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More thoughts on caching in Flex

As I discussed previously, caching can have it’s advantages.  It makes referencing objects and binding much more straight forward.  Unfortunately, it comes at a performance cost.  Since I’ve been using caching, there are some important things to keep in mind when you use caching to make sure your data sticks around and your performance doesn’t suffer any more than it has to. Continue reading More thoughts on caching in Flex

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New Year, Improved Site

It’s a new year and that means a great excuse to make some site improvements. I feel like has been a moving target ever since it’s conception. I was originally hosting my site on GoDaddy. I was fairly pleased, although they gave me a dirty feeling (have you seen their commercials?). Here’s some of the changes I made for the new year, and why.
  • Hosting is now with DreamHost – I have some friends who use DreamHost and were very pleased. I must say, after dealing with them for a while now, I am quite pleased too. Their customer service is outstanding, they are generous with hosting and bandwidth and it’s all so very easy to use. If you decide to check them out, you can use this promo code THEFLEXGUY_PROMO to get $30 off a year of hosting and a free domain registration, courtesy of me – you’re welcome.
  • Comment system is easier to use now – I have been struggling with commenting since I use Joomla, and it’s not designed out of the box to have comments. I’m now using JComments to provide a simple interface that doesn’t require any registration.
  • Pretty URLs – this is something I have wanted for a long time but never could get to work right on GoDaddy. I finally have it working on DreamHost. Hopefully, it’ll be a lot easier to link to blog posts since the urls are a little more meaningful.
I’m hoping to continue to improve the site so that users in the blogosphere can use it easier.
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Four Considerations for Custom Components

In this article, I’m going to discuss four considerations for developing high quality custom components:

  1. Portability
  2. Flexibility
  3. Performance
  4. Weight

Using these considerations, you’ll be able to develop more professional, usable components. Even if I don’t think I will use my component in another project, I like to use these principles.

Continue reading Four Considerations for Custom Components

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Removing column header sort lines

I recently ran into a problem that held me up for a little while, although it seemed like it would be a simple problem. After searching around and finding the solution, I found that it is actually pretty simple, just not obvious. Since it took me a while to find the answer, I thought it would be good to share my new found knowledge with the world.

Continue reading Removing column header sort lines

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Skinning with Fireworks

At the last Seattle Flex User Group meeting, I presented a brief demonstration on skinning using Fireworks CS4 and Flex Builder 3.  Because it’s so easy to do, it went by pretty quick so I thought I’d post the steps here to give people a reference if they want to try it themselves.

Before you skin, there’s a couple of things you need to know:

  1. How to use Fireworks.  It’s really not that hard.  Maybe easier than Photoshop if you’re starting out, and because it’s built for web graphics (vs. photo editing) it’s got some features that make styling buttons and stuff a breeze.
  2. How to read.  See, the labels on the buttons are mostly words, not pictures.  The good news is, if you’re reading this, you’ve already got this one covered.

For this tutorial, I’m going to be using a PC, but the Mac steps are the same.  If you want to see screenshots of the process using a Mac, view Nate Becks blog, specifically this blog post.  He’s an amazing developer with a lot of helpful things to say on his blog.

Ok, let’s get started.

Continue reading Skinning with Fireworks