FITC Amsterdam 2008 : Discount code

For the first time ever, Flash In The Can (FITC) will visit Europe.
This takes place as previously announced between the 24th and the 27th (incl. pre-festival workshops and a post-festival ditto featuring none other than the legendary Colin Moock).

If you still haven’t gotten your ticket I would def. urge you to, its gonna be a lot of fun and it might even have some educational aspects too (just kidding, I know I will bring home a lot of goodies for the dev-shed).

Anyways, in case you haven’t gotten your ticket yet I can offer you this discount entitling you to 25% off the sticker-price.

I know it works as I myself have used it… :-)

FITC Discountcode: “labs25″ (without apostrophe’s)


Adobe Flex : Modular applications vulnerable to missing resources

When developing modular applications in Adobe Flex, its critical to ensure that all resources are available for the module and the application that loads it.
You will most likely not get any errormessage indicating the problem, the module will just never complete its creation flow and leave your application hanging somewhere in mid-air between the initialized and the creationComplete event.

The error handling in the ModuleManager and the ModuleLoader are to be honest, not particularly well written at this point (as of Flex 3 Beta 3, Milestone 4) and I expect that the entire mx.modules package is scheduled for an overhaul during the current and last development iteration prior to the emergence of the release candidates (if any) and the first release.

Anyways, back to the issue about missing resources causing the Module creation flow to halt… even the emittance of a style sheet reference used by the module will cause the creation to halt and fail in Flash’s silent, but deadly manner (I never liked that paradigm and I am sad to find it all over the place, even here in one of the mission-critical parts of the framework).

I would very much prefer not to have to modify the source code for frameworks and/or 3rd-party products used by production systems, but if the mx.Modules don’t receive a lot of “love” from the Flex team prior to release, I will have to in order to get the required stability and robustness.

I would like to mention at this point however, that we have decided to use Flex 3 for production level systems at a very early point, and in general this has been a hugely positive experience (please read previous posts about our Beta experiences) and I have not regretted this decision at any point.

Here you can read more about how to create modular applications with Adobe Flex if you have any interest in this…


Adobe Flex : Coghead 2.0 has been released today, now based on Flex

The new Coghead 2.0 was built using Adobe Flex. Like a lot of RIAs, Coghead is moving to Amazon Web Services to power the back end while adopting Flex on the front end.

Coghead is an interesting company because their application actually lets you create your own web application without programming. You drag and drop components on to the screen and then customize their behavior. As TechCrunch notes, the upgrade to 2.0 made the interface snappier and cleaner. Paul McNamara, the CEO, attributed this to the adoption of Flex.

Amazon Web Services and Flex make a really, really powerful combination and more companies are realizing that. More companies are also realizing that in some cases, when you have big, robust applications, Ajax doesn’t always cut it. Not everyone is going to be building something as complex as Coghead, but as we see more of these immersive types of Software as a Service applications, you’re going to see more Flex usage. Oh, and there’s the AIR bit. These companies want to be able to expand easily to the desktop and AIR lets them take all the stuff they’ve already done and create a new experience for users.

Coghead claims Coghead is now 3X faster than before. And, in fact, some operations are now much more than 3X faster. The primary reason for this performance breakthrough have been achieved by re-implementing the UI using Adobe’s Flex software.

Check it out:


Adobe Event : January 25th in Copenhagen

The Adobe experts are throwing a presentation of their Web technologies and AIR.

Folks like…

- longtime Macromedia/Adobe web-tech evangelist Greg Rewis
- omnipresent CSS and accessibility expert Stephanie Sullivan
- video-rockstar Jason Levine
- top-of-the-lnie AIR guru Mike Downey

…will come and present this for the general masses.

I don’t expect this to be advanced in any way as its targetted towards the general public, but nevertheless it might be interesting for the more strategically inclined techies to attend as it will summarize the vision of the technologies down to one commutable serenade. A serenade I expect will be usable as part of a “sales pitch” both internally to management, other peer-departments as well as externally to customers considering a RIA solution.
I therefore also assume it could be beneficial for more non-technical personnel working with techies to attend, as I assume it will provide a not-too-technical overview of the technologies.

Check it out and signup here:
NB. Its free and signup has just opened as of the time of posting this.

This day or seminar follows a day for VIP’s only, where I suppose the plans for the future will unveiled… tell me, is there anybody out there who is not excited about the sharp turn Adobe has taken since the acquisition of Macromedia in regards to parter-relations :-)

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FITC Amsterdam 25th – 27th February

Don’t forget to get your ticket while the early bird discount still is available (Last chance is the 9th of February). Its the 7th year of this exciting event and I am gonna try to do my best to be able to find the time and finance to attend.

Check it out:

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Adobe Flex : Visual Flex Unit

One of the major trailblazers on the Flex front is the company Allurent which features none other than Joe Berkovitz himself as VP of Engineering.
For you out there not yet familiar with Joe’s (I hope he won’t mind too much that I mention him by firstname) achievements, you should check his blog out right away and stay listening as its one of the major sources for good stuff out in respect to the Flex development environment out there as well as in respect to the entire Flash platform as well.

Anyways, Allurent have chosen to share another of their works, namely the Visual Flex Unit which “is an Allurent open source project to establish a framework for the testing of components’ visual appearance. The goal is to enhance FlexUnit with additional features to support visual assertions. In a nutshell, a visual assertion asserts that a component’s appearance is identical to a stored baseline image file. Tests can be run using a GUI interface or through an Ant build process.”

It looks very promising and as a huge fan of automated test I will definitely try to give it a shot.

Check it out:

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Mac vs. PC : Cool Mac Utils

Making the switch to Mac has required me to learn how to navigate in a completely different universe than the one found for the PC platform.

As one of the major differencies, it appears that the os-confusion relating to the Mac platform is much less diasporate than the one for Mac which in comparison seems more organized and less in conflict about how to do things… pretty obvious considering the homogenous nature of the Mac ecosystem.

One of the thoughts that keep appearing during mt crusade to climb up of the Windows hole I fell into 10 years ago, is that the Mac people are much more goal-oriented in comparison to the process oriented PC people. The basis for this thought appears to be the difference in the amount of time one has to allocate on tasks relating to merely support ones primary task: productivity in ones field. far it appears that the distance one has to cover in terms of the number of tasks and their respective duration is larger on PC than on Mac everntually making Mac a productive environment as I sooner get to the point of productivity on this platform than on Mac – however I am still not blind for the fact that I might still just be under strong inlfuence by the “hype” one has when switching from a classically skinned Win XP which had one had been forced to downgrade into as a result of a failed attempt to upgrade to Win Vista.

Anyways… I will use the opportunity of this blog entry to share to links to cool utils for the Mac OSX.

An overview of status bar plugins:

The Growl application which allows application developers to post events to a global (in respect to either the local machine of the LAN on which it resides):


Bloggerwave : Payment completed

As a follow up to my previous post about how to make money blooging I can now inform everybody that I recieved my 50,00 via Paypal for my previous post.

So it appears that the system is working… :-)


Adobe Flex : Ribbit Developer API available

The Ribbit Developer Platform gives developers the ability to make and receive calls, record, send and receive voice messages, as well as add and organize contacts.

They have just released the first public beta of the API and sofar it looks great.

Check it out:


Five Tips for Staying Productive When You Work Where You Live

Get dressed. You’re going to work — at home. For many people whose office is located somewhere between the kitchen and the living room, succumbing to the ease of working from home can throw a curve ball in the career path.

Here are five ideas to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls of working from home and strike a healthy balance:

1. Separate your work space from the rest of your home and spend time in it only when you are working. Make it off limits to family members — kids and spouses do not belong there. Create physical barriers, such as a door or a flight of stairs to isolate yourself from your home routine and focus your attention.

2. Sit at your desk at the same time every day and keep normal business hours. Parcel out your work by task and the time you expect it to take to complete. This will help you instill urgency in your work and increase your productivity. “One of the major challenges is prioritizing your tasks because nobody is there to tell you what to do,” says Holly Reslink, a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches, “so it helps to create a daily goal sheet.”

3. Dress in a way that will help you feel professional. You do not have to wear stockings and high heels, but it helps to get out of your pj’s and put on a crisp shirt.

4. Disregard house chores until the end of the business day. You wouldn’t wash the dishes, walk the dog or cook lunch for the kids if you were in a real office, so resist the temptation to do it at your home office. If you find that hard to achieve, give yourself short deadlines for specific tasks and do household work only in between.

5. If your work does not require constant access to email, turn off your email program and check messages only at scheduled times. Being stuck in a home office all day can be frustrating, so instead of seeking distraction through communication, tackle boredom by allowing yourself short breaks outside. Take advantage of your situation by enjoying a few moments on your balcony.

Working at home is not for everyone, because it takes the right type of personality and motivation to be able to stay on track. “But for people who have a more flexible style of working,” says Reslink, “it can offer an opportunity to work within their own comfort zone and not conform to what an office manager expects them to do.”


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