Ben Forta presents ColdFusion Powered Flex and Scorpio (CF8)

On 6th of November actionscript.it staff will present a new event about Ajax, ColdFusion, Flex2, Flash Remoting and more. The speakers will be: Ben Forta, Vince Bonfanti, Charlie Arehart and Giorgio Natili.
In particular Ben Forta will present all the new features of ColdFusion 8 (codename Scorpio, planned for released mid-2007) and its integration with Flex2.

These are the other seminars:

  • AJAX & CFML Applications
  • Accessibility & AJAX
  • CFML Developement on .NET & J2EE platform
  • Flex Data Services & Coldfusion – CF8 sneaks
  • Coldfusion debug; Flex, Ajax& Flash Remoting with Fusion Debug
  • FusionReactor

The event will be in Rome at the Ritz hotel.
For more info visit the event page at actionscript.it

Flash Switcher extension for Firefox

I just did this new extension (my third extension) for Mozilla firefox. I hope it can be useful for Flash developer who want to easily test their pages with different flash player versions.
The extension hasn’t been approved yet by the Mozilla developer extension team so I decided to make first a post here, also for let you to test it and also because last time they took 3 weeks before they approve an extension…

What is this extension?
This extension comes with all the currently published flash player plugins (from the version 2 to the most recent 9,0,16) and allows you to easily switch from one plugin to another, or also to remove the currently installed plugin (maybe for testing the express install).

Where I can find it?
Once installed you will find the “flash switcher” icon in the Firefox statusbar at right. Click on it and a list of available options will appear.

Can I add more flashplayer versions?
Yes, even if you should do it manually.
The extensionn folder can be found here:

C:\{userAppData}\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\{userProfile}\extensions\{2b5cfade-d133-429c-aea5-865911de4e1d}

Into the “chrome\plugins” folder you will see different folder (such as 9.0 r16, 8.0 r24 etc) with a file NPSWF32.dll within.
To install a new plugin just create a new folder with the name of the player version and copy into it the NPSWF32.dll file which comes with every flash player installer.
You can find all the old flash versions here
Another way to add more versions of the player is to install the flashplayer version you want into firefox, then save it using the “save as” menu item of flash switcher.

Download and install flash switcher here.

Get Firefox 2 now!

Firefox2

Just after few days the launch of Internet Explorer7, Mozilla officially released Firefox2. In the previous days there were various blogs which posted a link to an “official” release of firefox on the mozilla ftp server, which causes various problem in cost of bandwidth…

Firefox 2 offers a refreshed user interface, anti-phishing protection, improvements to the built-in search feature (with the Google suggestion integration), tabbed browsing changes, the ability to restore an interrupted session, better support for Web feeds, inline spell-checking, support for microsummaries and a number of other enhancements (read more)

So, what are you waiting for? Download Firefox2 now!

PHP6?

Have you already play with PHP6?
Today I discovered the PHP6 CVS snapshots and I decided to take a look at it (still not tested).

I read some unhappy comment to the fact php want to put the Unicode settings into the php.ini, but if this change will make PHP faster  I would prefer in this way, expecially if unicode will be always set to on.
Is there a reason to put unicode support off in this world? (for example I haven’t still understood why wxPython continues to releases both ansi and unicode builds…)
Finally register globals‘ PHP3 BC to go!
Namespaces. Maybe they will add namespace.. I really hope so! This is indeed one of the most awaited features for me! (read about a discussion on namespaces)
Support for delegates.

My big hope is also to see a “real” strict type language, but this is only my though.
Backward Compatibility. Well this could cause a flame for many developers but if they really want to make a solid new product from scratch probably they dont have to take care about BC.

Read more about the PHP6 Novermber meeting and all the proposals.
Download the PHP6 snapshot

Flash, Internet Explorer and Firefox new releases

We had so many milestone releases today!
Flash player 9 for linux is probably the most exciting news.
Second, Microsoft announced Internet Explorer 7. (even if I dont like at all the new look).
Last but not least Firefox 2 is on the way!
Today the Firefox 2 Release Candidate 3 have been released (with Javascript 1.7 support and with Google suggest integrated).

Red5 with javascript python ruby and coffee?

Red5 (the opensource flash multimedia server) will support server side javascript, Ruby, Python and Java?
That’s terrific!
Well, it seems the next 0.6 RC1 version of Red5 will do that! The release is scheduled by next Monday and if that’s true I definitively will find the time to look inside it 🙂

XUL and XULRunner (co-starring flash)

Like you probably noteiced I got more and more interest in XUL and experimenting Firefox extensions in the last days.
After my first extension I decided to try something different and first I created a little (this time nothing new at all) and lightweight extension for grabbing flv videos while visiting youtube.com or video.google.com. It simply creates a statusbar icon and when there are availables flv on the page it will get active. Clicking on it let you save the current playing flv. You can also change the options and tell the extension to open the video using you favourite Video Player (Like VLC or FLVPlayer)

Install the getvideo-0.1-fx.xpi Firefox extension

When I did this extension comes also in my mind the idea of creating a simple Flash video player, just for practice. I was doing it using python/wxPython as usual.. but then I wanted to try using XUL  and package it with XULRunner (a runtime XUL runner, which runs xul applications like standalone applications).
First of all I have to say thanks to Darron Schall for his article on how-to embed swf files in xul. I was going crazy to understand all the steps for creating a valid xulrunner package..
As usual opensource sofware has bad and incomplete documentation. I need to look into one of the examples (chatzilla) to understand how it works.

Once I undertood that a new problem arise, the damn flash security sandbox error! When the xulrunner application starts it prompt also the security warning.. Oh my god!

After various attempts and after reading various articles on FlashplayerTrust I managed to solve the problem (or at least I think I’ve solved…).
In the installer a file named flvideoplayer.cfg will be copied inside the Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\#Security\FlashPlayerTrust direcory, and it’s content is

chrome:\\flvideoplayer\content\flvideoplayer.xul

In this way the embed swf file should has the correct permissions to communicate with the xul page using fscommand. I thought that my experiment was finished, but when I shown it to a friend he  asked me to add also the possibility to convert the .flv video into other formats (avi, mpeg, etc).
Well, fortunately there’s ffmpeg which does this job for everyone 🙂

Thus I included ffmpeg to enable video conversion. What I did it’s a runtime .bat file which wil invoke ffmpeg:

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function execute_batch(bat) {
netscape.security.PrivilegeManager.enablePrivilege("UniversalXPConnect");
try
{
var file = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/file/local;1"].createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsILocalFile);
file.initWithPath(bat.path);
var process = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/process/util;1"].createInstance(Components.interfaces.nsIProcess);
process.init(file);
process.run(true, {}, 0);
} catch(e)
{
alert(e);
}
}

Ok, how to install this application.
In order to run correctly this application you first have to:

  • download XULRunner (I did not included in the installer because it’s about 10Mb).
  • Once downloaded from a command prompt, run xulrunner.exe –register-global (to register for all users) or xulrunner.exe –register-user (to register for one user only).
  • To enable the flash plugin (the Firefox plugin isn’t used, so if you launch the application you won’t see the flash embed object) you have to copy:
    {programs}\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\NPSWF32.dll
    {programs}\Mozilla Firefox\plugins\flashplayer.xpt

    into your XULRunner\plugins\ folder
  • Now just download yougrab! and install it.

Install YouGrab! (sorry but currently Windows only)

My first Firefox extension! (FlashTracer)

Ok, it does nothing particular new, but it’s my first one 🙂

What it does?
If you have a flash debug player version you will see in the firefox sidebar all the swf trace output while running any of the swf in a browser window.
I have to say thanks to jayjam (Giuseppe Montemurro) who talks about the mm.cfg file yesterday at the From A to Web Adobe conference. I’d never read about this cool feature of the debug players.. and so I decided to make it as firefox extension.
I took 1 hour to make the XUL and js files, while the .xpi package was driving me crazy!.. the documentation is really terrible for my point of view.

Download and install FlashTracer from the Firefox extension page.

UPDATE: A new flash tracer called fbtracer has been released. This new extension is integrated into Firebug. Read more here

P.S. If you’re running the new 9,0,28 Flash plugin probably you noticed this extension wont work anymore. Adobe changed something and the plugin doesn’t read as previously the mm.cfg file so I’m invetigating on it. In the meanwhile you should tell the extension to point to this file: C:\Documents and Settings\{user}\Application Data\Macromedia\Flash Player\Logs\flashlog.txt.

For mac osx it should be: username:Library:Preferences:Macromedia:Flash Player:Logs:flashlog.txt

Using this path the flash tracer works again.

For discussing about this extension please use the forum instead of the comments here 🙂