Thursday, April 20, 2006

my everyday Eclipse

I remember the first time I heard about Eclipse Project. The "it's a platform not an editor" line...
Quickly googled it, found the link and landed on the page. Definitely a BIG company doing some big stuff for BIG software development companies. I'll stick to my Sepy editor. This is not a place for me.
Well I wasn't far off because it is a big and complex project. And when I decided to switch to Eclipse for my programming needs it wasn't a clean entry. Heck, I even had to rebuild one flash project using a swf decompiler and some older versions because ASDT had an error when creating the AS2 project. Well it was dumb of me to point the project folder to my ready made project folder with fla's, classes and all. All for the better now I'm using Subversion and can sleep better at night.
So, Eclipse
It requires JRE and it's not the fastest editor you could get. But RAM comes cheap these days.
But how about this: having ALL your development inside a single IDE. I mean ALL: ActionScript, JavaScript, Php, Perl, Html, CSS and whatever you can think of. And don't think that it's not equal or even better to what you would get from other free various tools out there. I'm talking syntax highlighting, excellent code autocompletion, error reporting, project view, etc.
I am not a Java developer but boy how I envy them for having such an IDE build specifically for their needs.
The fact that anyone can write a plugin for Eclipse makes it such a powerful platform. For web development also. In my daily routine I usually mix everyhing: Php, Mysql, ActionScript, JavaScript, Html. And I have a plugin installed for every one of these so I get a different "perspective" for editing each type of file. It works like a charm.
And today I stumbled upon a blog post that led me to the Easy Eclipse site. It's main goal is to painlessly break in new users that are willing but afraid to try it just yet. I think this could be an excellent entry point as it has a special LAMP dev version for the seasoned web developer.
sure because of the plugin architecture and ongoing improvement it happens that some stuff stops working after an update. Here comes the assisted update utility that can automagically check for new versions so it's worth nevertheless.
Right now I don't really know all the plugins that I have installed but this is partly because I recently installed the WST components and that's a huge package. But I'll try to list here the plugins that I consider to be a must for webdev:
For database design I use something outside Eclipse because all I could find was a view only plugin solution. As I like to move tables around I skipped it. My OS DB editing software is called DBDesigner and is a cool sidekick for my Eclipse. Here's the homepage.
I also use the integrated Ant utilities for automating some tasks like mtasc compiling and active ftp uploading of current edited php files cause I got tired of developing on Win and then transferring to our dev server and doing two sets of testing. This ftp thing in Eclipse was a tricky thing to achieve and I find ftp as being the biggest thing the Eclipse IDE is missing. FTP/WebDAV throws me a Java Error. You basically have to grab these two .jar files: commons-net-1.4.1.jar, jakarta-oro-2.0.8.jar then copy them to the plugins/org.apache.ant/lib/ folder. After that you get some neat ftp tags to use in your Ant files. You make a build.xml file and set it as a second build for your Php project to build with the auto option on. You can read more on this subject here.

I'm thinking of putting this jewel on a USB stick together with Firefox so I'll have my own personal and comforting PC environment everywhere I go. Shouldn't be too hard and I'll detail it further when I have a result that satisfies me.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

flash 99% video?

It never fails to amaze me just how much difference it makes having a business model build on a particular technology for the success of that technology.
JavaScript is now experiencing it's rebirth based on features that were there but no one bother to market them until early last year when Jesse James Garrett from Adaptive Path published his essay on a new way of making web interaction. No one would dare claiming that Ajax was just a household cleaner after that without facing angry mobs on the blogs.
On the other hand Flash roams the web for more than 7 years now. It started as the bad boy many neighbours feared will corrupt their web neighbourhood. Some demanded that action take place before it's too late. He was bad. 99% bad actually.
But there's this problem of thinking about what's best for the user and knowing what's best for the user. And in most cases neither one of these is the same with the user's final choice. Like in the human society there are purists that cry in the markets but 99% of the public won't listen. Oh wait, the web is a part of the human society.
So what does the marketing guy do when everyone spends more and more time online?
He starts making online advertising ofcourse. Good old tv might be losing ground but people still need to be told what things to buy and why. And the best recipe for success is a tested model so he needs to find the best technology to do online broadcasting. And what is best for doing online video other than our good old Flash Player. No intros, no "Loading, please wait...". Well actually if you really think about it, every "Desperate Housewives" episode could be regarded as a big 1 hr intro to the next week's one. And no "loading", just some buffering if your broadband can't keep up.
So in the end everybody is happy. Including AT&T, Cingular, Ford, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever's Suave, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures, among others. And the happiest is the marketing guy who will tell you that "This unique project has allowed us to offer our advertisers the ability to deliver increased effectiveness in their messaging through targeted and engaging interactive ads that offer compelling consumer experiences".
Did you notice that "
compelling consumer experiences" at the end?
Is that "
compelling user experiences"?
No, it is the consumer that decides what sells. And what sells lives. What doesn't just dies and everybody forgets about it.
More on Flash TV:
  2. Brightcove

Friday, April 07, 2006

microsoft on web is dead

Well here's a bombshell for you.
Naturally it's a rumor and is out of context and all.
But comming from Eric it is at least worth looking at.
So here's the Friday the 7'th joke for you:
Microsoft claims that the web is dead!
I can understand that this is how things look from Redmond. For them the whole web is dead and buried all right :D

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

now I'm a true flasher :D

[Edit] To see what this post is about please disable your css styles. If you can and your browser allows you to. If you can't do that you can return here on April 5 2007 or
Get Firefox

Some people know me as flasheru cuz I love doing Flash apps or talking about doing Flash apps.
But on this special day I'm flashing my <body/> for real. It's not me to get the credits for the clean <body/> that I have. Google did it. But hey, I'm enthusiastic about my clean <body/>. Just look how it flows...

What happened to the design?
To know more about why styles are disabled on this website visit the Annual CSS Naked Day website for more information.