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Random rants and tips about NETCF, WinCE, Emacs, Powershell etc.

Flexing easily: Flex module

Recently there was an interesting announcement on flex team blog about the release of Flex Module for Apache and IIS.

It provides web-tier compilation of mxml and Actionscript files on Apache and IIS server. This will enable developers to run their code like server-side scripting languages (PHP, ColdFusion etc.) i.e just code you application say myApp.mxml and run it through browser through its url (http://www.flex.com/myApp.mxml).

To give an idea about how helpful this could be just think what before this a developer needs to do test their application. Developer builds his application in some editor (for me emacs :P), compiles it and the open the created swf in the browser (with or without a wrapper HTML). But with this flex module the intermediate steps of compiling the application and opening in the browser can be skipped and the module will itself do this for him.

Moreover, downloading source codes of sample applications and trying them out is also will be easier. For people using Flex Builder, it’s always a pain to import a third party source code in your project and configuring it according to your needs. Now, you can just download the source code and copy it on your web server and see the results (No flex builder coming in between). A step further its very easy to make changes to those source codes using any editor and directly see them in the browser.

One more thing which I liked about Flex module is the nice way of showing errors (if there are any in your applications).

1 error found
C:\www\webroot\samples\explorer\explorer.mxml:47

ERROR : Parse error at ”.

46  
47 <mx:HTTPService id=”charts” url=”charts_explorer.xml” resultFormat=”e4x” result=”chartsLoaded();” fault=”populateTree()” />
48  

If I compare it with some server-side scripting languages like PHP, this is great. In PHP, because it is a scripting language it becomes difficult to catch errors and sometimes it shows blank screen signifying an error in the script and thus if becoms difficult to find out what part is causing error. I am sure there might be tools available for PHP which can overcome this shortcoming of PHP which I am not aware of.

If you are interested in learning more about Flex Module, Ryan Stewart has explained it very well in his blog.

For installing Flex module it asks about following things:

  1. Your SDK directory path.
  2. Your Web Server root path (For me Apache).
  3. Your webroot path.
  4. Location of the compiler cache folder

Filed under: actionscript, flex, Internet Tools

Clipmarks and Scribefire

I was looking for a nice easy wayto blog, which can motivate me to blog more and more. Then, I came across clipmarks (Just the best parts of the page). Clipmarks allows saving all the interesting things (text, images, videos) one finds on web. The saved clips can then be blogged, emailed and print. This is where it is useful.

This way it allows the easiest way to blog what you find on the web. Just select, clip and click the blog icon. Integration with wordpress is fairly good and thus it solves my problem. I was happy but then I found ScribeFire.

ScribeFire is for firefox users . Its a nice and tiny blog editor which sits in your browser and which allows you compose the blog from the browser itself. Unlike Clipmarks, it also allows to assign categories to your blog. Along with wordpress, it also supports livejournal and Windows live spaces also. Just try out!!!

Filed under: Blogging, Internet Tools

About the author

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25, Male, living in Hyderabad Mobile Developer, working for Microsoft IDC

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