Wednesday, July 18th, 2007
CMX Weekly Newsletter
Ray Camden has created a ColdFusion blog aggregator so that all of ColdFusion fanatics can easily monitor all of the latest ColdFusion happenings easily. Incidentally, Ray created the aggregator using two custom CFC's and ColdFusion 8, demonstrating the power that we'll be seeing in the latest version of ColdFusion. The blog is a direct link to a wealth of ColdFusion information, from tips to news to some fantastic Flex and XML information. Just to show he's not showing off, Ray has made the source code for this CF aggregator available to you.
Is The Jig Up For Facebook?
While attending Harvard a few years back, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg helped build the "Harvard Connection" which turned out to be the beginning of social networking site ConnectU. Zuckerberg is now being taken to court for stealing the idea and some of the code behind ConnectU, and using it as the foundation for Facebook.com. Zuckerberg maintains that Harvard Connection was little more than a personals page and not a viable company. Is Zuckerberg going to use the Bill Gates defense? The Harvard Crimson has their own take on their alumni.
Open Up To Open Source
We wanted to share this list of one hundred open source downloads from Datamation. As they say, it's not the top one hundred, the most popular one hundred, or anything like that. It's just a list of one hundred really good open source applications, ranging from audio/video tools to developer and file sharing tools. One that I like is MediaEncoder, which lets you convert many different file types.
Is He Saying That Spry Is Fat?
Veoh's New Motto: "We Really Don't Care What You Think"
Veoh.com has hosted video on their website for several years now. Their business model isn't much different than YouTube's except for one important distinction: Veoh doesn't seem to care whether or not they're violating any copyright laws. At least YouTube would reply to a lawsuit with an obligatory "Oh dang... yeah, we'll fix that." Veoh on the other hand, believe that because they are only streaming videos that are being streamed elsewhere already, nothing is being stolen. Veoh also says that any advertising that was streamed with the original video is kept in the Veoh stream, so advertisers don't lose out either. So far, Veoh has pretty much slid under the radar, but that may change once Veoh makes VeohTV available to the public. Financed by some pretty big players like Time Warner, VeohTV will stream whole television shows, presumably without the permission of the original copyright holder. NYTimes.com has an article about Veoh's latest move.
Satisfied Customers Speak Out!
"My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others. That is nice but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success." — Helen Hayes
ColdFusion Dead? Nuh-uh...
Ever since ColdFusion came out in May of 1995, people have reported on its demise. Even with the release of ColdFusion 8, which is nothing short of a complete revitalization of the CF language, SoftwareDeveloper.com put out a list of programming languages that never made it, and included ColdFusion on the list. I saw that article when it came out, but didn't put it in the newsletter because it was nonsensical at best, and certainly didn't make any kind of factual case against Coldfusion. AdamFortuna.com felt the same way, but defends CF much better than I could.
Silverlight At The End Of The Tunnel
The buzz surrounding Microsoft's Silverlight has died down recently. No one's really touting it as the Flash-killer anymore. That doesn't mean that it won't be widely used at some point though, and there has been talk about Silverlight being a practical and viable alternative to Flash. But still, not many folks know exactly what the heck it is. PlentyOfCode.com has a great list of resources available to folks who are either already working with Silverlight or just want to find out more about it.
Don't Come 'Round Here No More
Just when you thought all of the meta tags had been created that would ever be created, Google decides to release another one. The "Unavailable after" meta tag will tell Google's web crawler to stop indexing this page after a specified date. Like the article at SearchEngineLand.com says, this would be great if you want to make promotions last to a certain date and want to make sure that Google no longer shows them in their results when the promotion is over.
Where Have Wii Seen This Before?
The folks at Logitech just came out with a pretty cool mouse. While it's not too proud to act as a traditional laser mouse, it's too cool to be chained down to your desktop. The MX Air mouse can be used like a remote control that reacts to motion, not unlike the Nintendo Wii. The MX Air will set you back $150 or so. Is it worth it? Check out this review at ExtremeTech.com.
But What About Bugs Bunny Cartoons?
imeem.com is a social networking website aimed at folks who like to share all types of media with one another. At one point, Warner Music Group accused imeem of copyright infringement due to much of the WMG content that was being streamed there without permission. After a meeting between the two companies, WMG has agreed to allow imeem to share the entire Warner music and video catalog with their members. In exchange, WMG gets some of imeem's advertising revenue. We're going to see more and more of this as record exec's realize that their industry is changing.
CMX Font Size Changer Extension
Me Like Internet
When the internet first came along, you can imagine that it was tough for reporters to fully grasp the complexity of it, or where it was going. This news report posted at YouTube.com talks about the growing phenomenon of "Internet."
The Internet Has Crashed
The Onion seems to find all the stories everyone else misses. We're not sure how everyone else glossed over the recent story of Eric Tipton, who had way too many programs open on his computer and crashed the internet, causing everyone using the internet to see the same error message.
What happens if you take a ton of screen sirens from the 20s up to present day and morphed them from one to the next, in chronological order? Not much really. It sounded pretty dorky, and it is. But we couldn't look away. See it at BoreMe.com.
Using the Spry Accordion Widget
When working in the Flex 2 environment, there are many times where you might find yourself in need of a component that does not exist. The Flex SDK offers plenty of extensibility for building custom UI components that can plug seamlessly into the existing framework. In the first lesson of this series, we will cover a brief overview of the life-cycle of a custom UI component.
Yahoo Pipes has been on my personal radar since it was announced in February of this year. At the time of its rollout there was a great deal of interest in Pipes around the web design world. Yahoo provided what appeared to be an easy way for anyone (even non-developers like myself) to mash-up RSS feeds into new web services. While that may seem like no big deal, my own experiences and research into current trends indicates that there is a growing demand for data that has been customized and repurposed to fit particular audiences. If you're developing web sites for customers, the ability to provide them with live data that can be displayed on their site will be a valuable service that just may set you apart from your competition. You don't even have to tell anyone how easy Yahoo makes this.
In part ten of the Dreamweaver web Standards Lesson Plan series, you will complete the bug squashing work you started in part nine, as well as learn some "best practices" for feeding Internet Explorer the unique styles it needs. Here is what you will do in this tutorial:
The Dreamweaver Web Standards Lesson Plan Series:
XML Captions for Video [FREE]
Embed an XML document into an FLV and you too can add closed captions to your FLV files. Find out how in this, the fourth of our excerpts, from Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers by friendsofED written by Community MX partners David Stiller and Tom Green.
Adding Audio to Flash CS3 [FREE]
In this, the third of eight excerpts from the soon-to-be released Foundation Flash CS3 for Designers (friendsofED) book, Community MX partners Tom Green and David Stiller walk you through the basics of audio in Flash.
A new software release is always kind of exciting, but with the release of products like Fireworks and Dreamweaver, it's even better. Not only can you expect new goodies in the application itself, but you can expect extension developers to create other cool commands and tools for the applications.
Recently many devoted Freehand users have been forced to move to Illustrator, and with the inclusion of Illustrator in the CS3 web premium bundle, many web designers are discovering Illustrator's assets. Fireworks, Illustrator and Freehand are all great applications for creating graphic elements. Although Fireworks is a bitmapped based application and Freehand and Illustrator are vector drawing applications, all three programs can achieve very similar results.
This tutorial will be beneficial to those learning Illustrator or if you are a Fireworks or Freehand user looking to discover how similar things are done in Illustrator. I will also point out any changes between CS2 and CS3 so if you have recently upgraded or are considering upgrading, you will see some of the recent changes.
XML (eXtensible Markup Language) has been around for quite awhile and is used from anything as common as RSS feeds to sharing data with web services. Working with XML is actually not that difficult. Consuming XML within Flex is even easier with the use of the HTTPService object.
In this tutorial series, you learn how to use the new Font class in ActionScript 3.0 and Flash Player 9. The Font class enables you to embed one or more fonts in a Flash movie (SWF file), and reuse the font with other SWF files. In this tutorial, you learn how to create a font SWF file and load it into another Flash movie.
Auto-positioning is very interesting, but is it any good for real web pages? Follow along as we employ auto-positioning to achieve at least one useful design goal, fixed column headings. Put on your thinking cap because this stuff is tricky!
Navigating to Flash Video Cue Points by Name
This week's Tip, Trick or Dirty Cheat is courtesy of CMX Partner Joseph Balderson
Opening Images From The Web
If you cut and paste a URL to an image file in the Open dialog in Photoshop, Fireworks or Illustrator CS3, it will download the image and open it up for editing. This applies to SVG, PNG, JPG, or any file format that Photoshop, Fireworks or Illustrator can open. A quick and easy way to edit web images on the fly.
Would you like your tip published? Submit it to email@example.com.
That's it for this week. Stay tuned for the next CMX newsletter!