Archive for July, 2002

Topic : Flash Development for Developers : Discuss

Jason Key (new flash blog) has started a discussion on Flash from the point of view of a developer. He hits on some god points, and I am curious to see how the discussion will evolve.
You can read the post here.

Macromedia : The Story

We have posted what I think is a very cool Flash application / documentary, titled “Macromedia, The Story“, that goes over the 10 year history of Macromedia.
On a related note, you can find a list of links on the history of Macromedia Flash here.
[via ericd]

Adobe / Macromedia Lawsuit Settled

You can read the press release here.

Flash Communication Server and Bandwidth

Lots of discussion this weekend on the costs associated with the bandwidth required with some uses of the Flash Communication Server.

Unfortunately, broad conclusions are being drawn on Bandwidth requirements based on very specific scenarios (i.e. streaming video 24 hours a day).
Some uses of the Flash Communication Server can be very bandwidth intensive. In particular, streaming audio and video takes a lot of bandwidth. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, and is not something unique to the Flash Communication Server. So, if you have to get your access from a hosting provider, and are using the Flash Communication Server for non-revenue generating projectors, then you need to be very careful about the amount of audio and video you stream.  Btw, Aral points out that for Flash Communication Server projects that require a lot of bandwidth, dedicated bandwidth can be a much, much cheaper option than hosting.
However, while streaming audio and video is the feature of the server that everyone is talking about, it is not necessarily the main feature. In fact, from a developer’s standpoint, I think the ability to easily (almost effortlessly) connect multiple Flash clients is the coolest feature of the Flash Communication Server. The problem is that this is something that the end product (connected flash movies) is something that can be done with XML today (and thus is not as sexy). However, it is much, much easier using the Flash Communication Server (no need to parse XML, send and receive ActionScript data types, etc…), as well as much more efficient. In fact, for large multiuser projects, you will probably save on bandwidth costs using the Flash Communication Server verses using XML (mostly because XML is so verbose).
So, I think that the point that all of the articles are trying to raise, is that before embarking on a project, you need to consider all of your costs; development, resources, server and bandwidth. If you plan to stream large amounts of audio and video, then you need to pay particular attention to your bandwidth costs / estimates.
Thoughts? Comments? Post them in the comments section.

Using the Google web service in Macromedia Flash MX

We have released a new tutorial showing how to use the Google Web Services from Flash using Flash Remoting.
You can view the tutorial here.

Pet Market Blueprint Application 1.2

We have released a new version of the Pet Market Application, brining it up to version 1.2. This version includes numerous optimizations and improvements (many recomended by the community).
You can read about the new version here, and find out tons of information in the Blue Print Application Center.
Both of the pages above have links to the live working version.


Branden Hall and Sam Wan at SIGGRAPH

Branden hall has made a post from SIGGRAPH 2002 in San Antonio, Texas. Branden and Sam Wan are doing a presentation involving Flash and the Flash Communication Server.
You can read the post here.

Help me test my Flash Communication Server App Part 2

Here is the link to the application test that I am running today:
Thanks to everyone who helped with the test. We ended up with a max of 44 users. I apoligize to everyone who could not join. The Flash Com server i was serving from has a 2 mb / s limit, and we ran into that. We will be doing some more tests in the future, with a higher bandwidth limit on the server.
Basically, I was streaming a live video feed from my house (over a 256 kbs up cable modem). Everyone connected could see the video.

  • up to 25 users : video quality acceptable (3 – 5 fps). Audio good.
  • 25 – 35 users : audio and video began to degrade.
  • 35 -44 users : audio and video breaking up / poor.

The problem was that the Flash Communication Server I was hosting this on had a 2 mb / sec up limit, which we were hitting. This is why users had trouble logging in, and why the video got worse.
I think that i am going to write an article for this on the Macromedia Designer and Developer center, to help users measure how much bandwidth their project will require.

New Media Metrix Flash 6 numbers

JD (who is back from vacation) points out that new Media Metrix Flash 6 penetration numbers are available. A third of users surveyed could view Flash 6 content.
You can see all of the numbers here.
[via JD on MX]

Flash Communication Server Community Forums

I am starting to see a lot of questions about the Flash Communication Server, so I thought I would post some good resources for getting your questions answered:

If you know of any other community forums for the Flash Communication Server, post them in the comments.