round the corner

After years of dreading having to implement in xhtml/css, a designer’s efforts laced with rounded corners, I recently went and proposed a design of my own requiring them. (Doh!)

Over the last few years a number of tried tested techniques have been established…

I’ve never really been a fan of bitmap corners typically using variants of the long-standing “sliding doors” technique. However if there is a 3d aspect to the design this would probably be the best way.

In my case I just wanted a neat rounded corner between a foreground and background. I found that Nifty Corner Cube was just the job! Released March 2006 under GNU GPL License, the third evolution of Nifty Corners, these are really easy to implement in JavaScript and degrade gracefully. We are not limited two colours as a ‘transparent’ mode allows background gradients through. My only (limited) disappointment was the loss of the rounded border of previous version. However my final design can and will live without borders.

embedding flash in html page – best practice? (SWFObject)

For a long time I simply used the html published from the Flash IDE to embed a SWF. Expecting that to be the ‘best practice’ approach. Like others I was concerned at the impact of Microsoft’s upcoming changes to IE in response to EOLAS patent issues. I was dreading either having to write my own JavaSript or research countless approaches.

With SWFObject the problem is solved. It has been around for a long time (formerly known as FlashObject) and appears to be well tried and tested. I was really pleased with how simple it is to use, how it degrades gracefully. I’ve used this on a number of projects and now consider it to be best practice. In future I’d need a very good reason not to use it.

Update (14/03/2008): SWFObject 2 released

make my h1 look nice

I’ve recently been distracted from my flash ambitions back to the world xhtm/css design. One of the issue with the organisation concerned is that in print media they use what I think is a really nice font: ITC Century Light. Ideally this is what should be used for all h1 headers through this site. Obviously not many users are likely to have this font installed. The substitute font is Times New Roman which is not nearly as neat, or distinctive.

In the bad-old days we would have created GIFs for each heading and used them instead. The height of bad-practice in this new world of standards compliance and accessibility.

Prior to doing any research, I had expected use of Flash would fall foul of similar problems. Then I found sIFR. A combination of JavaScript, CSS and Flash, which at run-time replaces designated tags with a SWF containing the text rendered in your font of choice to the same dimensions. What’s better it ticks most of the accessibility boxes. I’m really pleased with how easy this was to set up, and how it gracefully degrades.

Ok I came to this late. But the current version (2.02 at time of writing) has been recently updated with bug fixes and changes relating to ELOAS. And there is a version 3 in development.

This is a good piece of work by the developers, who are looking for funding. Certainly if my client goes with this recommendation, I’ll be sending a donation.

attending user groups

Over the past few months I’ve been heading along to meetings of the London MultiMedia User Group. Working usually alone, or at least the lone technical ‘expert’ on most of my projects, it has been really good to see and hear what other similar types are up-to. Great for self-assessing my own approach against contemporaries.

With London MMUG in recess until September 2006 Tink has established the London Flash Platform User Group, the first meeting of which was this evening. Two impressive speakers: Stefan Richter and Stuart Eccles.

One of the things Stefan sparked an idea as to why I’ve been struggling to get one of the simplest Flash Media Server tasks to work – including one of the tutorials from Adobe. More on this soon.

Having never even looked at Ruby on the Rails, Stuart’s presentation was extremely interesting and illuminating. I’ll defiantly be looking into using RoR on future projects. That seemed to be the consensus of the audience too.

I am sorry I had to leave a little early. Thanks to Tink and both speakers for putting in the time to make this happen

About time

It’s about time! My first blog.

Expect to find here occasional postings prompted by problems and hopefully solutions in my work with the flash platform and ActionScript in particular.

ActionScript 2 and Flash 8 are my starting spec as far as contributions to this blog are concerned. Looking forward to involvement in Flex 2, ActionScript 3, Flash Media Server and beyond. Also taking a keen interest in OpenSource developments around Flash.

My corporate site (creative-cognition ltd) currently shows minimal flash and demonstrates my background in server-side coding, XHTML, CSS standards compliance and accessibility. Looking forward to being able to add more Rich Media projects without losing touch with accessibility issues.

  • Latest

  • View Paul Evans's profile on LinkedIn
  • Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives