.length; i=i+1){
if(arr[i ]==wor){
count += 1;
}
}
return count;
}

Another function is union. If you have two arrays, union will return new array which consist of word that exists in both arrays.

function union(arr1, arr2){ var arr3 = new Array();
count = 0;
for(i=0; i< arr1.length; i=i+1){
for(j=0; j< arr2.length; j=j+1){
if(arr1[i ]== arr2[ j]){
arr3[count ] = arr1[ i];
count+=1;
}
}
}
return arr3;
}

One more important thing. Data type in these functions do not have to be String, it can be any type. For more strict evaluation, you can put === instead of ==.

note: this post have been moved from flanture.blog.com

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