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Archive for the 'ActionScript' Category

Think inside the box

TechCrunch50 The last few weeks I’ve been busy working on an app for creative writing, called Copybox. On monday it was finally launched publicly at the TechCrunch50 conference. Below is a video of the presentation, which explains the motivations of the application, and how it works.

The splash screen of the video is a bit odd, it has nothing to do with anything, I don’t know why.

You can watch the video at blip.tv too.

Copybox was build in Flex, using the Mate application framework. It’s going to be deployed both as a hosted version running in the browser and in a desktop version running on AIR. We’re currently in private beta alpha, but if you’re a copywriter go to the Copybox site and sign up, because we need your input.

No luck for Flex SEO contest

Can I just say I told you so?

Side-stepping ES4

The news is that the proposed ECMAScript 4 (ES4) that created such a stir in the ActionScript community half a year ago is no more. Instead the ECMAScript working groups is going to pursue an update to version 3. I say good riddance to ES 4, it had a lot of interesting stuff in it that I would have loved to see in ActionScript, but that was only because ES4 had every possible feature from every language that its authors had ever laid their eyes on.

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Why Google isn’t indexing dynamic content (yet)

In an interview with Lee Brimelow, the Senior Product Manager for Flash Player, Justin Everett-Church clears up some of the questions surrounding Adobe and Google’s new SWF indexing capabilities:

Flash Player does not actually implement the network API, we actually hand that off to our host, so in the case of a browser the browser will make a network request and that’s what adds cookies. A similar process is happening on the search server, where we will actually say “well, I need this XML file or I need this other SWF” and it’s up to the Google host application to return that content. My understanding right now is that that part of it has not been implemented by Google even though our search player allow that capability.

TheFlashBlog: Flash Player FAQs Video with Justin Everett-Church (the quote is at 8:20), emphasis mine.

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MXMLC WTF (8): Keys can be of any type as long as it’s String

Have you ever tried looping over all the keys in a Dictionary? The whole point of the Dictionary class is that you can have objects of any type as keys, unfortunately someone forgot to tell the ActionScript compiler that:

var dict : Dictionary = ...;

for ( var k : MySpecialType in dict ) { trace(k, dict[k]); }

Error: Implicit coercion of a value of type String to an unrelated type

WTF?

The Red Herring revisited

Google has been indexing SWF:s using their new techniques for a couple of weeks now, and it should be possible to see what it really means. I was very critical in my last post on the subject, and some of the things I have been proven wrong about, but it seems that so far I have been mostly right, nothing has really changed.

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Switch off SwitchBoard

SwitchBoard doing absolutely nothing

When Adobe SwitchBoard was announced the other week I was intrigued. It sounded like something I had been wishing for for a while: a better way to create user interfaces that leveraged the capabilities of the Creative Suite applications, something that the current scripting environment doesn’t do very well. I installed it and read the documentation and my entusiasm quickly faded. It’s the same lame impossible-to-use BridgeTalk technology as before with the same contradictory and strangely inter-application-incompatible API:s, but packaged differently. It’s true that you can create great user interfaces, but the scripting still sucks — and it turns out that it’s a resource hog.

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SWF indexing is a red herring, and you should all know that by now

So, here we go again, Google has annonced that they will index SWF files with a new algorithm and the whole Flash blogosphere echobox is ringing with the words of the clueless. The announcement shows how little Google understands about Flash websites and needlessly diverts the attention away from developing a real solution to Flash website search engine optimization. The reaction to Google’s announcement also shows how little the Flash bloggers understand about the problem. I’m not sure which of these two is the most annoying.

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Death to AC_FL_RunContent

When your projects include SWF files created with Adobe Flash or Flex, the newly updated Insert Flash feature in Dreamweaver [CS4], which now uses the open source SWFObject 2.0 codebase

(From Adobe Edge: June 2008 via jonnymac. Emphasis mine.

Adobe has finally killed off their hideous Flash embed script, not a second too soon.

ActionScript generics in Flash Player 10?

In the prerelease version of Flash Player 10 there is support for type-safe lists in the form of the new class Vector. The class is an example of a parameterized type, meaning that you can have a vector of strings, a vector of display objects or a vector of any other type you like. Parameterized types are called “genetics” in Java and “templates” in C++ and it’s a really nice feature to have.

Unfortunately it seems like you can’t write your own parameterized types, Vector is what you get. Hopefully this is the first sign of things to come, perhaps there will be more in the next version of the player. Watch this space.

Just to check I’ve also tried some other ECMAScript 4 features like let, type and generic functions, but none seems supported.

Update: Seems like the parameterized types doesn’t work very well with push, shift and other array manipulation methods, they accept any type, even though they shouldn’t (likely because are implemented using variable argument lists, which is one of the cases where ActionScript’s typing system breaks down). Also, it breaks down for nested types like var list : Vector.<Vector.<String>> (which allows any vector type to be assigned to the vector, which it shouldn’t. This line should not compile list[0] = new Vector.<int>(), but it does).