Thursday, October 27, 2005

nectarine anyone?

This stuff is so cool :)
Australia based Nectarine just released a video series about Flash8.
Very scientifically in nature and very well documented arguments.
Really :)
Check the new video features in Flash8 right here.

Friday, October 21, 2005

absolut transparency

It's one of those days.
A Friday afternoon when after those "four evil hours" you get another four so it'll make your work day and set you longing for the weekend.
Today was an easy day in terms of real work but a damn hard one from the "find yourself something to bang your head on" perspective.
If you look at the Services section in my right sidebar and you click on the "here" link you'll see what I did today. And this is not a trick from my part into making you see that note.
Now, if you played a little with that you probably want to know how I did it. Or you already said something like "png background, so WHAT!?" and closed this window.
I'll have to assume that u didn't do that and you are still interested in what the heck was so hard to do anyway?
Well that is a div with a fixed width and height because of the fix sized image in the back. In Firefox is easy because it knows how to handle correctly png's with variable transparency as backgrounds. In IE is a little harder and you have to use "AlphaImageLoader" and background: none inside a "*html #yourDivId" CSS rule in order to make it work in both browsers.
Well that is not a really big issue if you know your CSS woes but this one is a little tricky. You see, that div had to have position: absolute on a high z-index in order not to break the blog's layout. And when I set that position absolute I suddenly noticed that in IE the links inside it stopped working because of the "AlphaImageLoader" filter. The final solution was to put the div in a container and to position this last one absolutely. After goggling a lot and reading some 10 km long pages with comments I got the hint that my links had to have a position:relative rule and I had to remove any type of positioning declaration for the inner div's CSS in order to make them work properly.
And because I wanted the page below to respond to user actions I couldn't make the container 100% and use margin: 0 auto; to center my div on the page. So my last resort was to use some quick JavaScript in order to center the container on the page.
Well it works ok and I am satisfyed with the final result.
If you encounter any quirks please drop me a note.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Macromedia <Labs>

Well, well...
Nowadays if you just blink you might miss some important thing that Macromedia throws at you.
Today they launched the Macromedia Labs site that comes to give a tangible support to the much hyped Flex 2 product line. As much as I am excited I am still sad that I won't get to play with this baby anywhere else than in my personal little playground during my free time.
Course all the flasherz will get on it asap and it will grow but the aim is too high and enthusiasm won't get us far. With flash it was easy. We had the creative people that saw in flash the means to experiment new ways of expression on the web. Now they feel betrayed and for a good reason. With Flex we have to pitch this at a whole new level, the enterprise one. And there are still few people in our world that can talk back when slapped with a core design pattern from a J2EE savy.
Well there's still the good old answer that they failed with the applets and now they are choking with html tables and server generated javascript and so they should like us at least.
More about the Flex jump here at Mossy's. I agree with what he's saying but I still feel that Cairngorm is currently the best answer for Flex apps as it's the only beaten track yet. And the guys were recently acquired by Macromedia to join their RIA consulting team so that says it all.
Ofcourse you have to get to a certain level before using it but if u're not there yet then you shouldn't use Flex on commercial projects now should u?
Well it's Monday and I feel as sad I was when they introduced AS2. Small and with time passing me by very fast.
But I'll feel better tomorrow :)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The new Logan site: it will change your life

Well that's what they say in the spot for the new Logan diesel from our eternal automobile company here in Romania - Dacia Automobiles - part of the Renault Group. They also claim that this campaign will run in over 37 countries so you just might be lucky enough to see it on your very own tv. But what do we web developers care about that anyway :)?
What will change our exciting web life here in Romania is the fact that if you go to the new web site of Dacia Automobiles (romanian only) and you right click -> view source you see this marvelous first line of xhtml code:
<html xmlns="" xml:lang="ro" lang="ro">
Whoa, full xhtml compliance!
Usability, standards, clean look!
And they actually paid someone to implement the Plone cms that runs on the Zope server that is built in the Python programming language.
Do you see where I'm aiming?
They built their web site entirely using Open Source Software!
Now do you see where I'm going?
They realized that their site was so important that they had to get professional help!
No more daddy or uncle's little web designer that has FrontPage installed on his gaming pc at home :p
Well they are part of the Renault Group and we all know that Renault is not based in Romania and no where near central-east Europe. But it seems that we as a nation move forward only when pushed from behind by people who still believe that we can change. I only hope those people keep on pushing...

Friday, October 07, 2005

enter the AVM

Note: In order to view this site you must have Flash Player 8 installed!

Naaaaaaaah :D
this will be like:

Note: This application requires that you have the Actionscript Virtual Machine installed on your computer.

Sounds much sweeter neh?
Enter Flash player 8.5 and Flex Builder 2.0 (aka ZORN)
More here.
Oh sweet mama :)