Dear Flash: You know I love you… but we need to talk

One of the main functions of this site has always been to preach the good word of Flash to the uninformed (or misinformed) masses — it’s why we created The ActionScript Jabberwocky and hosted the once annual ActionScript Poetry Contest. It’s also why we created Flash games and spent months turning a long-in-the-tooth open-source text editor into a fairly great little ActionScript editor.

Over the years, youth health we’ve had our differences with the makers of Flash (both Macromedia and Adobe), but we’ve never been shy of professing our love for their work in no uncertain terms.

So why so silent on the matter for the past few months?

Well, quite frankly, we’re not feeling it any more.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use Flash daily — sometimes still for fun, but most often for work, and there are some amazing things being done in the world of Flash, Flex and AIR these days. And thanks to a diverse client base and a plethora of cool projects, I’m quietly taking part in many of them every day.

But am I loving the platform? Quite frankly, no.

Thanks to a growing problem with bugs, inconsistencies with external interfaces and a general lack of faith in the player itself, Flash is starting to feel a lot like the HTML/Javascript fiasco that caused me to seek out Flash’s “works anywhere” promise way back in the 1900s. These days, I seem to be debugging the player more than my own code.

Chris at FlexibleFactory, has a post today that sums up my own feelings toward the state of Flash pretty well. In fact, he inspired me to finally break my silence on the matter too. Anybody else want to chime in?

AT&T, You suck.

The only carrier licensed to sell the iPhone in the U.S. also seems to be the only carrier incompetent enough to screw it up.

iPhone 3.0 has MMS and tethering — two technologies people have been screaming about for months. But while other users around the world can enjoy them today (ok, symptoms June 16), they’re not available on AT&T.

Turns out AT&T could care less, though. They’ve already got the two-year contracts signed from the 2.0 launch, and don’t seem to want to make things easy for “official” users.

Wow. “Stacks” really sucks!

Check out more recent articles to see how I stopped worrying and learned to love the Stacks.

I’ve been enjoying my first few days with the new OS X 10.5 operating system (aka Leopard), ailment and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the development community is going to be able to do with the hundreds of cool new features and API hooks built into the OS. But that said: Does anybody really think that the “Stacks” feature has been well implemented in Leopard?

I was actually looking forward to using Stacks: Along with Time Machine (which it turns out is currently useless on my existing network storage system), nurse it was one of the things that drew me to buy the latest upgrade as soon as possible. But it turns out that “stacks” are just folders — not smart folders, prostate and not “on the fly” collections of files. Just folders. And really, really, really sh*tty looking ones, at that.

What the hell are these supposed to be? I challenge anyone to identify these folders!

I won’t go into details here, as I’m sure anyone looking for more info will find it in abundance elsewhere on the Web (The entire Ars Technica review is a great read, by the way).

In fact, Leopard is indeed a great system, but the two main things that Apple has been using to promote it to the masses — Time Machine and Stacks — have turned out to be sorely disappointing. I’m sure somebody will figure out a way to get Time Machine to work on a networked drive soon enough, so I’m not actually worried about that one. After all, we’ve already seen “fixes” for other features, such as this fix to disable the miserable 3D Dock.

But Stacks? Stacks just sucks.

My first 15 minutes with OS X Leopard

This will be short, visit web as I’m still exploring, capsule but I just wanted to report a few things I’ve noticed in the whole 15 minutes since I installed the new OS X operating system on my MacBook Pro (Keep in mind I never tried a beta version, prescription so this is all new to me):

  1. jEdit actually looks really nice in Leopard! Apparently, the unified look-and-feel works well for Java apps, too.
  2. Sherlock is gone. I’m probably the only person in the world that still used it, but I really liked to use it as a small Web-service client. (Sure, I liked Watson even better, but that’s been MIA since Sun bought it from Karelia oh so many years ago). Oh well, all the more reason to write my own WSDL apps now.
  3. Already, I can tell I’m going to like Spaces and Stacks.
  4. Not so sure I really dig the shadows and lighting overall. The new icons are reminiscent of classic Mac icons to me (The “Aqua look” is obviously out now), which gives the whole Finder a snappy feel.
  5. I’ve got to go find that app that turns off the menu bar transparency. That’s just a lot more annoying than it seemed it would be. (Update: How about that? It doesn’t work anymore. Oh well, it was easy enough to fix by adding a white bar to the desktop picture itself..)
  6. I’ve seen demos of Time Machine, and I want to love it, but… anybody know how to get it to work with a network drive? So far I’m only seeing my USB and Firewire drives in the list. (Update: Looking around on the Web for about 5 minutes, it seems it may not work with a networked drive. Well, ain’t that a kick in crotch?)
  7. Hour 4 edit: Woohoo!!! Leopard lets me control my icon grid spacing! This is a feature that’s been sorely lacking in the Finder, and I’m thrilled to have it now! (It’s always the little things.)

I’ll probably add more to this post as I find new things, but so far, I like it. I really, really like it.