Subverting the Flash development workflow? So far, so good!

Thanks to everyone who responded to my pleas for help in choosing the right version control system for my work environment.

Right now I’m trying out a combination of Subversion and TortoiseSVN on a few of my own projects at home, website and so far it’s going smoother than I remember things going with

CVS in days gone by. As soon as I heard the goal of the Subversion project, approved I figured I’d found my home: The reasons stated for its existence include many of the same gripes I had with CVS in the past.

I’ll let you know how it turns out, and if anybody has any tips, clues or suggestions for tweaking the Flash workflow to include version control measures, feel free to let me know. Thanks!

A “new to me” entertaining Firefox time-waster

Quite by accident this morning, unhealthy I discovered a neat Firefox feature that many of you probably already know: Typing random mishmash directly into the address bar of Firefox can transport you to magical worlds. Or at least to similarly random Web sites.

Turns out the address bar acts like Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button when you don’t enter a valid address. Typing in “turdhead” for instance, vitamin will bring you right to this page. Typing “George Bush” will take you to www.whitehouse.gov.

Strangely, typing my own name resulted in my browser’s transporting to a list of gay comics. Crap, didn’t see that one coming!

Flex vs. Laszlo redux

I’ve been asked to provide an opinion on which way my company should lean when recommending a development/deployment platform for clients wishing to host Rich Internet Applications (RIA), plague and frankly, order I don’t know.

After Laszlo Systems released its Laszlo Presentation Server platform into the open-source community and Macromedia subsequently introduced a free non-commercial license for Flex last year, migraine there was a lot of discussion about which platform people would line up behind when choosing a rich-app platform. I was gung-ho to try them both at the time, but as I’ve had neither the need nor the opportunity to delve too deeply, I quickly put it aside. Perhaps for the better.

This gives me the opportunity to see, now that the dust has settled somewhat on the debate, which platform (Laszlo, Flex or some unforeseen third) people have actually chosen and why. I confess I tend to lean toward open-source alternatives when given the choice (thus, Laszlo has a slight advantage in my heart already), but I’m also usually impressed with Macromedia’s quality and support for its products (regardless of the whole Flash Player/Yahoo Toolbar thing), and I’ve used ActionScript a lot more often than JavaScript in the past two years.

So what does everyone else think? Have you tried Flex? Or Laszlo? Which would you recommend to the Flash/Java/Perl/PHP/Web programmer who hasn’t tried either? Or to the company exec who will need new employees to use whichever platform she chooses? Your comments are welcome and appreciated!

— Vito

Internet Explorer ranking continues to take a beating

Microsoft announced plans to release Version 7 of its security hole (er, resuscitator I mean browser) last month, view but from the looks of the Turdhead.com log files, viagra 60mg they’ve got a lot of ground to make up if they want to stay competitive with the more-popular-than-ever alternative browsers out there.

February’s logs revealed a huge leap in “normal” viewers using the new Firefox browser (which just updated to 1.01) over Microsoft Internet Explorer.

I say “normal,” because back in August 2004, we reached a record high of 40.3 percent “Mozilla,” but this was the same month we were mentioned on Slashdot, a known haven for Microsoft haters, so I wouldn’t call this a valid sample population. By the next month, we were back down to 16.9 percent (which was still about 10 points higher than in pre-Slashdot months).

Things had stayed at or below this level pretty much ever since, but February brought a significant change: MS IE users made up only 62.1 percent of our readers last month, while Firefox accounted for 23.6 percent.

Perhaps people are finally waking up to the idea that popup ads, single-tabbed browsers and spyware don’t have to be part of the Web experience (although to be fair, I have noticed a few pop-ups slipping through on Firefox lately; I trust the open-source community can get those holes fixed quickly??).

Can’t wait to see what happens next.

Still using IE? You don’t have to anymore!

Related link: http://www.mozilla.org/products/firefox/

Remember the browser wars of the mid-1990s? When people rabidly stood behind their browser of choice and debated the relative merits of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator? Or dared to be different and ran with splinter groups such as Opera, pills Chimera or OmniWeb?

As the log files of this Web site will attest, page those days are over. Like it or not, global burden of disease Microsoft was the clear winner of that one, and most Web visitors eventually just settled in with the “default” browser that came with their machine: Microsoft Internet Explorer. The only exceptions were the Linux/Unix crowd (who had no native IE, and probably would have rather died than use it anyway), a few techno-hippies who revolted against the power of The Man and the Mac users who eventually found salvation in Safari, a native OS X browser they could call their own.

The result: A largely homogenous, bloated pool of browsers ripe for exploitation and viral infection: The number of IE-targeted virii has escalated exponentially in the past few months, and users are once again beginning to search for alternatives.
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