Flash and CS5, what are your thoughts?

Posted: April 15th, 2010 in Blog.

So now that Adobe has announced the new features surrounding CS5 and Flash, I’d love to hear what you think about the product. I have yet to download the trial and start working with it, but I’ve been doing a lot of reading and it seems to me that Adobe is pushing and expanding Flash more than it ever has before. InDesign for example now integrates a lot of built in Flash pieces to publish animations.

Perhaps what I’m most looking forward to are the actionscript tools. I have yet to see the specifics, but from what I have read there are more tools built in to help write actionscript. I know that has been a major hurdle for most to cross and if there is some help there it would be much appreciated.

So what do you think? what have you read, heard, or experienced that helped you make the choice to upgrade, buy, or wait on CS5?


Adobe Unveils CS5 Today

Posted: April 12th, 2010 in Blog.

Just signed up a couple hours ago on Adobe’s site to preview the new CS5, which will be unveiled officially in an hour or so. I’ve read and watched a few of the new features with CS5 (mostly in Photoshop, although I hear that Flash is getting an overhaul as well) that seem pretty promising.

I’ll admit, I still haven’t adopted the latest creative suite version CS4. The jump just didn’t seem worth it enough for me to justify the cost of an upgrade. ┬áSo I’m interested to see what Adobe has up their sleeve this time. I’ll update this post in a little bit to give you some of my thoughts from what they share about it.

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Forum or Blog posts? Please vote

Posted: March 26th, 2010 in Blog, Website Notes and News.

What's the best way to answer and ask Flash questions on the site? A Forum or Blog?

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I get questions emailed to me daily on my tutorials and other Adobe Flash questions. Up until now I’ve done my best to answer them back with details in reply emails. I noticed though that many of the questions are similar and I’m confident that the answers to those questions could benefit others who have the same question or problem that aren’t sending an emails, but are still looking for answers.

It’s this reason why I originally wanted to setup a forum to handle those kinds of questions. Someone could pose a question to the community about Adobe Flash and it was my goal to have people help one another with concerns. Particularly those questions that I don’t have answers for.

I setup a forum page originally. It probably wasn’t working properly. I had no idea what I was doing at the time and the forum got 0 interest. Things are different this time and going forward I was wondering what everyone thinks about creating a new forum to handle questions and answers or is it better to handle those issues as blog posts? Both forums and blog posts are interactive and give the chance to get a discussion going on the topic. I have my personal opinions on both, but I really wanted to get your opinion on the difference and how you would prefer to getting answers to questions. So please answer this quick survey with how you feel the better way is to ask, answer, learn from questions about Flash and web development.

If you have any specific questions about this please leave a comment as well. Any feedback would be appreciated. I just want to make this as good as an experience for the viewers of the website as I possibly can. Thanks.


New Integrated Blog

Posted: March 25th, 2010 in Blog, Website Notes and News.

With the new system I’ve built the site on, I can now finally integrate my blog directly in to the site. I previously had a blogspot blog set up kind of as a companion site, but having a separate system made it difficult to remember to check and update. It’s hard to track the traffic and where it’s going from there, and overall didn’t match the feel and brand of the rest of the site.

This way the blog works together more with the site, which I’m very excited about. So please feel free to use it, read it, leave me great comments and I’ll make sure to answer back. I’ll be adding different aspects to the blog from time to time, so please be patient and come back often.

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Finally Fixing Some Browser Issues

Posted: March 22nd, 2010 in Blog.

I’ve mentioned this before but when I first created over 2 years ago it was just me and my new mac whipping things together with Dreamweaver. I knew about browser differences but didn’t have any way to test them on my own, other than borrowing someone’s pc and checking them out in IE while debugging the site. Over the years though I’ve picked up some tools and experience along the way and I am proud to say that I finally got around to fixing the css issues in Internet Explorer. So all you IE users getting to the site, whether it be in 6,7, or 8. We all should now be on the same page.

Browser testing is a pain and any front-end developer’s least favorite part of the process, but it is still very important to do. About half of the viewers of this site are using some version of Internet Explorer and it’s sad to say that for the past 2 years those people have been looking at more or less a broken site. Of course they don’t know it’s broken, they don’t know how it was supposed to look like, but still I’m glad we are all on the same page now.

If you’re wondering about your site and the different ways to test and see things for browser supports there is a lot to learn. If you’re running a mac like me, I highly recommend you picking up some software to run virtual machines and get yourself a copy of windows. Once you got windows going you can download and test for different versions of IE. I have 3 separate virtual machines, one for each major version, but I also use IETester that is really helpful because you don’t have to then switch between the virtual machines.

If you’re looking for the actual differences between browsers, well then that’s a whole bigger issue that can’t be addressed with this single post. I’m sure there are books filled with it. I will recommend though when you start a project to use some sort of css reset. It’s usually just a css file or series of them that override all of the browser specific styles and gets you started on the same playing field. It’s difficult to move an existing project to it, as it typically will change a huge amount of what you’ve done, it is however still possible. This site for example I had to go back and add a reset, There were a bunch of new styles I had to add and change around a bit, but to get everything back on a somewhat level playing field is worth it. Of course there are more things out there that aren’t fixed by a simple css reset, but it will save you some heartache.

Oh well, I have a lot more on this subject, but it’s getting really late, so I’m going to call it a night and just say thank you for all the users who continue to come back to the site to learn more about Flash and web development, even if it looked a little funky in your browser for a little while there. Going forward I still do have a lot of plans for the site, so make sure to come back often for updates on the site.

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