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July 26th, 2010

Node AMF

We’ve been having some fun with NodeJS at Public recently, and I’ve been looking for excuses to get more involved with it. We do a lot of Flash work, and make a lot of games, so Flash remoting is something we do regularly. We prefer to use AMF over XML, so I looked around for a NodeJS module to see if we could work with AMF within Node. I figured Node might be a viable platform for creating simple multi-player back ends, or other real-time environments like chat rooms.

I failed to find an AMF library for Node, and I’m not hugely surprised; Flash is rather out of favour with today’s JavaScript gurus. Secretly pleased that I couldn’t find anything, I set about writing my own. It is also the first time I’ve put an open source project on Github.

See node-amf on Github Keep reading…

June 23rd, 2010

Open Graph Drupal Module

I needed to enable Open Graph functionality on a Drupal 6 site this week and the Drupal module directory didn’t seem to have the goods. Googling didn’t show up much either; there is a module for Drupal 7, but I’m stuck in Drupal 6 for now. So here we are, the first version of a Drupal 6 “opengraph” module. It’s not yet in use on any live sites, so please let me know how you get on if you try it out.

Download version 0.2 for Drupal 6:  opengraph-6.x-0.2

Keep reading…

October 28th, 2009

Unity3D Ball and Chain – Part 1

Making the transition from Flash and ActionScript to Unity and its JavaScript/C# has been very smooth, thanks to their detailed scripting reference and very active forums. Being one of those people when faced with flat-pack to assemble, grabs a hammer and gets stuck-in, there have been plenty of sticking points which have had me reaching for the instructions.

This is a tech demo of Unity that was created over the weekend to overcome some of the challenges that might arise when working on commercial Unity work. Initially it was created as a one off, but after finding and solving quite a few problems, I thought it might be nice to share my solutions to some of these problems as I develop the project in my spare time.

Controls: Up & Down (or W & S) to raise or lower the spinner, scroller adjusts spinning speed, and Space Bar to release the ball.

Keep reading…

October 23rd, 2009

Let’s talk about the iPhone

I had a very interesting day at Over The Air 09 in London a month ago – both the keynotes, sessions, and attendees were heavily geared towards turning web developers into mobile developers. Widgets got bounced around a lot. At the opening of the conference, an informal poll revealed that out of the 200 or so attendees present maybe only a dozen were ‘native’ (ie, Obj-C, .net, etc) software engineers. The keynote speakers genuinely all seemed to believe that native apps were on the way out, to be replaced by cross platform widgets. Keep reading…

October 21st, 2009

Blank Canvas


This is a post about the new HTML5 canvas element. If you could indulge me while I reminisce when I was a student completing a Diploma in Digital Media for a moment. Our first ever Actionscript based project was to create an interactive application that an artist of the past, who did not live in the digital age, would have made if they did live in these times and had Flash as a tool. I choose Len Lye, an experimental New Zealand artist that is famous for his kinetic sculptures and experimental film techniques.

I remember the joy, writing AS2 using Flash 7, of being able to freely create and experiment with code and interaction without any concern for technical detail or expectation other than it worked, ran at an OK frame rate and looked cool.

Those carefree days quickly disappeared as I left the comfort of my Diploma and entered the real world. Since then it’s been a non-stop learning curve keeping up with technology, expectations and tight deadlines.

If you would like to cut to the chase and have a play with my canvas experement click on the image below, or click on the keep reading link.
impressionist screenshot

See my Experiment on ChromeExperiments.com

Keep reading…