A Full Stack Engineer's Perspectives on Technology, Startups, Software Engineering, and UI Design

AssetLoader has a new home

Posted: July 27th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Flash | Tags: , | No Comments »

As promised, I am going to fix up AssetLoader so it delivers all that it originally promised. As I have been using flex lately, I realize that the AssetLoader class is more valuable than I originally intended. Flex itself has some rather bloated but powerful loading mechanisms and yet still has various interfaces to load different media at run-time. This new AssetLoader will intend to solve these issues and continue to be the light-weight, production safe utility class as it has always been.

Planned Features:
1) Add Array as an accepted method of loading assets (solves inability to load duplicate media issues)
2) Add Video and fix Sound Loaders
3) Automate ASDocs documentation for up-to-date documentation
4) Distribute AssetLoader.swc as the supported library package

Anyways, like the title says, AssetLoader has a new home. And it’s at GoogleCode – http://code.google.com/p/assetloader/

REMINDER: If you are using an AssetLoader below version 1.2, please sync up now so you have the most recent AssetLoader code. It truly is better than anything below 1.2.

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10 Reasons to Start using WordPress (in general)

Posted: July 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: General | No Comments »

I have almost finished configuring my blog to my liking and let me tell you that I am really liking it. It is honestly such an easy process to get up and writing that you need to know next to nothing about web servers, PHP, MySQL. So, in order to start writing, which is what this blog is all about, I wanted to share some insight into the custom blog to wordpress experience. Here are my top 10 reasons to use WordPress:

10. Dreamhost One-Click Install

Let’s start from the beginning. I was navigating Dreamhost (my hosting provider) and I saw the swanky WordPress logo in the one clicks. WordPress has been around a long time in the one clicks but this time I was feeling venturous as the pressures of not writing in awhile from my current blog were weighing me down. Anyways, I clicked it and low and behold it installed it! I went to the site and I was up and running within 5 minutes.

9. Pages

A blog is not just a blog these days. Take a look at Lee Brimelow’s blog at TheFlashBlog.com or Keith Peter’s blog at bit-101.com. These aren’t really the best examples of using pages but they definitely use it to separate their blog from additional content that would be of interest to their readers. So having pages makes the blog into more of a website and less of just a blog.

8. Settings Managers

The settings managers in WordPress are awesome. I want to see their implementation. It looks so modular!

7. E-mail Notifications

I love getting emails when I get comments so I can approve them and move on with my life. However, coming from my own custom blog, I appreciate not having to do it manually in CakePHP with the various options and installation that are required with those options.

6. Administration Panel

The administration panel is sweet. It emphasizes writing new content and getting your blog setup how you like it. I would definitely like to see them set up auto redirects like after I hit publish I don’t want to see the same post again. I’d rather be taken to my blog or back to the dashboard or something else that is I haven’t been staring at for the last little while.

5. Importing/Exporting

When I setup my new blog, I wanted to preserve what little content I had from my previous site. In order to do that, I pointed my new WordPress blog at my RSS feed from my old blog and presto, it all came in! I had to write a custom script for my comments though but that wasn’t as hard as it would have been for the posts.

4. Install Plug-ins without using FileZilla!

I thought this feature deserved it’s own title. One of my issues with these blogs is the installation process. I don’t want to develop to write. I want to write. Period. Having a plug-in like Plugin manager allows me to download plug-ins from an interface, install them with one click, and activate them in another. Now this is what usable applications are all about. Automate whatever you can and this is a feature that is worth a gold star.

3.  Themes

When I installed the one-click Dreamhost WordPress, I was impressed with how fast it was and how easy it was to setup. The initial design was the standard blue pill look and that was so outdated. So I spent a good 30 minutes looking for a new design and looking at how to install it onto my server. Little did I know that Dreamhost actually installed the top 50 designs already and all I had to do was go to my Appearance tab and navigate through them. Wow is that ever easy to switch the design. I love it cause if I am not feeling the design anymore, there’s plenty of pay and free designs out there that can fit my bill.

2. Plug-ins

I love plug-ins. Need I say more? They are short, simple, and sweet. They are like little utilities that do specific tasks and do them well. They are free, well-done, and there are tons of them. Blogging isn’t new – what I need has already been developed. Using this open source community to leverage my development of my own blog makes my life so much easier so I can write about how much I love WordPress more often.

1. Less programming, more writing mantra

At the end of the day, it’s all about writing. I don’t care if no one reads this post. I don’t even care if this post ever makes it to page 2000 on Google let alone that. What I do care is that I write and that I practise writing. I read that in some MBA programs, one of the tasks the professor gives students is to wake up in the morning and write 3 pages about anything. All they have to do is write. In the beginning, it is tough to get the 3 pages and it feels silly writing the 3 pages. But after awhile the author begins to notice patterns in their writing. They start talking about common problems, business ideas, and solutions to these issues. They talk about what’s bothering them and they have a place to vent it out. They become more involved in how they think and value their thoughts more than before. Some even more remarkable things occur and that is what I’d like to aim for. I do sometimes do the morning ritual, but those writings are generally not shareable and generally you don’t need to look them over. My blog posts are for sharing and for offering insignt and advice to someone who might be interested. Getting back to the point, if I spend more time developing, I am practising programming. But if I practise blogging, I am practising a very core and basic skill that is just a tad under appreciated.

Thank you WordPress. You Rock.

Ayan

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New Blog

Posted: July 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: General | No Comments »

Hello everyone!

As you might be able to tell, I have a new blog. I have finally resorted going back to WordPress. Around 2 years ago, I transfered from a WordPress blog to a CakePHP blog; deciding in favour of the custom cake caching and control CakePHP had to offer. Unfortunately, with this new found CakePHP blog and the skills I acquired by making it, it caused me to develop more and write less and this is what is causing me to switch back. WordPress allows me the beauty of OpenSource without the trouble of developing. Don’t get me wrong, I love CakePHP. It is an awesome framework with fun and entertaining analogies to create beautiful code. However, I don’t want to have to develop more than I write. I also don’t want to have to change so much when I feel like switching blog layouts. So… back to WordPress. I’ll be transfering over all my posts from my previous blog in a few days (I’ll have to write one last script).

Please stay tuned and I hope you enjoy this new direction.

Cheers,

Ayan

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