Tuesday, April 19, 2005

More thoughts on the merger

I recently posted this message to our local Macromedia User Group, which I manage.

I've had some time to let the purchase sink in a bit. I spent the majority of yesterday evening going over all of the User Group Managers and Macromedia employee thoughts on the merger.

Overall - I'm taking a positive light on the change. This will expand the software offerings that are covered by our User Group and will allow some of the Macromedia products to be given more resources and make them even better than they already are now.

I'm keeping my eye on any changes that will happen with the User Group community - and I'm thinking it will only be good news. As of right now, and at least till end of year - we'll still be Macromedia focused and cover Macromedia focused topics at the meetings. If things change you'll all be the first to know.

If you haven't had a chance to read them yet, I'll point you to three blog entries that give me a better feel of what may happen in the near future as we progress.

Ben Forta - CF Evangelist

Kevin Lynch - Chief Software Architect (Macromedia)

Mike Chambers - CF / Flash Developer Relations / Product Manager (Macromedia)

Here is also an interesting article about Adobe GoLive vs. Dreamweaver - the reason I post this is because it's my belief that you can pretty much expect the best of both of these products in the next version that Adobe will release. Now that's good news!


Monday, April 18, 2005

Have you seen my Cheese?

Well - I walked in to work today excited about the opportunities that lie ahead of me... and then caught the glance of an email that chilled me to the bone. "Adobe to aquire Macromedia..."

Can this be true?

Yes - it is true, and all the blogging community has already blogged the heck out of it.

Is it a good thing? I believe it will be great for the server product line. I believe that Flash and Dreamweaver will flourish in the environment and I believe that Freehand and Fireworks may have something to worry about.

Adobe is really the expert when it comes to video - and that's been an area that Macromedia has been making great strides in. Adobe's focus has not been video for the web, where as MM's focus has been just that and great experiences for mobile computing and the internet in general. I think the merger of these two powerhouses will have them dominating the video market on the web and off.

The tight ties with Apple will also make it very interesting for developing true cross-platform integration and abilities.

All in all - I was shocked by the announcement - but as it settles in I'm anxious to see what will come next.

The Macromedia Community is so loyal that I'm sure this change won't affect much.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Google Video

Google has started a beta for their new Video service.


Stumbled across this article via Slashdot.

Using SKYPE as a Media Production Tool

Stumbled across this very interesting article via Damien Stolarz's blog. I think I may try to use this for the Indie Sessions site.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Errors when trying to load XML w/ Flash

Usually this is an easy fix and the issue points to the cross-domain security where the player sandbox will not allow you to load data from another domain. The usual workarounds are listed here.

However today I ran across an issue where a person was still getting errors when the cross-domain policies were in place. The issue actually turned out to be related to SSL.

"I think we finally found out the issue. In test we use ssl but the prod names don't match up with our certificates, so you just have to click yes to continue and this has never caused us a problem in the past; however flash seems to care about the certificate not being valid for the hostname. We tried with actual production names that matched the certificate and it worked."

Just another gotcha to watch out for...


I will be attending the Spring (BR) Conference in Athens, Ohio next month. Come on out and say hi! Details below.


Join us in the Baker University Center on the beautiful campus of Ohio University in Athens, Ohio for our Spring
2005 Info Tech Conference! As always, this is shaping up to be a top flight conference, with industry heavy weights participating.

This event is presented by the Southeast Ohio Macromedia User Group [SEOMUG] in partnership with the Information Technology Alliance of Appalachian Ohio [ITAAO] and we are sponsored by the Ohio University Computer Services Center [CSC], Ohio University's Center for Innovations in Technology for Learning [CITL] and Macromedia, Inc. [MM]

Some of the names you might recognize that will be here include: Dave Gruber, Senior Product Manager for Macromedia, Phillip Kerman, Joe Lowery, Nate Weiss, Neil Ross, John Cummings, Keith Instone, and more! Also, we have special guest author, radio host and star of G4TechTV's "Call For Help", Leo Laporte in our special Lunchtime Presentation presented by Que and Sams Publishing.

The conference is a day packed full of information and demonstrations, and an opportunity to meet and network with other web technology professionals and gurus. There is only a nominal $25 charge to attend this event, (which includes your lunch and the special Lunchtime presentation). Student admission is only $15 with lunch, or $5 without lunch. There will be many valuable prizes awarded to attendees, and you must be present at the time of the drawings in order to win!

If you have any questions regarding the conference, parking, directions or accommodations, please feel free to call the Ohio University Computer Services Frontline at (740)597-8000 for assistance.

More Info and to Register Online: http://www.seomug.org/conference.cfm

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Powered By Detroit - Session Recap - Day One

On Friday evening I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the speaker's dinner for Powered By Detroit. It was a great evening, fantastic food and even better conversation with some of the most respected experts in the industry.

I found myself enjoying my meal with Danilo Celic , Lawrence Cramer , Angela Buraglia and Dan Short

The highlight of the dinner had to be my UG's unofficial co-manager, Kevin Phillips, explaining his latest project to the group. Of course, I twisted his arm to tell the others about it - but the entire table thought it was a very unique and interesting idea.

I ran into many other friends at the dinner too and got to briefly talk with Greg Rewis about his new phone and some of the fantastic Flash Apps that people are developing for mobile devices.

What a way to kick off a conference - I was geeked for the first day to arrive and sure 'nuff, it did.

The first session I attended was "CFC Crash Course - An Introduction to CF Components" given by Doug Hughes. It was a packed session with something for everyone from beginner to intermediate levels. I've used CFC's in my development in the past, but this session made beginner OOP concepts a bit clearer to me and will help me change the way I layout applications in the future. Great job Doug!

The second session I attended was Jason Michael Perry's - "Developing Rich Internet Applications with Flash Remoting" This session focused on using the Flash Remoting Connector to get data in and bound to components and to tell you the truth - I've always used actionscript to do this - but I think I may just try the connector to see if it can save me some time.

My third session was Matt Woodward's - "Flex your ColdFusion Muscles" which gave a quick view of just how easy Flex can be used as your rich experience interface to existing complex web applications.

The conference lunch was awesome. Seriously - it was buffet style, but the food was great!

Following lunch Greg Rewis gave a very energetic keynote presentation on "Rich Internet Experience" that was well received by all attendees. We even got some sneak peeks at what may be available in the next version of the Flash Player - in a word - "hot!"

After the keynote I attended Jeff Houser's - "Creating Flash Sound", which was a refreshing session that focused much more on how developer's can create their own sound effects and the best way to get them into Flash. There is definitely a place for this kind of session at these conferences - as many people I know focus way too much on grabbing free, lack luster sounds for their applications - when they could be making their own, higher quality sounds/music using programs such as Sound Forge / ACID.

I closed out the first day with Danilo Celic's - "sIFR: Flashy Fonts for the Web" which was fantastic because it allowed me to get an understanding of sIFR and how I could implement it on client sites to add a great feel of uniqueness to sites. Danilo is very cool and a great speaker, he explains things well and makes it look easy. Top notch!

After closing first day comments from Cornel, it was back home to Windsor and a quiet evening at home, testing out some of the many things I learned that day.

Day one grade - A+

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Powered By Detroit - Day Two

Well, it's the second and final day of what's been a great conference! Cornel Ivanescu has done an absolutely amazing job of attracting the best speakers and making this year's conference a smash hit. Ben Forta was introduced in a Hummer that was pushed from behind by the User Group Managers! What a way to start a keynote presentation!

I'll post more tonight about specific information about the sessions - but I gotta run, I was able to use my USB data cable to get this one post off - more later.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Dynamic Banner

I was asked to create a dynamic flash banner for our corporate website a little while back by our Marketing department. They were looking for something similar to this:


They wanted to be able to put an undefined number of swf movies into a folder and have the Flash file automatically generate the navigation and play the files. I accomplished this by calling out to an ASP script - which retrieved a count of files in the directory and then passed it back to Flash to build the navigation.

Since the SWF files that would be played are always going to be named 1.swf, 2.swf, etc. - we ran into a caching issue in certain browsers. I ran across this great technote that shows how to stop the browsers from caching your swf files.

Stop caching of SWFs

I'll be posting my code for the banner once I get NADONweb up and running.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Howie Day Media Player

Here's a very nice example of a Media Player. If you know who built this, I'd love to know - they did a very nice job of making a slick, simple player with a friendly interface.

Howie Day Media Player

You can even watch the video for "Collide"

Monday, April 04, 2005

Just sad...

This morning I looked down at my odometer and it read 127001 and I said "hey! localhost!"

For punishment, I stopped at Starbucks to solidify the fact that I am a geek.