September 25, 2003

flash remoting: the definitive guide

my editor bruce epstein just wrote me to let me know that flash remoting: the defintive guide has been announced. here's bruce's announcement:
I'm pleased to announce that "Flash Remoting: The Definitive Guide" (FRDG), written by Tom Muck and published by O'Reilly, has shipped. In the true Definitive Guide style, this book covers everything there is to know about Flash Remoting. It covers all the server-side models used with Flash Remoting, such as ColdFusion, Server-Side ActionScript, Java, .NET, and PHP. It also covers accessing web services from Flash. Plus there is an entire section on advanced topics such as debugging and best practices.

The book is filled with code examples for all the server-side languages, plus there is a full working application (an online script repository example) implemented in ColdFusion. The book also includes a language reference section in the style of ASDG2, which covers Flash Remoting-specific ActionScript functions and properties.

Read more about it and download a sample chapter from:

and see the companion site at:

Posted by moock at 11:00 PM | Comments (4)

September 23, 2003

export a .swf from the command line

using Flash MX 2004's new JSFL authoring-tool scripting language, you can now export a .swf file directly from the command line. unfortunately, the authoring tool will launch to do the export, but you can quit it automatically once it's done. here's a quickie code sample to show how it works:

Code in exportPetSupplies.jsfl:
// Open the .fla file.
var doc = fl.openDocument("file:///c|/data/projects/pet/petsupplies.fla");
// Export the .swf file.
doc.exportSWF("file:///c|/data/projects/pet/petsupplies.swf", true);
// Quit the Flash MX 2004 authoring tool (optional).

Command issued on command-line from /pet/ directory:
"c:\program files\macromedia\flash mx 2004\flash.exe" exportPetSupplies.jsfl

now that's darn cool. it lets you add .swf compilation into a build tool like Apache Ant. sweet.

Posted by moock at 01:39 PM | Comments (7)

September 22, 2003

unity 2 hosting now available

i'm pleased to announce that FlashTampa is now offering affordable monthly Unity 2 hosting. FlashTampa will install and run Unity 2 Multiuser Server for you, and will even set up MySql on your account so you can take advantage of Unity 2's built-in client registration, login, and attribute storage features. now you can create complex multiuser Flash applications (such as chat and networked games) entirely with ActionScript, without touching a server, and without knowing Java or any other server-side language.

here's the official announcement from jayson hanes, president of FlashTampa. congratulations jayson! this should really help Flash developers create engaging multiuser content...

We've recently made hosting for U2 a reality for the masses! (both rented and owned U2
licensing): recently became a Unity Host Provider!

We don't just offer Unity hosting, but also offer most of the typical stuff as zillions of other companies do -- but with personal service! (we have been doing so for years; just not as "public" as the other fish in the sea)

Here's a quick example of U2 or custom application hosting (there are many options and/or combinations):

$10 Setup fee, +$10 a month.. means you can get up and running for $20!!
(assuming you already have a U2 license bought from; we just need to install it for you).. you don't even need your own domain!

Want to Rent a Unity2 Express Licence (HLR)? You can do it for as little as $12/month extra! You could be up an running with U2 EXPRESS (up to 100 users) for as little as $32 for the 1st month, and $22 a month thereafter! 50MB of webspace included.

We offer U2 hosting on Windows 2003 servers - and with U2 uADMIN and your own private http:// (webspace) via direct FTP, you'll have all the control you need to get you or your client's Unity stuff up and running quickly!

As fellow developers, we've been working with Unity since the beta-days of Unity1, and we know what it takes to ensure that your Unity instance is up and running with zero defects! ...not to mention we're also quick on our technical support follow-ups :)

**ALSO** A special offer to the uDEV world: We have 3 Extra SERVERS available for dedicated month-to-month rental. They are: P4 1.7Ghz 500MB of RAM with at least 20GB of storage and one Static IP each. Windows
2000 Server installed + SQL 2000, and you'd get complete Administrative control via Terminal Services: Starting @ $100/month with no contract!

Add a U2 PRO HLR for $17 a month and you're set for your most demanding multi-user project! (if you can upload it, yes, you can install it: the possibilities are endless!).. if you have been thinking about a dedicated server without the hassle or cost -- now is the time to act!

We don't have an end-to-end automated "Hosting Order" system setup and running just yet, but the preliminary order process is good to go.. just click the link and choose your interest.. we'll get back to you shortly with the next step!

We accept Paypal, Visa and M/C (with faxed signature). Turnaround for completed orders with full setup is usually a couple of hours or less.

FlashTampa owns all its own equipment and network infrastructure under one roof; our internet service is via T1's to a major provider here in the South Eastern US -- we don't host 1,000's of sites bogging down shared T3's... we have a handful of sleepy sites sipping little bandwidth with tons of space available!

If you have any questions, please email:

...its all about familiar people getting what you need to get done, done, and at a fair price!


Jayson K. Hanes, President & Chief Engineer Incorporated
"Get Exposed to the World!" from Tampa, Florida USA
813-885-6572 Business Hours EST
877-887-6572 (toll free USA & Canada)
813-882-6553 (fax) Incorporated (est. 2000) is directly affiliated with Hanes Consulting Incorporated, est. 1997, and HCI Tampa Incorporated, est. 2000.

Posted by moock at 03:13 PM

September 19, 2003

hidden & dangerous 2 minigame powered by Unity

GBT has produced a great near-realtime strategy game as a promotion for the PC game "Hidden and Dangerous 2". it features world war II combat scenes and tons of action.

to visit the game directly use this URL:

Posted by moock at 05:51 PM

unity 2 named macromedia site of the day

my sincere thanks to macromedia for picking the new Unity 2 site as a site of the day! we couldn't have made Unity 2 without ActionScript 2.0 :)

drop by and learn all about Unity and multiuser flash apps. i'll probably be in the chat for a few hours too.

Posted by moock at 05:44 PM | Comments (0)

Unity 2 Now Shipping is proud to announce the launch of Unity 2, a complete line of products for multiuser application development and deployment.

With Unity 2, you can put ready-made Flash chat and multiuser games on your site. Or you can custom-build sophisticated multiuser applications easily entirely within Macromedia Flash.

For tons of information about Unity 2, visit:
(Macromedia Site of the Day for September 18, 2003!)

To try Unity 2, visit:

To buy a Unity 2 product or to rent hosting, visit:

For a showcase of Unity applications, visit:

The Unity 2 product family includes:

* Unity 2 Multiuser Development Kit
* from US$139.00
A complete framework for creating and deploying multiuser applications in Macromedia Flash. Unity 2 MDK includes both Unity 2 Multiuser Server and UClient for Macromedia Flash. Plenty of documentation is available online at

* Unity 2 Multiuser Server
* from US$99.00
A second-generation server-side Java application to manage, extend, and deploy multiuser applications. The server includes built-in MySQL support for client registration, login, and persistent information storage.

* UClient for Macromedia Flash
* US$49.00
A sophisticated generic framework for the development of any kind of multiuser Flash application--from chat and games to business apps and art. With UClient for Macromedia Flash, you can create multiuser apps without writing a single line of server-side Java code.

* Unity 2 App Packs
* from US$39.00
Ready-to-use multiuser Flash applications such as uMiniChat, an easy-to-customize chat ready to post to any website.

If you have any questions about Unity 2, please email

Posted by moock at 12:00 AM

September 17, 2003

new flash documentation is available!

if you didn't already know, flash mx 2004 includes a new help system that can be updated dynamically. the updates that are now available fill in all the gaps that you might have noticed in flash mx 2004's documentation, including tons of new component reference material.

grab this important documentation update in your flash application by opening the Help panel (F1) and clicking "Update".

Posted by moock at 10:40 AM | Comments (8)

September 15, 2003

actionscript viewer 4.0 released

the manitu group has released actionscript viewer 4.0, now with support for actionscript 2.0 and flash player 7 format .swf files. it also has some neat new flash authoring tool scripting capabilities (i.e., supports jsfl file creation).

i really love that you can see your actionscript 2.0 classes as actionscript 1.0. gives a great peek at what the compiler actually generates behind the scenes, and even works as an actionscript 2.0-to-actionscript 1.0 converter. of course, the actionscript 2.0 datatyping and access control (public/private) isn't retained because that information is only used by the compiler, not the player.

full info and purchase here:

here's the list of new asv4 features, taken from the asv docs:
* ASV now supports Flash MX 2004 and Flash MX professional 2004 generated SWF files: SWF version 7 and optimized SWF version 6. ASV supports both AS1 and AS2. (see AS2 mode for more info on AS2 decompilation).

* ASV can now export resources and a JSFL command to help rebuilding the FLA file for a SWF. (see Rebuild-Data Extraction (JSFL)).

* ASV can now export vector symbol outlines as a Flash MX 2004 custom tool JSFL. (see JSFL Tool Properties Dialog for more info).

* Classes can be saved as individual .AS files and in appropriate folder structure. (see 'Batch>Save All Class Scripts' command in File menu).

* Support for linked video symbols, device sounds etc. added.

* The decompiler engine is enhanced and many bugs fixed.

Posted by moock at 11:59 PM

September 13, 2003

german interview on flash, asdg, and painting

here's an interview i did for o'reilly's german office:

english translation:

german interview:

Posted by moock at 03:33 PM

September 11, 2003

dave yang's new actionsccript + oop blog

dave's got himself a shiny new blog called swfoo. lots of great info there already. take a look:

Posted by moock at 10:40 AM | Comments (5)

September 10, 2003

source code for v2 components

just in case you didn't notice, macromedia included the source code for the v2 components that shipped with 2004. the source is a bit buried though.

you can find the source code for the components in the following folders
(on mac substitute everything before "Macromedia" with: HD:/Users/yourname/Application Support/).

* most of the UI components:
c:/Documents and Settings/yourname/Local Settings/Application Data/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/Classes/mx/controls/

* container components such as ScrollPane and Window:
c:/Documents and Settings/yourname/Local Settings/Application Data/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/Classes/mx/containers/

* core classes, including UIObject and UIComponent:
c:/Documents and Settings/yourname/Local Settings/Application Data/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/Classes/mx/core/

* various utilities including focus and depth management:
c:/Documents and Settings/yourname/Local Settings/Application Data/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/Classes/mx/managers/

*.fla files for the components:
c:/Documents and Settings/fritz/Local Settings/Application Data/Macromedia/Flash MX 2004/en/Configuration/ComponentFLA

(note that if you're not using an english language version of flash, you'll need to change "/en/" to the language code you're using)

Posted by moock at 01:12 PM | Comments (7)


If you host Flash content that does any of the following, you need a cross-domain policy file on your site immediately:
* loads XML or variables via an absolute url
* controls movies loaded via an absolute url
* connects to an XMLSocket server
("absolute url" means something like: '' or '')

If your site does any of the above, and does not have a cross-domain policy file, visitors using Flash Player 7 to view your Flash Player 6 format .swfs will now see a security alert dialog!

To create a policy file for your site, follow the steps posted here:

(Yes, this all applies to every client site you ever delivered.)

Posted by moock at 12:00 PM | Comments (24)

flash mx 2004 now shipping

you can now buy flash mx from macromedia.

the new flash player 7 has also gone live. get it here.

for the record, the first flash player 7 is version it was released on sept 9/2003. the windows internet explorer version weighs in at a svelt 466kb, while the windows netscape plugin is 643kb.

be sure to drop by devnet to see the new 2004 articles.

new articles include:
* Macromedia Flash MX 2004 and Video
* Building a Streaming Video Presentation with Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004 Media Components
* Data Binding in Macromedia Flash Professional 2004
* Building and Testing Components in Macromedia Flash MX 2004 (by one of the creators of the new mx 2004 compent set).
* Exploring Version 2 of the Macromedia Flash MX 2004 Component Architecture
* Building the FooterNav Component
* New Features for Mobile and Devices Developers in Macromedia Flash MX Professional 2004

Posted by moock at 12:00 AM | Comments (4)

September 03, 2003

moockblog now in korean

this blog is now being translated to korean by zooil yang, the owner of the korean flash community site,

to see the korean moockblog, visit:

thanks very much zooil!

Posted by moock at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)