RegExr – Regular Expressions Tester

Grant Skinner created an amazing regular expressions tester which is available as a web application or as a desktop air application.

This application allows you to create regular expressions and then test them on the fly. I highly recommend downloading this application for testing your regular expressions. I used this to successfully debug some regex parsing errors taking an SVG into flex.

Download RegEx Desktop AIR Application
Live Web Application

Utah is the Flex Capitol

Google Insights reveals that Utah searches the most for “adobe flex,” “flex 3,” “flex 2,” and “flex builder.”

Adobe Flex

Flex 3

Flex 2

Flex Builder

My buddy Bryce Barrand found that Orem is the Flex Capitol of Utah

My buddy John Anderson discovered that Utah is also #1 in search for web technologies such as PHP, CakePHP, MySQL, and Linux.

PHP

CakePHP

MySQL

Linux

Utah is definately one of the tech capitols of the United States.

Flex 2 Adobe Certified Professional Prep

Today I paid the $150 and took the Flex 2 certification test. I passed and am now an ACP – Adobe Certified Professional (add that to my Flash MX 2004 Certified Developer, MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) and MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist) certifications).

Overall I found the test to be challenging. I wouldn’t take it without sufficient preparation. Here are my Flex 2 study preparation tips:

  1. Attest – provides practice tests and quizzes. Some questions on the official test came from the questions found on these practice tests.
  2. Lynda Free 7 Day Trial
  3. Flex 2 Advanced: Using Data Services – a must because the average flex developer hasn’t used RemoteObjects or WebServices very much and the test is roughly 30% on these topics.
  4. Flex 2 Beyond the Basics – great review of advanced flex topics.
  5. Flex 2 Essential Training – great review of basic flex topics.

Obviously use the flex documentation as a reference over concepts that you are unfamiliar with.

Topics founds on the test that I rarely used include: IViewCursor, Flex Data Services.

Good luck.

Flex / Flash Font Size Limit 127

Today at work we rediscovered the Flash / Flex font size limit of 127px.

We are creating an RIA that needs the ability to scale down a large SVG to a web editor and then scale it back out for a print-ready SVG. Flex would take a 300 px font, convert it to a 127 px font, and then scale it down. This caused our textfields to be very small and inconsistent.

Low Profile Video Card for Dual Monitors

At work we ordered a Inspiron 530S as an upgrade to my previous machine. Dell tech support stated that the system would be able to support dual monitors with an extended desktop.

Here’s what happened:
Once the Inspiron arrived, we purchased a PCI Nvidia 5500 GeForce MX card. This NVidia card overpowered the ATI Radeon 2400 Pro due to a setting in the bios that gives preference to PCI over PCIe. So in short, I could never get both video cards to play together. Once I removed the NVidia card from my computer, the ATI Radeon 2400 started functioning properly for the first time. (Dell Tech Support took over my computer and they couldn’t figure out why).

Next, talked to Dell Tech Support on the phone. Their sales rep claimed that a DVI Splitter cable would support dual monitors with extended desktop. We ordered two of them. There is no setting on the ATI drivers to support a DVI Splitter cable with extended desktop. Don’t have faith in Dell Sales Reps. Do your homework before you purchase something from them.

After this failed, I noticed a black cap on a VGA port. I took it off and tried plugging in my second monitor into it and rebooted. At start up an warning message displayed stating that my video card configuration wasn’t supported and I had to press F1 to continue. I continued. The integraded graphics card on the motherboard took control over my PCIe ATI Radeon 2400. I couldn’t even get the PCIe card to show up in device manager.

I talked to a senior tech support over at dell, let’s call him, Rasheem, and after dissecting what he was saying, he stated that the only way to get dual monitors with extended desktop was to purchase a video card with a DMS-59 connector. This DMS-59 connector outputs two DVI outputs to a dongle which you can connect two DVI cables to, to support two monitors. Some even support up to four monitors.

Solution:
Purchased an ATI Radeon X1300 PCIe card that comes with a dongle for $125.

Shoot me an email if you come up with a better solution or if this saved you a few hours.

Flex 3 – How to load a complied css swf

When attempting to load external compiled css swfs that have an embedded font into my flex application I was getting this error: Unable to load style(SWF is not a loadable module). This is reported as an official bug on adobe’s site at: Enable Local App to load RunTime CSS.swf from Server

To solve this, you require two things.

  1. Crossdomain Policy
  2. Local Apache Web Server

Regardless if this is a bug, the host server still needs a crossdomain policy at the root of the domain. Here’s an example crossdomain.xml policy.

The next problem is that you cannot load external compiled swfs from a
document root (c:/my documents/flex projects/myProject/myProject.html) until the bug is fixed.

PC Users:
What I did is installed easyphp. Next, I set up an alias in easyphp. Right click on the ‘easyphp’ icon in the taskbar -> administration. I set the alias to my bin folder of my project so that when I access the url http://127.0.0.1/myProject/myProject.html it loads up my bin directory. Also in my debug settings in flex I set the default debug and run path to launch as http://127.0.0.1/myProject/myProject.html.

Now my css/style swfs are loading great remotely. The only downside is having to run easyphp on top of everything just to load in my external compiled font swfs.

Mac Users:
Thanks to Bryce Barrand

  • go to system preferences
  • click on sharing
  • click on “web sharing” (this will turn on the automatically installed version of apache)
  • edit apache’s httpd.conf file (should be found at disk/private/etc/apache2/httpd.conf)
  • Find the line that says /Directory>
  • Just after that, add an Alias for each project that you want to test such as this:

    Alias /nameOfAlias /pathToYourFlexBinFolder

  • Set your directory node attribute to “/pathToYourFlexBinFolder”. Set the directory node value to:

    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
    AllowOverride None
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from all

  • Restart the webserver by unchecking and rechecking the “web sharing” checkbox

should be good to go after this. you can see the results by going to http://localhost/nameOfAlias in your browser

Is it legal to use your neighbor’s wireless internet?

For anyone that is confused about whether or not it is legal to use your neighbor’s wireless internet access point (router), please read this. It is illegal. After being annoyed out of my mind by an acquaintance claiming that it is legal to use your neighbor’s wireless access point if it is unsecured, I did one google search to find this:

Is It Legal to Use Open Access Wi-Fi Internet Connections?

He claimed that the “Internet Privacy Act” made it legal to use your neighbor’s wireless access point if it wasn’t secured. Too bad the “Internet Privacy Act” was a hoax.

Just because your neighbor’s front yard isn’t being used, it doesn’t mean you can go play football on it.

Before you go on educating the general public about topics like this, please do one google search.

Iminlikewithyou – Yes, I really am.

Link

Visit: iminlikewithyou.com

As a flex developer, I realize the amazing feat that this is to take on an accomplish. Wow. Iminlikewithyou is an innovative social media network that allows users to play games with each other, comment on videos, and share pictures with one another.

Being a college student, it is also very entertaining. Play social games, make comments on cheesey 80’s videos, and post pictures of yourself. This is the grand masterpiece of social media in a flex app. Check it out, you will laugh as you read and make comments and play games with others. Facebook now has some competition for delaying your research paper.