Debug and describeType()

My team is building an enterprise web application with a Flex UI that generates its screens at runtime based on XML files. It determines how to form its data service requests, what components to use, how to configure the components (line styles, custom data grid columns, etc.) all based on the XML, using a schema [...]

Can Adobe kill Flash?

I continue to hear from recruiters looking for senior Flex and Flash developers. The recruiters represent clients who are looking for engineers, trainers, and architects to work on new projects as well as existing applications. So perhaps you will understand when I say that I’m still not convinced that Flash is dead.
Over the years, we [...]

Flex, Flash, and HTTP Status Codes

This question comes from a *nix sysadmin (and all-around good guy):
“Jim, do you have a way to make flex handle a richer set of HTTP status codes in a portable way? Without that, I’m hesitant to recommend it for REST deployments.”
This is certainly a reasonable concern. The fact that Adobe still has not addressed this [...]

Just like old times

I haven’t done one of these in years.
My employer’s website needed some sprucing up, so he asked me to put together a simple promotional animation for the home page. It had been a long time since I designed one of these, but I did it, and you can see it at
Surprisingly, it was fun [...]


Don’t you love acronyms? I probably could have come up with a more descriptive title for this post, but the acronyms were just too much fun to resist. The disadvantage is that the title probably leaves you wondering what this post is actually about. Well, I’ll tell you. It’s about issues that Internet Explorer has [...]

A shameless plug

A very interesting article in the New York Times describes a paradox of medical technology: Health care providers bear most of the cost of the technology, but their share of the savings is meager and trickles in slowly (insurance companies reap most of the savings). Thus, the doctors shell out large sums of money for [...]

Developer humor in AS3

First off, I need to thank Ricky Bacon for bringing this to the attention of the Flashcoders list. Click on the image below to see the full-size screen shot, and you’ll see what happens at this particular AOL page when you visit it using the Debug version of the Flash Player. Make sure to read [...]

Time to switch to Ajax?

One of the great advantages that Flash (and by extension Flex) has over Ajax is that you don’t have to worry about browser idiosyncrasies or versions: If your application heavily depends on JavaScript and/or CSS, you could find major issues whenever a new browser version comes out. By contrast, Flash 4 movies that I built [...]

Refurbishing antiques with LocalConnection

There’s a room in my house that has a pair of old-fashioned wingback chairs set in front of a large Scandinavian bookshelf unit. I like the way this arrangement looks; the graceful curves of the Queen Anne style chairs contrast nicely with the hard, sleek lines of the bookcase. And it would seem that I’m [...]

MAX 2007, Day 3

Well, I had a three-day weekend right after the conference, and then a very busy week, but I’m finally getting around to posting some of the highlights of day three.
Air Bootcamp
In this 3.5-hour session, Mike Chambers and company walked us through the essential steps for building desktop applications using Flex Builder 3, Flash CS3, [...]