Tween engine Go

I have been playing a lot with Haxe and Openfl in the past, but never for work. That changed this week!

Fun stuff!

A while back I noticed some new tweening engines for Haxe. That got me curious: can I build my own tweening engine?

Yes I can!

I named it Go, like “lets Go”.

(And like they say in a track from The Prodigy – Everybody In The Place, lets go )

You can check it out on github: https://github.com/MatthijsKamstra/go
There you can find more detailed explanation about how it works, so I only will show some basic code here:

Animate a sprite in 1.5 second to x and y position and call function when animation is done

Go.to(sprite, 1.5).x(100).y(200).onComplete(onCompleteHandler, ['hello']);

It was fun to write it, but I haven’t tested in all situations.
I have tested lets.Go on targets flash/cpp/html5/neko.
But I wouldn’t use it in a production situation. It needs more testing.

Let me know what you think!

Lightweight CMS For simple projects

I use WordPress for this blog, and happy with it. But it’s not for everybody: you need a database, it’s very impressive, plugins, themes, users, comments, regular update, kinda geeky install and the default installment is 7.9 mb.
And I needed a CMS for a small website/portfolio; it needs something small, not impressive (visually), easy to set up, no database, PHP and light!

So I started to look for: light/lightweight/nano/simple CMS (no database/flat file storage)
This is the list I compared it to:
Very important: free (and not a pro-$$-account), no database/flat file storage, lightweight, easy to install, WYSIWYG editors, PHP
Important: easy to use/beautiful , normal data editing, file manager, easy to create templates/CSS for this system
Nice to have: gallery, no need for multiple users (no a must), no need for backup, no need for multiple languages (english is fine), contact form, html-editor (export to files)

I went a little overboard with the search for the ideal CMS for me.
After reviewing them I gave them a grade from 1->10 and to make it even easier: the highest grade is the one I choose for this project.
So here a little overview to make it somewhat easier to read about my findings:

  1. LotusCMS –> 9.5
  2. razorCMS –> 9
  3. gpEasy –> 9-
  4. GetSimple –> 8
  5. CMSimple –> 8-
  6. Pluck –> 7
  7. phpsqlitecms –> 7-
  8. SkyBlueCanvas –> 6.5
  9. NanoCMS –> 6+
  10. Nanomus –> 6
  11. opensolution (Quick.Cms) –> 6-
  12. LightNEasy –> 5
  13. onefilecms –> 4

LotusCMS

It brings to the forefront design and design integration into one of the most neglected CMS niches – Databaseless Web-Design and Development. LotusCMS is free and more than free, it is licensed under the General Public Licence under which you may copy, change and redistribute this software to suit your needs!

Features:

  • A plugin system using the concept of observable classes.
  • A lightweight core, into which everything else is plugged in.
  • Multiple users and user roles.
  • WYSIWYG content editor.
  • A blogging system.
  • Improved general usability and design.
  • An advanced speed caching system for standard pages, with up to a 3 times average speed increase for server-side processing.
  • SEO settings (Search Engine Optimisation), if your installed template supports it.
  • A back-up system.
  • Very beautiful
  • User friendly
  • multiple users but 2 roles
  • Ugly dynamic URLs
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • Install 2.9 mb

I like it a lot and I give it a 9,5


razorCMS

With the further evolution of razorCMS, our goal for the next milestone release is to offer true choice, by offering a more simple intuitive approach, choice of mySQL or flat file storage, and pure razorCMS code putting razorCMS on the map as an original CMS solution with no connection to other CMS solutions.

Features:

  • really small, and works out of the box.
  • You need to install ‘blade’-plugins to add more functionality
  • Flat File design, no database required
  • Simple, fast and security conscious installer
  • Small and fast footprint
  • Modular framework
  • Support for multilingual translations
  • Multiple infobar content displayed on single page
  • External links in link menus
  • Easily modified
  • Easily extendable via blade pack add-on interface
  • Multi level menus
  • Security check for file permissions
  • Full file manager
  • 3 user accounts with varying levels of access (good for handing over to clients)
  • Simple backup manager
  • Automatic invalid login check, blocks invalid logins by IP address after 8 attempts
  • Improved security
  • Multiple theme control
  • Maintenance Mode, keeping your site offline to users but online to you, for changes
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • possible to work on pages but not published yet

Nice set op plugins: possible to use for posting news, gallery, editor of you choise, nice url, etc

A lot of lite CMS use this: the name of the content is called ‘sidebar’ (you can rename it in this cms!), which made me think
why not call it ‘content’?

It’s beautiful and easy to use. I installed some extra’s to make it even better.
Install: 503 KB (default install) >> need for wysiwig editor and theme
Install: 1.9 mb with install (tinymc / gallery / theme)

I like it a lot and I give it a 9.


gpEasy

gpEasy is a lightweight CMS (built without the use of a database) which helps us reach our goal of making it fast and easy to use right down to the installation. Once installed, you’ll find an intuitive interface that let’s you edit your entire site in WYSIWYG fashion.

Features:

  • WYSIWYG Editor (CKEditor)
  • Galleries (ColorBox with some modifications)
  • SEO Friendly Links
  • Free and Open Source (GPL)
  • Runs on PHP
  • File Upload Manager
  • Editable Theme Content
  • Deleted File Trash Can
  • Multiple User Administration
  • Works in Safe Mode with FTP Functions
  • Flat File Storage
  • Fast Page Loading
  • Fast and Easy Installation
  • reCaptcha for Contact Form
  • HTML Tidy (when available)
  • themes
  • gallery
  • plugins
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config)
  • Install: 4.2mb

I like it and I give it a 9-


GetSimple

GetSimple is an XML based lite Content Management System. To go along with its best-in-class user interface, we have loaded it with features that every website needs, but with nothing it doesn’t. GetSimple is truly the simplest way to manage a small-business website.

Features:

  • No database
  • XML Based
  • You can “Undo” Almost Everything
  • Easy to Learn UI
  • Simple Installation
  • Simple Theme Customization
  • Designed For the Small-Site Market
  • plugin
  • templates
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • Install: 2.6mb

strange the need to set a ‘Website Base URL’

I like it: 8


CMSimple


it is small – simple – smart!
Features:

  • Easy installation
  • The CMS script is less than 100 KB
  • Template driven layout using a css script
  • The contents of the site is stored in a single HTML-file
  • Many languages available (both for the user and for site maintenance)
  • Written in PHP – it runs on Linux/Apache servers, or on Win32 with Apache or IIS
  • Inbuilt WYSIWYG editor (both on IE and Mozilla) – or other alternative editors
  • Uploading of images and files
  • Link validation
  • Search function
  • Print version option
  • User downloads from their HTML content file
  • Simple mailform included
  • Easy setup of multi language sites
  • PHP-scripting may be included within the content (named CMSimple Scripting)
  • Integration with 3rd party scripts possible (using CMSimple scripting
  • Online editing of system configuration
  • wwwaut login available
  • Automatic backup on logout
  • Documentation
  • Special download folder
  • Easy install (but it uses the default settings)
  • Install: 117kb

it took me a while to find the login: add &login (index.php?welcom&login) or ?login (index.php?login)
It’s not the most beautiful cms out there, but it’s very complete
don’t know how useful the split on H-tags is in submenu’s
It’s quite intuitive which is unexpected!

I like it and I give it a 8-


Pluck


Pluck is packed with some nice features, from which we’ve listed the most important ones on this page. To try everything live, take a look at our demo.
Features:

  • create an unlimited amount of pages
  • create your own blog
  • create an album to show images or photos to your visitors
  • include a contact form in your page(s)
  • easy-to-use theming system
  • single user
  • Install 3mb

I like it: 7


phpsqlitecms

phpSQLiteCMS is good if you want to quickly set up a small website without needing to spend a lot of time studying, installing and configuring (as SQLite is file-based, it just runs “out of the box”). But note that it is no large-scale content management system – it’s a tiny and simple one!

Features:

  • Simple and lightweight
  • Runs out of the box (no database setup required)
  • Optional caching to save server performance
  • Supports news
  • overview and
  • commentable pages
  • photo galleries
  • search function
  • RSS feeds and
  • XML sitemaps
  • need some explaining, very complete, quite technical
  • Install 1.2 mb

It’s an easy instal but you need to use the default inlog data–>user: admin // pass: admin

The default install is also the documentation.
Which means that you need to remove a lot of pages before you can start clean

Good but not for this project: 7-


SkyBlueCanvas

SkyBlueCanvas is an easy-to-use Web Content Management System, that makes it simple to keep the content of your site fresh. You simply upload the software to your web server, and you are ready to start adding text and pictures to your website.

Features:

  • Easy-to-use
  • Easy-to-install
  • XML Data Storage (no database required)
  • Extensible
  • Flexible & Powerful Plugin API
  • Skinnable
  • Small in size (3.5MB) <-- hmmmm I got 5MB
  • Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict output
  • Search Engine Friendly URLs (requires mod_rewrite)
  • Customizable Meta Tags (globally or by page)
  • Built-in RSS feed creation of pages, articles and news items
  • easy install (check if server is ready, self config with deletion from install file!)
  • 1 user
  • template editor
  • Install: 5mb

some advertisement in install
strange question about location of website ?? (yes, I want to install it here)
user interface could be better, but that probably because the developer wants to make some money out of it (can’t blame em)

Not my choise: I give it a 6.5


nanoCMS

nanoCMS created by Kalyan Chakravarthy in 2007 is a php open source, gpl licensed flat file content management system (CMS). It does not use a MySQL database and is ideal for small websites. It is a very small CMS package (hence the nano part). Doesn’t take long to setup and is very simple to create pages and edit content. As it is small and doesn’t use a mysql database….. it’s fast, very fast.

Features:

  • one user
  • one template
  • WYSIWYG editor
  • Install: 2,2 mb

Easy install but not configurable at first // username: admin // password: ch4ng3th1s

very nice simple, but kinda heavy for something that’s called nano…
Categories are places on the page: sidebar == content // top-navigation == navigation

It would take me some modification to get it to work how I want it: so not for me but certainly not bad: 6+ (a little more then Nanomus)


Nanomus

Nanomus is one of the smallest, fastest and more simple free Content management Systems under GPL GNU.

Features:

  • Very small : the complete content management system is less than 100kb, PHP core is less 23 kb
  • Very simple : really simple to install and really easy to manage it.
  • Nanomus store all datas in secure PHP files, no database is required.
  • With Nanomus you can get a real small dynamic website
  • Really fast: with nanomus your website is really light and fast !
  • an unlimited number of pages
  • backup file system
  • deactive page system
  • dynamic menu
  • css template
  • include a filemanager
  • Nanomus is a free content management system, open source, really light, fast and secure.
  • No database required.
  • Nanomus isn’t multi users, only one account is possible.
  • Nanomus backup, if you want, all the olders page version.
  • Install: 153kb

It’s an easy instal but you need to use the default inlog data–>user: admin // pass: admin
Meta is perhaps not so obvious for a unexperienced user
Admin is not ugly, but to call it beautiful is taking it to far.

Nice but to ‘unpleasant’ design: 6


opensolution (Quick.Cms)


Features:

  • Pages and subpages management
  • Images and files management
  • Languages management
  • Configuration
  • Pages and subpages view
  • Pages print option
  • Images view by Lightbox
  • Change language option

Nice cms, but there is a paid model… And I feel that they are holding out on me
If you would need a gallery/contact form, you need the paid-version-extra
Install: 844kb
not for me: 6-


LightNEasy

LightNEasy generates a complete set of HTML/PHP webpages and recreates them whenever you make any changes. Your website will always be updated and easy to edit. No broken links to worry about.

Features:

  • not really nicely designed
  • kinda heavy
  • lots of templates pre-installed
  • admin is too much for my taste
  • template driven
  • website builder
  • and cms
  • language
  • gallery
  • Install: 4,7 mb

not for me: 5


onefilecms


Features:

  • Validating, semantic, and commented markup. Tested in FF, Safari, and IE7/IE8.
  • Small footprint (24 kb)
  • Possibly the easiest installation process ever
  • All the basic features of an FTP application like renaming, deleting, copying, and uploading
  • (Of course, for more complex processes like batch renaming or mass uploads/deletions, you’re going to want to break out an actual FTP program.)
  • Gracefully degrading CSS and Javascript
  • 100% re-brandable with title/footer text stored in variables and a modifiable filename
  • Externally hosted CSS and images for smaller file size
  • (But you can switch it out to your own stylesheet if you need to!)
  • Smart alert if you try to leave without saving your edits
  • very small but extremely technical (you need to know about programming)
  • Install 78 kb (with example site)

It’s not for this project, I think it’s a great starting point for creating your own CMS, but in this case I’ll give it a 4.


Note

Lite CMS I also tested, but didn’t fit one (but probably more) feature that I described above:
autocms(can’t get it to work), editeasy (can’t get it to work), whitecrane (difficult to use, BBCode), le.cms (couldn’t get it to work)
This doesn’t mean they are bad; they just don’t fit my needs.

My advice to all cms builders: create a minimal template series so designers have a starting point for their designs
simple stuff: header, horizontal navigation, vertical navigation, content, sidebar

FlashDevelop 3.0.0 released

My favorite open source project ever, FlashDevelop has released: FlashDevelop 3.0.0 RTM (English, 4MB) .

I started with coding in the Flash IDE, when I realized that there are better programs to code in I started working with SE|PY (ActionScript 2 only). I really loved that program, but it never made it to ActionScript 3 and so I tried FlashDevelop. I have never regretted it, it a beautiful piece of work and I can’t work without it.
So if your pockets aren’t deep, and want to become a better AS2/AS3 programmer. you should try this program.

The only sad thing is that it’s Windows only.

Loop mp3 in Flash

Oke, here come my problem. I’m trying to create a sound looping engine in Flash, and because I don’t want files to be embedded in the FLA (in the library) I only can use MP3 as a sound file which I can load dynamically.

I didn’t know this, but mp3 has a silence at the end of the song, and sometimes also at the beginning of the song (and sometimes both).
Other file, files without compression like WAV, don’t have this problem.

I don’t want to get to deep into this problem, but if you’re interested in the problem and you need to read more about it: about gapless playback: Gapless playback and LAME tech FAQ.

I remember from AS2 the looping problem, but I hoped it was fixed in AS3.
So this is what I tried to do:

A colleague of mine (Boy Wonder) gave me a beat so I could go to work.

#1 – First try

First convert the beat from WAV to MP3: I used Audacity, an open source software for recording and editing sound.

Oke, the only thing I needed is to load the file (because it’s a local test, there is no loading) and hear if it worked:

// AS3
private var url:String = "MySound.mp3";
private var song:SoundChannel;
var request:URLRequest = new URLRequest(url);
var soundFactory:Sound = new Sound();
soundFactory.load(request);
song = soundFactory.play(0, int.MAX_VALUE); 

No, it didn’t loop correctly

#2 – Second try

Open the newly generated MP3, and there they are: the silence at the beginning and at the end of the song. I could use Audacity to remove it, but I use another program for that: mptrim.

mpTrim is a simple and easy to use MP3 editor.

  • mpTrim can trim MP3s – removing silent or unwanted parts.
  • mpTrim can adjust the volume of MP3s. Volume change can be manual or automatic (volume normalization).
  • mpTrim can fade-in/out MP3s (to fix abrupt beginning/ending).
  • mpTrim can clean-up MP3s and recover wasted disk space.
  • mpTrim keeps the music quality intact, no matter how many times you process an MP3, because it works directly in the MP3 format without having to decode/re-encode. That also makes it very fast.

mpTrim has an auto function for removing silent, so that’s very easy.

But after loading the new mp3 without silence, the hiccup was much smaller, but still there.

#3 – Third try (neeeh forget it)

The last try would be to fix it in code: I was thinking about a earlier starting a loop (0.02 second) but with a lot of tracks this would probably be very cpu intensive.
A quick search on the Internet, I couldn’t find a solution in code. It’s a bug in Flash and people that are more into sound then I am, are working hard to move Adobe to change some of the sound features in Flash: http://www.make-some-noise.info/

Conclusion

Because I have a hard head, and I need to make the same mistakes everyone makes….
But after all I have to conclude: It can’t be done, you will eventually get a hiccup in the loop.
It’s impossible to fix this problem.

So a dynamically loaded MP3 loops in flash will never work. The only way to get good loops is with WAV imported in the FLA (library) and use linkage

🙁

AS3 Flash Physics Engine Box2D

I was looking for a physics engine for Flash so I started looking for one… there are a lot of engines…
I won’t mention them all, there are enough people who did that already (here, here, here and here)

If the list is that big, how to choose?
Well I also want to use it with papervision3d so I googled on that and if someone checked out a couple of engines (this guy checked out 3).
And in one of my rss feeds there is a guy who builds games, and now it writing tutorials for box2d 😉

So I decided on box2d.

Box2D is an open source physics engine written primarily for games. As the name suggests, Box2D is a purely 2D engine. However, Box2D has grown beyond it’s humble box simulating roots, and can now handle convex polygons and other shapes coming soon.

Box2D is written in C++, but there is a port to as3: AS3 Flash Physics Engine Box2DFlashAS3 2.0.1.

You need to upgrade your Flash Player

You do not have the (correct) Flash plugin installed, or your browser does not support Javascript (you should enable it, perhaps?)

You need to download the Adobe Flash Player.

If you're sure you have the Flash plugin just ad
?detectflash=false
to the current url, to bypass the Flash-plugin detection.

Box2DFlashAS3 is an open source port of Erin Catto‘s powerful c++ physics library Box2D.

There is not a lot of information about Box2DFlashAS3 and tutorials are even harder to find.
So here some useful links:

Emanuele Feronato (an Italian PROgrammer) has written an extremely useful tutorial: box2d tutorial for the absolute beginners/. This one is a very good starting point!

I will write about the problems that I encounter with Box2D, I hope that will help you in your quest to understand box3DFlash.


Because I’m quite lazy, I didn’t mention all the as3 physics engines but you can: just make a comment about any engine and perhaps why you are working with that engine…

Firefox and sIFR don’t play nice

A few days back I noticed that my sIFR (wikipedia about sIFR) headers that are links didn’t work anymore. I really couldn’t remember doing that before, sIFR links always worked and now they only worked in IE7 but not in Firefox.

Today I decided to fix the problem (or remove it 🙁 ) and it was not very difficult.
One visit to sIFR website and my answer was there:

sIFR 2’s links do not work with the new Flash Player 9,0,115,0 if a hover color is specified.

I just had to replace my old sIFR and generate new .SWF font files.

For the people that don’t know sIFR:

sIFR is meant to replace short passages of plain browser text with text rendered in your typeface of choice, regardless of whether or not your users have that font installed on their systems. It accomplishes this by using a combination of JavaScript, CSS, and Flash, which renders the font. It degrades gracefully if Flash is not present. sIFR 3 is open source and licensed under the CC-GNU LGPL.

WordPress Sociable plugin

A while back I started writing this article but never finished it.
So today I did…

I like using opensource, and try to give something back to the people who make them.
So if I see bugs I report them, and if I see improvements I’ll send a massage or a sketch of the improvement.

And so I did with Sociable by Peter Harkins.

Update: Peter started working on Sociable 2.0 (at the time of writing: beta 4) and a lot of improvements are made.

What is Sociable? The best description is from Peter himself:

Social bookmarking sites allow websurfers to save, catalog, and share interesting pages they find online. The Sociable plugin appends links for your readers to use those sites to the end of each of your blog’s posts, increasing your potential audience.

This is the email I send to Peter with improvements and some sketches I made.


Hi Peter,

First I wanted to thank you for creating the “Sociable” wp plug in.
It is exactly what I was looking for.

But this is not the reason I am sending this email
First the facts:
I downloaded “Download Sociable 1.2 (released 2006-03-26)”

and in this version you say that technorati is included
I couldn’t find it so I added it:

    'StumbleUpon' => Array(
        'favicon' => 'stumbleupon.png',
        'url' => 'http://www.stumbleupon.com/submit?url=PERMALINK&title=TITLE',
    ),
    'Technorati' => Array(
        'favicon' => 'technorati.png',
        'url' => 'http://www.technorati.com/cosmos/search.html?url=PERMALINK&title=TITLE',
    ),

and my favorite StumbleUpon wasn’t included, so I added it to (StumbleUpon is one of the recommended addons from Firefox)

and I added the images….

no problem there.. probably something that was forgotten.

But because of this I found a bug:
I’ll just walk you through the steps:

  1. uploaded and installed the wp plug in
  2. selected some social bookmarking sites
  3. couldn’t find technorati
  4. so I wanted to edit the sociable.php from within wp and couldn’t (this is not a bug)
  5. so I edit the sociable.php and uploaded it again (see above for the additions to the file)
  6. checked if the sociable.php was changed (plug in >> plug in editor) and it was
  7. options >> sociable and no Technorati or StumbleUpon
  8. the only thing that seem to work was the button “Restore Built-in Defaults”

Extra / new features:

  1. Add and edit sites via admin page (but it is already on potential future additions)
  2. alert on “Restore Built-in Defaults” [view image]
  3. position of the “Restore Built-in Defaults” not directly under the “Save Changes” button especially without an alert on it >> perhaps move it to the left side. [view image]
  4. “Change the text displayed in front of the icons below” is a nice feature, but I can’t use it because I don’t like the hover on it (“these icon link….”). So for now I don’t put anything in there, but perhaps you can control this feature better [view image]:
    1. keep it as it is
    2. add a check box for the hover
    3. add a text field for the text in the hover box
  5. default is everything selected.. perhaps it would be nicer to start of with:
    1. default set of popular social bookmark (my list would be: Digg, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Furl, Newsvine ) source “Social Bookmarking (aka Going Viral)”
    2. one (digg) and let the user make a conscious decision
    3. none, and let the user make a conscious decision

so thx for your attentions, good luck with the further development of this plug in

How can I make FLV with freeware / opensource software

I have written about the creation of FLV (Flash Video) with freeware/open-source software before. But I’ve made the mistake to talk about to many different aspects of the FLV: the encoder, the offline flv-player and the web flv-player.

This will be corrected in this post, so after reading this you will know:

  1. Which programs you can use to encode FLV but don’t have to pay for.
  2. Which program I would use.
  3. And why I would use this program

I know of these freeware/open-source projects you can use to encode FLV:

  1. Riva FLV Encoder
  2. Digitalgroover FLV Encoder
  3. Super
  4. Mediacoder

I’ve been testing them on a couple points.

And the winner is: Riva FLV Encoder!
But it was a close race with number 2: Digitalgroover FLV Encoder
Both of these programs are very easy to use: they can do only one thing: create FLV, which makes them very powerful and useful.
Riva FLV Encoder wins because it can save presets (settings), has some documentation and runs immediately on my home computer. Digitalgroover FLV Encoder could win with the next round (version) if: it runs on my home computer (it works fine on my computer at work…) and save/load presets (settings) in XML.

The other programs can be used to encode more than one at a time (batch) but both don’t write FLV1.1 (no MetaData) so you will need to update this with Buraks FLVMDI (FLV MetaData Injector) which also has the capability to batch.
The combination of complex interface, possibility to encode more than only FLV and no MetaData, makes Super and Mediacoder more programs for professionals.

Flash Video (FLV) Player 1.3 released

About the project

Read more about it here

flvPlayer mck v1.3

Download

Because y’all not knocking down the door for this player, I’ve given myself some time to clean up the source code. So just as in version 1.1 and version 1.2 no class files available but you can download the SWF, the readme.txt and some html files in a ZIP

Get your stuff here: flvPlayer_mck_v1_3.zip

Licensing

Continue reading

Dir2xml

This is a little tool I build with the help of Screenweaver.
A dir(ectory) 2 XML tool.

I was looking for a program that could create an XML file from a directory. I found some programs that could help me with this (commandline, Printfolder, Dirhtml) but none of them creates an XML at once. So one evening I sat down, and made this in a couple of hours.

Because this is a custom solution to a specific problem, not everybody will be able to use this. I'm open to suggestions though, so drop me a line.

Dir2xml v1.0

dir2xml

PC and Apple

Sadly enough Screenweaver can't export to Apple (yet).
So Dir2xml will (for now) only work on a pc.

Download

You can download the EXE, SWF and FLA in a ZIP

Get your stuff here: dir2xml_060520.zip

update: new version

Licensing

Continue reading