Archive for the ‘CS3’ Category.

what the feck is AOO TLP ?

(Update: 28/10/2008 here)

Having been chastised for using these ‘unknown acronyms’ in my comment on jd’s weblog, I thought it worth writing a brief entry describing what these acronyms stand for and how they may be of interest for those purchasing or upgrading Adobe software.

Essentially this is all to do with volume licensing as an alternative to purchasing products through the Adobe store or other 3rd party suppliers. Volume licensing sounds like it is aimed at large organisations purchasing site-license. However the Transaction Licensing Programme facilitates as little as a single product license. The way the scheme works is to provide a transaction discount should you purchase multiple products in a single transaction based upon a point value for each product. TLP purchases may be made through 3rd party suppliers, but also through Adobe directly as in my case. There is no published price list so you need to request a quote.

The key point of interest to me was the Upgrade Plan which allows licenses to be purchased over 24 month subscriptions. Essentially this means I effectively have already paid to cover my CS4 upgrade. This is the point I was trying to make on jd’s weblog. He acknowledges that trial versions of CS3 products not being available until mid November is a ‘Pain point’ and he provides some explanation including the phrase “The big shipping versions get released first.”. Well I’m a AOO TLP upgrade licensee who’s just been told I may have to wait until the ‘end of November’ for it to physically ship to me. If it is painful for ‘users’ who haven’t paid for the software yet, imagine the pain for those who have paid for the software, but may have to wait until the end of November.

So while the Upgrade Plan offers some value, fulfilment seems less than ideal especially given this Key benefit documented on the Adobe site: “Get timely notifications of new upgrades, so you can stay on top of new product releases.”.

This is now my latest bug-bear. For Adobe to see how the customer experience could be improved in this regard, they need only look back to the now discontinued Macromedia DEVNET Pro subscription, where serial numbers and downloadable installers were immediately available to subscribers from day one of a new product shipping.

If this was fixed, I could now be blogging about cool new stuff in CS4 rather than  fuming over this and wondering if I would actually be better-off purchasing through conventional means.

UPDATE : 28/10/2008

Received my Adobe License Fulfilment email on 26th. Logged in and was able to request media for the upgrades, but at the time couldn’t see serial numbers or any way of downloading. However just checked again today, and the serials are there and I now have downloads in progress – and at a good bit-rate. So I’m feeling a lot happier now than when this post was originally published. While the process has not been entirely seamless, this time is far better than my previous experience with CS3 where I had to wait for physical media.

a little fireworks CS3 bug – remains in CS4 beta

If you are used to double-hitting the tab key after setting the marquee width, in order to then edit the height, then you are fine. You still need to do the same in CS4 beta.

My earlier rant on this : a little fireworks CS3 bug.

A flurry of events : Adobe/Flash/Flex

A busy few weeks starting tonight:

  1. [Thurs 21-Feb-2008] LFPUG – Thermo Special presentation from Adobe
  2. [Mon 25-Feb-2008] Adobe sponsored Pokercoder Tournament II  – you need to be a professional user of Adobe products to join in
  3. [Thurs 28-Feb-2008] LFPUG – presentations on ‘Successful Flash Games’ and ‘Practical Particle Effects with Flint’
  4. [Wed 5th March] FLUG – Beer, presentations and chat about Flex

strange stage-size problem, but only in ie6

I’ve just been working on an small piece of pure ActionScript3. Essentially the migrating from the large horrible Twitter Widget that I had in the right column, to the text-only representation now overlayed on the header image above.

I use SWFObject to embed the SWF in the page. I set the dimensions of the SWF to 780×45. Within the main function of the SWF I prevent the stage from scaling and set it to align top left. I then use the stage.stageWidth and stage.stageHeight properties to draw a semitransparent background within which to position a TextField then trot-off to get the Twitter feed.

All is well on Safari and Firefox. But when I test on Internet Explorer 6, strange things happen. The first time a page loads, it displays ok. But reload the page, or navigate to another within the blog where the SWF is loaded from cache, and the layout is quite messed up. Testing showed that this is because the stage’s stageHeight and stageWidth are returning value 0 in this circumstance. Further testing shows that although the stage’s initial size is 0x0, it does get resized at some point.

The solution I’ve implemented is to listen for and handle resize events. Mildly frustrating as I didn’t plan on dealing with resize. The only reason my application is structured like this is to allow the SWF to adapt to the dimensions set via SWFObject. Not to allow the SWF fluid resizing through it’s life.

Simply moving the positioning code to the resize handler solved the ie6 problem, but for the other browsers that render at the correct size from the off, no resize event fires. So from our main function we have to put a manual call in to the resize handler (with null as the argument), and then only modify positioning if the stage dimensions are something other than 0x0.

creative-cognition builds a flash game

The makers of StarCraft need have no fear, but I finally got around to implementing my first Flash based game. A simple retro tennis style game, built as a brand building exercise and integrated by my client into a Facebook application.

CVL-Tennis thumbnail

This was a fun project to work on and programme. To initially build a pure AS3 application, and to later integrate that with Flash CS3 when the real graphics were ready.

It was also an exercise in use of MVC. Since we did not use PureMVC nor any other other framework, using this pattern loaded the initial development with some seemingly onerous complexity. However the time invested later paid off in allowing easy adaptation of that game engine to the various graphics and controllers tried through testing.

Some links:

Flash CS3 : finding the gradient transform tool

I’ve just been driven up the wall trying to find the Gradient Transform tool. 🙁 Most of my work in the IDE is arranging libraries of assets supplied by others, for coding. So for drawing I am a newbie.

I needed to make my own block with a gradient. I knew there was a tool for modifying one once created, but I couldn’t see it in the tool panel, I couldn’t find an option for it in the Modify menu, and the Help page simply referred to it in the Tools panel.

Loation of the Gradient Tool

I eventually found it hidden behind the Free Transform tool : you have to click-hold Free Transform to reveal the Gradient Tool. I still haven’t found it in the menu hierarchy. I have posted comment to livedocs, but thought it worth posting here in the meantime.

flash, flex and vice versa

I have a small AS3 project where I need to keep the SWF quite small. I really want to use the Flex Builder environment to do the coding, and ultimately produce a target or targets suitable for inclusion both in Flash and/or Flex projects.

Two very helpful posts of the last couple of days with respect to setting up a suitable environment:

a little fireworks CS3 bug

Well in my opinion incorrect user-interface behaviour rather than a bug. I just used Adobe’s report a bug form, but ironically my Safari crashed when I hit the submit button, so I’ve currently got no idea if this went forward.

The issue concerned is not new and not really a big deal, but I just had to process a pile of images and it bit me so many times I had to get it out of my system by writing about it…

The interpretation of the tab key within the properties panel for certain selected tools is in my opinion incorrect and is inconsistent with established convention.

Example 1: Marquee tool selected:

1. Set the style to Fixed Ratio or Fixed size
2. Double-click the marquee width property
3. Type with desired width.
4. Hit tab

At this point I’d expect the focus to tab across to the Marquee height property. But it doesn’t. It sets the focus on the marquee width property and selects it. I need to hit Tab a second time to get to the height property.

I’ve been caught by this so many times. It is impossible to learn to accommodate to this odd behaviour because in every other application I have ever used, tab takes focus to the next input field.

Example 2 : Eraser tool selected:

This shows more clearly the logic which has been implemented.

1. Double-click the value of the Size property
2. Type a new value
3. Hit tab

Again, instead of tabbing to the next input field (Edge) the focus remains at the Size property – value selected.

4. Double-click the Edge property
5. Type a new value
6. Hit tab

At this point instead of tabbing to the next field (Opacity), you tab back to the Size property!

In summary, it seems the implemented behaviour is that the first use of tab within a field-set of the properties panel always tabs to the first item of that field-set, the tab sequence is thereafter obeyed until you leave the field-set. I feel the behaviour should always be to tab from the current field to the next.

I’m a programmer rather than graphics dude and I use Fireworks infrequently. So many times I’ve typed a width, tab, then a height only to find I’ve just overwritten the width with the height – no big deal – but a tad annoying!

essential actionscript 3 published today?

I don’t have my hands on it yet. I do have it on pre-order. Although at time of writing, Amazon is still showing it as ‘not yet published’, today is the official publish date. If it’s predecessors are anything to go by, this really will be the one book any ActionScript programmer should always have to hand. For more information and samples, check the author’s blog.

Update: Must be in high demand! Going to have to wait until at least 11th July 2007 for my copy.

Update (14 July 2007): my new “Estimated arrival date: 25/07/07 – 30/07/07” from Amazon.

my CS3 licensing resolved at last

Notes are in the update to the ‘horrible‘ article. Sigh of relief!