Archive for July, 2005

Fireworks Guru: Jim Babbage

There’s a lot of Fireworks gurus out there, but today Im giving recognition to Jim Babbage.

Jim has written over 70 articles and tutorials for Fireworks and actively participates at Community MX! (That’s insane Jim!) Wow, if I were a new Fireworks user, you would be my idol Jim, but Im not saying your not my idol now, hehe. :P

It’s amazing when someone that’s new to Fireworks never realized how powerful the app can be in their web app arsenal. Who wants to go through all the hassle just to export images like in other apps when you can just Create > Slice > Export. I also can’t tell you how many code poets/production artists I talk to on a daily basis that use Fireworks and love it. The faster you get in and get out, the faster you can head out to the beach or go hiking or whatever you enjoy to do in your spare time.

Jim’s been a visual communications guru for over a decade, and his skills include digital imaging, web design, landscape, nature and commercial advertising photography. Jim currently teaches credit courses in photography/imaging and newmedia at Centennial College’s Centre for Creative Communications and is also a partner at NewMedia Services.

Be sure to check out the Fireworks Developer Center and Community MX (Specifically Fireworks) to read his articles. I know I’ve picked up a bunch of tips from his articles and you can too!

Thanks for sharing your knowledge Jim and keep up the fantastic work!

Open Studio Discussions

Yep, Tonights the night to chill out and chat about Studio MX 2004. If you use any of the apps, please feel free to join, stop by and say hi, show off something cool or ask questions. I have nothing lined up for tonight as usual, in fact, I’ll be working on a tutorial for Fireworks MX 2004 and expose my tablet techniques for tablet users to take advantage of when using Fireworks.

~Alan

Dreamweaver Easter Eggs

Not sure about anyone else, but when you use an application everyday such as Studio/Dreamweaver, typically you know the app inside and out. Apparently, I was completely wrong about that comment. I had no idea there were Easter Eggs in DWMX2004.

SAVE YOUR WORK before playing the game! I thought DW locked up only to find out DW was closing the game when I lost.

In the Property Inspector, locate the Text Color Input box and type “Dreamweaver”. You should see a little DW rune that starts to fly around the screen, but wait!! Move the mouse up and down to move the paddle on the left and hit the rune back to the other side.

Not sure if it supports 2 players though. Im also not sure how to quit the game and if you call Support, we’ll tell you we dont support the hidden gems. :P

The other Easter Egg is to insert an image in Design view and ctrl-Double-click the image preview icon in the Property Inspector. Keep Ctrl-Double-Clicking to see more faces.

How to use MMExecute to issue an Alert in Fireworks (FLA)

Flash developers can easily embed Fireworks API commands by using the MMExecute which basically allows JavaScript to pass through ActionScript to interact with Fireworks MX 2004. Some ideas are to create Flash panels that can change and manipulate bitmap objects on the canvas or randomizing various shapes users can pick from with ease.

Check out the FLA to popup a simple alert in Fireworks

Download Alert.fla

In Flash, be sure to change the SWF publish settings path (File > Publish Settings) to the directory below and use Shift-F12 to export the swf to be tested in the Fireworks environment.

C:\Program Files\Macromedia\Fireworks MX 2004\Configuration\Command Panels

Note: After the swf has been published to the directory above, access the flash panel in Window > Alert

While debugging the flash panel, you can update an "existing panel" that has already been loaded into FW (fresh boot), but if you decide to create a "new panel" while Fireworks is open then it will not work properly. Close and restart FW to load the new panel. A workflow I use to update an existing flash panel is to close the panel in FW then reopen it (Window > Alert), and the changes will be reflected w/o restarting FW.

Captivate wins software simulation shootout!!

This is pretty cool. Wow, I should be creating a lot more Captivate sims for everyone. Sometimes, I feel like Im a kid in a candy shop because there is so much to learn and play with around here, sheesh. :S
I’ll be posting tips and tricks here once I get a handle on the Best Practices with Captivate. Check out the sim, I didnt know you could incorporate video that easily!

Macromedia Captivate wins software simulation shootout
http://www.macromedia.com/software/captivate/special/shootout

BlueMetal has been accepted as the Site of the Day for NextStep app

Wow, this is something you dont see everyday on the North America Macromedia site:

A good friend of mine, Giancarlo Vargas Legovic’s company BlueMetal, has been accepted as the Site of the Day (América Latina MM site) today for a Flash app they developed recently. For those of you that cant read spanish, here is the Showcase article in English.

Bluemetal is an interactive company, with presence in United States, Chile, Spain and Peru, specialized in the development of solutions for internet and digital means. Its work consists in providing to their creative, strategic and technologic solutions based fundamentaly in the good design, architecture, content and navigation.

This fusion of concepts allows to project the image desired in the internet to obtain the desired results.

On the other hand, Bluemetal counts with the exclusive recognization of Alliance Partner of Macromedia in Peru.

Challenge

  • Offers to the parents a much better control on the academic performance of their children without occupying too much time in movements.
  • Much better communication between the parent and the profesor.
  • Automate the internal management of the school.
  • Provides the pupils the tools to control their development and improves the communication with their professors and school mates.

Solution

  • Flash MX 2004 Pro
  • Dreamweaver MX 2004
  • Fireworks MX 2004
  • FreeHand MX
  • FlashComm
  • SQL Server 2000
  • ASP.NET
  • SQLXML

Benefits

For the System

  • Scalated solution, meaning, permits the system actualization, adding improvements without cost for the school.
  • Solution with high security standars to maintain in safe keeping the school information.
  • Counts with an intuitive administration platforms and easy access.
  • Permits the access to the information the 24 hours of the day and the 365 days of the year.
  • Support on line 24/7
  • The solution works under five access levels, meaning, the information shows to the director cannot be seen by the rest of the users, equally form for the parents, professors and pupils.
  • Permits to obtain in the time several management modules (optional modules), in accordance with the necessities of each school.
  • Solution has been developed with the latest technologic for the internet.

For the School

  • Improves and facilitate the communication and coordination between the community members of the school: Directors, professors, parents and pupils.
  • Availability of the required information very quickly and simple at any time of the day.
  • Assists in the creation of an exclusive community of the school, offering to their members interaction by means of information and resources.
  • Place the school amongst the most advance in the implementation and introduction of the new technologies of the management and education.
  • Does not require investment in costly servers, exclusive personnel to handle the system nor developments that takes much time and money. It only needs acccess to internet and computers.
  • Saves money in impressions, copies and shipments.

For the Parents

  • Permiting kept informed on the children activities, in the learning evolution and performance in the school.
  • The parents can organize their timetable in accordance with the chronogram of their children and so combinng them much easier.
  • Parents will get a more participation in their children education from theis offices and homes: revising notes and assistances, notifications, replying communications, access to the school calendar and much more.

For the Pupils

  • Improves communication with the professors and schoolmates.
  • Permits a better learning of the new technologic in the internet, knowledgement used in all the spaces, such as studies, work and daily living.
  • Promotes the participation of the pupils in the different classes, including in wich have difficult to participate.
    . Helps to be informed about the educative process and their performance in each stage of the school year.
  • Allows to access and request consultation at any time of the day from and computer on activities, works, notes, between others.

For the Professors

  • Facility in the communication of the school activities as: events, evaluations, excursions, academic performance, conduct, etc.
  • Improves the communication with the pupils, parents and directors of the school.
    . Permit to insert the professor in the fields of the new technologies.
  • Allows the storage and transference of the information, such as files, documents, informations, works, etc., with the pupils and the rest of the community.
  • Allows the professor to make agile the classed with the pupils, improving the teaching time.

Good job BlueMetal!! Keep up the excellent work!

First Open Studio Discussion…Success

Although only a couple people showed up, it was fun using Breeze as the communication tool of choice and helping others or just plain chatting. I also had the pleasure of remembering how painful it is to reskin the V2 components. It appears the only way to build a top-notch quality component design is by building the component from the ground up instead of wrapping the design around the V2 components, but then again it all depends on the design and app as well.

Your welcome to join and I would be honored to have you attend and collaborate with us. I’m mainly focused on helping Studio users, but if you have a question about Contribute or CPS (Contribute Publishing Services), I can help out there as well and look forward to any challenges you bring to the table.

I also apologize to everyone that has asked me to reschedule due to timezone conflicts…Im finding this to be a difficult task to accomplish, but I could meet Saturday mornings as well if that would help. If there’s a demand (1 or 2 peeps), I’ll be there.

Just curious, but what timezone are you in?

Eric Dolecki and Podcasting? Sweet!

For those of you that havent downloaded Itunes 4.9 yet, do it now! Developer junkies are finding Podcasts to be an easy way to talk about web related technologies and anything else thats on their minds. One Podcast that I found interesting is Eric Dolecki’s podcast. Once you’ve downloaded the new Itunes, go to:

  1. Advanced > Subscribe to Podcast…
  2. Add http://feeds.feedburner.com/Version60 to the URL field and click ok.
  3. Listen to the first Podcast

One of the reasons I really like Podcasts is I can continue working while staying engaged in the cast. Its like having someone right next to you that speaks your language and considering developers are spread all across the globe, this is a good way to pull all of us together.

Eric Dolecki’s personal blog and website showcasing interactive technology/

http://feeds.feedburner.com/Version60

Be sure to check it out, I cant wait to hear what he has to say next! Thanks Eric!