So, can I get your Number? (all about numbers in AS3)

It doesn’t really get more basic than Numbers. Everybody can count. I’m sure your first program probably involved feeding numbers into the computer in some way (after the obligatory “Hello World” experience of course). So why a post about Numbers? Well before I insult your intelligence further, it’s important to know that in the computer’s eyes, not all numbers are equal. Most of the time this makes no difference what so ever, but because numbers are a corner stone of programming you will inevitably encounter that one time when it does. Hopefully I can save you some of the subsequent head bashing with this post, because head bashing is fun like scraping paint with your eyeballs is fun.

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Is it Flash and Papervision? Is it Unity3d? No, its both!

So this blog has been in a near comatose state for most of the year, simply put, I’ve been busy. Like crazy forget-to-put-on-underwear-when-you-leave-the-house busy. On the up side I can say that a year ago I was a junior dev at starting out at Hello Computer, and now I’m the lead developer on a project that not only pushed our own boundaries, but also gave the boundaries between technologies (Flash, Papervision3d and Untiy3d) a damn good run for their money.

Side by side of the flash and unity on www.bpultimateride.co.za

Side by side of the flash and unity on www.bpultimateride.co.za

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Welcome to class! (A guide to writing classes for AS3 – Part I)

In this article we’re going to be taking your first tentative steps into the world of a developer (don’t worry, developing a chronic addiction to caffeine is optional). For the uninitiated it can be a scary place full of classes, objects and lots of other mind melting concepts. You wouldn’t be the first if you baulked at the thought and went back to the relative safety of the timeline. By the end of this series though, not only will you have written your first class, you’ll also have an insight into why developers like to play with them so much, and more importantly how classes allow you to make some kick ass programs! So prepare to get jiggy with terms like Objects, Classes, Inheritance and Object Orientated Programming
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Oh god, it’s still a blog!

It’s a common story on the internet, you know, someone with delusions of grandeur decides to write a blog. A first it starts off great and the creator is full of self-indulgent confidence: “Wow, It’s going to be amazingly awesome! Everyone will love me!” But then after a couple of weeks the author runs out of things to say and no-one is interested anyway. In fact the blog’s only remarkable achievement is being a few bytes of data in Google’s index. Well my dear readers (yes, all three of you) I can assure that is not the case here.
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Simple XML Loader Class

I’d like to present this here blog’s first piece of code: a simple helper class for loading XML into Actionscript 3.0. Its main purpose is to deal with drudgery of importing XML files into your Flash Projects, which happens in even my most basic projects these days. The class handles all the admin of error checking, and adds a cache killing feature while it’s at it. Groovy!

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Oh God! It’s another blog…

“Meet Peter, He’s an internet guru who likes cheese.” What? I’m a guru? Well it’s written there so it must be true! Okay so maybe that’s an exaggeration on my part, I mean I only sometimes like cheese. Nevertheless it’s with great honour that I welcome you to my new blog! (Please wipe your feet before entering).

So what’s this blog all about then? Well, it all started far, far away in a distant land (called South Africa). It was on one particularly dark and stormy night, well perhaps mildly breezy, when a most fortunate event transpired. For you see Peter was at the time in the employ of a post-production studio who decided they really ought to have a grand website. They hunted wide and low to find a master smith to create one for them. The smith toiled away and a site was born, but an ugly duckling it was indeed. Peter took one look and said: “dudes, I could totally do better” to which his masters responded: “well then why don’t you?”

And so it wasn’t long before I discovered that the slices tool I’d once messed around with in Photoshop was not the path to web enlightenment. And thus began my own funtastic web adventure. Since then I’ve come along way and learnt many things from the great university ‘o Google. As anybody who’s tried can relate, cracking the mysteries of code can be a rough ride. I remember being completely baffled as to a why my voodoo ceremony didn’t get a flash mail form to work (I now know I needed to offer the mail server more oil sacrificed from the hearts of young computers).

So I thought I’d share some of the things I learnt along the way. The things no one was around to gently explain, and then beat me with a stick when I got it wrong. Also seeing as the learning experiences are relatively fresh I my mind, I hope they’ll offer a different perspective from when the ‘real’ gurus do it. (Anybody else think jedi would be a way cooler word than guru?). Once you get the hang of it, and your code dances like a monkey it’s kinda pretty awesome… well I mean who doesn’t like dancing monkeys?

Also follow me on twitter, It’ll make me feel special.