Releases: BlazeDS & Flex Builder 3 Beta 3

Today is a good day for announcements!
I’ve just read the Adobe plans to release, as opensource (LGPL 3?), on labs its Remoting and Messages technologies under the codename BlazeDS.
Moreover Adobe published AMF binary data protocol specifications ( the technology on which the BlazeDS remoting implementation is based).
The source code will be available for download in early 2008

Second announcement is the release on labs of Adobe Flex Builder 3 Beta 3 (M4). Cool, I’m working almost all the time with flex!.. but why only mac and pc downloads are available? The Linux version is still the alpha released on 12 October!

Actually I almost switched to ubuntu, moreover the fact that there is Flex Builder also for Linux allowed me to spend more and more time on my ubuntu partition and I really feel satisfied. Flex Builder for linux is more and more stable than all the other Flex betas for Windows or Mac ( even if the more I use eclipse and the more I hate it… ), so why give us only that candy?

FlashTracer 2.1.0

Thanks to Chad Upton who sent me some suggestions on how to improve FlashTracer I recently updated this extension adding some new features beside those already installed.
Now it is possible to define rules ( using the options panel ), which allow you to style the output messages (defining font-weight, font-style, color and text underline); they can work also like a filter to discard all the messages which don’t match the rules.

Here a screenshot of the new rules panel:

I also took advantage of this update to write the extension from scratch. It was my first extension and so the code wasn’t so clear, moreover I learnt how to use xul commands and observers.
I tested this extension on Vista, Ubuntu 7.10 and OSX 10.4. Here some screenshots of the running extension on those different OS:

Note. In some case you should first remove the mm.cfg file first. In Windows and linux it is placed into the user folder, in OSX you can find it under “/Library/Application Support/Macromedia”

Install now
P.S. Remember that you need the flash player debug.

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

AMF news coming?

Today I’ve read a couple of guys who posted about the new Ted’s post on his blog.
Nothing new about amf, just some “best practices” on how to save using writeObject and readObject ByteArray’s methods.

But what caught my attention was the last sentence in his post:

“There is some big AMF news coming in December…. :)”

Damn, This is cool!
Does anyone know anything about this? I can’t wait!

Firefox 3 beta 1!


After the early alpha development version of Firefox, Gran Paradiso (it was December 2006 if I’m not wrong), today Mozilla announced the first Firefox beta version.
Here you can find the full post which introduced the new Beta.

What’s new?

Well, looking at the “What’s new” page, it seems that there are tons of changes, fixes, improvements. I’m reporting here just a couple of things from that list:

  • Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 27 months and includes nearly 2 million lines of code changes  (!!)
  • One click site info: Click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site. Identity verification is prominently displayed and easier to understand. In later versions, Extended Validation SSL certificate information will be displayed
  • Malware Protection: malware protection warns users when they arrive at sites which are known to install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malware
  • New Web Forgery Protection page: the content of pages suspected as web forgeries is no longer shown
  • New SSL error pages
  • Add-ons and Plugin version check: Firefox now automatically checks add-on and plugin versions and will disable older, insecure versions
  • Secure add-on updates: to improve add-on update security, add-ons that provide updates in an insecure manner will be disabled (I hope this wont break half of the current extenions!).
  • Anti-virus integration
  • New Download Manager
  • Resumable downloading
  • Full page zoom
  • Improved Platform for Developers (mmhhh.. this it’s interesting!)

Download Firefox 3 beta 1 now!

Flex Canvas bug when it is zoomed in and “horizontalCenter = 0”

Recently I came across a Flex bug when working on canvas. If you have a canvas with an object centered inside ( horizontal or vertical, it’s the same ) and scale this object the result is that the canvas will clip left and top its contents!
To understand what I mean see this example and try to scale the image:

Get Adobe Flash player

And this is the code used:


< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>

1









As you can see once the image is scaled and it’s bigger that its parent, you wont be able to see it top left corner anymore. This is an annoying bug for me!

Later I found that someone opened a ticket in the Flex bug management system here: http://bugs.adobe.com/jira/browse/SDK-13009
A couple of days ago I received a notification that the bug has been closed… and incredible they closed it as NOT A BUG!
I can understand that finding the bug in a file with 5000 and more lines of code it’s not easy and can cause horrible headache, but the reason they gave it’s nosense! It’s completely a different thing that the reason of this bug.

Moreover what’s the connection between flash and html?

Flex have been designed since the 1.0 version as a framework for building RIA (Rich Internet Applications).
A RIA have to behave as a desktop application that runs using the web browser. One of the advantages of Flex agains Ajax is that the first technology provide to the user a behaviour which is much more similar to desktop applications that the one provided using HTML+Javascript. And so my questions is: why should Flex behave like HTML when one of its most important features is to be different from HTML ?
Flex behaves like other SDKs used to develop desktop apps in many situations which are much less important than the one hilighted above. So why close this bug (yes. it is a bug) providing as explanation that it is correct because it behaves like HTML ?

(my)SQL-Front is back!

After more than one year I received an email saying that finally mysql-front is back and no it’s SQL-Front.
MySQL-Front was one of the first mysql clients I ever installed and I was very disappointed when it closed..

Here I quote the Nils entry about the comeback and the new name:

“Hi,
16 months ago, many users of this program were surprised and disappointed to see the project discontinued rather suddenly. I am sorry that I was unable to find a way of continuing the project at that time, so that the users had to suffer from its disappeance. This discontinuation was the result of a senseless fight – from which, at the end of the day, noone had an advantage.

So the question is: Why do people fight when they don’t have an advantage from it? There are multiple answers to this question, but often jealousy of other people or fear about one’s own future are the reasons for it. In my humble opinion, if someone fights against you, you should consider how to help them instead of getting involved in senseless fighting. Therefore, I decided not to fight with them last year, but to withdraw.

In the past weeks, I was able to find a solution…” (read full article)

P.S. Great, my old license key is still valid!

Flex Frameworks

Luke Bayes and Ali Mills of PatternPark made a presentation for the Silicon Valley Flex Users Group (SilvaFUG) of 9 different frameworks and toolkits for creating Flex applications: Cairngorm, PureMVC, ARP, MVCS, Flest, Model-Glue: Flex, ServerBox Foundry, Guasax, and Slide.

Watch the presentation: http://adobechats.adobe.acrobat.com/p12266504/
See the slides: http://www.asserttrue.com/files/ApplicationFrameworks/index.html

Their Conclusion?
PureMVC by Cliff Hall beats out the alternatives
“.

  • Composition over inheritence
  • Liberal use of Interfaces
  • Indirection is used but not overwhelming
  • Instance members hide singleton references from application code
  • MXML views can be extremely thin
  • Benefits of Cairngorm, with few of the disadvantages.

I must admit I never used PureMVC, the only framework I’m currently using is Cairngorm, even if I bookmarked the pureMVC page long time ago promising myself to watch it more in deep. Now it’s time to keep the promise.