losing access to Gemini

Slightly off-topic for this site, but I am constantly amazed by the UK Government’s ability to waste money within it’s own operations and withdraw comparatively small amounts from really useful projects thus crippling them and the benefits about to be reaped from the investments so-far made. The UK’s funding cut is about to exclude us from the multinational Gemini project as reported on the bbc news site. This I think is particularly short-sighted (excuse the pun) and it feels like the rug being pulled from under us. Particularly after projects such as Galaxy Zoo have done such a good job of increasing awareness and participation in this science.

If you are UK based and wish to stand against this decision, there is a Downing Street petition you can sign. There is more information and more actions you can take on the save astronomy site.

Save Astronomy

The Gemini UK office home page.

bitten by the beta 3 DragManager Bug

I’ve just found myself caught out by this bug (SDK-13983) in Beta 3 (released December 2007), and the quite substantial change in behaviour.

My application which is only a prototype – but quite heavy, was essentially built from Oct 2006 through to April 2007 and  worked happily in Apollo and in all AIR and Flex 3 releases since, until Beta 3, when the DragManagers of AIR and FLEX implementations diverged. The API remains pretty much the same, but the behaviour is quite different (documented here), and while my existing code compiles, it generates run-time error “ArgumentError: Error #2004: One of the parameters is invalid.” if the user dare drag my UI components, rendering it useless.

That it has been accepted as a bug and a fix/workaround created, and that that is visible in the public bug system is a good thing. It removes a lot of potential worry. That the fix is not available to the public (AFAIK we’ve had our last public beta before the final release) isn’t great for me as I am now in a catch 22.

  • The fix isn’t available to me until the final version is released.
  • I can’t continue to use my application compiled against Beta 2 as the install process for AIR currently demands Beta 3 of AIR
  • Beta 3 AIR  demands Flex Beta 3 SDK.

It’s late, so this is going on hold until morning, at which point I need to assess the impact and time required to make the changes to adopt the AIR drag-and-drop manager, or hold on until I can force the switch to the Flex drag-and drop manager when the final release is available. Or beg Adobe for access to a build later than 191577.

LFPUG off to a flying start to 2008

Again it looks like a couple of really interesting subjects on 31 Jan:

  • PureMVC
  • The 3rd Way: Handling 3D on the Web

More information is on the LFPUG site

I looked at using PureMVC previously for a simple tennis game, but left it aside in favour of building MVCish classes independent of any ‘framework’. I look forward to seeing if this decision saved or cost me time.

I haven’t got around to the obligatory 3D stuff yet. Personally I’ve always found it a bit of a red-herring, and one where the cost:benefit often falls short. So I’ll be particularly interested in seeing examples of good use.