Archive for March, 2008


I love watching James Bond movies, especially the older ones. Bond is always equipped with  the latest in high-tech technology thanks to the efforts of MI6’s super geek, Q. As a fellow geek I loved it when Q would use “techno speak” to describe the various gadgets he has in store for Bond. So when Adobe announces another version of software or technology using some seemly meaningless codename, I muse over those days of “cloak and dagger”.

So what’s the word for today? …


This is the codename for Adobe’s next version of Flex. It seemed like Adobe just released Flex 3 … oh yeah, they did. Unlike Apollo (AIR 1.0), I don’t think that we will become so attached to Gumbo that we will start start creating web sites using that code name. Wait, let me go see if the domain is still available …. (2 minutes later) Darn! All gone.

So does this codename in any way reflect what we can expect to see in Flex 4? Well, what is a Gumbo?

Gumbo is a  soup that originated in Louisiana. It’s kinda a like a pot-luck soup containing a diverse choice of ingredients.

I love seafood gumbo – when it’s made properly. So can we expect to see a diverse choice of features added to the next release of Flex 4? Sorry, I don’t have the answer to this but we all can participate in its development.

If you haven’t already, join the Adobe Community and visit the Adobe Open Source Site to keep track of what’s going on and possible contribute. Ever since Adobe released Flex as Open Source, the direction and development of Flex has been in our hands. So we can either make this next version even better than the last OR we can end up with a “bad tasting gumbo”.

If you are interested, there is an interesting site that has documented the many codenames for Macromedia/Adobe products/technologies. You can find it here.

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My Flex/AIR application has finally made it into the Adobe AIR Marketplace listing. The app I created, originally for my FiftyTwoApps site, is called TurnAbout. You can view and download this app by going to the following url;

The app uses the Connection Manager and Update Manager library from the EverythingFlex site. Thanks Rich! That library saved me loads of development time. This means that as I make updates to the app (such as more levels), the app will prompt the user to get the newest version.

I really would like to thank Shikha for Adobe for helping me get through a few of the issues that was prevent this app from being listed. Adobe has some of the friendliest people in the industry working for and with them.

Download the app, Install it, and challenge yourself!

Thanks! Ciao.


Are you interested in learning Adobe Flex 3? Are you ready to jump start your career by becoming a Flex 3 developer?

On April 1st I will be teaching a full day, hands-on Adobe Flex 3 class. In this class I will teach you many of the fundamentals of creating Rich Internet aApplications using Adobe Flex 3. I even included a section on taking your Flex application to the desktop using AIR. Here is my agenda for the day;


I. An Introduction to Flex 3
        The Evolution of Applications
        What is Adobe Flex 3?
        The Flex Application Flow
II. Using Flex Builder 3
        Exploring the Flex Builder 3 Interface
        Creating a Project
        Anatomy of an Application
        Creating Your First Application
        Lab 1: Hello Flex
III. Flex 3 Fundamentals
        Visual Controls
        Text Controls
        Presenting Images
        Form controls
        Data Binding Expressions
        Lab 2: What's My Name?
IV. Flex 3 Layout and Navigation
        Using Containers
        Using Navigation Controls
        Nesting Containers
        Using Navigation Controls with Containers
        Understanding Constraint-based Layout
        Lab 3: Contact Manager layout
V. Understanding Flex 3 States and Transitions
        Understanding View States
        Controlling View States
        Understanding Transitions
        Lab 4: Sliding Doors
VI. Working With XML Data
        Retrieving and Parsing XML Data
        Handling XML Results
        Handling Errors
        Lab 5: My RSS Reader
VII. Using the DataGrid Control
        Using a DataGrid Control
        Specifying DataGrid Columns
        Formatting DataGrid Columns
        Using Item Renders and Item Editors
        Lab 6: Marching in Rows and Columns
VIII. Customizing the Application
        Using Cascading Styles
        Using the Flex Builder 3 Style Editor
        Applying Skins
        Lab 7: Putting it all Together
VIII. Taking it to the Desktop
        What is Adobe AIR?
        Deploying a Flex 3 Application as an AIR Application
        Lab 8: Living Outside the Browser

The class is being held at the TeraTech training facility in Rockville, MD. In order to get more information and register for this class go to the following URL;

This class promises to be very informative and interactive. See you then!



This one shall never be forgotten. After a couple hours more of troubleshooting this issue I returned to a dialog setting I visited once before. But this time I tried something a little different;

As I stated before, if I debug my Flex app, the app runs in the browser but the debugger is unable to connect. So I ran it again. As the debugger was trying to connect I went to the running app in the browser. I right-clicked on the app bringing up the Flash Player context menu. I clicked on the Debugger menu item (see image below).

Debugger in Menu

This then brought up the familiar Flash Player Debugger dialog box (see image below)

Debugger Setting

Now in the past I would simply click on the Connect button, but with no success. I then decided to specify Other Machine and entering my localhost IP address (I tried entering Localhost without success). I then clicked on the Connect button. Suddenly a change occurred on the Flex Builder interface. I first though that the process of waiting for the debugger to connect timed out, but Low and Behold! The debugger connected!! I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was it that simple all along? I stopped the debugger and started it again with my breakpoints. Again the debugger connected … without complaint. I am now a happy camper.

I’ve been suffering headaches for the past couple of days (even today). This issue only served to make them worse. I even dreamed about it last night. However now I can clear my mind and rest easy that my Flex Builder Debugger is Back! (unfortunately so are my headaches)

Thanks all who commented on my last post for the help. Even though none of them provided a solution, I learned a lot along the way.


I’ve come to point where I exhausted all options … at least the ones I am aware of. After having my Flex Builder 3 working for the past week, the debugger has suddenly stopped working. If I debug the app I am working on, the browser will open, the app will run BUT the Flex Builder will not connect to the debugger. How do I know this?

  1. None of my Breakpoints will stop the execution of the app
  2. According to the Progress panel in Flex Builder, I see the message “Waiting for Flash Player to connect to debugger”

At around 91% I get the dialog box that tells me the Launch Failed, Ensure that: 1. You compiled your Flash application with debugging on. 2. You are running the debugger version of Flash player.

Now I have spent 3 hours trying every option I can think of. I have restarted the laptop 4 times already. But just in case I may have missed something here is a list of the things I have tried;

  • Uninstalled the Flash Player (restart laptop).
  • Installed the Debug Flash Player (from the Adobe web site) .
  • Tried both Firefox 2 and IE 7.
  • Uninstalled the Flash Player (restart laptop again).
  • Installed the Debug Flash Player from the Flex 3 SDK.
  • Tried both Firefox 2 and IE 7.
  • Uninstalled Flex Builder 3. (restarted laptop yet again).
  • Installed Flex Builder 3.

Still no luck. The last thing I did was to create a small app that reported the Flash Player version. Here is the code for that app;

<mx:Application xmlns:mx="" layout="vertical">
import flash.system.Capabilities;

private function reportVersion():String {
if (Capabilities.isDebugger) {
return "You are running the Debugger version of the Flash Player";
} else {
return "You are running the Non-Debugger version of the Flash Player";
private function reportType():String {
return Capabilities.playerType + " (" + Capabilities.version + ")";

<mx:Label text="{reportVersion()}"/>
<mx:Label text="{reportType()}"/>

Yes, the app tells me that I am running the Debugger version of the Flash Player. Now what?? I have found the Debugger in Flex Builder to be an invaluable asset in developing Flex/AIR apps and learning Flex. Without it I find myself severely disabled.Now here’s the really strange part … The debugger works when debugging an AIR application.

I’d like to say that I blame Vista (I hate Vista) but I must give it break this time and say, I doubt it.

This is truly a mystery and Scooby Doo is nowhere to be found. Is there anyone out there with a clue?

Thanks and Ciao


I’ve been invited to speak at the DC Flex User Group meeting on March 5th. I feel honored to be invited as a speaker along with Kevin Lynch of Adobe. In keeping with the theme of the night I have come up with a presentation that I think will be of interest to everyone:

From the Browser to the Desktop … and Back Again!

You can see the full presentation description and info by going to the following links; DC Flex User Group and My Presentations page.

Check it out and I’ll see you tomorrow night!