Long time no post

Wow! I have been out of blogging scene for a while now.

Things have changed for me a little. I said good bye to Dubai, moved to Singapore but remained within the same network, i.e. OgilvyOne. It has been four months already here and so far I like it; both the workplace and the city. Lots of things learned but still lots more to go. Anyway, I will try to be regular now and keep posting about new stuff happening in my life. Ciao!

Long time no post

Busy days ..

Things have been pretty busy for me which is why I have been ignoring this blog. Worked on an interesting Twitter banner for a newspaper and currently working on a Facebook Flash game for a soft drink company. Both will be shared later.

More to come. Happy coding.

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. ~ Henry David Thoreau

Busy days ..

Things I learnt recently

For the last few months, I have been experimenting and playing a lot with different techniques and code frameworks just to improve my Flash/ActionScript skills overall.

Stuff like SWC compilation, creating code-snippets are not something new and people have already mastered these arts but as I feel very new in Flash world and as I feel there is a lot for me to learn, I thought I should share some the things I recently discovered.

SWC compilation

I have been using (and still use) Flash Professional IDE as my main development IDE for project compilation for the last three years or so but recently I had a little chat with one of my seniors (Philip Bulley, the guy who got me going in Flash) about the different ways of compiling a SWF file. I had my arguments (typically because I was in my comfort zone using Flash IDE) but he convinced me as always to adopt to ActionScript-only projects so I can just use Flash IDE for assets creation.

Reasons like fast compilation, adding wrapper on top of classes whenever need be (since in Flash, if you have a movieclip structure in place and later on you feel there is a need to change/alter it, it is very difficult) and a pure Object-Oriented feel (instantiation of assets, removal when done) were good enough for me to give it a thought. I am looking forward to feature projects which will certainly be based on ActionScript-only approach using FlashDevelop.

FlashDevelop’s code snippets and code generation

Everyone knows about the usefulness of code snippets and if these snippets are quickly accessible, what else do you want. In my classes, most of the public functions (after implementing an Interface) are same and I use to write them and indent them and comment them again and again. Too be honest, after exploration of code snippets in FlashDevelop, I feel like I have been so stupid. Trust me, whichever your ActionScript Editor is, create and store your little gems, and use them as needed as all of the editors come with this feature of storing snippets.

AS3Signals

Oh Robert Penner, I owe you for that one; you are the man :). AS3Signals is simply fantastic. With different tests showing the speed of this event mechanism and a presentation and a video tutorial showing how easy it is to use Signals, there is no reason ActionScript Developers should give it a try. Lot can be (and has been) said about as3signals, but I will keep it for you to explore. Oh and btw, an enhancement to as3signals is going on as well which, to be very honest, is going over my head. 🙂

formatString function

I just didn’t know how handy could … rest really be before I got into this situation (i.e. formatString function). Check this little function I created out of curiousity. Little things matter a lot sometimes.

Casalib ActionScript Library

I downloaded CASALib quite a while ago and the utility functions (the ones I have used so far) are very handy in everyday projects. Everytime I google for some helper class, I find it under casalib library, right under my nose.

Look at Inactivity class of time package for instance, wouldn’t you want to decrease stage’s framerate when the user is idle for some time (i.e. the mouse is not moving at all), I would, on all projects actually. Essentially, it is a matter of adding timers and checking if the last mouse position is equal to the new position, but who would do that if someone has already done that and with additional functionality. So, kudos to Casalib for a great package of useful classes.

FlashPlayer 10 3D

I am done with it. I am done playing with FlashPlayer 10’s 3D capabilities. Oh! why did I develop two projects using it, I should’ve used Papervision3D.

Anyways, I will give any external 3D library a try on my next 3D-based project.

That’s it. There is obviously a lot that I need to learn and master and I will Insha Allah.

Things I learnt recently

Some Flash Development Challenge

I have never seen a job post like this where you are asked to take a test straight away.

TheseDays are hiring Flash and Web Developers and the way they are doing it, is just fantastic. The idea is that they are looking for the real WEB-NINJAs by asking the applicants to take trials (which in my case was Flash Developer Trials) and I have to say, I loved it. Developers are asked to find answers to four questions in any way appearing one after another.

Now, I must say that I entered this site not because I wanted to work here (I mean anyone would to work in such a place where the employer really is focusing on “technical” knowledge) but because I read about it through Twitter that it was some debugging challenging fun for developers.

Check it out. It is fun.

Some Flash Development Challenge

Flash ActionScript developer qualifications and ideal skill-set

I have always had a little TTD (Things-to-do) or TTL (Things-to-learn) notepad file right on my desktop containing list of technologies/APIs/new-stuff that I would like to learn and experiment with in coming days and this list has always been changing, sometimes shrinking and most of the times, just keeps on growing :).

But I wondered, what is that minimal skill-set required for someone to call him/herself a flash developer proudly. Well, Grant Skinner has written a wonderful article on this topic and is certainly a must-read for every flash developer.

Grant Skinner has also presented on this topic on different conferences and has put together a slide deck by the name Things Every ActionScript Developer Should Know present on his Conference Session Notes page which is a stripped down, re-written version of Things Every Flash Developer Should Know slide focusing on actionscripting techniques and workflows.

I must say that both the article and the slide-deck from Grant Skinner should be saved as a TTD list for all Flash Developers like me who are still in the learning process and like to set goals and then work towards acheiving them.

Flash ActionScript developer qualifications and ideal skill-set