Monthly Archive for November, 2005

CSS Optimizer 1.0

I finally found some time to get CSS Optimizer 1.0 released to the public. The 1.0 release brings with it alot of changes:

  • Adding support for the “\”}\”" hack outlined here: http://diveintoaccessibility.org/examples/fontsize.html
  • Added processing css from the standard input (-i option)
  • Added outputting processed css to the standard output (-o option)
  • Added -q (quiet) option
  • Code cleanup & optimization
  • Updated manual/reame now in HTML
  • Online version of CSS Optimizer at: http://developer.mabwebdesign.com/cssoptimizer/compress.html
  • CSS un-compressor at: http://developer.mabwebdesign.com/cssoptimizer/uncompress.html
  • Exit codes are now predictable. CSS Optimizer uses standard error codes specified in <sysexits.h>
  • Linux version now availible

This will be the last release of CSS Optimizer unless some bugs I didn’t catch pop-up. CSS Optimizer X 1.1 release will be following soon.

Enjoy!

Xcode Actionscript Integration: The Next Step

I’ve tried the whole Eclispe setup, but I’m just too used to Xcode to really like it.

So I decided to improve the support of Actionscript/Flash Development in Xcode. In my opinion, for optimal development speed we need the following components in the Actionscript-Xcode system:

  • Easy MTASC compiling with optional file pre-processing support
  • Easy documentation creation
  • Integration of Flash debugging into Xcode’s run log
  • Full code-sense support
  • Flash help file access without the Flash IDE
  • Visual layout of graphics, textfields, MC’s, and vector graphics without the Flash IDE

I already have some work done in some of these areas:

I am working on a new Xcode project template that will allow integrated pre-processing & compiling of Actionscript along with easy documentation creation. This is a huge improvement over the last method, but it still isn’t perfect. I’ve done some research to see if it would be possible to make MTASC integrate seamlessly into Xcode by writing a native Xcode plugin, its definitely possible and somebody has already done alot of reverse engineering and made a plug-in for Objective-Calm.

I’ve written a BASH script that generates a list of key words from a specified class path to be used with Xcodes code sense. Although this works, its not nearly as nice has having ‘real’ code sense, but Apple has kept their API for Xcode’s source scanner class closed preventing the creation of custom source scanners.

I released XASH a little while ago allowing Flash help file access without the IDE, it still needs alot of work; but at least its usable.

Intergrated Xcode debugging is something that I’ve always thought would be incredibly awesome, but only actually realized that it could actually be accomplished within the last few months. The basic idea is you specify a custom executable and run it within Xcode. The custom executable will be a server application which will accept XMLSocket connections and redirect all input from any XMLSocket connections into

stdout

. Since the server application was launched with Xcode both

stdout

and

stderr

are redirected into Xcode’s run log thus any input received from any XMLSocket connections will be displayed in the run log. I’m working on implementing the server application in Java and adding easy access to the ‘trace server’ (the executable allowing output to be shown in the run log) from my

debug

class. When I’m all done all you’ll need to do to redirect output to the ‘trace server’ is to call

debug.initSocket()

and once a socket connection is established all output send to

debug.trace()

will be redirected to the ‘trace server’. The Java server will support multiple connections so it can receive trace output from multiple SWF’s. Heres a screen shot of a SWF’s trace output being redirected to Xcode’s run Log: Flash Debugging Within Xcodes Run Log

Visual layout of graphics, textfields, etc, etc would be really cool also. A project like this would actually be possible using SWFMILL as the underlying engine to create the SWF.

I’m working on getting everything packaged up and documented so I can release it into the wild.

Cool Apache Trick

I recently came across this cool apache trick. You can change the value of a PHP configuration variable using a .htaccess file in your server. For instance if you wanted to change the

include_path

php configuration variable you could use the following .htaccess command:

php_value include_path /new/include/path:/other/include/path

Every PHP file contained in the same directory, or child directories of the .htaccess command will have the include_path variable changed to the new value.

Its strange that there isn’t much documentation available about the php_value derivative, no information is available on apache.org, and even google didn’t seem to turn up any ‘real’ documentation about the command.

NaturalDocs

A few weeks ago I was searching around trying to decide what documentation system to use in my Actionscript/Flash projects. There are alot of options out there, but these are the ones that I found viable for my situation:

As2api: overall as2api seems like a good solution but I really didn’t like the style of the documentation as2api created and the os x binary didn’t seem to work on os x.

AS2Doc: looks like a good package, but it costs money; I cant see paying for something that has a free alternative which has very similar functionality. I’d rather donate to an open-source project.

VisDoc: looked really nice- exactly what I was looking for, I was very close to buying it until I saw NaturalDocs.

NaturalDocs: this turned out to be my final choice. NaturalDocs is OSS written in pearl so it will run on any OS that supports pearl. Using NaturalDocs is easy enough and it produces very nice looking documentation. The only downside is that currently it does not support JavaDoc style comments (this is on NaturalDocs to-do list), but this really wasn’t a big deal since learning NaturalDoc style commenting was very easy.

Free iPod

I finally gave in and decided to try one of the those ‘Get a free iPod‘ offers. I did some research before signing up, and it seems as though this offer is totally legit.

To get the free iPod you have to complete 1 offer (some offers are free, some cost less than $5), and get five people to do the same using your referral link. From what I’ve read gratis (the free ipod company) gets ~$100 for each person who signs up for an offer. That means that when you complete the requirements for a free ipod they already have $600 in their pocket and an ipod costs ~$300.

So, if your interested in getting a free ipod, and are feeling really kind, please sign up with my refferal link.

XASH: Flash Help File Viewer

XASH, a Flash help file viewer written in Cocoa whose goal is to make it easier & faster to view flash help files is now available. At the moment the implementation is very simply and doesn’t provide any advantages over Flash IDE help viewer (other than its faster, open-source, and a native Cocoa application); but I’m planning on adding filtering and searching features which should make finding the right help pages alot easier.

If you have any feature requests or bug reports please let me know!