Archives by Month

December

2010

How to Hire Coders

As a User Group Manager I get hit up by companies, recruiters and individuals all the time about how to find coders or how to find good companies to work for.

Check out this article on readwriteweb.com. There is a lot of great insite on how your company can find coders but I would encourage developers to check this out too. There is a lot of good insite for the type of companies you should be looking to work for.

Understand them: In order to pry them away from their current job, you need a strong lure, and you need to understand what their motivations are to craft something tempting. The best programmers often aren’t driven by money, so figure out if they’re after more responsibility, independence, the chance to work with cutting-edge technology or recognition from their peers. Sit down with them over coffee, join them on a hike, spend time with them however you can. Once you know what makes them tick, you can build an offer that’s hard for them to refuse.

Dropbox advanced sync

Many developers, designers and tech geeks I know have been using dropbox for a while. I have had a free account for what seems like forever. I never upgraded because I never felt that my need for sharing files with other devices was too important.

Something that I just now started looking for and found was the advanced syncing tab in the dropbox preferences. What this allows you to do is basically uncheck folders that you would no longer like synced to your computer. In other words the files stay safely stored on dropbox servers but removes the local copy from your system. 

Why would you do this? Well for me there are two use cases. I use dropbox to share files with clients and friends that are to large for email. I usually find myself coping the file from some other location to a special folder on dropbox and sharing it. Unless you delete the file from the folder you grabbed it from you are basically creating a duplicate and taking up more space. Now all I have to do is share the file via dropbox and then uncheck the folder from syncing (after its uploaded to dropbox) and the share will still be around for the users you shared with and not stored on your system any longer.

The second use case for me is large files that I need access too but not on a regular bases. An example would be video tutorials or ebooks that I bought and downloaded. Sure I could store these on an external drive but what if the drive goes bad or I don’t have the drive with me? I had about 8gb of videos that I created a folder for in the dropbox directory. Soon as they are done syncing I simply unchecked and know they are save and sound for accessing whenever I would like to sync them.

Shameless self promo ….. if all this sounds awesome and you sign up for dropbox. Do me a favor and use my referal link. I get extra free space when you use it and for clicking it you get an extra bit of space along with your 2gb free account. Win Win I say. https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTE4Njg5NDU5?src=global0

iTerm Background and Text Color Modifications

I wish I would have googled this a long time ago. As a lot of you, I found iTerm way better than the default os x terminal. The lack of setting for changing the color always bothered me. Well turns out it was just a bad UX / UI decision on there part. The ability has been in there for a while.

I really like iTerm as most people in the OS X world do. The one thing that I hated and hade no solution for was the white background and black text. Below I show how to change these settings to make it feel more like a terminal that I am used to.

Go to the iTerm ‘View Session Info…’ window:

iTerm Session Info

Now that you have access to the session preferences window you will be able to edit all of the items for a window for the current session of for the ‘Window’ or the ‘Session’. I made my changes on the ‘Session’ tab so that I could set the default look of the terminal window.

Session Preferences Window

With the changes made you can click on the ‘Update Default’ button to finalize the your default configuration.

Final Result

Pretty easy settings, but I found that the location of these were not in the ideal location. I was hoping that they would be in the ‘Preferences’ window. Oh well, I got it looking the way that I like.

Here is what my iTerm looks like after customizing. I always like the transparentcy setting but they also add the ability to blur the back ground as well giving it a little more of a flat / satin look. Very Nice! Happy coding everyone.

Ghosts vs. Monsters: Angry Bird like game made with Corona in 36hrs

There’s a question that’s been asked many times over in our forums, e-mails, and at gatherings: Can Corona SDK create a game similar to Angry Birds, and how easy is it to do? Without a doubt, our answer has always been a solid “yes!”

Then, the next question has been “Can I see a demo?”

Game performance benchmark BunnyMark ported to HTML5!

BunnyMark is the benchmark that’s taking the world by storm! Just to prove that javascript is easy and a wittle baby language I have ported BunnyMark to HTML5. Results confirm that HTML5 really is one better than HTML4. Lightning fast with 3000 bunnies in Chrome, Firefox4, horrible in Firefox 3, non existant in IE678. Click here to view, source is on “view source”. Other browser users (IE9, Safari, Opera) please report performance in the comments.

Don’t miss the Windows Phone 7 and Flash versions, and BunnyLandMark for Flash, which I haven’t got round to porting yet.

I don’t think 8 fps is really “lighting fast” do you?

Adobe clocks first billion-dollar quarter ever, $268m profit — Engadget

It’s been a year of Flash-related drama for Adobe, but otherwise it seems like things are humming along nicely: the company just posted its first-ever quarter with a billion dollars in revenue, which is good for a $268.9 million profit. Unfortunately there’s no granular data on how Flash is faring in the market – it’s lumped into the Creative Solutions group with the rest of the Creative Suite products, but with big wins on Android in the past year and a huge win on the Air-based BlackBerry Playbook coming next year, we’d say things are going well, no matter what Steve Jobs’ Thoughts are.

Way to go adobe!

Easel JS: A Javascript lib for Working with the HTML5 Canvas Element

A great js api for flash developers that want a more familiar way of working with the HTML5 canvas

Thanks to Grant Skinner for developing this great api.

The API is loosely based on Flash’s display list, and should be easy to pick up for both JS and AS3 developers. The key classes are:

DisplayObject

Abstract base class for all display elements in Easel. Exposes all of the display properties (ex. x, y, rotation, scaleX, scaleY, alpha, shadow, etc) that are common to all display objects.

Stage

The root level display container for display elements. Each time tick() is called on Stage, it will update and render the display list to its associated canvas.

Container

A nestable display container, which lets you aggregate display objects and manipulate them as a group.

Bitmap

Draws an image, video or canvas to the canvas according to its display properties.

BitmapSequence

Displays animated or dynamic sprite sheets (images with multiple frames on a grid), and provides APIs for managing playback and sequencing.

Shape

Renders vector drawing instructions within the context of the display list.

There are also helper classes for working with sprite sheets, managing interactions, and converting points between local and global coordinate spaces. Have a look at the full API documentation for more info.

Planned updates

Easel will be updated as time permits. We’re not making any promises, but here are some of the things we’re thinking of doing:

  • Optimization
  • Improved documentation
  • Improve Shape API to make it easier to work with vectors
  • Text support
  • Faster hit detection modes (ex. bounding box, circular)
  • Sprite sheet creation tool
  • More integrated interaction features (ex. roll over, drag and drop, mouseX/Y, etc)
  • Better inheritance implementation
  • Helper methods for browser compatibility
  • SVG support

FDT supported on Linux

FDT officially supported on Linux now!

December 14th, 2010 by aklement

After big demand, the FDT team is happy to announce to take the FDT Linux version out of our Labs and make Linux an equal first class citizen as the OSX and Windows Operating System.

Linux is a growing platform and more and more developers are now switching to it as their preferred environment. Currently, Linux doesn’t have a robust IDE focused primarily to Flash/Flex developers. We hope FDT can fulfill this gap and deliver Coding Comfort to Linux developers as well.

Check out FDT 4.1 Release Notes

Installation instructions:

FDT for Linux is distributed as an Eclipse plugin. To get started, register here to get your 30 days trial key and follow the plug-in install instructions on this tutorial.

Feedback:

Your contribution and feedback are very important to us. We encourage everyone to submit any feature request, improvements or bugs on bugs.powerflasher.com

Happy Coding!

The FDT Team

50 Reasons not to use Photoshop for Webdesign

Fireworks can be thought of more in terms of a program such as InDesign. InDesign creates print layouts, and Fireworks creates screen layouts. Photoshop and Illustrator should be  used only as a supplier. You create graphics in Photoshop and Illustrator to be brought into Fireworks to create a screen design.

The following video demonstrates some of the most important features that make Fireworks the best layout tool for screen design.