Thursday, July 28, 2005

the holy grail of Flash

So I am on a quest.
The quest is about finding a good open source actionscript 2 framework to use in my future RIA development.
So far there seem to be two excellent candidates for this job.
The first one is "Cairngorm" from Iteration::Two and the second one it the "Ariaware Platform" (ARP) from Ariaware Limited.
The connection between these two is quite close and some flash folks would argue that the second one is a more Flash dev oriented version of the first one. And I would agree with that idea.
The Cairngorm framework is a beast born from the large enterprise J2EE knowhow of the folks at Iteration::Two and its roadmap clearly states the orientation towards Flex large scale development. You can use your common flash toys but nobody will wait for you to catch up if lagging behind too much.
On the other hand ARP is targeted mainly at Flash RIA development. Flex is accepted and you'll earn a great deal of respect for using it. But as I said, the common Flash folk is not considered an outsider here and we're all alike. Almost.
You still need to understand an apply OOP and Core J2EE patterns but the chance is that if you're just starting there are many others like you and the journey will not be a lonely one.
So I decided to go the ARP way for now. Later when I feel more confident in my software architecturing skills maybe I will attempt a migration to Cairngorm but for now I think this is the best choice.
I'll try and share here as much as I can from the newly found knowledge so people that are interested can read more and learn it the easy way.
If you want to make your own choice here are two gems that were quite hard to find. One is here on FlexCoders mailing list and the other one is here on Keith Peter's blog at BIT-101.
It's quite a soap opera this Flash frameworks world :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

Google Copernicus Center is hiring!

Well it seems that Google just got too big for our little planet. The company is ever expanding and one of the results is that some new HQ will be established on our dear satellite, the Moon. The y need new staff that is strong and well fitted for the harsh climate there so you can join the team as well.
I hear that working at Google is not an easy job so for my fellow romanians I would suggest giving Dublin a try first.
Good luck to all adventurers ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

value thy Value Objects

I had no idea what Value Objects were until I got my hands on the free chapter "ActionScript 2.0 Design Patterns for Rich Internet Applications" from "ActionScript 2.0 Dictionary". It was written by the guys from Iteration:Two that were also involved in the creation of the famous "Opal" RIA that Aral Balkan is so proud of. About Opal you can read more here and here. Anyway I am not a J2EE programmer so I have no solid knowlege of the Core patterns. This chapter explains very well some of these patterns and the focus is on creating a Flash RIA for consuming the Amazon web services. So if you are just a little into flash remoting then this is a hell of a kick start. A little patience will get you trough the major patterns and you'll feel more confident when having a beer and a chat with friends that do hardcore Java programming.
I am currently involved in a project that uses flash remoting and I felt proud when realising that I've implemented the idea behing the "Service Locator" + "Bussiness Delegate" without reading about it before. My solution is no way near the implementation from the book but I am glad that now I can improve it.
You can read the post here. Also the pdf document is here and the source code is here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Just wait a frame!

This is for all you flasherz out there.
I was just reading this post on Ted Patrick's blog. The guy is CEO of PowerSDK and has a great deal of experience with developing Flash RIA's. But like us all, every day in the flash world is full of new things waiting to be discovered. The subject is the flash player's balance of code and graphic renderings per one frame loop (he calls it the racetrack). As the guy says here, just wait a frame and you'll feel better:)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Click here to learn more

Now here is something interesting and fresh for you interaction and UI designers all over the world. These guys threw away their clicks and went in search of something better.
My "mouse finger" definitely got some good rest during this session...
If you want to see what I am rambling about click here 10 times, pay attention at how stressing that click actually is and then enjoy the silence... ;)

Monday, July 11, 2005

can u do html and javascript? ummm, no!

Well, it seems that I've gone mad...
While every other flasher I know runs like hell from html and javascript I seem to enjoy this torture. Heck, I know I am a flashdev maso when it comes to doing things in the 13'th way possible but cmon, do I really need to know css?
This spring (actually february) when I moved to my current work place I was chosen for my flash skills. There were some flash projects behind schedule for high profile customers that cannot stand the idea of their needs not beeing met on time. So I got the job done somehow (don't ask how) and then I found myself reading flash OOP articles cause the client went to sleep very pleased with the results.

Enter PM's question: "Can you do some javascript cause we need a scoller that doesn't look like a scroller to scroll a DIV that does look and is indeed a DIV."
Answer: "Hmmm... a little, but I can look into it..."
3 days later the job was done.

Well, the final result is this: me sitting at my pc, having four browsers opened (hell, we need cross-browser pixel perfect html+css sites, don't we?), slicing images in photosop and meditating on the semantic web and the proper markup of a beautiful and content oriented web site.
You do test for FANGS compliance as I do, right?

Monday, July 04, 2005

100$ for a laptop?

It seems that the project for developing a very inexpensive personal computer is more than the subject of a movie I saw a while ago. At the MIT Media Lab things are moving and hopes are high as some very capable and determined people put their brains to work on the 100$ laptop project. Check this page to learn more.