In Build a Website With Flash and MySQL – Lesson 1, we successfully created a MySQL database, filled it with blog entries, and learned how to query it. Now we’re going to move on to the fun stuff:creating a Flash container to display our blog entries as we pull them out of the database. I’m going to help you build something along the lines of what you’ll encounter at my own Flash blog site, Luxagraf.
Fire up Flash and create a new document. The first thing we need is a nice big text field to display our entries. You could create a text field in ActionScript if you like, using the createTextField() method. I don’t know about you, but my stomach for code is still full from yesterday, so I’ve just drawn a text field using the cursor tool and given it an instance name of entries_txt. In the Properties Inspector, set the text to be dynamic, multi-line, and HTML formatted. For safety’s sake, select the character option and click “embed all characters.” Flash has some issues with dynamic textfields that don’t have embedded characters, especially if you put your text under a mask. Continue Reading “Build a Website With Flash and MySQL – Lesson 2″ »
If you hang out with designers and developers at all, then you’ve probably heard the term “Ajax” by now. It’s the official buzzword of Web 2.0. But it’s also an extremely useful web development technique.
Ajax has been used for a lot of things, but it is most impressive when many small updates are needed in a short period. Think streaming stock quotes or draggable maps.
Continue Reading “Build an Ajax Dropdown Menu” »
On the resume that convinced Wired to hire me, I said that I knew enough about Unix that it didn’t scare me anymore. This wasn’t exactly true. Unix was still a chilling concept for me when I arrived at the San Francisco office armed with a copy of Unix for Dummies. The managing editor steered me to my desk and instead of the Macintosh I was hoping for, there sat a purple SGI machine.
I realized then that I needed to learn a lot about Unix fast. Initially I tried using SGI’s graphical user interface, which mimicked the Macintosh desktop fairly well, but soon realized that it was just too damn slow. So I stole some better Unix books from the engineering staff and found a nice Unix expert to help me. Soon I was cp-ing, mv-ing, and chmod-ing like lightning. Unix still gives me the occasional nightmare, but basically I love it. It’s fast, it makes sense (most of the time), and anyone can figure it out with a little work. Plus, it looks great on a résumé. If you can convince a prospective employer that you have a working knowledge of Unix, you’re one step ahead of everyone else who is too scared even to try figuring it out.
I’ve put together a very basic explanation of Unix to get you started. But first, a warning. Unix is very powerful. The wrong collection of keystrokes can blow away files that you’ll probably never be able to recover, so practice on sample files before you move on to anything important.
Continue Reading “Learn Enough Unix for Your Resume” »
You recently decided hosted blogging is for the birds. You want more control over your blog’s setup. In fact, you want total control over every last detail of your layout, functionality and design. So what do you do? Where do you turn?
One popular option is the Movable Type publishing system from Six Apart (other popular options include Drupal, Joomla!, and WordPress). Movable Type contains pretty much everything you need to get your own site up and running, plus the flexibility to get really obsessive over the details. Also, with a little creativity and some community-created plugins, you can power much more than just a reverse-chronological list of blog posts.
This tutorial won’t go into the Movable Type installation process in-depth since there are many resources online already. What we’ll cover is the process of dressing up a vanilla Movable Type installation by customizing the look and feel of your new site. We’ll also get you started with some custom features by installing some plugins.
Continue Reading “Get Started With Movable Type” »