Archive for June, 2004

Webforum downtime, redux

As JD posted earlier today (thx, JD!), there’s been some downtime with the Macromedia web forums this week that’s currently expected to extend a little longer- ETA for their return is still being sorted out. There’s been very heavy database load this week due to increased overall site traffic which required the web forums (the most performance-intensive application on MM.com) to be brought down in order to help minimize the load.

However, the NNTP/newsreader interface remains open for business, and I’ll post updates on the situation with the web interface as I hear ‘em going forward. Sincere apologies for any inconvenience in the interim, please keep posted…

Ellipsis Roundup

Lots of questions have been circulating in the ether about the oft-rumored second update to Flash MX 2004 (code named ‘Ellipsis’)- and the Flash team has recently launched their own ‘blog to help set the record straight. In two recent postings, they’ve spilled some beans about the general areas the updater will address, and also confirmed a specific fix to improve compile speed degradation over time. Definitely worth bookmarking- give it a read!

Feeding Frenzy

Christian Cantrell reports the ‘trial’ CF, JRun and Flex TechNote RSS feeds were very well received, so the ante has been upped to 14 Macromedia products. And now the feeds are not only syndicating new Macromedia TechNotes, but new Security Bulletins and product updates as well!

You can subscribe to the new feeds here:
http://www.macromedia.com/go/rss_info

As noted in Christian’s aforementioned blog post, make sure to use the ‘go’ links on the page above and not their final destinations- as these feeds may need to move from time to time.
Enjoy!

Webmonkey & Contribute

WebMonkey’s revival was noted yesterday in JD’s blog, and one of the first new pieces of content up at the site is an interesting look at strategies for planning and deploying websites using Contribute 2. Nothing really new for experienced DW/CT developers, but if you’re new to the Contribute publishing ecosystem and interested in learning more, it’s worth a read.

PulpFiction 1.0.1

Followup to an earlier post of mine- if you’d tried PulpFiction 1.0 (a very promising new RSS/Atom feedreader for Mac OSX) and were turned away by the bugs, prerelease/beta versions of 1.0.1 are now available- initially supporting registered users and soon to provide a reset demo period for trial users. You can get more information on Erik Barzeski’s related blog posting here. Current prognosis- very solid and much speedier to boot, definitely worth a second look.

Confessions of a Gmail late bloomer

So, I finally hopped off the fence and got a Gmail account yesterday (much thanks to John Olson on the FlashLounge list), and so far am very, very impressed. The biggest advantage of Gmail – to me – is it’s search features- I use Outlook for my main email client, and have gotten accustomed to pruning back my archives every month to avoid getting bit by onerous server space quotas. Hence, any real historical searching for discussion across lists tends to be thru Google anyway. Obviously I can’t use Gmail for all my lists (as I’d likely break that 1 gig limit quickly), but my intent is to at least use it for the ones I refer to regularly so I can leverage the searching/indexing features. Sweet. However, given my current rate of disk space consumption, I’m likely to run out of space in 2 months or so and be back in the same boat. Not so sweet. Hope they eventually roll out premium options for increasing disk space- I’d gladly pay for the Gmail features on top of, say 10 gigs of storage space (which I’m sure I could find a way to use up).

I cannot speak more highly of the Gmail UI/experience, tho- the keyboard shortcuts work flawlessly for me on both platforms, and with the possible exception of better filtering/filing options (filtering messages into subdirectories, for example), it’s been very intuitive to navigate my account and mail. Far more so than Hotmail/Yahoo mail, IMHO.

The only feature I’d really like to see in the near future (probably not a revelation to any current Gmail user) would be POP access to my Gmail account, in lieu of a better way to get pinged when I receive new mail. No similar options yet that I’m aware of for Macs (let me know if you hear of any- please!), but in lieu of POP access to Gmail I’m trying out the third-party app Gtray on my PC laptop to get notification of new Gmail. There’s also the well-recieved Pop Goes the GMail available, which I’ll likely try out soon just for sake of comparison.

So far, two thumbs up from this late adopter…

Flash Remoting Components for AS2

You heard it- get ‘em while they’re hot: http://www.macromedia.com/software/flashremoting/downloads/components/

Excerpt from the release page:
Updates to the Flash Remoting Components include:

– The Flash Remoting ActionScript API has been updated to comply with ActionScript 2.0.
– The new RemotingConnector component allows you to work directly with the new data binding features in Flash MX 2004 Professional
– Significant improvements to the Documentation, including new ASDoc format and sample applications.

These ActionScript 2.0 components should be used for all Flash MX 2004 and Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 projects, especially if you are working with ActionScript 2.0 in your Flash project. You can still use the ActionScript 1.0 components below, if you like, but the ActionScript 2.0 components represent the best integration with Flash, Remoting, and ActionScript.

Exchange article on C/Net

Here’s a link to an interview David Becker of C/Net held with Jeff Whatcott (our VP of product management) and myself, in which he examines the open-source-esque natures of the Macromedia Exchange, alongside other software vendors who’ve implemented the same type of ‘code exchange’ model. Nice write-up, although I always seem to come off as far more stuffy in ‘official’ interviews than I would in meat/blogspace.

OT: My next gadget…

Fresh off the FlashLounge list- it looks like a Swiss Army knife, but stores files like a USB microdrive. Their 128mb version isn’t coming out until July, at which time I’ll be retiring my tired old Leatherman Micra posthaste.

CSS Background Revolution

Not yet televised, however- Team Macromedia member Aziz Peregrino-Brimah has put a quick page demo of a centered background that spans the full height of the browser window- but also uses a full doctype and validates as XHTML-strict. He gives credit to a page design seen on Blogger’s site- but regardless of the source, it’s definitely a CSS layout tip to have at your disposal.