Joeflash’s Enigmacopaedia


The Case Against Ignorant Tech Analysts

Posted in Flash, Business, Flex, Publishing, Flash Platform Community by Joeflash on the February 28th, 2009

It seems to be a recurring trend amongst amateur or ill-informed tech pundits to take aim at misuses of Flash as an argument against using the technology as a whole. And once and a while this mis-aimed cannon of vapid sophistry also takes aim at Flex. And quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

I mean, as a Flash developer for over 10 years (now a Flex developer too ; ), I’m never shy to admit that Flash Platform applications have their limitations and misuses. There is definitely a place for XHTML applications, instead of or as a complement to a Flash-based presence, and skip intros are a no-no. And as I’ve stated before, if you’re going to publish a site in Flash with lots of text, make sure that that text is at least accessible. But if you’re going to provide an argument against using a particular technology, don’t do it as a transparent attempt at promoting your own product at the expense of another, or creating attention grabbing headlines just to get a few more eyeballs to your site. You’ll land up looking foolish, and it’s bad karma besides.

Just recently someone posted a comment on this blog in response to what he probably thought was an “anti-Flash” post. Big mistake. First, as I indicated in my response, while his initial arguments had validity, his conclusion was way off. And it seems to be common occurrence for some bloggers to post comments on other people’s blogs in an effort to garner support for their arguments without considering the point of view of the blog they’re posting on, so the argument falls flat. I’m not opposed to a little healthy debate and free speech, but this tactic is getting tiresome: I see it used so often that, aforementioned comment notwithstanding, I sometimes wonder if some of these posts are provoked by corporations as a “web 2.0″ anti-marketing smear tactic.
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A Rallying Cry for Net Neutrality In Canada

Posted in Flash, News, AIR, ActionScript 1.0, ActionScript 2.0, ActionScript 3.0, Flex, Events, Adobe, DRM, Net Neutrality by Joeflash on the February 13th, 2009

As reported on the Canadian Net Neutrality action website SaveOurNet.ca, The CRTC has said that it will consider public opinion in determining the outcome of the traffic shaping hearings set to take place later this year. As Canadians, we owe it to ourselves and this great nation to hold governmental institutions charged with guarding the public trust accountable to the purpose for which they were created. We need to send ISPs in Canada the message that this kind of censorship shall not be tolerated, and should not be allowed. Check out the details on SaveOurNet.ca, and send in your action letter to the CRTC.
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Three ActionScript 3.0 Conversion Books of Interest

Posted in Flash, ActionScript 1.0, ActionScript 2.0, ActionScript 3.0, Books, Publishing, Flash CS4 by Joeflash on the February 11th, 2009

Looking back on the book projects I participated in over the course of 2008, I notice that the two ActionScript 3.0 books I served as principal tech editor are both out. The ActionScript 3.0 Migration Guide by New Riders/Pearson is a compact guide illuminating some broadstrokes of migration from As2 to AS3. The ActionScript 3.0 Visual QuickStart Guide by Peachpit Press from my Community MX colleague Derrick Ypenburg, is a great primer on the basics of ActionScript 3.0, which is also a useful primer for those converting to ActionScript 3.0 for the first time.

There’s an interesting back story to the AS3 VQSG: I was actually commissioned to write this book, and got as far as writing the outline and scope of the text. At the time I just started writing two books, this one and the Professional Flex 3 book, and it didn’t take me long to realize that writing two heavy books at once would be career suicide, as I would have no time for client work (a man’s got to eat, right?) But I can’t just drop the book: I am honour-bound to find myself a replacement. So I call up my colleague Derrik Ypenburg: we talk about the book, he agrees to take on the project, and we decide that I’ll stay on as the tech editor. Derrick did a great job of writing the text, and at times the project felt more like a collaboration, a co-creation than an editing job — even though Derrick did all the hard work ;) — which is how all team projects should be. Well done Derrick.
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The RPC Fault Security Error that wasn’t

Posted in Books, Flex, Community MX, Security by Joeflash on the February 1st, 2009

In the first chapter of our upcoming book Professional Flex 3, I built a simple RSS reader in just a few lines of code to demonstrate how easy it is to build a Flex application. I expanded on this application in a few recent articles at Community MX, creating a mini RSS feed reader for all the book authors. All was well, until one of our tech editors Matthew Fabb, told me that the reader I built was producing a dreaded security error. Good catch Matt!

Here’s the original RSS reader code used in the book:

  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
  2. <mx:Application xmlns:mx="feed://http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml"
  3.     layout="absolute" creationComplete="RSSFeed.send();">
  4.     <mx:HTTPService id="RSSFeed" url="feed://http//www.joeflash.ca/blog/feed/"/>
  5.     <mx:List id="postTitles" labelField="title" left="20" right="20" top="20"
  6.         dataProvider="{RSSFeed.lastResult.rss.channel.item}"/>
  7.     <mx:TextArea htmlText="{postTitles.selectedItem.description}"
  8.         left="20" right="20" top="190" height="200"/>
  9.     <mx:Button label="Go to page" left="20" top="400"
  10.         click="navigateToURL(new URLRequest(postTitles.selectedItem.link));" />
  11. </mx:Application>

I tried it locally, and no security error, of course. I loaded it onto my server, and I got the following error:

[RPC Fault faultString="Security error accessing url" faultCode="Channel.Security.Error" faultDetail="Destination: DefaultHTTP"] ...

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