Book Review: Software Estimation

April 25th, 2007

Another Silverlight Rant!

April 19th, 2007

I debated even posting about this because there are so many developers in the Flash community already talking about it; then I thought why not I still have a few questions. I won’t take this post as far as bashing Silverlight as much as a search for an answer to “Why switch?”

There is no argue that Microsoft has offered the RIA world a new way to create and display solid interactive applications, but I still don’t see a need to switch. Dave Wolf from Cynergy comments on how this is good for the world of RIA’s and only confirms that RIA’s are here to stay. I agree. As well as I agree with all of the bloggers stating that this competition will be good for Flash and can only help its future growth. But I still want to know why I would switch to developing applications in XAML and JavaScript and as Keith Peters says, taking a 5 year step backwards with prototype classes.

I attended MIX 2006 where Microsoft demoed WPF and a bit of WPF/E and I watched the Flash developers around the room with smirks on their faces basically saying, “Okay, I’ve been able to do that for 5 years with Flash.” They continued to show applications with a cube of videos that spun as a 3D object. Kinda cool and it was very smooth because their player has a closer tie to the hardware but I don’t think that will sell it for anyone.

I promise, I’m not trying to bash Silverlight, I just don’t understand why I would switch. Okay, maybe I don’t have to and that is not the question, maybe I should be asking why business owners and executives are asking my to really look into this. Why do they care? Since when is it a business goal of an application to have XAML over MXML or vice versa? It must be because Silverlight can do something more than Flash. If so, what can it do? As of a year ago I was not impressed. It was shiny, and I like shiny things that move, but I had seen it all before.

So I guess I can end by asking those of you who have worked with WPF or Silverlight, what can it do that Flash cannot and how important are these features to the success of solid web or desktop applications?

- Tim O’Hare

Let’s Try This Again

April 17th, 2007

As you can see it has been about a year since my last post. Well I’m gonna give it a shot again. I have been at home for about 2 weeks now celebrating the birth of my son Conner and while I love every minute of his time I do need to get away a for a bit. So, I thought it may be a good time to start writing except this time make it more frequent. My posts may not always be long, but I just want to take some time to reflect on my thoughts for the day or present my latest development findings. Hope you enjoy.

- Tim O’Hare

New Flash Conference

June 30th, 2006

If you haven’t heard, there is a new Flash Conference in Brighton, UK scheduled for early December. You can find out more information here.

DIY Woodworking Channel

May 14th, 2006

The DIY Woodworking Channel is a vertical application for It is a great example for using Flash and Windows Media together. While I prefer to use Flash Video, it is sometimes necessary to use Windows Media to fulfill the goals of the business. Aside from the extra time to develop workarounds with Windows Media, Flash Video could have provided a better viewing experience for a wider range of users. All technical negatives aside, THE CONTENT IS GREAT! I actually wanted to become a woodworker while developing this application. You can view the Woodworking Channel here.

SEO with Flash Applications

April 28th, 2006

This post is in response to a question from my NAB 2006 Presentation post.

There are many theories on how to do this. The HGTVPro application does not yet use this method, but it should :) The easiest way to achieve Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Flash is to provide a link in the HTML to an index page listing all of the videos/data that are in the Flash application. The index page should have descriptive links such as the actual title of the video. A description under the link would also help. The liks should then point back to the Flash page with query string parameters attached to the end of the url. The link would look something like this ( The HTML page which holds the Flash application should have simple JavaScript that can pull the parameter values from the url and pass them to the Flash Object through FlashVars. A simple way to do this is to use SWFObject (formerly known as FlashObject).

I hope this helps. Let me know if you want to discuss this further.

NAB 2006 Presentation

April 26th, 2006

Thanks to all that attended the sessions. It was great to see so many faces and hear all of the great questions. Please post any additional comments or questions you may have about the presentation. Thanks again.

Flash 8 Cookbook

April 20th, 2006

I just recieved a copy of the Flash 8 Cookbook written by Joey Lott. I’m a little excited about this book because I helped out on it as a technical editor. This is my first experience with the book industry and it’s nice to see your name in print. I know I’m biased to this, but I highly recommend this book. You can get it here. If you find any technical errors in the book, then I probably didn’t work on those chapters. :) I hope you enjoy the book.

Pushin’ 30

April 2nd, 2006

I turned 29 today. I have to say that this was a pretty good birthday. My family came down from Kentucky and we celibrated two birthdays; mine and my little brother’s who turned 17 on March 28th. I got two very nice gifts today; a tool chest and a 6MB digital camera. Now I can keep the garage a little cleaner and I won’t have to take pictures on my cellphone. I should have some nice pics to post when I go to Vegas for NAB the end of April.

Happy Birthday to me! :) Best Practices Video Player

March 26th, 2006

This application was designed to provide multiple video assets to professional contractors covering many aspects of the business and industry. Some of the business goals of the project included:

  • Categorized video library
  • Syncronous banner and video pre-roll ads
  • Syncronous video content and links

The Best Practices video player has seen a great deal of industry succes including but not limited to a Macromedia Site of the Day award.

Click here to view the project.

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