Posts Tagged Home Depot

2 new tools for The Home Depot: considering carpet and treat your windows

I haven’t written in the last month or so and I wanted to put an end to this. Two new Twist Image productions were just put live for The Home Depot : considering carpet and treat your windows. They are basically tools to help you choose carpets and window coverings. While I can’t say that I was as much involved with those project that the 3 before (think in colour, redefining floors and transition to tile), these projects have been really great at introducing the PureMVC framework to new developers. Since they didn’t have to build them from scratch because they are based a lot on the previous tools, these projects gave PureMVC a better learning curve and really showed them the advantages of using the framework. I didn’t have to do any convincing after that to get them to use PureMVC on every project we do.

The technologies used were about the same as the previous ones. This raises the number of tools we did for The Home Depot to 5 and our toolbox is nearly completed but stay tuned for something new in a near future.

Here are the links again:

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Transition to tile: third RIA for Home Depot

Yes this is the third installment of tools we did for the Home Depot and I can say that working on this one was just simple and easy, mostly because we used PureMVC on the previous one. As you can see, Transition to tile reuse a lot of components from Redefining floors, but the middle part is really different. Making the changes and adjusting what was already there really was a breeze and that is were you see the advantages of using a framework. The technologies we used were mostly the same as the one before but I am going to list them here again:

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

I hope you like the tools we are building for Home Depot because there is more in the pipeline.

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May 2009 be as good as 2008

Well, 2008 was a really good year for me, I got to work on nice projects (HomeDepot, Viagra, TELUS) and this blog’s audience grew nicely. I had an objective of getting 10k visits each month at the beginning of January 2009 and I finally got 150% percent that, so 15 000 visits. I can say that everything rolled my way nicely this year.

I know 2009 is supposed to be a tought year considering the recession and all, but I am confident that I will do well no matter what. A couple of things can explain this confidence, first I see the bunch of projects that I have lined in front of me for the comming months which will provide me work until the second half of the year. Also witnessing how much I improved this year technically speaking, I can’t imagine where I will be next year. All in all 2009 will be a good year.

So, as all starting year post I will set myself new objectives. Writting them here will give me more incentives to attain them in order to protect my pride. I guess my first objective will be to augment the attendance to this blog to 35 ooo visits a month. That is a bit bigger than doubling what I have right now. My second objective would be to write 2 – 3 articles for other publication  like the one I did for InsideRIA. I would also like to start looking for speaking opportunities, I don’t put to much emphasis on that one but my long term goal is to give a presentation (about topic like SEO, Google Analytics for Flash, PureMVC) in a conference somewhere in 2010. My last goal would be to look around for MBAs that I might find interesting. I always wanted to do a master degree, but since I started working that thought as been pushed back a bit, but I think next year might be a good year to go back to school; at least part time.

I also have some personal objectives like going to the gym more often and eating better, but that is of lesser interest to this blog.

I hope you all get a good 2009 year and that the recession does not darken to much what you see for yourself in the coming year.

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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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The PureMVC presentation video is live

The presentation I did the other day is now live and I am quite happy with the results. Well I sound like a robot( I guess nobody likes hearing is own voice) and some of the technical limitations (no webcam, audio delay, not having control of my slides) have impaired my performance, but for a first public speech, I’m pretty happy with it.

Also, as a note to myself, next time I do something like this I will inform myself better on which audience I will present to; I think the audience present at the time of the conference had already a good knowledge of the PureMVC framework and my presentation might have been a bit too light. I hope it serves greater purpose as a video than as the live thing.

Here it is; I start speaking at 16:00.

The PureMVC Pirate Internet Radio Conference Takeover

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Myself in the PureMVC Pirate Internet Radio Conference

That is right, in a bit more than 6 hours, if you head to this address:

http://connectpro78922856.acrobat.com/pirate/

you will see me present some of the work I did on the two Home Depot projects we had at Twist Image. I’ll mostly be exposing how using a framework like PureMVC can change how you think and develop an application or website and why we came to choose this particular framework.

I am very excited about this opportunity and I am a bit stressed out at the same time. It’s been a long time since I did a presentation ( back while I was in school) and this is a bit different since I’ll be broadcasting from my desk using a webcam; it will be weird presenting while sat down but I think I’ll do fairly good.

Lastly, I’ve been watching a lot of the TV show The Wire so I hope I don’t slip too much slang words in there.

So again if you want to watch it its tomorrow November 19th at 12h30 (3h30 PST)

http://connectpro78922856.acrobat.com/pirate/

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Show your support for PureMVC; Donate a click!

If you use PureMVC and you like it I suggest you head to insideRIA and vote for it on this week poll. I have multiple reasons to ask you to do this.

First off I think it’s a great project and it deserves the attention. More attention means more people might start using it and might get involved which can only be good for the project.

Also, we started using PureMVC on 3 different projects (one being HomeDepot – redefining floors) and I use it in a personal project and I really like it. I developed some skills with it and if PureMVC does well, those skills are going to be more valuable. Also, the people at my jobs might not be so happy if in the near future PureMVC would just crumble (which I don’t think could happen), I would have made them invest expertise in something that would have been shortermed.

Lastly, PureMVC is one off the few framework that support both Flash or Flex based project and that is really important for me; so go ahead, give PureMVC some love.

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My first RIA

Two weeks ago we launched a website that I am real proud of: Home Depot Think in Colour. It was the first RIA that I programmed (if you don’t count my favicon editor) and man did I sweat doing it.

First, it was way bigger than I first thought because applications have way more possibilities to break than normal websites. I never thought this would take as much quality insurance as it did, every time we would think it was done, someone would find a bug. Another thing I didn’t foresee was all the Event managing and making sure every part of the application was getting the right message at the right time.  Now I really understand what a framework like PureMVC can do for you, plus the nice features you can add that are not so hard to implement like undos.

Second we also had a lot of trouble with the hosting. We are not the main agency for Home Depot Canada,  so we once we were done with our files, we had to hand them over to the other agency and they really screwed up. I won’t list every thing that is not working properly, but I list this one, the back button was supposed to work to some extent, but now it doesn’t… for no reason. I knew there would be complications from having two agencies working together, but I didn’t think there would be so much.

All in all, we came up with a really nice product, actually the website I’m the most proud of to this date. So get out there, and start Thinking in Colour!

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