Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

MAX Trip Off To Slow Start

Blogging from my phone here at Dulles airport, trying to get to New Orleans for MAX. My flight has been delayed several times, and I’m freezing cold because although I’m stuck in DC, I’m dressed for New Orleans. I woke up at 4:30 this morning so I could sit for hours in a freezing cold terminal with nothing to eat and bathrooms with long lines. Nobody here is having a good morning. I hope others are getting to MAX easier than I am.

MAXBloggers Syndicated

I’ve received several requests for a dedicated MAX RSS feed, so here it is. It displays the last 30 posts and is updated hourly.

MAXBloggers Mobile: Keep Up With MAX Anywhere You Go

Yesterday we launched MXNA Mobile — today it’s MAXBloggers Mobile. Keep up with all-things-MAX wherever you happen to be.

I think MAXBloggers Mobile is especially useful if you plan on attending MAX since you can keep up with what people are saying about the conference while you’re there without having to find a place to sit, break out your laptop, and pray for battery life and a WiFi connection. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

MAXBloggers is Back

If you’re going to MAX in November and you intend to blog it, we’d like to add your weblog to the MAXBloggers aggregator. Also, if you plan on taking any pictures, check out Community Vision.

MAX 2004 Approaches

It’s that time of year again. MAX is only a few weeks away. November 1st through the 4th in New Orleans. Get details on the Macromedia MAX 2004 home page. Who’s going to be there this year?

Cool Tool Friday: TattleTale for Linux

If you’ve been following Mike Chambers’ weblog, you know that he recently released two beta versions of an application we’re calling “TattleTale”. TattleTale is an application which helps you keep up with Macromedia news by bringing it right to your desktop.

On Wednesday, Mike released a beta OS X version, and yesterday, he released a beta .NET version for Windows. I put together a cross-platform Java version for the Linux/Solaris users out there who were feeling left out. Since it’s Java, it actually runs on any platform with Java 1.4 or higher installed, and in fact, the screenshot is of it running on my Powerbook.

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CAPTCHA and ColdFusion

While getting caught up on lists, I came across an interesting thread on CAPTCHAs, or programs that attempt to tell humans apart from computers. We most often come across such technology when registering or leaving a comments on weblogs and we are asked to type in a sequence of numbers and/or letters from a distorted image. Of course, this is to prevent spammers from leaving such constructive comments as “Great site! Visit!”.

Someone pointed out a ColdFusion implementation at called cfx_captcha. I haven’t tried it, but it looks like it would do the trick. Is anyone else out there using something like this to protect their forms? If so, what are you using, and where can the ColdFusion community find it? (And please — no comments about “enlargements”.)

UC/Eolas Makes its Next Move in the 906 Case

For those of you following the 906 legal rumble, the University of California and Eolas have made their next move in the form of a brief filed with the US Court of Appeals countering Microsoft’s request for an appeal. CNET has a good summary.

My CFUN Presentation and Sample Files

Sorry for taking so long, but here is my CFUN presentation, and all the files for the sample Flash Video Archiver application. There are no instructions included (sorry, no time), but it’s very straightforward, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting started. Here is everything you should need to know:

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Debugging Flex Applications on OS X

I had been under the impression that logging messages to a text file from Flex applications using the trace statement was not possible on a OS X, however I recently discovered that it works just fine, as long as the Flash debug player is configured properly. I’ll explain how to get it to work shortly. First, a little background:

Since Flex applications are not authored in the Flash IDE, they are a little trickier to debug than standard Flash applications in some respects. There is no output panel to capture and display debug statements from within your ActionScript code like there is in the Flash IDE. Thanks to the Flash debug player, however, Flex developers still have an easy way to debug their applications. The debug Flash player is capable of appending the output from trace statements to a local file, which is just as good — and in some ways better — than using the Flash output panel.

The issue, however, is getting this to work on OS X. OS X is not a supported platform for Flex, however it makes a very good Flex development platform, nonetheless (thanks to the fact that Flex is implemented in Java). Since it’s not a supported platform, documentation on debugging Flex applications on OS X is scarce, or possibly nonexistent. Fortunately, as I recently discovered, it’s perfectly possible. Here’s how to get it to work:

  1. The first thing you need to do is install the debug player. The debug player comes with Flash MX 2004, and by default, is located in /Applications/Macromedia Flash MX 2004/Players/Debug. Close all your open browsers and install the debug player, but don’t reopen your browser yet. The next step is to configure the debug player.

  2. Create a file called mm.cfg in the directory “/Library/Application Support/Macromedia”. The file should contain the following:


    There are many other options you can use to configure the debug player. See the tutorial entitled “Debugging Client-Side Code in Flex Applications” for more information.

  3. Open your browser now. You must open your browser after creating the mm.cfg file, and every time you make changes to the mm.cfg file, you have to restart your browser because the debug player only reads the configuration file once when it starts up.

  4. Put a trace statement somewhere in a Flex application, and load the application up in your browser using the debug player. To ensure the debug player was installed correctly, right-click (or control-click) on the Flex application, and make sure you see the “Debugger” option. It will be grayed out, which is fine, as long as it’s there. Now check in the same directory as your mm.cfg file for a file called “flashlog.txt”. It should contain the text from your trace statement.

To change the location of the flashlog.txt file, add the following line to your mm.cfg file (with the appropriate changes for your machine):

TraceOutputFileName=Macintosh HD:Users:cantrell:tmp:flashlog.txt

Notice that you must use colons (“:”) rather than slashes (“/”) as path separators, and that you have to give the full path, including the volume name (usually “Macintosh HD”).

While developing Flex applications, you might want to get into the habit of “tailing” your log file, which means using the “tail” command to keep an eye on it, like this:

[wednesday:tmp]$ tail -f flashlog.txt

The -f flag tells the tail command to refresh and show any additional data that is append to the file as soon it is written (as opposed to you having to constantly reload the file manually). Just keep a terminal window open as you develop, and you should be able to debug your Flex applications just as well as your Windows-using counterparts!