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Archive for February, 2007

Joost beta test

Joost Today I got to try out Joost, and my impression is that it’s just like TV, except worse. The reason why I don’t own a TV set is that there’s nothing but crap on, lots of channels but nothing worth seeing. Joost is the same, except more sports. It’s not fair to judge them on their content yet, I know, and I am excited of what Joost will bring once they get some big players on — it’s just that I had expected that there would be something, at least one show, that was worth watching.

Oh, and the UI consumes 100% of my CPU.

Edit: Updating to 0.8.1 takes down the CPU usage to around 30%, which is about the same as VLC, so no complaints.

Visualizing mxmlc’s link report

If you set mxmlc‘s link-report flag to true you get a file describing your application’s dependencies, including the size of those dependencies. Using some simple XSL and Ant you can get a more readable HTML version.

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TextMate Flex tips

I’ve started working with Flex, and since I use TextMate I have written some useful commands which I thought I would share.

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The Seven Sins by Whipping Floyd

Today I released a new campaign site for Whipping Floyd’s new collection The Seven Deadly Sins.

The Seven Deadly Sins The Seven Deadly Sins collection site for Whipping Floyd

Design and music by Magnus Heed of Whipping Floyd, website production by me. As usual I try to avoid loading sequences, but on this site it was extra easy since it starts with a streaming video. This leaves a lot of time to load other things. I really appreciate Flash’s ability to stream both video and audio content, it makes sites like this one so much easier to create.

Creating static sites like this one also has other advantages: I can bundle up all images that are needed into a SWF, which loads so much faster than loading the images one by one. It also means that I get the benefit of JPEG-compression on my images, but can still have transparency — very convenient. This is nothing new, of course, but it is not very often I can (or want to) take advantage of this, it’s more or less only possible when there is no or very little dynamic content.

MXMLC WTF (4)

It’s been reported elsewhere, and even on the MXMLC Ant task page over at Adobe Labs, but I think it’s worth repeating this major WTF:

The MXMLC Ant task doesn’t fail on a build error.

[mxmlc] Tests.mxml(30): Error: Syntax error: A string
        literal must be terminated before the line break.

[mxmlc] this isn't even proper code

BUILD SUCCESSFUL

Why? Why? Why?

MXML and Dependency Injection

I am a huge fan of the Spring framework for Java because it helps me to build applications that are very loosely coupled. When I look at MXML it seems to me that it could be used in a similar fashion to Spring’s application context. In this article I’m going to explore that possibility and talk a little about why loose coupling is good.

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New website for Sandberg Trygg

Yesterday the new website for the Swedish B2B advertising agency Sandberg Trygg was launched. Sandberg Trygg The new Sandberg Trygg website

The site was designed by Ola Carlberg of Sandberg Trygg and developed entierly by me with project management by Martin Sandberg of Studebaker.

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Optimising concurrent loading and animation

I’ve spent the whole of monday optimising loading and animation on a website I’m working on. I realise now that I had been a little too naïve when it came to multitasking, which the Flash player is not very good at, because my animations became slow and jerky when I loaded things in the background.

The site has no loading sequences, instead I try to load the needed resources when they are needed, more like a HTML website. I belive that this makes for a better user experience. It requires some thinking on when to load what, because once you have started loading, the user may change their mind and you have to start load something else, but you can’t do that before the loaders you just started have finished. However, with a little prioritisation and centralised control it can be done.

But there seems to be one more problem, if you load something and try to run an animation at the same time, it looks really bad. The animation slows down and skips frames. I guess that this has to do with the Flash player being single-threaded. In my mind, throwing away an asynchronous request leaves you free to do some animation until the response comes, but it doesn’t work that way.

I the end I solved the problem by letting my components request that all loading should be blocked when they start an animation. When the animation is finished the component has to tell the central loading queue to continue. I believe its an acceptable solution, but I would have wished for a better one.

Does anyone have a suggestion for how to deal with concurrent loading and animation besides throwing up a sign that says “loading”?

The lost FlexUnit documentation

The first time I read How to use FlexUnit with FlexBuilder 2, which is about the only howto available on FlexUnit, I thought it was a bit fishy when it describes how to create a test suite from your test case in order to run the tests. I did as it described anyway, and it worked so I let it be.

For my next project, however, I decided to go to the bottom of things, because I thought that there must be a better way to do it.

Read on to see how it’s not supposed to be done, and how to do it instead.

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MXMLC WTF (3)

This isn’t strictly a MXMLC WTF, but rather an AS3 WTF, but I’ll stick it here anyway. Look at the following line:

var list : Array = new Array();

This line contains at least three WTF’s. Read on…

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