Archive for October, 2007
I have tried the beta of the new SWFObject (SWFFix renamed) and it works quite well. I don’t have the mouse wheel problems I had previously. On the website that I am currently working on, I wanted to use SWFObject, but also to use SWFAdress. But since SWFObject changed considerably from version 1.5, SWFAddress won’t work with it, we will have to wait for another version or tweak it to make it work. It was nice that SWFAddress worked with SWFObject, it reduced the overhead, but the drawback is that if SWFObject changes, SWFAddress has to change too.
Well, the answer to that is because it works fine now and it’s really great. I kinda searched a lot for this and found all sorts of old tutorials on flash 6 which is not really what I wanted. Then I found this tutorial and it made things really easy. Basically if your file structure is simple (all your swf and html are in the same directory) then it’s a piece of cake. I had a bit of trouble because my swf were in a different folder, but once it was resolved, it was great. It’s really neat for fonts, you embed your fonts in the shared library and you can use it in any swf on your site, even the ones loaded in another swf. What is even greater is that your swf don’t have to contain dynamic textfields for you to save space, you’ll even save space for static textfields. I also considered putting in my shared library components that I use in at least three different movies, but I am not sure about that yet. That is one more step to making the smallest, lightest flash website. I’ll check if it is still the same in Flash CS3 and maybe I’ll make my own tutorial about it.
Yesterday I spoke about Papervision3D; well today’s FWA is a site made using Papervision3D and it’s quite amazing. I also found a blog post from the company explaining the process they went trough. Ah yeah, by the way the website is this one, Sony Bravia. Also I have found a tutorial giving you the big steps to make good models for papervision3D. I’ll be sure to read it.
I also read a lot about design patterns today, and I really ask myself if it really applies to Flash and simple interfaces, because implementing a MVC (Model-View-Controller) pattern for each and every button seems a bit too much. I’m trying to keep an open mind, but sometimes object-oriented programming seems cool in theory but far from practice… Maybe if I keep on reading…
I am currently working on a website with tons of rounded corners, so I’m pretty happy they added 9-slices scaling in Flash 8. The only problem I had today, was that I wanted to apply 9-slices scaling on a mask and it happens that you just can’t. You can’t do it using ActionScript and you can’t use it using the Flash Authoring tool. I don’t know about flash 9, but I sure hope they will get that to work.
I also stumbled upon something that looks pretty cool: Papervision 3D . The name says it, you can use it to do 3D in flash, haven’t tried it yet but it looks sweet. And while browsing their website I found a nice example using Tweener which I spoke off recently. They’ll both deserve more investigation.
Finally, on the same project I am working with all those rounded corner I am using FlashDevelop. I use it because I find the Flash Authoring tool to be really bad (Flash 8 ) for ActionScript. Well I said FlashDevelop was good, but I would rectify what I said, and now say that it is still experimental. I had all sort of problems with it, mostly with the auto-completion tool completing things all the time which I didn’t ask for . Just thought I’d share that with you.
If you noticed there is the word SEO (search engine optimization) in the title of the blog but I didn’t have the time to write about it yet. In the meanwhile I can direct you to the website the-flash-files made by Nurun , a web agency in Montreal (actually a competitor of the company I work for).
Today I found another tweening engine called Tweener. For those who know it, it is the successor of MC Tween. It looks great, it permits you to do tweens on a lot of properties and there is a delay argument, so your code will look cleaner (without all the setTimeout). The down side is still the weight, well it’s way less than the Fuse kit but still; 9.2kb for ActionScript 2 or 10.4 kb for ActionScript 3. This include all of the Robert Penner’s original easing equations and there is a nice page showing the difference between each of them. I think I will try this code some time soon and I’ll give you feedback about it.
This weekend, I’ll try to work on the wordpress template because I think it looks too common and it’s way too narrow, ActionScript code doesn’t look like I would like it to. Maybe I’ll have time to update the ActionScript 3 Tween tutorial too.
Some news on the side of SWFFix; it doesn’t exist anymore… Back to SWFObject. Well only in name. Since the name SWFFix implied there was something that needed to be fixed with flash, Adobe wasn’t to happy about it and why start from scratch when every flash programmer knows what SWFObject is. They made this announcement earlier this week and at the same time released a new beta for the application. I can’t wait to try it since it solved some problems but created other. Well this is for the best.
I kinda like having problems at job now, because it gives me something to write about. I had two big problems today. We switched from a traditional server to a Flash Media Server to host our videos. So I had to adapt the actionScript to connect to the new server. I thought this would be a piece of cake; so wrong I was. All I wanted to do is change the address in the link in the netStream.play method. Nope, the thing with Flash Media Server is that you have to connect to the application first and then request the file to stream. I did just that like indicated everywhere, but what nobody will tell you, like if it was a big secret, it’s that you don’t put the extension of your movie in its link so insteand of “design/intro_movie.flv”, you have to do it this way: “flv:design/intro_movie”. Quite strange and unintuitive way to do. Anyway, once you get this figured out, it’s pretty easy, but still I had to experiment for about 3 hours just to find that out. I’ll post the code for the connection tomorrow.