Jun 29

After 3 years, Apple iOS start getting some flash love

It was on this day 3 years ago that the original iPhone hit the shelves in the US. Most people wont remember the day as the 29th of June 2007, instead they see it as the day the race to building better phones wasnt in the features(ie Nokia phones of the day). Instead the mobile phone market was suddenly met with the formidable force that was Apple Inc.

Lots of controversy has surrounded the mobile platform over the past 3 years. However I think that bringing Flash to the mobile device has been the most controversial. So much so that the CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs has even issued a press release to give Apple a voice to the matter.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled onto an excellent iPhone application that should inspire all flash developers to Continue reading

Apr 16

Compilers get lazier as they get smarter

The first real programming language I ever used was HyperTalk on Macintosh computers almost 5 years ago. It was a language that was compiled once when the code is first executed. Today, I use modern languages like C++, Objective C, Java and ActionScript 3 which provide much better performances thanks to the use of compilers.

We all take compilers for granted, pressing save/compile just to see if what we are doing makes sense. I know that while I am coding, I subconsciously type a line and press compile while I write the next line of code. I should point out that I am not a compiler expert. Nor do I have any knowledge of how they work their magic.

Recently(by recent I mean 2 months ago), I discovered a very important lesson about these dynamic languages while I was doing some Flex web development using a caingorm micro-architecture. I was surprised to find that Continue reading

Mar 11

Web browsers: The OS of the internet

I have recently started diving deeper into styling web pages for different web browsers and have found that it is not a walk in the park. Coming from a developers background I feel that you can almost compare the HTML and CSS standards adopted by various browsers to the foundations of programming for different programming languages and operating systems where the fundamental concepts are the same but other differences (such as lexical) can be a worlds apart.

This means that Web developers/designers Continue reading

Feb 28

A Developers friend: Eclipse IDE

Ive recently come to a realisation about what my most used programs are. Interestingly, I find that for doing any sort of programming, Eclipse is the best IDE out there. Similar products such as NetBeans are just horrible in comparison. Here are the programming languages you can do development for in Eclipse.

  • Java(deh)
    • Also Web development using JSP’s
  • C/C++
  • C# For windows application development and (kindof) linux/mac development.
  • Perl
  • Shell scripting
  • SQL
    • Including connection to databases.
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Flex
  • ColdFusion
  • Event B

I should clarify that by ‘do development’ for these languages, I mean proper IDE support such as syntax highlighting, code completion and debugger/compiler integration. You can see that the list covers a very broad spectrum of programming languages ranging from scripted languages to web development to even hard core programming languages. Interestingly the only well known language that isn’t very well supported(from what i can tell) is Objective-C. I sometimes think that Apple should just abandon X Code and join the eclipse movement… which wont happen any time soon! Also, I hear that there is upcoming support for Google golang. These languages are coupled with a similarly useful set of tools and features that put the icing on the cake! Here are some more extensions you can get which make eclipse so much more awesome:

  • Subversion(SVN) support.
  • Mercurial support.
  • CVS support.
  • Regular expression testers.
  • Task management with JIRA and TRAC integration.
  • Class diagram generation support.
  • Integration with Remote services such as Google App Engine.
  • Code formatter support(for Flex development).
  • Debugger integration.

This list is not even close to being complete or exhaustive. Theres a good chance that if you need a feature, a quick Google search will give you what you need. I would suggest that you spend a hour or so and see what it can do for you. Shout me a message in the comments or on twitter if you need any help.

Feb 11

Programatically select a DataGrid cell in Flex

Recently I was trying to improve the usability of a Flex DataGrid for data entry purposes. What I wanted was that when I insert a new row into the grid, it would automatically give keyboard focus to the first cell in the new row.

I found that the editedItemPosition property allows you to specify the cell to edit by row and column indexes. However I found that modifying like so doesn’t do anything:

The reason that it doesn’t work is quite simply because the datagrid isn’t watching for changes to the rowIndex or columnIndex properties inside the editedItemPosition object. Also the editedItemPosition object isnt informing the DataGrid it has been modified. Instead, it is watching for changes to its own editedItemPosition property. In other words, you have to modify the editedItemPosition property for it to work. Here’s a example of the final result:

If you have any questions, fire them in the comments and I’ll get back to you asap ;)