"3flex" Posts

Punking Doug McCune

Identites have been protected in this blog post by means of Doug’s Safe Sexting application. Any resemblance to persons living or dead should be obvious to them. (You know who you are)

So a fortnight (I wait two weeks to tell anyone anything… so I can use the word fortnight) ago, I had the opportunity, nay the privilege, to attend Doug McCune’s “Cool Shit” session at 360|Flex. As many of you may heard, read or watched, there was an… incident that occurred during Doug’s session.

Apparently, I have been thrown under the bus as the co-conspirator of said incident.

So let us take a journey… starting two nights prior to Doug’s session.

Monday Night

A couple friends and I were hanging around the hotel after partying at the Rock Bottom. We weren’t ready to call it a night. So we decided to see what else Indianapolis could offer us and we hit the streets. We quickly found ourselves at Monument Circle. That’s when one of my colleagues remembered that there was some sort of crazy bowling in Indy.

We had no idea where to go until we ran into Tanner (a horse) and Sky (a man… I think). He gave us directions to duckpin bowling. However, It was too far to walk, so we went back to the hotel where we ran into some other “accomplices”. After a few minutes of trying to figure out what time the duckpin bowling alley closed, one of the Crowne Plaza employees informed us that Jillians had bowling.

We headed over there with the crew. Unfortunately, the bowling alley was full. Undeterred, we went down to the video arcade. We enjoyed Hyper Bowling, Super Shot Deluxe Basketball and Ski Ball. The party came crashing down when a Jillians employee informed us that they will be closing in 30 minutes. With thousands of credits still left on our cards, we decided to see how many tickets we could win before they kicked us to the curb.

So I went to the game that gave us the greatest chance of winning loads of tickets… I’m not sure what it’s called. It’s the dome game with the circle of lights… Well wouldn’t you know it… the first time I hit the button… I hit the jackpot of 375 tickets! I have ninja-like reflexes.

Here is a picture of one of my accomplices with a handful of tickets.

We were able to accrue around 645 tickets in less than 30 minutes, but what do you do with all of those tickets? Well, we decided to cash them out in bouncy balls… all bouncy balls (with the exception of one paratrooper).

Tuesday Night

After a great day at 360|Flex Indy. A group of us decided to try our luck at the bowling alley.

While bowling, we discussed the countless applications of 42 multi-colored, rubber bouncy balls.

Someone mentioned that Doug McCune had tweeted about shaving his chest for his session, and the ideas started flowing. Now as much as I’d love to claim that the brilliant idea of throwing bouncy balls at Doug during his session was all mine… it was truly a group effort.

Wednesday Morning

Wednesday morning rolled around, and I loaded the cup of bouncy balls into my backpack and made my way to the final keynote. We knew Doug’s session would be crowded, so we were sure to sit near the stairs that led up to the room where his session would be held.

After the keynote was finished, we rushed up the stairs to Doug’s room. It was already packed… people had camped out up there during the keynote.

Luckily, I was able to grab a seat in the front row. As soon as I sat down, I noticed that Doug had left the room, probably to refill his glass with water… or vodka. I quickly grabbed a handful of bouncy balls and went to work. Handing them out to the first few rows and giving them the simple instructions of.. “When Doug takes his shirt off, throw the ball at him”.

I wasn’t able to hand out all of the bouncy balls, as Doug re-entered the room and made his way to the front.

Then as the story goes… Doug took his shirt off…

There was a visual hesitation the moment Doug took off his shirt. Nobody was going to throw their ball… and it wasn’t me… but to whomever threw their ball first… bravo!

And finally… the video speaks for itself…

And there you have it… consider yourself in the know.

I also wanted to thank Doug for being such a great sport about the whole thing. You my friend are a rockstar… Keep up the great work!

The Flash Builder 4 and Flash Catalyst Betas Are Out!!

So I was going to write a great long blog post about how the Flash Catalyst and Flash Builder 4 betas are out… and resources you can use get started… But Ryan Stewart and Serge Jespers have both written amazing posts already. So all of you should do as I’m doing, and go download the betas and start finding bugs!!

I do give huge props to Adobe for releasing both of these betas in “June” as they said they would. To be quite honest, it’s still technically May here in Seattle. Great work Adobe, another job well done. *slow clap*

:: UPDATE ::

Also, major props to the Flex SDK team for getting the beta out even with all of the Fx prefix madness that has been going on.

:: UPDATE 2 ::

Adobe Developer Connection has posted a list of informational links about Flash Builder 4, Flex 4 SDK and Flash Catalyst. Check it out!

Tip of the Day – How to create a prompt field on your mx:ComboBox

For a long time I’ve been doing things like this within Flex.

[Bindable] private var _skills:Array = 
	{label: "---", id: -1},
	{label: "1 - Newbie", id: 1},
	{label: "2 - Some Experience", id: 2},
	{label: "3 - Expert", id: 3},
	{label: "4 - I'm a baller", id: 4}

And then binding this data provider to a ComboBox…

<mx:ComboBox id="skillsCB" dataProvider="{_skills}" />

Well it turns out there is a much easier way of doing this that I never knew of until today. ComboBox has a “prompt” attribute that you can set. It’s so easy…

<mx:ComboBox id="skillsCB" dataProvider="{_skills}" prompt="---" />

I told you it was easy. Can’t believe I never noticed it before.

Are you attending the Flex SDK BugQuash? You should be!

Between my full-time job, planning the Flex SDK BugQuash, and trying to install Flash Media Server on 64-bit Ubuntu Linux (a real nightmare I tell you), I’ve just been utterly swamped and ultimately have been neglecting my blog. However, I feel compelled to write this blog post letting you know what you are missing if you decide not to attend the open source Flex SDK BugQuash.

What is this BugQuash thing about?

In a nutshell, the Flex SDK BugQuash is a FREE event that is being hosted by Adobe on March 28th in Seattle, WA. Developers will be attending in-person as well as online using Adobe Connect. The goal of the event is to fix, or “quash”, as many bugs in the Flex SDK in 10 hours as humanly possible. There are currently over 200 people registered to attend this event!

Want this for your site?

What if I’m not good enough?

Quite a few people have asked this question.

This first BugQuash will have more of a focus on learning. The goal is for everyone in the community to know how to make changes to the Flex SDK, submit patches and ultimately make a better SDK for all of us to work with. Right now there are only a handful of people that are actually submitting patches, which is why we need to focus on getting everyone up to speed on HOW to fix the bugs in the Flex SDK.

You’re certainly not going to be the only one who feels like they have less than expert skills at the event. Much of this event is designed for you, to teach you these skills.

You’ll be able shadow teams working on problems and have your questions answered. If you don’t walk away from this event with a deeper knowledge of the Flex SDK (unless of course you’re already baller status), then I haven’t done my job properly.

So why attend this event in person?

  • Snacks – M&Ms, Mixed nuts, Goldfish, gummy fruit snacks (just to name a few).
  • Free Food – Lunch and Dinner (I’ve heard rumors of Jimmy Johns).
  • Free Drinks – Soda, water and yes… energy drinks!
  • Guitar Hero World Tour & Rock Band 2 – yes, including the microphone and drums.
  • Face to face time with other developers.
  • Music – from our very own DJ Natey Beck.

I can’t make it to Seattle, what’s this remote experience?

This is a world-wide event (shout-out to my friends in Ukraine: JabbyPanda & FlashRipper), with 3/4′s of the attendees being remote. We have put many hours in to making the remote experience a worthwhile experience. Some user groups in other cities are meeting up to attend remotely, check with your local user group for more details.

Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.

Free Stuff!

Attendees will be eligible to win prizes and Adobe software. Both remote and in-person attendees are eligible to win said prizes. Let me repeat that:


Work together and make friends.

This event is meant to be social. Working together to complete a common task is an excellent way to get to know someone. We’re going to be breaking apart into teams (both remotely and in person) to tackle the bugs together.

We also have a system in place for everyone to communicate with each other. That way if you run into a problem with… let’s say, regular expressions… you can ask for help with it, and find someone who can help you.

The Adobe Flex SDK Team will be attending.

Members of the Adobe Flex SDK Team will be attending and presenting throughout the day. Which is really neat to learn from the people who actually wrote the SDK. We have a room dedicated to “Learning Sessions”, where the Flex SDK Team and other folks will be available online to answer particularly tough questions.

Okay, you’ve convinced me… where do I sign up?

Go to the BugQuash website and Register Now.

So now that I’ve registered, what can I do to get ready?

How can I help?