FlashCamp San Francisco: April 16th, 2010

Mike Chambers has officially announced FlashCamp San Francisco for the evening of April 16th, 2010 at the Adobe offices on Townsend Street.

What is it?

FlashCamp San Francisco is a free one night event hosted by Adobe covering everything you need to know about about the latest Flash Platform tools and technologies, including Adobe Flash Player 10.1, Adobe Flash CS5, Adobe Flash Builder 4 and mobile design and development.

Not only do you get to spend an evening with some of the top Flash talent in the area, but food and drink will be provided as well. How much would you expect to pay for all of this? Put your wallets away. The entire evening is yours for free.

If my math serves, this will be the 3rd FlashCamp at the location (the first was actually called FlexCamp), and these events have traditionally filled up very quickly. There’s a very limited number of seats available, so do not hesitate. Register today!

Upcoming ColdFusion/Flex/AIR Events

Adobe MAX 2009 is coming up fast (October 4-7), and thousands of developers, designers, and decision-makers will soon be descending upon Los Angeles, CA. Certainly, MAX is one of the more extravagant conferences… and while it’s worth the price of admission, I wanted to let people know about a few upcoming events that might be a bit more “budget-friendly”.

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Tom Cruise + Scientology = Bad.
Sea Cruise + ColdFusion = More Gooder

Yeah, that title’s a stretch. Serves me right for trying to come up with a witty title before I’ve had my full morning dose of caffeine.

This made the rounds a while back, but since then things have been relatively quiet and I’m afraid it may have fallen off of most folks’ radars. Joshua Cyr is organizing a “non-conference” cruise. What’s that mean? It means the best part of the average conference… you know, after the sessions, alcohol in hand, hanging out at the bar with your fellow developers sharing war stories and talking shop… without the pesky sessions getting in the way.

And the best part? It’s on a boat. A big boat that sails from Miami to the Bahamas (and back). Food? Check. Drink? Check (um… gotta pay for those tho). White sandy beaches and inviting blue waters? Check. People you talk to online but have yet to meet in person (or don’t meet often enough)? Yup.

I think it’s a great idea and I applaud josh’s efforts for putting it together and coordinating the effort. I’d love to attend, but living on the left coast means paying for cross-country airfare for a family of 5… and that alone would run me about 4x the cost of the cruise itself. But I’d like to see this succeed. I’d like to think that it’ll be so successful that it’ll be an annual event, and that maybe I can make it in 2010.

What about you? What are you doing feb 9-13th of 2009? Check out http://www.riadventure.com/ for all the details.

Flex Images: Visible Property Funkiness in itemRenderer

In the Flex app that I’m currently working on, I have a DataGrid that uses an itemRenderer to display an image. The image is a ‘delete’ button that allows the user to delete the item. Fairly straightforward, and the code below was working fine…

<mx:DataGridColumn width="24" sortable="false" paddingLeft="4" paddingRight="4" headerText="">
			<mx:Image source="assets/icon_delete.png" horizontalAlign="center" height="17" width="17" click="parentDocument.confirmDelete(event);" />

… until the customer called and said that the user should not be allowed to delete a record if that record meets a particular condition. OK. I think I can do that. I made some modifications and now had the following code:

<mx:DataGridColumn width="24" sortable="false" paddingLeft="4" paddingRight="4" headerText="" dataField="CAN_DELETE">
			<mx:Image source="assets/icon_delete.png" horizontalAlign="center" height="17" width="17" click="parentDocument.confirmDelete(event);" visible="{data.CAN_DELETE == 1}" />

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MXML is XML (Duh?)

Just a quickie today, something that I came across while playing around with Flex. It could very well be a “duh, Charlie” observation, but i think it bears mentioning.

Flex makes it very easy to bind elements to other elements or objects. What this means is that a DataGrid, for example, can be populated by the contents of an ArrayCollection (for CF’ers, think of an ArrayCollection as an array of structures). The first step is to declare the variable as bindable in your <mx:Script> block:

	private var myArray:ArrayCollection;

Your DataGrid would then be declared as follows:

<mx:DataGrid dataProvider="{myArray}" id="myDataGrid">

The curly braces around the value of the dataProvider attribute indicates that it’s a bindable variable. All pretty straightforward. But there are other ways to use bind variables to influence the behavior of an element.

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Flex: Objects are like Structures. Kinda. (Part II)

Last night I started documenting my journey of learning Flex, focusing on my use of the built-in Object datatype and some issues that I faced in that respect.

There was one other aspect of this that I meant to touch on. To recap, I was passing a single Object to a ColdFusion CFC method. In my little ColdFusion brain, I thought of this as being not unlike a structure. So, I expected the method to receive a single argument much like a struct with multiple keys.

Let’s say my ActionScript function looked like this:

var args:Object = new Object();
args.stateCode = "CA";
args.zipCode = "94583";
args.territory = 3;

// call the remote object method

I created an Object, populated it with 3 variables (keys), and passed it as an argument to the getFilteredCustomers() method in my remote object (CFC). Originally, my CFC looked like this:

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Flex: Objects are Like Structures. Kinda.

Over the past few months I’ve been lucky enough to have the opportunity to start playing around with Flex at work. Overall it’s been a pretty good experience. I think Flex itself is a very cool technology, and FlexBuilder absolutely ROCKS as an IDE. Of course, there have been hurdles. Some I was able to overcome pretty easily, and some left scars. I figured I’d post some of them here and hopefully save some other Flex n00bs the hassle of figuring things out the hard way.

The application that I’m currently working on is fairly straightforward. Let’s call it a user manager. I present a couple of comboboxes that let the user filter by certain criteria (state,
zipcode, etc) and populate a DataGrid with the list of users that were returned.

I chose to pass these values in a single object. In ColdFusion, this single object would be a structure. Flex, or more appropriately, ActionScript, has a comparable datatype, simply called Object. an Object would be created as follows:

var args:Object = new Object();
args.stateCode = "CA";
args.zipCode = "94583";
args.territory = 3;

Fairly straightforward when compared to a ColdFusion structure:

<cfset args = structNew() />
<cfset args.stateCode = "CA" />
<cfset args.zipCode = "94583" />
<cfset args.territory = 3 />

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Mike Potter == Santa?

Santa (as channeled by Mike Potter) arrived a bit early at the Griefer household this year.

I just got home from work to find a box from Amazon waiting on the doorstep. It was the Flex 2 book by Chafic Kazoun and Joey Lott, with the following note:

Merry Christmas from the Adobe Flex Team! Thanks for your interest in Flex.
Add your Flex app to the Flex Showcase at http://flex.org/

From: Mike Potter, Flex Team

I’d heard of this happening to others, but never thought it would happen to me (which yes, I do recognize sounds like the opening to a penthouse letter).

I’ll actually be donating this to the Bay Area CFUG to be used as a raffle giveway during the next meeting. Turns out I already had this particular book. Not sure if I forgot to move it to the “purchased” items on my wishlist or not (it’s there now… but that’s either because I’d already done it, or because Mike bought me the book… likely the latter). I figure by donating it to the CFUG, it’ll still be going to a good cause. If you’re going to be in the Bay Area for the next meeting (Jan 21, 6:30 pm) stop by. The topic is Flex and AIR (Ted Patrick will be presenting), so it’s somewhat appropriate, i guess :)

In any event, the thought and effort is very much appreciated. Thanks to Mike and the entire Flex team. Merry Christmas back atcha!

This One Time… at Flex Camp…

It was all very last minute… but I managed to get myself on the attendee list for Flex Camp this Friday (27 July) up in San Fran.

Driving up from Redlands with the family and plan to make a weekend out of it. Flex Camp on Friday… Saturday and Sunday looking at potential house rentals in anticipation of the move in September.

Seeing as how I’m still relatively new to Flex, I’m hoping to get to S.F. in time for the Flex 101 session that starts at 4:00… but that’ll depend on how many potty breaks we have to make along the way (5 year old, 3 year old, 4 month old in the car). I’m still working my way thru the Essential Guide to Flex 2 with Actionscript 3.0 (which has unfortunately been slow going as of late), so I’m sure that attending the 101 session couldn’t hurt. Either way, I’m looking forward to the sessions that I do arrive in time to attend, and continuing my Flex education.

Anybody else attending? Drop me a comment if you want to meet up and be camp buddies :)

(Oh, and thanks to Scott Stroz for the blog entry title. You are my muse) :)

On the Road Again…

Well, that didn’t last long.

We got to Redlands in September of last year (after having moved from AZ to FL in Jan of 2005). This coming September, we’ll be hitching up the wagons once again to head north.

I recently accepted a new position at Amcom Computer Services in sunny San Ramon, California working with Tariq Ahmed. It sounds like it’s going to be an exciting opportunity, and I expect to learn a few new things along the way (Flex!). They’ve already bought a Flex book for me (thanks, Tariq!) and I’m working my way through the chapters (the book is The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with Actionscript 3.0 by Charles E. Brown).

Not really looking forward to making another move… but the good news is that we still haven’t fully unpacked from the last one (procrastination for the win!). But everything about the move seems right. Everyone I’ve met at Amcom seem nice and genuinely interested in not only the success of the company, but the successes of each other. I think the Bay Area (ok… East Bay Area) is going to be a bit easier to tolerate than the heat of the southern California desert (this same type of heat was the reason we originally left AZ). We’ll also be closer to places like Tahoe and Yosemite… both of which are high on my wife’s list of favorite vacation spots.

Should we start a pool on where I’ll be moving to next September? :)

© Copyright Charlie Griefer