Preview handlers

I’m using Office 2007 for some time now and the ability to preview the content of some files without actually opening them in the dedicated editor is quite nice. It’s a pity that the number of supported file types is so small. A good thing is that they everyone can create such a preview handler, because the API is publicly available and documented on MSDN. So I looked around the net today for some handlers that would allow me to preview zip archives and some other common file types – like .as or .mxml. One of the interesting resources I’ve stumbled onto is a blog post that links to a msdn article and also to download the handlers demoed. Get at it here. Another pack of handlers for some of the programming language files is here.

Oh, and these handlers work for Windows Vista too, so if you have the preview pane opened, it will load a quick preview of the file in there.


Post Flex Camp

Last night was Flex Camp. We had a bunch of people coming, talked about Flex (and a little bit about AIR) and it was great. It really was to see the people that will use the products that you’re working on in person, not only over the forums. It’s great to see the enthusiasm and understand how people think about your work. And it’s great to network and help out.

I don’t know the exact number of people that attended, but I know they had different backgrounds (designers, developers) and they were a fun bunch. And I’m still sleepy.

I had promised to make available the presentation that I gave regarding Flex and SOA and the application built on stage. These will also appear on Adobe Romania‘s blog in a short while, where you can find them with all the others, and a link to watch the recorded event (in case you missed it live, or via the broadcast).

That said, you can grab the presentation here and the zipped project here (this is a zip exported from Flex Builder, so ideally you should grab a copy of the IDE and use the Import > Flex > Import project command to load the zip contents into your workspace).The presentation is the same one I did last night, with only the Amazon developer key zeroed out 🙂 You have to get your own.


Checking code coverage

Well, only writing unit tests is not enough – you still need to know how muchof the code your tests test. This is why a code coverage tool is great.

Clover is one of the tols used to compute code coverage and is now updating to a 2.0. The beta is on the site and it seems to add some interesting features:

  • dril down in the test suite to see what statements each code provides
  • Per-method coverage statistics
  • Complexity statistics
  • Simplified Ant Tasks
  • Integrated historical reporting
  • Aggregate package statistics
  • Configurable report columns, column formats and column thresholds
  • Improved runtime coverage recording performance
  • New runtime configuration options to control coverage recording

Flex Module for Apache and IIS is out the door ..

And into labs. Last night Adobe launched on Labs another tool to help developers create Flex Applications free and easy, an the Operating System of choice. I’ve talked before how you can create Flex Applications using only Vim (or any other text editor for that matter), the free Flex 2 SDK and the command line. Now I can strip the command line off that list. No more write > shell > compile > copy > preview in browser once this baby is installed.

So what does it do?

It installs snugly next to your free copy of the SDK (or brings its own one with it if you need it) and plugs itself into Apache (my choice) or IIS. Then all you have to do is point your browser to a mxml file (like http://localhost/flex_app/index.mxml 🙂 ) and it will do all the heavy lifting. You’ll get a swf wrapped by some basic html.

So, if you think it may be interesting for you, grab your copy here (free as in beer of course).

So if you were wondering why I had to poke around Apache modules, now you know 😉

Giveaway software

Today I stumbled into an applied example of an old marketing principle: give something out for free for a while, hook users onto it and then, if they want it they will pay for it. You would think that applied to software it means demos and trials. So did I until today when I stumbled [via Lifehacker] upon the Giveaway of the day site. On this site you get one free program each day – they get to choose it though. And when I mean free I mean you get a software with a valid license, for which you would otherwise have to pay money. What’s the catch? Here it goes:

  1. You must download and INSTALL the very same day you see the software. Once the day passes the activation doesn’t work and you’re stuck with trial software.
  2. You cannot reinstall the software, even if your PC dies a very horrible (and sad) death. This means that if you get addicted to one of these programs and want to use it after Windows died you will have to buy it.

Until now the site has featured mostly low-cost software and games, but you might find a small app that just does the trick for you. So their RSS feed will get a place in my reader so that I can check for interesting apps to download.