My second Rich Internet Application

A month ago (October 15th 2008) was the release of Flash player 10, but it was also the week that my second rich internet application was set (a)live. I wanted to make a post about it for a long time but I had a lot going on and only just now have things slowed down. So I present you Home Depot – redefining floors. I am really proud of it and I really put a lot of energy in it. It is the legitimate big brother of the previous RIA I made Home Depot – think in colour. I had known for a little while that I would be doing a follow up application to the paint picker and I had started planning and building the application in my head. When the development began, I knew a lot of things that I would not be doing again. Some of the pitfalls that I had faced doing the first application would not show up this time; I was ready and awaiting this new challenge with the motivation to do something better.

In the first one I had jumped head first into the code because I didn’t see any reason why I would use a framework, it was ok at first, but when the codebase became more imposing, dispatching event also became very tedious. So this time around, I used the framework PureMVC and I can say it helped a lot; it helped with the events and it also helped with shaping my ideas into classes.

An other thing I did differently was that I made sure that my ActionScript classes wouldn’t have displayed text in it. I live in Montreal and we speak mostly French here but the rest of Canada speaks English. So if I start putting copy in my code, I will need to have a codebase for French and a codebase for English. That is what I had done for the first application and every time a modification had to be done I had a whole lot of files to touch. So this time around most of the text was located in an xml file which was something better.

All in all, it was a very nice project that I liked to do a lot and seeing how its little brother got rewarded last Friday (Home Depot – think in colour won a Bronze CMA award  in the retailing category on November 28th 2008) I foresee a bright future for this one too.

Here is a couple more libraries I have been using for this project:

  1. TweenLite
  2. PureMVC
  3. SWFAddress
  4. SWFObject
  5. Alcon (for tracing SWFAddress stuff)

I have a couple of new ideas how to improve my workflow and tools for my next RIA; can’t wait to get my hands dirty!

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  1. #1 by Robert Anthony - December 2nd, 2008 at 14:39

    Excellent RIA sample. I don’t normally respond to Blogs, but yours is the most recent, active post I’ve found on the Web by another AS3 developer. Who are you?

  2. #2 by - December 2nd, 2008 at 15:52

    Thx for your comment, your question is a bit weird, direct, not sure how to answer. Maybe this link is what you are looking for:

  3. #3 by Robert Anthony - December 2nd, 2008 at 17:54

    Sorry. I was just curious if you were a developer or a designer. I haven’t met very many Flash developers who have even heard of pureMVC. In my last position, I was building a lot of Flash sites in Gaia. And, I had the opportunity to use pureMVC in a Flex project that I started, but left before it was completed. Anyway, I was just looking to join a developers’ community with people whose skills and experience mirrored my own. Hope that doesn’t too weird.

  4. #4 by - December 2nd, 2008 at 18:11

    No problem, it was just that your question was a bit broad and I didn’t know exactly what you wanted to know. But my background is mostly from Computer Science so programming is not really a problem for me. I am definitely not a designer. But between developer and programmer, I don’t know; is there a difference between them?

  5. #5 by Robert Anthony - December 2nd, 2008 at 19:03

    Interesting question. I think a programmer is someone who is efficient at writing code; whereas, a developer thinks more in terms of architecting a software solution. I have worked with many ‘programmers’ who were well-familiar with C++, Java, VB.Net, ActionScript, but were utterly clueless on how to go about designing a complex, enterprise-level application or Web site.

    With my last employer, I found myself in both roles. I was tasked with developing a Flash media player that required some extensive forethought on the architecture and design – long before I ever started coding. I think it was the most complex application I ever had to write. Coming from a Windows background, I can honestly say that it would have crashed-and-burned had I not taken the time to consider how all the parts were going to be managed and work together.

    I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences.

  6. #6 by Pat Buchanan - December 3rd, 2008 at 01:45

    What – no source view? :) Just kidding – slick application.

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