Archive for August, 2005

Flash Lite – Online Seminars

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile Flash development with the Flash Lite 1.1 CDK and the new mobile authoring features in Flash Professional 8, then you’ll want to catch this online seminars Wednesday (8/24) from either 9AM – 10:30AM EST, or 9PM – 10:30PM EST. All attendees will have the chance to win a free copy of Flash Professional 8, so run – don’t walk, they’re filling up fast – to the registration URL and get a seat:

http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=detail&id=127144

The 90-minute seminar(s) will be held via Breeze live, so you’ll only need a computer with a current browser and the Flash Player installed, and a live network connection to attend. Voice will be provided via VoIP (thru Breeze), or an alternate phone connection for the bandwidth-challenged. ;-)

FOTD 09: Dreamweaver 8 – Coder’s Toolbar

Dreamweaver is becoming much more friendly to hand-coders these days- with v8 introducing a new Coder’s Toolbar that runs vertically along the left of your document window in Code View. Sure, toolbars like this have been a staple of many other code-centric editors for some time, but given a large theme of the Studio 8 release has been expressiveness and workflow improvement, it makes sense for Dreamweaver to start shoring up gaps in this respect. Let’s take a look.

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FOTD 08: Fireworks 8 – Save to Bitmap

Sometimes small updates can be important ones to note. Have you ever just wanted to open an image up in Fireworks and save it out as another format? If so, you’ve noted this requires an export step in earlier versions of Fireworks- not particularly intuitive for those familiar with other image-editing applications. In Fireworks 8, however, you can simply open an image and select “File > Save As…”?, choose from the variety of export filetypes that Fireworks supports, and you’re done converting the format. Sure, this isn’t exactly a huge new feature, but for adding more options to your image editing workflow, it could be a timesaver nonetheless- and a great example of the strong focus on expanded/improved workflow in Studio 8.

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Flash 8’s Undo behavior

I know I already posted a FOTD today- so consider this a bonus. Simply put- in Flash 8 you can select, as a global preference, either document-level undo (introduced in MX 2004) as well as good ‘ol object-level undo. If you preferred the old Flash MX (and earlier) style, where there was an undo queue maintained for each symbol, well- it’s back (object-level undo). If you got comfortable with the newer Flash MX 2004 style of document-level undos – well, it’s still there too. Preferences > General Tab is where the pref is located now- pick one and run, y’all. Tres cool.

Studio 8 Launch Seminars

Want to see a live demo of Studio 8? If so (and you’re in the North America and/or Asia/Pacific regions), you’ll want to check out the Studio 8 launch seminar schedule for a city near you on the tour:

  • US/Canada

    http://www.macromedia.com/cfusion/event/index.cfm?event=series_detail&id=282672&loc=en_us

  • Asia/Pacific Region

    http://www.macromedia.com/ap/events/0805_preview_events.html

These 3-hour launch seminars are a great opportunity to get a first-hand peek at the new Studio products before they start shipping- so if you’re located in either geographic region, definitely check it out!

Upcoming Macrochats – CF/Verity and Flash Video

If you’ve got some free time to sharpen your skillsets a bit, there are two free public Macrochats on Verity in ColdFusion MX 7 (tomorrow) and Flash Video bandwidth detection and scaling (next Tuesday) coming up you might want to catch. Note: pre-registration is required for both, links to follow.

  • Verity for Fast Searching
    Wednesday, August 17, 2005 – TOMORROW!
    12:00 PM – 1:00 PM US/Eastern

    Ray Camden of Mindseye, Inc. will talk you through the updates to the Verity search engine in ColdFusion MX 7, and ways you can leverage it on your own content. Read up on the docs ahead of time here (as this Macrochat assumes a baseline knowledge of Verity), and when you’re ready, hit this link to register.

  • Flash Video Bandwidth Detection and Scaling
    Tuesday, August 23, 2005
    5:00 PM – 6:00 PM US/Eastern

    New Toronto Group’s Kevin Towes will show you how to detect a user’s bandwidth using the Macromedia Flash Video Streaming Service, and both scale bandwidth during playback and switch to alternate video encoding. Interested? Then bang your mouse here to register.

If you’d like to browse the archive of previously-recorded Macrochats, make sure to bookmark this URL for future reference, too:
http://www.macromedia.com/community/macrochats.html

FOTD 07: Flash 8 – Object Drawing Mode

Although Flash old-timers have undoubtedly become comfortable with the way Flash handles object drawing on the stage – strokes and fills as separate entities, having objects ‘cut away’ from one another when drawing overlapping shapes, etc – Flash 8 now supports both the traditional Flash object drawing mode (now dubbed ‘Merge’ mode) and a more Freehand/Illustrator behavior familiar to vector designers (‘Object’ mode) that treats objects more like traditional vector applications- fill and stroke acting as a single object when moving or transforming, and no ‘cutting out’ of objects behind other objects on the same layer.

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FOTD 06: Dreamweaver 8 – Zoom and Guides

How many times have you been working a CSS-driven design and had to strain at your monitor from inches away to resolve those 1-3 pixel shifts? With Dreamweaver 8, you can zoom in on the area of your page in question and make your changes easily. Or, zoom out of a large, complex page design to get a better view of your layout without scrollbars. With the new Guides feature, you can also now drag guide marks out just like in your favorite image editing application, to help visualize alignment and placement better (and guides even carry through to Dreamweaver templates!). Save the Lasik surgery for when it’s really needed, get your designs laser-accurate right now. Here’s the scoop.

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FOTD 05: Flash 8 – Script Assist

In Flash MX 2004, the ‘Normal’ mode for Actionscript was removed in favor of behaviors, and the Flash community arose to let the Flash team know how exactly much it was missed. And they listened. Now, I can’t say that Normal Mode is back, per se- but I can say that Flash 8’s Script Assist feature is a logical evolution of Normal Mode (in my opinion) you’ll find welcome if you missed the functionality last time around.

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FOTD 04: Dreamweaver 8 – Background File Transfer

If you’re a seasoned Dreamweaver user, you’ve undoubtedly encountered more than a few file transfer-related roadblocks when uploading/downloading large batches of files, checking in/checking out en masse, synchronizing sites, and so on. Once you started a file transfer in DWMX 2004 or earlier, you were essentially locked out of Dreamweaver until all the files had been transferred- essentially stuck twirling your thumbs as the progress bar made that tedious left-to-right march. Well, as you probably already guessed from the title of this post, file transfers are now a background task in Dreamweaver 8.

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