Archive for July, 2010

Keep your Flex Builder 3 play area clean….Trust me

While working on a fairly large pure AS3 project, I wasn’t able to export a release build. Well, it was more like, Flex Builder 3 just gave up and didn’t even give me an error. Another issue I ran into: Running the debugger on a project….and….it…..takes……

FOREVER

…..then

FAILS

right in your face.  (Was I expressive enough with the big cheesy font in red?) You check your flash version, you get the latest debugger, nothing works. What worked for me:

Clean your project! Project->Clean…

Then pick the project you’re currently working on. Always seems to work for me. Hope it helps someone out there.


Comcast – E! online – web video gallery

This one was a great project to be a part of and I got a chance to work with a great guy in the Flash community. While working on FEARnet.com’s video players (will be posting those projects in the near future), I worked with Felix Turner as he was also doing some contract work with Eonline.com. We wrapped up a pretty cool ‘year in review’ celebrity project and he began work on a video gallery for E! I went to another project and eventually was handed his work. Can’t say enough good things about Mr. Turner and his code.

So I picked up this project and continued development for a good 6-7 months. It supported Brightcove’s video platform (they migrated over to thePlatform’s feed services) and uses DART video ads. Most of the work I did for this was refactoring, adding new features, and bug squashing. A project I’m proud to say I was a part of.

The Video Gallery with a stream open and showing video

E! Online Video Gallery with a video playing

The Video Gallery with the video player closed and all streams showing

The gallery in a closed state

The E! Online Video Gallery with the video player closed

Working with the team out in LA was a great experience for me, I was able to work on this very cool project, went out to the E! Offices in LA a few times (once was in January with freezing temps in Philly and a sweet 70-ish temps. People were wearing coats out there…). Hopefully our paths will cross again and we’ll get to do more work together.

Here’s the live version up now

(it’s been updated since but you’ll see how cool it is :o)


Loving QR codes and will fully support them

Yes, they’ve been around for a long time but I think they’re just awesome. QR (“Quick Response”) codes are like embedding data into an image. I’ve always thought they were cool even when Microsoft was doing their tag thing (someone remind me what that was called….) I am trying out a few different services and so far I’m going to try pingtags. The reason being: Ping tags connect to LinkedIn and even though the QR code has to send you to a website to show you the information, they track it, PLUS if the user allows it, they can GPS it and see where your ping tag was scanned. http://www.pingtags.com

I’m planning on putting my QR codes on everything. I already spent the time we all dread updating my resume but it was actually enjoyable because I put a nice fat QR code on it :o)

I’d love to have a QR code that would just instantly show my info and be able to be tracked. I’m wondering just how many people will trust a tag’s shortened URL. But…..getting a page with my info, showing a direct link to LinkedIn AND getting tracking on where and how many scans there were? How can I say no?

Anyone else out there use anything like this?

Oh, if you’re here from the latest QR I put out, welcome and you’re the reason I think I love’em!!

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thePlatform PDK – get a player up and running – some tips

So, I’ve got another project (a few actually) that will be integrating thePlatform’s video player. I’m slowly but surely getting a grip on how to use this player but I admit, it’s not the easiest API to work with. I guess my biggest gripe is how I want to so badly just load an instance of the PDK player and just call something like player.loadPID(videoPID,true) with the second arg being a start on load boolean and if false, show the video thumbnail. Just having a player.stop() so I can directly just stop a video would be nice. Instead you need to go into the player component, to the controller, then HOPE and PRAY the function or property you’re looking for is there….[/vent]

/**************** Put on AS3 Code Speak hat *********************/

That being said, here’s a tip: Create a class that extends the PDKContainer: example:

public class your_videoPlayer extends PdkContainer
{
//add whatever props you need here
public var _pdkPlayer:Player;

public function your_videoPlayer()

{ super(“your_videoPlayer”,0,true); //the true parameter is a ‘wait for stage’ boolean which without it, will cause the container to think it’s the only class being loaded and probably give you null values when it tries to access the stage

//Do everything else you would normally and assign the player to the _pdkPlayer class propert

//Ok, that being said, in your class that creates this “your_videoPlayer” instance example:

var yourVideoPlayer:your_VideoPlayer = new your_VideoPlayer();

// I just created a thumbnail loader (Thanks again casalib!) that would load the thumbnail for the video and on press calls

yourVideoPlayer._pdkPlayer.controller.setReleaseURL(releaseURL,true);

/**************** Take off AS3 code hat – Put on Nerd Speak Hat *********************/

with the releaseURL being the targeted releaseURL you have for the video you want to play and the true boolean being start the video on loading.

I couldn’t find an easier way to get the player to behave with loading the video thumbnail consistently, having consistent control over the player. I have yet to figure out how to get ads to load properly but will post the solution to that if I can (in talks with thePlatform’s support team now).

Hopefully this helped someone out there in internet-land that is a flash dev working with compiling the thePlatform’s PDK.


as3 – encode/unescape Note2Self

Note2Self: Seems I always end up forgetting the proper syntax and want to do  something that never works. Just a reminder to myself and anyone that ends up here from google…

var url:String = “www.YOUR_DOMAIN_HERE/a path that needs to be encoded”;
var encodedUrl:String = escape( url );
trace( encodedUrl );
var decodedUrl:String = unescape( encodedUrl );
trace( decodedUrl );

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Versus – Tour De France 2009- Interactive Stage Map:

Well, this project was a memorable one, mainly because I started to really use casalib’s library. I was able to leverage casalib’s casasprite and a few other features. Loading data is a breeze, and the distribution class is awesome, really saves a ton of time.

As for the project itself, Versus wanted to create some ‘feel’ behind their TourDeFrance push that year and so it became a test project to create an interactive map. Main focus to just deliver additional information for each route and let the actual event become the content. The only tricky part I came up with was allowing the detail screen to position itself over the area of the map that is chosen. So….if you chose route 4, the detail screen would give you the additional data for route 4 but also visually show you the route.

We planned that if this project went over well, we would revisit the idea next year. So that being said, I’m currently working on the 2010 version. Always a pure joy to do work and have your client return for more. It’s always great working with the Versus.com team and hope to continue for a long time. Some screenshots below and a demo link to follow.

Once the interactive tour map went live, a feature went live on the homepage:

Standard view of the map. This image shows the map with stage 5 as the current stage. You can see the routes in their proper state (past, current, future)

I just really liked this logo (I had nothing to do with it’s design but I fought to keep it in the map). It ended up not making the final version but  I thought it had style. Kudos to whoever created it.

tour logo that was never used

This view is how the application would display if a user selected a stage route. The detail view takes over the entire page and shows more detailed information on the stage’s city, anything interesting about the stage route, and an image for the route. I was able to leverage some nice casalib utils in this view. For example the stage number count, each number is active and pressing it would show that stage’s information. To add the listeners to each number was all taken care of by creating a casaLib distribution object.

Here’s a link to a live demo


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