26 June 2008

Free RIA eBooks and upcoming community

Have you noticed that AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) is RIA (Rich Internet Applications) in reverse? Honestly? Anyway, back to free AIR (RIA) ebooks. Mike Chambers is responsible for this idea. Website is ToString , project that will host books about RIA. All website content will be under creative commons licenses.

Translators are welcomed to contribute. There is already one chapter of Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers Pocket guide free ebook translated to German, Swedish and Polish are on their way. More info about project from Mike Chambers.

Support this wonderful idea : digg it ! thanks

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23 June 2008

AS3.0 gurus + Creative Flash Websites

Latest poll question on Flanture was: Rate your AS3.0 knowledge? Results are:

Guru 25%
Advance 25%
Average 25%
Greenhorn 12%
Zero 12%

As always, results are questionable for two reasons. First reason is nobody can force you to say the truth or you are subjective and second reason is low number of voters, off course. It has something to do with statistics, more votes closer to the real results. However, if we overlook those two reasons, 75% of Flanture visitors have average or above average knowledge of ActionScript 3.0. I didn’t expect that much, but this info is interesting.

Also wanted to mention, if you have time to spare, check 21 Incredibly Creative Flash Websites

creative flash websites

20 June 2008

Blog Stats Using ColumnChart

One of the main advantages of using Flex to display blog stats, besides effects and style is ability to dynamically load data as RSS feed or web service. When this is not an option, like with Sitemeter’s basic plan I’m using, more static solution is available with XML file or even simple embedded Array inside MXML file.









<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mx:Application xmlns:mx="http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml" layout="absolute" width="500" height="300">

<mx:Script><![CDATA[
import mx.collections.ArrayCollection;
[Bindable]
public var stats:ArrayCollection = new ArrayCollection([
{Month:"Jul07", Uniques:435, PageViews:622},
{Month:"Aug", Uniques:1189, PageViews:1652},
{Month:"Sep", Uniques:1937, PageViews:2698},
{Month:"Oct", Uniques:1901, PageViews:2508},
{Month:"Nov", Uniques:1698, PageViews:2426},
{Month:"Dec", Uniques:2054, PageViews:3074},
{Month:"Jan", Uniques:2751, PageViews:4175},
{Month:"Feb", Uniques:2963, PageViews:4299},
{Month:"Mar", Uniques:3336, PageViews:4783},
{Month:"Apr", Uniques:3926, PageViews:6053},
{Month:"May08", Uniques:4082, PageViews:6241}
]);
]]>
</mx:Script>
<mx:Style>
ColumnChart{
fontFamily:Verdana;
chartSeriesStyles:ser1,ser2;
}
.ser1{
fill:#F7FA9D;
}
.ser2{
fill:#147CCC;
}
</mx:Style>
<mx:Canvas width="480" height="280" horizontalCenter="0" verticalCenter="0" backgroundColor="#98c8de">
<mx:ColumnChart x="10" y="60" id="columnchart1" dataProvider="{stats}" height="210" width="460" showDataTips="true">
<mx:horizontalAxis>
<mx:CategoryAxis
dataProvider="{stats}"
categoryField="Month"
/>
</mx:horizontalAxis>
<mx:series>
<mx:ColumnSeries
xField="Month"
yField="Uniques"
displayName="Uniques"
/>
<mx:ColumnSeries
xField="Month"
yField="PageViews"
displayName="PageViews"
/>
</mx:series>
</mx:ColumnChart>
<mx:Legend dataProvider="{columnchart1}" x="367" y="-1"/>
<mx:Text x="10" y="10" text="Flanture Blog Stats" fontFamily="Verdana" fontWeight="bold" fontSize="15" enabled="true"/>
</mx:Canvas>
</mx:Application>




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17 June 2008

TreeMap Flex Component

Standard Tree Flex component is useful when in need to display hierarchical data as an expandable tree. Josh Tynjala has developed more advanced component with similar functionality, TreeMap Flex component. Currently in version 2.0 beta, which means bugs are unavoidable. This component is published as open source. More info and code on google code pages .

open source TreeMap flex component

TreeMap uses 2D canvas to display relevant data rather then simple hierarchical list in Tree component. Component has advanced data descriptors and custom node and branch renderers. This opens new space for new functionality ideas. Excellent work.

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14 June 2008

Flanture on pipes

Yahoo pipes is powerful tool for creating web services mushups. For someone with several blogs, pipes allows you to combine feeds of all blogs and present it within single output. Here is example how to connect several feeds in one. I have used all 3 Flanture blogs to do this.


yahoo pipes example

Pipes interface is intuitive and easy to understand. Results are ready to use in seconds.

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09 June 2008

Exams are 4 egomaniacs

Is it really important to get that Certification banner and make your blog have more authority? I don’t know, but I think it’s impossible to pass the Exam and not to put proof of it on your blog / website / portfolio. Anyone forgot to do it? Take a look what happened to Yakov Fain after taking Flex Certification Exam . And he is right in his conclusion: "Memorizing method signatures and other information that is just one click away in the real world and remembering these things does not make anyone better programmer". If you are still stubborn to take that test, get this practice exam engine for Flex 2.


I still wonder what happened to Web Developer’s and Designer’s Journal (now Flex) and why there isn’t new issue for a year? (or there is?) Not everything in life is web2.0 and some old habits are not replaceable. I like to read paper magazines and even holograms won’t change that. You can still get some old issues in PDF format, by subscribing to free newsletter or use big G to do it: "allinurl: sys-con /mx/ filetype:pdf" without quotes. Ajax, Java and dot Net magazines in query variations. Don’t mention it.


If you want to receive updates from this blog, consider subscribing, via reader or email. I send full posts. Also take a poll on right sidebar: rate your as3.0 knowledge. Thanks.

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05 June 2008

Flex 4 Developers Book

flex 4 developers book

Here is another great Flex book: "Flex for developers" by Sas Jacobs and Koen De Weggheleire. Subtitle is “Data-Driven Applications with PHP, ASP.net, ColdFusion and LCDS”, but actually this book is great for beginners who want to learn Flex 3 and ActionScript 3.0 through number of real world examples.

Book consists of 3 parts, where first part Flex Application Basics is 330 out of 575 pages. You will learn how to create custom flex components and how to use XML in Flex Builder among many other things.

Part 2 and 3, Data-Driven Applications and Livecycle data services are extra chapters for more advanced learners. They introduce case study projects with PHP, XML, ColdFusion and ASP.net.


more details...

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