loading assets using SWCs (in Actionscript projects)

17 06 2009

Found a good article and discussions on using asset SWCs using Flash IDE:

How to include Flash code packages (SWC) in Flex Builder (3)

10 06 2009

I like combining gs.TweenLite and fl.transitions.easing.* to do most of my animations. Here is how you can include the Flash AS3 library SWC in the Actionscript project library path. Step-by-step instructions are as following and also illustrated in the screenshot.

[+] In Flex Builder (3), select the Actionscript project you need to use the Flash AS3 library SWC in and edit its properties by right-click the name of the project.

[+] Select Actionscript Build Path and then the Library path tab.

[+] Click on the button that says Add SWC.

Refer to the screenshot. (I am on a MAC. the path to your SWC might be a little different.)


“mailto” script bug with multiple email addresses (on PC)

14 05 2009


If you are here only to see the bug and solution, please skip the following paragraphs in italic and go straighahead to the content below line “+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++”.

It is pretty common to include an “email us” button on a page. The behavior of most of  “email us” buttons is that when user clicks on the button, their default email client will popup a new window to compose a new email, probably with pre-populated “to” field, “subject” field, etc. Pretty standard stuff.

The simple code that needs to be attached to the button looks something like this:

[1] <a href=”mailto:johnDoe@example.com?subject=Hi”>email John Doe</a>

If you need to include the alias of the email address, use carrots before and after the actual email address. Something like this:

[2] <a href=”mailto:John Doe<johnDoe@example.com>?subject=Hi”>email John Doe</a>

If you need to include 2 email addresses in the “to” field, use comma to separate the addresses, like this:

[3] <a href=”mailto:johnDoe@example.com, maryDoe@example.com?subject=Hi”>email John and Mary</a>

So it is natural to think that you can combine the 2 techniques above to include 2 email addresses with their aliases like this:

[4] <a href=”mailto:John Doe<johnDoe@example.com>,Mary Doe <maryDoe@example.com> ?subject=Hi”>email John and Mary Doe</a>

Ha.  There. You are about to run into a problem that I did yesterday.


The bug is when you include multiple email addresses with their aliases in the “to” field. If you use the code as the above line [4] in red, you are gonna only get the first email address (John Doe’s) prepopulated in the “to” field of your Outlook window, if you are on one of the following browser/OS combinations:

[+] IE6 on Windows XP
[+] Firefox 2 on Windows XP
[+] IE7 on Windows Vista
[+] Firefox 3 on Windows Vista

I have tried to replace the spaces with “%20” and the carrots with “&lt;” and “&gt;”, “%3E” and “%3C”, tried to replace “,” by “;”, but found little help. Below are the “solutions” I have come up so far… Obviously I am not happy with any of them.

[Solution A]:
Get rid of Mary’s email completely from the script. Set up the mail server so that all emails John received will be forwarded to Mary by the server automatically.

[Solution B]:
Get rid of both the aliases and the carrots, so the script looks like line [3] in green above.

[Solution C]:
Tell your users that it is time for them to get a MAC. 🙂

Please let me know if you have other solutions in the comments. Will be much appreciated.

ANT basics (used to compile Flex projects)

1 04 2009

Found a good reference of ANT’s abc. More reference towards the end of the slideshow.

Survey time!

21 01 2009

It has been a pleasure to write the blog and read the comments from you, the readers. If you don’t mind, please tell us more about you using this form I made with Wufoo and let’s talk more about interactive stuff.🙂

How to frustrate a (responsible) user (a little bit)

13 01 2009

I like Facebook a lot, but I just had some unexpected user experience on the popular site. Please see below for the screenshots.

I was looking to download the facebook toolbar for my Firefox, I found the download page (using Google) so I clicked on the big blue button where it says “Download Facebook Toolbar”. I was taken to a page where it says “The page you requested was not found.” As a responsible user, I thought I’d use the “report the error” link on the page to let Facebook know about this issue. so I clicked on “report the error”. The best part of the story is the end, the “report the error” took me to a page “not found”. As responsible as I am as a Facebook user, I don’t know what to do but to post this entry here. (Facebook developers, hope you are reading this. Currently I am on Mac OS X, Firefox 3.0.5, T1 connection. Also tried Safari and IE on Parallel, got the same experience. )

So lessons learned? If you have a “report the error” page, make sure it works otherwise take the links down. Or better yet, before you release anything to the public, QA it again and again.

page to download the Facebook toolbar

page to download the Facebook toolbar

informing user page not found, encouraging user to "report the error".

informing user page not found, encouraging user to 'report the error'.

informing user the error reporting page was not found

informing user the error reporting page was not found

Process of updating a Flash banner

9 01 2009

To update a Flash banner sounds simple enough however the process involves as many components as working on a small website. The resulting file size is small, but it doesn’t mean the process is easy to deal with. Most of the times when I work on banners, I forget one or two elements in the beginning which slows down the process down the road. (I know, I need to learn to like banners more…)

No matter how much I don’t like updating banners developed by other developers, they just keep coming back. So I figure I’d post the checklist of the necessary steps here in order to ensure smoother process next time.

[+] Assets. Make sure you have all the following to begin with. Believe it or not, this step takes longer than I expect every single time.
A. comp (.psd and/or .ai) and storyboards (.pdf or .psd)
B. font files (must be MAC or PC specific)
C. information on max file size (? KB)
D. information on max duration and number of loops
E. information on click through URLs (sometimes you don’t need the actually URL, instead you just need to include the clicktag code before publishing.)
F. .fla files (and which version of Flash IDE it requires.)
G. (if applicable) .as files

[+] Update the banner(s). This is always the easy part fortunately.🙂

[+] Post the updated banners to a server so the less tech-savvy clients can check it out.

[+] Deliver the source files including
A. font files (must be MAC or PC specific)
B. .fla files (and which version of Flash IDE it requires.)
C. (if applicable) .as files