development penguins

Pet Penguins

Pet Penguins version 0.1.0 is now available.

This is a very early alpha release so that the community can follow along with the development and provide feedback. In this version there are ten penguins and a small iceberg for them to chill out on. You can toss the penguins fish, pick up the penguins, and move the camera around. There are not yet any customization features. I do anticipate being able to change the number and kinds of penguins. It would also be nice to be able to add more icebergs of different sizes and shapes.

You can find the new Pet Penguins web app at

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development hamster update

Updates and How to Install

Hammy Home is now on version 1.1.0. Over the past month, I’ve fixed minor bugs, improved the user interface, and decreased the load time. In the latest version I added the ability to spin the wheels when in touch mode. If you aren’t able to spin the wheels, you probably need to restart the app so that the update can be applied.

Hammy Home can be installed on desktop computers simply by going to and pressing the install button to the right side of the address bar.

When viewing the app on an Android phone you should get a prompt at the bottom of the screen that asks if you would like to install the app. iPhone users will need to go to Hammy Home using Safari and press the “Add To Home Screen” button in the AirDrop menu.

You can also install Hammy Home by going to the following app stores.

Get it on Google Play

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development hamster

Preview of New Hamster App

development spider turtle

A Couple Bug Fixes

  1. Fixed the size option for the Spider on iGoogle and Google Desktop.
  2. Fixed a problem that caused the Turtle gadget not to render in some browser.

No More “Click to Activate” in IE

I am now using SWFObject to embed flash in my gadgets. This gets rid of the slightly annoying “Click to activate and use this control” prompt that appears when embedding flash in Internet Explorer without using an external javascript file.


Actionscript 2.0 Code Browsing in jEdit

  1. Download the Code Browser plugin and place the jar file in jedit’s jars folder.
  2. Install Exuberant Ctags. On Ubunutu Linux this can be done by typing:sudo apt-get install exuberant-ctags
  3. Place this .ctags file, which describes actionscript 2, in your home directory.
  4. Start Jedit and go to Plugins -> Plugin Options -> Code Browser and enter the path to exuberant ctags. On Ubuntu it is /usr/bin/ctags-exuberant.
  5. Go to Utilities -> Global Options -> Docking and then select where you want to dock the Code Browser from the dropdown.

Open Source Flash Example Project

I’ve prepared a simple project that shows how I use MTASC, Alcon, Ant, Mozilla, on Linux to create flash movies. You could just as well run this on Windows or Mac.

Before you attempt to run the ant build.xml script, take a look at it and modify the variables to match your current setup. Also, move the Alcon.htm I’ve included in the project to your Alcon folder. This should be the same folder that contains the Alcon.swf and Alcon.cfg files.

Run the ant script by typing “ant run”. The project should compile and then load the swf in Mozilla on the Alcon.htm page. The console will be on the main page and the project in a popup window above it. Once it has loaded in Mozilla, you can recompile the project quickly just by typing ant without the run parameter. Then you can refresh the popup or the main page to see the changes you’ve made.

Notice how you can easily call the trace function for debugging without having to import the debug class package on each of the pages. Check out this page to see the directions I followed for setting up Alcon with MTASC.

I also found this page to be a good resource for learning how to use the Object.registerClass function.


Open Source Flash Development

Over the past few months I have been experimenting with creating flash animations using completely free software for Linux and Windows. Here is what I’ve been using:

You’ll need Java installed before you can install Jedit or Ant. I set up Java and jedit according to my last two posts. To install Ant on Ubuntu Linux type this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install ant

or you can download it from their site. If you download it, you should make sure your PATH system variable includes the ant bin directory, you have an ANT_HOME variable set to the folder ant was installed to, and a JAVA_HOME variable set to the folder java was installed to.

There are precompiled binaries of MTASC available for Windows, MAC, and Linux.

Swfmill only has binaries for Windows and Mac, so you’ll have to compile it yourself on Linux. On Ubuntu you’ll first need to install build-essential, libxml2-dev, libxslt1-dev, libfreetype6-dev, libpng12-dev, checkinstall. You can do this by typing:

 sudo apt-get install build-essential libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libfreetype6-dev libpng12-dev checkinstall

Extract the swfmill-0.2.11.tar.gz file with this command:

tar -zxvf swfmill-0.2.11.tar.gz

Then navigate to the src folder and type:

sudo checkinstall -D make install

This will create and install a debian package of swfmill.

To use Alcon you have to import the Debug class into your actionscript project then you’ll be able to send messages to the swf console with the Debug.trace() command. I’ve created a webpage embedded with alcon that loads the swf files I’m debugging in a popup window.

In my next post I will describe how to create a simple test swf using this software.