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Architectural Atrocities, part 9: Cairngorm’s Model Locator pattern

From time to time I re-read the introductory articles on Cairngorm just to remind me of why I don’t use it and never will. This installment of the Architectural Atrocities series is a critique of the Cairngorm framework, and the Model Locator pattern in particular.

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The hours that 10.5.2 took

For two days I’ve had lots of problems with the Flex application I’m working on. Mysterious behaviour that doesn’t register any errors anywhere. I couldn’t understand what was going on until today when I accidentally right-clicked on the application. Seconds later my hand collided with my forehead and a long sigh could be heard.

It turns out that the 10.5.2 update for Mac OS X silently installed a new version of Flash Player, overwriting the debug version I had installed. Combined with the Font Explorer X problems and weird glitches and two complete system hangs that also came with the update I can tell you that I’ve lost too many hours of work because of that fucking update.

Flex Compiler API

This is really great: Flex Doc Team: Java-based Compiler API. It’s the Flex compiler exposed as a Java API, which means that finally someone (perhaps I) can write a set of proper Ant tasks for Flex.

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Stumbled upon a link in a mail from 2001: Gravité, a control panel for old Mac OS which made it look as if you were really dragging icons. Oh, the happy times.


Someone should revive this for drag & drop in Flex.

TextMate Flex tips, part 2

It’s been a while since I wrote about TextMate and Flex, but still my last post is one of the first five when I google for “textmate flex“, “textmate flex bundle” or “textmate flex tips“. This surprises me as I thought that by now there should have been more written about Flex and TextMate by now, after all it’s been almost ten months. It turns out that there actually has been things going on, but in the quiet.

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Joost revisited

Joost seems soon to be out of beta, and it’s gotten much better since the first Mac version was released and I tested it for the first time (see my review of it from back then).

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Nowadays a new data interchange format is born more or less every day. Today I saw a couple of posts on MXNA announcing SWX, so, curious as I am I checked it out. Now I shake my head in wonder of how people find the time to reinvent the wheel time and time again.

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The Apollo SDK will be free

Adobe is continuing the trend they started with the Flex SDK and will provide the Apollo SDK free of charge.

This is an excerpt from the Apollo for Flex Developers Pocketguide:

The Apollo SDK provides a number of free command-line tools that make it possible to test, debug, and package Apollo application swith virtually any web development and design tool. [...] While Adobe will be adding support to its own web development and design tools for authoring Apollo content, they are not required. Using the Apollo command-line tools, you can create an Apollo application with any web development tool. You can use the same web development and design tools that you are already using today.

This is really good news, and probably a very good strategy on Adobe’s part. Instead of shying away from buying a full development environment for hundreds of dollars, potential new developers can try out the platform for free and without restriction.

I for one have changed my view of Adobe/Macromedia as a company over the last year, from mildly sceptical to very entusiastic.

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.


Firebug - Web Development Evolved

FireBug is one of the best tools I have used. Web development without it wouldn’t be the same. It’s been really really good for quite a while now, fantastic even, but there has been one feature missing, an activity monitor which shows how images and files load, like Safari’s Activity Monitor. The latest version has one, and it’s sooooo much better than Safari’s, showing timings both in numbers and graphically. It also has a profiler.

What can I say, one of the best tools (rivaled only by TextMate) in my web development toolchain just got a lot better. From the top there is no way but down, but not for FireBug.

Why on earth isn’t there any tools like this for ActionScript development?