I’m sure this is old hat for all the “real” developers in the Flash community, but I recently began exploring downloading source files from CVS and Subversion using Eclipse. CVS and Subversion are version control repositories which allow you to track the history of source files. They are especially useful for teams where multiple developers may be working on projects at the same time. However, with the explosion of the OSFlash movement it is now necessary for Flash developers to understand how to download the source files for the various projects exposed on the OSFlash Wiki which do not provide binaries (executables or installers).
The process for using both CVS and Subversion with Eclipse is similar, however Subversion requires an additional plugin, Subclipse, while CVS is a native part of Eclipse. I’ve provided captivate tutorials on how to connect to both repository types and create projects based on them below (as an added plus, if you’ve ever wanted to download and compile the source for your favorite Apache products you should now be armed with the capability to do so).
For those of you, like moi, who have been confined to the outer fringe–limited to sneak peaks–of updates regarding the upcoming player and IDE (Flash is apparently one hot chick when it comes to beta testing); today, is a very good day. Our first chance to taste the future has arrived in the form of the Flash Player 8 Public Beta. The new player has me drooling at the possibility of getting my hands on the updated ActionScript API’s–I’m particulary eager to play around with runtime effects and the new ECMAScript 4 xml handling capabilities. For now, I’ll have to be content on seeing just how many components I can instantiate at once before the new player gets cranky…if only I could lure Nigel Pegg out of blog retirement to chastise me for my foolishness.
Great v2 component resources keep coming to my attention following my initial Creating Custom Components blog entry of two weeks ago. Greg Hammer, Manager of the Las Vegas Macromedia Users Group, turned me on to an excellent tutorial on creating custom v2 architecture components which is made available courtesy of laflash.org (User Groups Rock!!). As Greg pointed out, this is a fairly unknown resource–I had never seen or heard of it and I’ve looked under a lot of v2 rocks over the last year and a half–which was posted about 6 months ago. The presentation by Jacob Bullock runs nearly an hour, so be prepared to to clear your schedule for some component clarity (presentation focuses on entry / intro to v2 component architecture and incidentally covers many basic fundamentals of AS2.0 development) .
Peter Hall just setup a new open source project on the OSFlash wiki called Ripple. Ripple is a framework for developing Flash movies that allows search engines to easily index and deep link flash content. Low rankings and the inability to take advantage of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques, or even consultants for that matter, has always been one of the major drawbacks to Flash content on the Web–I’ve personally had clients, as I’m sure you have, sour on Flash because of its SEO limitations. Its extremely exciting to see a push being made in this direction–definately a project to keep an eye on.