Friday, May 16, 2008

Developers Tools and Examples for Flash Player 10

Yesterday, Adobe announced Flash Player 10 with tons of really new features (yes - Linux too). But - there didn't seem to be any way for developers to get into the action yesterday.

Luckily, Lee Brimelow (The Flash Blog) sent me this link to an excellent video explaining how you can use MXMLC (Flex Compiler Shell) to write some samples that use the new capabilities of Flash Player 10.

If you really get stuck - consider going to the Flash Player 10 public forum.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Moscone, Norovirus, JavaOne - The Truth Please

I made an earlier blog post here discussing my experience with a norovirus and passing out on stage. Like most people who attended JavaOne, I never really questioned the mainstream press story until people started posting comments on my blog that seem to contradict the official story. Now I want to call out and ask for people who have had similar experiences to add comments to this blog if they want to request a more thorough investigation of what really happened.

I have also contacted a couple of reporters and asked them to look into this further. Here are the things that concern me:

1. The Contra Costa Times and others reported that the SF Department of Health became aware of the norovirus problem on Wednesday, May 7. Why were JavaOne attendees not warned until Friday at 3:00 AM and why was food allowed to be served Wed, Thurs and Friday if it was suspected that it was a food issue?

2. The official statement from Jim Soos was that no one was hospitalized, however Greg H. (he left a comment on the earlier post) was. Besides, how would he know if we went to hospitals anyways? If a spokesperson doesn't know, they had no business making such statements as fact. Understandably, Jim is probably now aware that at least one person was hospitalized and maybe didn't know at the time he spoke.

3. Most of the official press reported that only 3 non-Moscone staff got sick. Obviously more than 3 non-Moscone workers contracted it as there are myself and 4 others just on the earlier blog post. If you had it or the symptoms please leave a comment on this blog. I want to find out how many people really got sick. This official number of "3" is now wrong. The number comes from David Perry, spokesperson for Moscone who stated:
David Perry, spokesman for the Moscone Center, said 67 of people infected were staff working at the weeklong conference and 3 were attendees
See full story here

4. What the hell was Moscone doing serving us food? Here is what a statement to ponder (courtesy of San Francisco Chronicle):
The source of the virus has not yet been identified, but generally the norovirus is passed when an infected person spreads microbes either by preparing food or sharing plates or utensils, said Jim Soos, assistant director of policy and planning at the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
So Moscone knew about it as early as Wednesday, but continued to serve us food Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Hmmm - was any testing done to make sure the food was safe? Were we warned that maybe the food might be the cause? No - nothing but silence! This is not right IMO.

I want to point out that I don't blame any one group. I love Sun (a lot of friends there) and I want to be at every JavaOne conference in the future. I will be back at Moscone for other conferences this year and actually know many of the staff there who are very polite and pleasant. I don't know Jim Soos but imagine he must have a tough job.

What I really want to do is to find the truth. If you know something, please add it here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Which scripting language is most popular?

This is a totally unscientific bit of research to answer a question about the popularity of various scripting languages posed to me by Mike Chambers. After a quick search, it appears that there was no reliable data available. I deferred to a far less than scientific methodology to find out which of the four big languages (ActionScript, JavaScript, Perl, and VBScript) I am following are leading in different categories.

I realize that there are some languages left off this list. This is because I am lazy (something which I have admitted to before).

Here is the survey as of May 2008: jobs keyword search

The scientist must consider that first off, it only shows that JavaScript got over 5000, not the exact number. In all fairness, I never did a search on “Flash,” which includes ActionScript Skills. I figured if I had done this, I probably would have had to also search for “AJAX,” which obviously includes JavaScript. Here are the results in order of ranking.
* Did not give exact number

Book searches on Amazon also appear to be totally unscientific. Given that Perl has been around the longest and was powering most of the first Internet bubble, it is no surprise it topped the rankings. ActionScript came in a dismal last place.

Perl 20,317

I decided to supplement this search with additional searches on “Flash” and “AJAX” to capture more of the current AS and JS crowd books.

Google results “(term) developer”

For this search, the terms were enclosed in quotes making it a string search. Otherwise I suspected all the pages that merely contained the Script type="JavaScript” element and attribute set would have come up falsely strong. In fact, most pages that have Flash use JavaScript to load them and do detection of Flash Player version etc. The results here show that there are still lot of people discussing Perl Developers however ActionScript did come in second.

Perl developer 352,000

So what does it all mean? Not much really - it is an unscientific approximation of which scripting language might be more popular.