Archive for August, 2005

FOTD 03: Fireworks 8 CSS Pop-Up Menus

One of the most popular features in previous versions of Fireworks had to be the pop-up menu generator. However, despite being handy and popular, these menus had a lot of inherent problems that became evident over time (not search engine friendly/indexable, difficult to customize after the fact, maintained links in JS files, etc.). The new CSS Popup Menus feature in Fireworks 8 is a much different story, however- much more robust than any prior ‘stock’ pop-up menu features in Fireworks or Dreamweaver (although I still recommend learning the basics of menu generation yourself as well- visual tools are great, but understanding the underlying principles is a skill worth cultivating). Here’s the basic rundown for creating pop-up menus in Fireworks 8.

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FOTD 02 – Flash 8: Video Import Wizard

In Flash MX 2004, you had few options for importing Flash Video with fine control – unless you were already working in a third-party video editor or compositing tool that could take advantage of the direct export functionality from those applications. And for those new to video in general, not to mention Flash Video- understanding all the embedding/streaming/progressive download options and their repercussions to a project were even more daunting. Well, in Flash 8- FLV import (and conversion) just got a whole lot easier. I’ll step you through it in text/image form (and for a richer Captivate walkthru- make sure to check out Greg Rewis’ simulation here as well)- and let us know what you think!

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FOTD 01: Dreamweaver 8 Code Collapse

This is the first of my Studio 8 ‘Features of the Day’, I’ll be posting these each weekday until Studio 8 ships, and the first is on Dreamweaver’s long-awaited new feature- Code Collapse.
When working in complex code blocks, have you ever wished you could hide sections you aren’t working on to make navigation a little easier? With Dreamweaver 8’s code collapse feature, you can collapse any tag, function or block- saving valuable scrolling time and most importantly… your sanity.

Using Code Collapse is a snap- just select any fragment of code in Code view, and you’ll see two ‘triangle’ markers in the gutter by the line numbers- just click one of them and your entire section rolls up out of view quickly, saving precious real-estate. If you’re not a mouse-clicker, the keyboard shortcuts Control-Shift-C (Win) or Command-Shift-C (Mac) collapse your selection, and Control-Shift-E (Win) or Command-Shift-E (Mac) expand a collapsed selection. Here’s a quick before/after shot of code collapse in practice- make sure to check out Greg Rewis’ blog post here for a Captivate simulation of Code Collapse in action as well (Greg and I will be tag-teaming some of these daily posts for a richer description of the new features in Studio 8, so heads-up!).

code_collapse.gif

So what if you’d like to maintain your selection, but hide/collapse everything else? Control-Alt-C/Control-Alt-E (Win) and Command-Option-C/Command-Option-E (Mac) will correspondingly collapse and expand everything outside your selection. And if you don’t have time to make a full selection, but want to collapse the tag your cursor’s currently within- either select ‘Collapse Full Tag…’ from the ‘Edit > Code Collapse’ menu, or just hit Control-Shift-J (Win) or Command-Shift-J (Mac). You can also achieve the inverse – collapsing all the code outside the tag/function your cursor’s currently within – by hitting Control-Alt-J (Win) or Command-Option-J (Mac).

Flexible and powerful, once you’ve embraced code collapse there’s no reason to get buried in your own code anymore- unless you want to, of course.

Studio 8 – It’s Official

That’s right- Studio 8 has just been announced and I, for one, am really excited to see this release get out the door and into everyone’s hands shortly. It’s a big update, so I’d recommend kicking off your infosurfing at the Studio 8 product site (http://www.macromedia.com/software/studio/), and then following the links from there to more detail in the respective Studio 8 product sections (Flash 8, Dreamweaver 8, Fireworks 8, Contribute 3 and Flash Paper 2).

Now once you’ve read through all the shiny new features and updates- you’ll want to get the official dirt on Studio 8 and it’s development process right from the source- each of the Studio product managers have published articles on the new features in their respective products, with a peek into the overall development process courtesy of Jim Guerard, our VP of product management/marketing for Studio.

Also, to help shine some light on some of the new and updated functionality you can expect in Studio 8, I’ll start publishing a single Studio product feature each weekday here on my weblog, counting down to the day Studio 8 starts shipping out. The first of these ‘featurelets’ will go out later today, so keep posted…

Pimp Your WebAssist Cart with an iPod

If you’re using either the WA eCommerce Suite or WA eCart Dreamweaver extensions from WebAssist, and have built a slick shopping cart with either product, you’ll definitely want to enter it into their ‘Pimp My Cart’ contest- top prize is a 60GB color iPod and $500 worth of software, with three runner-up prices of $300 worth of software. If your online store fits the requirements, hit that link and sign it up!

2005 MAX Awards

It’s time again- the 2005 MAX awards, to be presented at the MAX ’05 conference in Anaheim this year. But before your stellar online experience can win, you’ve got to submit it for consideration- which can be done here:

http://www.macromedia.com/bin/max2005award.cgi

The award categories this year are:

  • Advertising and Branding Experiences
  • Media, Entertainment and Gaming Experiences
  • Mobile Experiences
  • Customer-Facing Experiences
  • Business Experiences
  • Government Experiences
  • E-Learning Experiences
  • Education and Non-Profit Experiences

…and of course, the People’s Choice winner, selected from the finalists by all of the conference attendees. You’ve got until September 9th, 2005 to enter your submissions (and although the awards will be presented at the conference October 16-18, they’ll be announced on October 3rd), so get them keyboards rattling and submit your masterpieces for consideration!