Archive for July, 2010

Handling clipboard events in AIR

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010


If you read that last post, you know about Tyro. Since I designed Tyro to be able to handle clipboard events, I expected it to respond to my cut, copy and paste keystrokes when I put it in an AIR application. It didn’t work. Can you think of why?

If you guessed it had something to do with menus, you’re correct. You seem pretty clever; maybe you want to follow along and try this project at home? Clipboard commands are usually provided through the Edit menu of an application, such as a web browser. Most people have learned through experience to rely upon the common keyboard shortcuts that software developers commonly bind to the clipboard commands, but know this: if your browser’s developer didn’t think to include that overlooked Edit menu, all your absent-minded key tapping would do nothing. (more…)

Overthinking Text

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Remember 2008? What a great year. Especially in November, when we made history. I remember watching the ceremony on video feed with friends. People were cheering and crying.

No, wait. I mean 2007, not 2008. You know, when Adobe showed us a sneak peek of Flash Player 10, and Peter Elst’s posted video coverage gave his blog a bazillion hits as Flashmongers everywhere watched Emmy Huang spin a MovieClip in 3D. “Whoop dee doo”, you might say with hindsight-equipped eyes. It’s 2010 and all those new tricks are now old hat, right?

Not exactly. While the novelty of 2.5D and IK handles may have faded away, one of Flash Player 10’s new features– the advanced text engine– has lagged behind the rest. That’s because the text engine is very low-level, and wasn’t exposed to designers in the Flash Professional authoring environment. Until CS5 was released this past April, only developers had access to the FTE. That’s kind of ridiculous, and Adobe knew that. And so began the efforts (by many different people) to bring TextField-like usability and new text functionality to the Flash platform. (more…)