Archive for July, 2004

Installing English Ellipsis on Non-English versions of Flash

If you are running a non-English version of Flash MX 2004, do not install the English version of the recent update. If you do, something will probably act funny.

Localized versions of the updater will be out shortly.

What is the Significance of Ellipsis?

As you probably know by now, we just released an update to Flash MX 2004. Code-named Ellipsis, this brings Flash up to version 7.2 and addresses a ton of issues.

Thus far, everyone seems to be pretty excited about the update and all its changes. Some users are still a little skeptical, or unhappy that a particular bug was not fixed, and we completely understand that. We know it will take time to win back everyone’s trust, and Ellipsis is just one step in that process.

While I think Ellipsis as an update to Flash is huge, I think it takes on an even greater significance when you look at it in the context of other things that have been going on at Macromedia and on the Flash team. I wrote an article on just this subject, and if you have the time, I highly recommend reading it. Hopefully it will help give a glimpse into how we are thinking of things, how Ellipsis fits into the context of all of the recent changes, and how it relates to 8Ball (next full version of Flash).

Here is the link to the article:

What is the Significance of Ellipsis?

You can find more information on Ellipsis here.

If you have any thoughts on this, post them in the comments.

New Flash Technotes

As if you didn’t already have enough to read today with all of the new Ellipsis docs and articles, here are 19 new technotes for your to peruse:

Continue reading…

Ellipsis Chat Today

Just a quick FYI. I will be hanging around in the hereDevChat today. So, if you want to chat, or if you have any questions about Ellipsis, drop on by.

You can install DevChat from here.

New ASO Cache Clearing Commands

The Flash Updater (Ellipsis) includes a new File API for JSFL which I used to put together a couple of commands that make it easy to clear your ASO cache. This comes in handy if your class files and ASO files ever get out of sync.

There are two commands included:

  • Clear ASO Cache – Clears ASO Cache
  • Clear ASO Cache and Compile – Clears ASO Cache and Test Movie

The commands require Flash 7.2.

You can download them from here.

Flash Update (7.2 / Ellipsis) is Available

Flash Update (7.2 / Ellipsis) is Available

The second update to Flash MX 2004 is now avaliable from This brings Flash up to version 7.2, and focuses on a number of areas:

  • Performance / Stability / Resource Usage
  • Usability / Annoying Bugs
  • Components
  • Documentations

In total, over 120 bugs were fixed.

I have written an article that discusses Ellipsis, some of the issues that caused us to need to do two updates to Flash, as well as changes at Macromedia to help ensure we don’t make the same mistakes again.

What is the Significance of Ellipsis?

In addition, we have a bunch of new articles on the DevNet Center with information about Ellipsis:

Note : Before you install Ellipsis, READ THE RELEASE NOTES. This will help ensure that you don’t run into any issues when updating.

You can also find a complete list of issues fixed in Ellipsis in the release notes.

You can find more information, as well as download Ellipsis from here.

I will be posting more through out the next couple of days with more information on Ellipsis.

New Version of Flash Resource Manager : Adds support for Flash 7.2

I have released a new version of my Flash Resource Manager for Windows. Among other things, this release adds support for Flash MX 7.2 (Ellipsis).

Here is a complete list of changes:

  • Added support for Flash MX 2004 7.2.
  • Added option to not view help files installed by extensions.
  • You can now set files as start page. You must enter a valid URI.
  • Added home page link to go menu.
  • Latest News link in go menu now goes to latest news, and not home page.
  • Added version support to application settings. The application will only load settings if the settings were created by the same version of the application.

You can download the new version, as well as find out more information here.

New Editor for OSX : Smultron

Eric Dolecki pointed me toward a new editor on OS X, weirdly named Smultron. Regardless of its name though, it is a pretty good editor, which has support for multiple documents within the same panel / window. It has all of the basics you would expect from an editor, and also appears to have built in support for ActionScript.

It is written in Cocoa and is open source, so if I can ever get it to compile, maybe I will add some more ActionScript support.

If you are on OS X and doing Flash development, you should definately check this out.

You can find more info, as well as download the editor from here.

Create Invisible Button Command

Last week during customer visits, one of the customers commented that he is always creating invisible buttons. While I don’t create them much myself anymore, I used to use them all of the time, and though how it can be a little bit of a hassle / pain.

So, I create a simple JSFL Command that will automatically create an invisible button from whatever is selected on the stage.

You can download the command from here.

Installation and usage info is included in the zip files.

Post any questions, suggestions or problems in the comments.

Modify > Timeline > Distribute to Layers

Here is the first little gem I wanted to post about. We were watching a user working on a project in Flash, and they had imported about 20 images which all got imported to the same layer on the stage. They then began to manually move each image to its own layer (a very tedious process). Of course, Flash has a “Distribute to Layers” command that does exactly this. Basically, select all of the items / objects on your stage that you want to distribute to their own layers and select Modify > Timeline > Distribute to Layers (SHIFT-COMMAND-D on Mac). This will place each item on its own layer of the timeline.

The user was really excited to learn about this and used it to distribute the images to their own layers. However, they then used the command in a way that surprised me. They had accidentally placed two items on the same layer. I do this all of the time, and usually cut the item (Edit > Cut), create a new frame, and then paste it in place (Edit > Paste in Place) on the new frame, a really tedious / annoying process. The user just used the Distribute to Layers command to automatically place the item on its own layer. Something really simple, that I had never thought of, but will save me a lot of hassle in the future.