Archive for January, 2006

Targets, and Flash Player mismatching

I’ve recieved a few comments in a posting here, specifically in that folks are using Flash 8 to build content targeting earlier versions of the Flash Player, but when they compile the SWF they’re getting “Enhanced stroke is not supported in this player” errors.

To my experience this is an issue only when Publish Settings are ‘downgraded’ to earlier Player versions AFTER content has been created and/or saved in a Flash 8 FLA. Why? It’s very important (and in my opinion- a ‘best practice’) to know and specify up front your target Player version in the Publish Settings dialog as you create new Flash 8 projects, and before you start working in it. By doing this, the Flash 8 IDE subsequently knows that you are not building your project to the default player version (now Flash 8), and can guide you appropriately. Checkboxes and controls that relate to Flash 8-specific features are greyed out, and you’ll even get far-more-appreciated error messages if you do things in the IDE that aren’t supported in your target Player version. Win/win situation.

And you shouldn’t have to revert to some of the weird workarounds people are suggesting, like saving your FLA file back to an earlier version (which, of course, will get ‘upgraded’ again to Flash 8 when you reopen and try to save it). Set the Publish Settings target up front, forget it, and hit command/control-S as much as you want- although it’s saved as a Flash 8 FLA file, it’s still targeting a Flash 6 SWF – or your version of choice – as it’s output. Harmony is achieved. I think this workflow is more common for Flash Lite/mobile developers – who set device and AS version settings up front already by habit, but it applies to any non-current Player version target.

Summary?
Always know and set your Player version (and Actionscript version) target first in the FLA file, then build your content/animation/application. Good times.

(Platform caveat- I do not regularly use Flash on a PC, so am writing/confirming these points from a machine running Flash 8 on Mac OS 10.4.x- although I fully expect they apply to Windows as well.)

Like a what?

I’ve been Flicked yet again over at Community MX- losing out (along with Howard Stern, no less) for the slot as your next Adobe spokesperson in Chris Flick’s weekly strip. Now I have no problem coming in second place to a Jedi Master, of course- but given my long history with Photoshop/Illustrator/After Effects I’m a far less an Adobe virgin than many would have expected… ;-)

(Classic, Chris!)

Dreamweaver 8.0.1 Updater Available

Attention, Dreamweaver-wranglers- you can download the Dreamweaver 8.0.1 updater for Mac and Windows ASAP from the Dreamweaver Support Center, which addresses many reported issues with the 8.0 release:

Dreamweaver 8.0.1 Updater

Formerly code-named ‘Utah’ (for those of you who track such things), the DW 8.0.1 updater is currently available for English versions of Dreamweaver 8 (localized updaters expected soon- keep an eye/bookmark on the Support Center page above for news on these builds as they become available)- you’ll also want to read through the Release Notes before updating, as well as the full list of resolved issues in 8.0.1 to get the scoop on what’s new in this dot release.

Flashforward ’06 Early Bird Pricing

Interested in attending Flashforward 2006 in Seattle this year? Then the information below from our events team is right up your alley- early bird pricing discounts for the conference will end in 7 days! Read on for more details and a link to the Flashforward 2006 registration site:

Register now for Flashforward 2006 by January 20 and get special early bird pricing. For the first time ever Flashforward will be held in Seattle, Washington and will feature tracks on After Effects, Video, Open Source, and more in addition to covering the newest release of Flash, Flash Professional 8 and the Flash platform. If you register before January 20 you can save $300 on a three day conference pass or almost $400 on a four day conference pass.”

You can register for Flashforward 2006 at the following URL:
http://www.flashforwardconference.com/register

viliv P1 Personal Media Player

Nice! The viliv P1 PMP has a new site up where you can check out the specs and more screenshots (thanks to Scott Janousek for the link). Claiming to be the first PMP supporting Flash (wasn’t that title claimed by the iRiver U10, which also supports Flash Lite 1.1 SWFs?), the viliv P1 has a much more PSP-esque form factor and display (480×272 resolution- which theoretically should have more detail/clarity than the PSP for flash-media based video files).

Further, the P1′s 20/30 GB drive options (and CompactFlash slot) offer far more storage capacity and potential than the PSP at it’s best (1 GB and 2 GB Memory Sticks being the current max for PSPs, with larger capacities coming soon), and a click-wheel interface more in line with the video iPods. 5.1 surround support is a nice touch too, for those times when you need the larger-screen experience. The P1 will support MPEG 1 L2, MPEG 2, OGG, MP3, WMA AC3 and AAC audio/video file formats. On first glance, this could be a deal-breaker for me, as there doesn’t appear to be MPEG-4 support (which is the current ‘common’ codec I’m using to move vids between my PSP and video iPod).

Although it’ll be hard to beat the gaming experience of the PSP with the Flash Lite 1.1 spec (despite my fondness for it), the added flexibility and ease of development will undoubtedly make gaming content much easier to generate (and re-generate from existing Flash content/games/etc), so this could end up being a non-issue.

All in all, a very nice PMP device- although there’s precious little information up on development specs/Flash support specifics on the site (paging Bill Perry?), the P1 could become a serious contender for my pocket space in short order. Has anyone picked one of these up (prototype or not) and tried it in meatspace? If so, please drop some comments in below- I’m very interested in this device as yet another ‘crossover’ PMP for my arsenal!

Lightroom

You’d have to be sleeping under a rock to not catch the release of the Adobe Lightroom Public Beta on Adobe Labs (formerly Macromedia Labs) today- it certainly made the rounds today, both on the MacWorld conference homepage as well as a wanton Slashdotting this afternoon. Although I’m a bit remiss in not posting sooner, it’s been fun to watch all the discussions around Lightroom pop up today across the etner.

I’m personally excited to see Lightroom get out to the world, as not only is it an application I’ve been using with much excitement for a few weeks now in my own photographic excursions, but two old MetaCreations colleagues (George Jardine and Phil Clevenger) are part of my newly-extended Adobe family, on the Lightroom product team. If you were familiar with the otherwordly MetaCreations product interfaces, Phil performed much of the heavy lifting involved with visual front-ends such as Bryce, Soap and Kai’s Power Tools. George Jardine (now the pro photography evangelist at Adobe) worked for a short period with the MetaCreations Painter team back in ’99 as well, so for me the post-acquisition period is like being beamed back to my old mothership, honestly. ;-)

So, if you’ve got a digital camera- particularly a RAW-savvy digital SLR, get cracking on the Lightroom Beta download and let us know what you think! There are online forums specifically for your Lightroom feedback, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you can do with this new ‘gem in the not-so-rough’.

Enjoy!

Flash Lite 2 – Authoring Update available on Labs

It’s official- the Flash Lite 2 Update for Flash Professional 8 preview release is now available for download on the Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Labs website. This updater will add Flash Lite 2-specific authoring features to your Flash Professional 8 installation so you can start getting busy right now. If you were watching before the holidays, the Flash Lite 2.0 mobile player itself was quietly added to the Macromedia.com online store, this adds the missing authoring piece to pull it all together. Have fun!