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The Macromedia Studio Blogosphere

This month's edition of our regular feature taking an online stroll around the MX world

If one of the true signs of a vibrant developer community is an active blogosphere surrounding a technology, then the MX suite of technologies certainly passes that test with flying colors. Don't forget that you can blog yourself now, too, under the MXDJ domain - just follow the blog-n-play link from http://mxdj.sys-con.com.

Blog Topic: Flash
Macromedia Relaunches Flash as a Platform
by oscar trelles
- from www.oscartrelles.com/blog/

In a move that is being received with a smile by the open-source-friendly segment of the Flash development community, Macromedia announced that they will be joining the Eclipse Foundation to create a "next-generation rich Internet application development tool," codenamed Zorn and based on Eclipse. Furthermore, Macromedia launched a new website and a series of whitepapers forecasting the future of the Flash Platform.

For many of us, the idea of Flash as a viable development platform for RIAs has been a reality for some time. Now, Macromedia is putting it in black-and-white. Built around the strengths of the Flash Player, Macromedia has built a universe of development tools, server-side technologies, solutions and partnerships that affect directly the way we do business. With what is being announced for Maelstrom (Flash Player 8), Macromedia has proved again that they listen to the community. Some of the stuff coming in the next generation of the Flash player, according to today's announcements:

  • File upload and download
  • Support for GIF, PNG and Progressive JPEG image formats
  • Better font readability
  • Enhanced Video codecs
All of this, together with the ability of developing Flash applications within an open-source environment such as Eclipse, which has been embraced by an important segment of the Flash community, is enough to have everybody happy and waiting to see what else will come after Maelstrom is released.

Blog Topic: Flex
Using Shared Fonts in Flex
by darron schall
- from www.darronschall.com/weblog/

It turns out you can't directly embed a font into a Remote Shared Library (RSL) using Flex. Here's a handy little trick to get around that...

First, some background. I have a Flex application that consists of a main .swf that loads and manages several other "load on demand" .swf files. A user of the application doesn't necessarily need to use all parts of the application, so this modular approach allows them to only download the parts they'll be using. I'm using shared libraries to solve the problem of downloading the same information more than one time when using multiple .swfs in one application. For more information on RSLs in general, check our Roger Gonzalez's great article on the subject (www.macromedia.com/devnet/flex/articles/rsl.html).

So I wanted to add a font to an RSL for a few reasons. The font should be able to be changed in only one place, it should only have to be downloaded one time, and all of the loaded .swf files should use the same font. I tried just using the embed tag to add it to an RSL, like this:

<embed source="../fonts/Arial.ttf" newSymbol="mainFont" />

When I went to compile though I was getting a failed to load resource error. Apparently you can't add .ttf files to shared libraries.

I then tried to embed the font directly into the main .swf file. The css for that looks like this:

@font-face {
src: url("../fonts/Arial.ttf");
fontFamily: mainFont;
}
Application {
fontFamily: mainFont;
}

The problem with the css approach is that the font was only appearing in the main .swf file. All of the other .swf files were attempting to use the font, but the font couldn't be found (as demonstrated by all of the text being a small serif font). So, I needed a way to reference the font from the loaded .swfs so that they would use it correctly.

The workaround for this problem, suggested by Roger, is so simple that it's perfect. Create a component that embeds the font via css, stuff that component into a shared library, and then reference the component from every .swf that needs the font. By taking this approach if I ever wanted to update the font I would simple update the shared library, and all of the application would use it.

So, I made a simple component, in Fonts.mxml:

<mx:Canvas xmlns:mx="http://www.macromedia.com/2003/mxml">

<mx:Style>
<![CDATA[
@font-face {
src: url("../fonts/Arial.ttf");
fontFamily: mainFont;
}
]]>
</mx:Style>

</mx:Canvas>
...added that component to one of my shared libraries:
// inside the "library" tags:
<component name="Fonts" uri="*" />
... added some css for the main .swf file:
global {
fontFamily: mainFont;
}

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MXDJ News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the world of software design and development and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for MX developers.

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Most Recent Comments
MXDJ News Desk 08/03/05 01:25:11 PM EDT

The Macromedia Studio Blogosphere. If one of the true signs of a vibrant developer community is an active blogosphere surrounding a technology, then the MX suite of technologies certainly passes that test with flying colors. Don't forget that you can blog yourself now, too, under the MXDJ domain - just follow the blog-n-play link from http://mxdj.sys-con.com.

MXDJ News Desk 08/03/05 12:19:51 PM EDT

The Macromedia MX Blogosphere. If one of the true signs of a vibrant developer community is an active blogosphere surrounding a technology, then the MX suite of technologies certainly passes that test with flying colors. Don't forget that you can blog yourself now, too, under the MXDJ domain - just follow the blog-n-play link from http://mxdj.sys-con.com.

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