Tags: cs4

06/14/10

Flash CS5 bugImagine you just dropped $599 on the CS5 upgrade, and you cannot wait to try out the new Adobe software. You have a bunch of things you were working on in Flash CS4, but CS5 is new and you want to start using it right away. You load up your old files, work on them for, oh, 24 or 30 hours, all the while saving as CS5 format. You are done for the week, enjoy your weekend, open up Flash CS5 on Monday to continue working and you get this message.

"Cannot open .fla file. Flash can not parse this document."

Wait...really?

You try again, because you know you saved the file. Religiously.

"Cannot open .fla file. Flash can not parse this document."

Yes friends, our new buddy Flash CS5 feels like a beta. This is a known bug. This is happening to me. Right now. I am not happy.

Also, I discovered that the radio button component works differently in CS4 and CS5. I don't know how, but when I program my multiple choice questions and all works in CS5, I get funky errors in CS4. Re-open in CS5 (without changing a single line of AS) and it works fine. I have no other details, because I've had bigger fish to fry with Flash today.

Luckily, in my scenario above, I was testing enough in CS4 and CS5 to save 70% of my work. Here is my workaround:

1) Open your CS4 file in CS5.
2) Work on it, but click Save As CS4 file when you are done.
3) Continue to use Flash CS5 in this lame way until Adobe fixes it

Yes friends, you are saving your CS4 files as CS4 files to work on them with flash. I haven't had any issues with files created in CS5 originally, so if you are working in CS5, don't downgrade to CS4 and then back up because you will encounter this bug. Now I have a new problem...my client hasn't upgraded to CS5...when they do, they will have the same problems unless Adobe gets this fixed fast.

While researching a solution to this mess, I discovered that there is a new Flash patch 11.0.1. Yay! However, it did nothing to fix my current files. Boo!

Maybe this is what I get for being an early adopter. However, I feel like Adobe blew it again with 1) No public Beta and 2) Pushing out CS upgrades before they are ready. How hard must it be to get 7+ products updated and released all at the same time? It's got to be near impossible but yet they cram them all out at the same time anyway. CS3 and CS4 felt that way, and now CS5 is the same. I feel like I am beta testing for Adobe, and I am paying them for the privilege.

I love Adobe products...six months after they are released when all the bugs are fixed. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on Adobe. I won't get suckered into a release day upgrade again.


6/15/10: UPDATE: A very nice Adobe rep who saw this post (or my FB post, or maybe it was my Twitter post...) contacted me and offered to figure out what was going on with my file. Today, I got the file back and it seems to work fine. There was an empty frame on layer 1 of one of the symbols in my library. I sent a note back requesting more information about how to prevent it from happening again, how to fix it when it happens etc, and am waiting for a response. So far, its pretty impressive that Adobe is taking such an active role in squashing this bug. I'm downgrading from angry to annoyed.

01/08/10

ASTD TK 2010It's that time of the year again, when Vegas calls the educational technologists out from their dark work rooms, and when instructional designers and facilitators alike decide to figure out this eLearning stuff and come out to Las Vegas for the ASTD TechKnowledge Conference.

This is going to be another great year with ASTD, and I wanted to let everyone know that I will be presenting three separate sessions regarding Flash CS4.

I'll be presenting a "Getting Started with Flash" pre-conference session on 1/26/10! Its a fun primer to get you up and running using Flash, but is targeted towards the eLearning professional. It's for the new learners, but will be a full day of Flash related fun. (Can you say "Flash Related Fun" ten times fast?)

Also, I will have two Creation Stations on Flash called "Flash Animation: Basics of Making Things Move" on Wednesday the 27th and Friday the 29th of January. This is a 90 minute hands-on session where you will learn the basics of symbols and tweening in Flash CS4. Yes, it's pretty basic, but will be a blast, especially if you are brand new to Flash CS4.

I'll be blogging and podcasting from the General Sessions and sometimes from the concurrent sessions I'll be attending.

I am coming into Vegas on Monday night and leaving on Friday afternoon, and I am usually walking the floor or expo when I'm not in session. Feel free to say "hello" if you see me wandering around! Also, I will be attending the "Meet to Eat"sessions in the evenings, so if you want to connect with me ~ I'd love to talk tech!

11/24/09

Permalink 08:13:21 pm, Categories: Software, Adobe, Rants , Tags: adobe, cs4, flash bug, flash cs4, flash cs4 bug, flash fonts, font bug, mac, os x

Just an FYI...I lost about four hours development time today because Flash CS4 continually crashed after a 2 second live time. Yep...open a file and then 2 seconds later it would close down.

Here were my steps to resolve it on my Mac with OS X:

1) Repair Disk Permissions
2) Reset preferences
3) Reset user settings
4) Uninstall and then reinstall

None of this worked.

5) 45 minutes on hold with tech support who directed me to a web page, FOUR TIMES, that resulted in a 404 error each time.

Finally, the solution that worked is to

6) Turn off all my fonts. Yep, turn all of them off in Font Book, and then turn them back on as the system calls for them, or as Flash needs them.

Turn off my fonts!!! Since when do fonts cause an expensive and complex program like Flash to crash. Whatever.

It's easy to turn off fonts in Font Book (right mouse click on Computer and choose Disable Fonts) and the Mac asks permission to turn them on as you need them, but here's the kicker.

It worked fine last night. Today, I didn't install any fonts, I just opened Flash files and wanted to work. What mystical creature got into my Mac last night and played with font settings?

I don't know, but man, I hope this saves you a call to Adobe tech support...Adobe, I love ya, but please get me a stable version of Flash.

09/11/09

Permalink 05:40:26 pm, Categories: News, Software, Adobe, Rants , Tags: cs4, flash, flash cs4 bug

I wanted to announce that I just installed the Flash 10.0.2 update for Flash CS4 and my bugs are fixed! I have been crabbing about it for months, and after downloading the patch, all the slowdowns, errors, font issues and interface bugs are no longer there!

Thank you Adobe for letting me fall in love with Flash again. Maybe now I can uninstall Flash CS3...

Download the patch here: http://www.adobe.com/support/flash/downloads.html

07/07/09

linksIn the past week, I've received three emails regarding linking to MS Word Docs and PDF files from within a Flash movie. It's relatively easy, but the differences between doing it in ActionScript 2.0 and 3.0 are significant.

In ActionScript 2.0

In ActionScript 2.0, linking to a file uses the

getURL

function. Now, normally you'd use the

getURL

to launch a web page or open a new browser window by attaching the following code to a button symbol:

on (release){
    getURL("http://www.thomastalkstech.com");
}

This tells Flash that when the user has clicked on and released the mouse button, launch the web site in the same browser window. If you wanted to open it in a new window, you would need to append the command like so:

on (release){
    getURL("http://www.thomastalkstech.com","_blank");
}

The addition of the target variable (_blank) tells the browser to open in a new window.

Because the .swf sits in an HTML file, it thinks its part of a web site. Regardless of whether or not you have the files sitting on a web server, when you launch the .swf it runs in the browser. This means that the files that sit in the same directory as the .swf are accessible using the

getURL

function.

So, if you had a .pdf file on the web server and you wanted to link to it from your Flash movie, you would use this code:

on (release){
    getURL("myCoolFile.pdf","_blank");
}

and Flash would link to the PDF from within the Flash movie. Absolute and relative pathing work as well, so if you had stored the .pdf file in a directory called /pdf, you could use this code:

on (release){
    getURL("/pdf/myCoolFile.pdf","_blank");
}

IMPORTANT NOTE: The pathing in the Flash file needs to be from the HTML file holding the .swf file. It gets confusing and frustrating, but if you path the ActionScript from the HTML file holding the .swf, it will find the document without a problem. It used to kill me because sometimes I'd path from the .swf, then move the .swf to a new directory and it would mess up my links. If you use root relative pathing it won't be an issue, but if you use relative pathing, be sure to path from the HTML file holding the Flash.

You can link to any file using the getURL code outlined above.

In ActionScript 3.0

Of course, in AS3 they had to go out of their way to make it more difficult...instead of three lines, its now seven lines of code. Again, not difficult, but more details need to be added to launch the URL.

First, create a new variable for the URL. We are calling the variable 'request'.

var request:URLRequest = new URLRequest("http://www.dwebstudios.com");

Then, create a button instance and call it whatever you'd like. In the example below, the button's name is called myButton. You are going to create the function call for myButton using EventListener.

myButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, goWeb);

So, we've created the listener to launch the function goWeb, so we create that next:

function goWeb(event:MouseEvent):void {
     navigateToURL(request, "_blank");
}

So, the entire code block is:

var request:URLRequest = new URLRequest("http://www.dwebstudios.com");

myButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, goWeb);

function goWeb(event:MouseEvent):void {
     navigateToURL(request, "_blank");
}

To link to a document, replace the variable in the URLRequest object with your .pdf name or file name and it will launch as expeted. The same rules apply for the target string and pathing as in AS2, but the entire code block is longer and more dramatic.

var request:URLRequest = new URLRequest("myCoolFile.pdf");

myButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, goPDF);

function goPDF(event:MouseEvent):void {
     navigateToURL(request, "_blank");
}

So that's it! I hope this helps!

P.S. If you want to link to an email address you use the same code as above in AS 2 and 3 but you replace the object with 'mailto:yourMail@yourEmail.com'.

AS 2

on (release){
    getURL("mailto:yourMail@yourEmail.com");
}

AS 3

var mail:URLRequest = new URLRequest("mailto:yourMail@yourEmail.com");

myButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK, goMail);

function goMail(event:MouseEvent):void {
     navigateToURL(mail);
}

03/02/09

I was reading this article in Wired Magazine The Netbook Effect: How Cheap Little Laptops Hit the Big Time and started to think about all the traveling I am going to do over the summer. I'm not concerned about being able to work from a hotel room, as I've outfit my MacBook Pro with a fully licensed version of the Adobe CS4 suite. Yes, its expensive to have such a nice laptop AND such nice software just to work remotely, and the idea of a Netbook and that article got me thinking about the potential of taking my online learning development completely, well, online. Through a browser. With NO installed software. Could it be done?

And so begins my quest...over the next few days, I'm going to attempt to find online software solutions that do everything I need to build eLearning programs so I can buy a Netbook and just go. Here is the types of software I will need to find:

  • WYSIWYG HTML Editor: I use Dreamweaver in split view: code and design view. Is there browser based software that will allow me to create web pages?
  • Graphic Editor: I use Photoshop to create graphics. The article refers to FotoFlexer as a browser based Photoshop alternative. I'll try it out and let you know this week.
  • Animation Editor: As I've said in the past, Flash is my primary creator of content for my eLearning clients. Is there something out there that's browser based that will allow me to create Flash like interfaces, interactions and programs? I'm doubtful that any web based app will allow me to create like I do in Flash, but let's see what I can find!
  • Content: My clients and I use Pages, Keynote, PowerPoint and Word to create our static content. I lift the content out of these pages and paste into Dreamweaver or Flash. Google Docs is out there as a browser based alternative, but I haven't tried it...I will and tell you how it goes.

That's the major functionality I will be looking for in online applications. I want to get a Netbook purely because its new and cool (and I have a problem with wanted all the tech I can get my hands on), but if I can validate it by finding these online solutions, well, then its a purchase worth making! I know...who am I kidding...

I'll keep you posted all week with what I find.

Very few people are creating technology exclusively for the online learning developer, so this site attempts to fill that gap. Whether you want ideas on how to use web technologies in your eLearning, or have questions about the what's and how's, this site is for you.

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