CMXtraneous: Macromedia News

Right on the edge of useful

AJAX and the Sexy New MXNA 2.0 Reports

Posted Tuesday, May 10, 2005 7:18:28 AM by Stephanie


I have to say that I'm impressed. Last night when I got home from Volleyball (yes, we won both matches, thank you ;)), a friend pinged me to talk about AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). As I always tell people when I talk about sIFR, "I am not the JavaScript guru," but man, maybe I should be. The recent methods being used open up a whole new world of possibilities for web page interactivity. (No, I won't get into the criticism here.)

Take the new MXNA 2.0 as an example. Though they had done some cool AJAX stuff with the reports already, Christian and Mike have really outdone themselves with their proof of concept using the MXNA 2.0 Category Feed Reports. Click on a category on the right -- like Dreamweaver -- watch as the feeds below load without your page reloading. Now click on a feed, like CMXtraneous, and watch how the chart simply morphs into the new feed. See how the posts below it change? Did you notice that you never once reloaded the page? How sexy is that?

Christian explains better than I, "...notice how both the Flash chart and the posts below the chart update without the page refreshing. When you click on a feed name, we're using JavaScript to pass data into the Flash movie which then updates itself using the MXNA web services. When you click on a bar in the chart, we pass data from the Flash chart into JavaScript to load the selected post at the top of the list." Wow.

It's a new sphere of Flash/AJAX interaction and it can lead to some exciting possibilities. As Flash and JavaScript uses continue to evolve, it makes me wonder what I'm missing. Looks like it might be time to expand my skills yet again. (Do we ever know enough?)

Category tags: Blogs and Blogging, ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Flash, JavaScript, Macromedia News

Macromedia Releases Breeze 5.0

Posted Monday, May 02, 2005 8:07:43 AM by Kim


Macromedia released version 5.0 of Breeze and Breeze Live today, with some nifty new features being announced. The only problem? Actually finding a complete list of everything new. (Look for a full review of the new version later this week at Community MX.)

After a bit of digging I was finally able to come up with a Flash Paper document that details all the new features, of which there are many. It appears that much of what has been done is targeted at the corporate world, including better participant tracking, integration with LDAP to make the creation of accounts much easier, and some new pricing options to allow for larger meetings with more participants. I'm not surprized at these changes based on how Breeze is currently being used and who is using it.

You can see a full recap of all the new features at the Breeze 5 Product Overview. (Flash Paper format.)

Category tags: Macromedia News

The Merger and the Macromedia Community

Posted Tuesday, April 19, 2005 5:26:51 AM by Kim

Well. We certainly expended an awful lot of energy yesterday around the news that Adobe and Macromedia will merge into a single digi-opoly in the coming months didn't we? As the dust begins to settle on this development we who are fans of Macromedia have much to ponder yet.

In my initial reaction to the news (well, I'd rather not print my initial reaction) I talked a bit about how losing the Macromedia identity was going to be the hardest thing to swallow. It still feels that way now.

Like most of the partners here at Community MX I've devoted a lot of energy as a fan of Macromedia. Even though I had to back off my Team Macromedia commitment to do more volunteer work with the education side of Macromedia (and see my family from time to time), the time I spent in the incredible Dreamweaver and Fireworks newsgroups--with all of the smart, funny, creative people who hang out there was really valuable to me. Not just from a technical sense, but also because of the friendships I developed there over time. Thankfully many of those friends work with me here at Community MX, so giving up my newsgroup habit didn't completely cut me off.

So I know that those groups are burning up with speculation, anger, fear, and many other emotions even as I type this. (I'm purposely staying away from those groups lest I get swallowed into that morass.) And I wonder how those communities will weather the coming change. Specifically, will Adobe Dreamweaver still engender the same loyalty and incredible fan support that Macromedia Dreamweaver does? Will the culture of helpful enthusiasts, and the open door policy that Macromedia has had with its fans, continue in the future? Will the loss of a brand name make a difference in how the community views itself? What will the employees of the newly organized Adobe do to engender open communication and community building? I hope they learn from Macromedia and embrace the culture that allows newsgroups and blogs and UGs and conferences like TODcon to survive. Then again, maybe Adobe already does that. But the tough sell will be keeping fans together after their favorite team has changed names, locations, and direction.

My partners and I here at Community MX are feeling the same things that everyone else is feeling, and while I don't have time to check I'm sure they've been vocal in the Macromedia groups that they frequent. In our private group the talk has been positive and while sad, as upbeat as we can be. Of course, we look at things from a business as well as a personal viewpoint, but I think I'm safe in saying that as this unfolds there will be new opportunites for Community MX as a business enterprise. Luckily our services can turn on a dime, and our partners have lots of experience in a business where people routinely use both Adobe and Macromedia products. That puts us in the unique position of being able to help our subscribers see how the coming integration will affect them, examine new tools as they are launched, and be here when our subscribers have questions. It will be an exciting time and I believe we're ready for the challenge. And while we move forward we'll continue to write and teach about all things web and Macromedia related.

Here's hoping that all of the other Macromedia communities and groups maintain their identities as well.

Category tags: Macromedia News

ANN 4-18-2005 : Adobe seeks to purchase Macromedia in an all stock deal

Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 9:15:11 AM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

Big news in the web development world, I'll let the announcements speak their own volumes, and I'm sure you'll hear plenty of others on the topic. I'm going to wait an see what further info comes out before I decide what I'm going to think about the whole deal.

Macromedia's side
Adobe's side
Mike Chamber's

I guess we'll become quite tired of the "forward looking statements" statements in the near future.

Category tags: Captivate, ColdFusion, Community MX, Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Fireworks, Flash, Macromedia News, Web Business

<label> tag without a for attribute can crash Dreamweaver MX 2004 when used within an extension

Posted Thursday, April 14, 2005 11:18:10 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

Note: Reported to Macromedia already.

I was trying to help a budding extension developer that was experiencing crashes of Dreamweaver when they added a <label> tag to their file. The basic code boils down to this within an extension:

<label>Name:</label><input style="width:135px" type="text" name="name" id="name">

Turns out that there are two potential breaking points (only played with the code in a Command and only with the text box, for other extension, YMMV):

  • Adding the for attribute to the label tag, would cause the issue to go away. In my brief testing, it didn't seem to matter what the for attribute value was, as long as it was there.
  • If you removed the id attribute for the text field, the crashing would stop.

One thing that is weird about it all is that if you keep the id and add the for, and you set the for to have the same value as the id, and you have no value attribute, or the value is set to an empty string ( value="" ), that is, when you do not specify a value for the value attribute, then when your dialog appears some square symbol characters will be within the text field instead of the field being empty.

Quite strange indeed.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Undocumented Dreamweaver: Hiding menu items (or showing menu items when a modifier key is pressed).

Posted Wednesday, March 23, 2005 10:40:47 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

If you want to show a button on a toolbar, the Dreamweaver docs tell you that you can use the showif attribute to determine when to show a particular icon. For example, the Live Preview button on the Document toolbar is only shown when you are working with a document type that is one of the dynamic pages, such as ASP or ColdFusion. If you wanted something similar for a menu item, then just reading the docs, you'd think that wasn't possible.

Fortunately, you can show a menu item if the condition in the showif attribute of that menu item returns true. Take the following example that shows the File > New menu item only when the Shift key is held down (added code highlighted):

<menuitem id="DWMenu_File_New" showif="dreamweaver.getKeyState('Shift')" name="_New..." key="Cmd+N" enabled="true" command="dw.newDocument()" domRequired="false" />

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Dreamweaver JSExtension SWFFile.getNaturalSize() returns null in some cases

Posted Saturday, February 19, 2005 4:24:04 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

If you work with SWFs in your extensions, you may want to be able to determine the dimensions of the SWF so you can generate the proper HTML code. Dreamweaver has a built in object called SWFFile that has a method getNaturalSize() that is supposed to return an array that contains the width and height of the SWF. However, if there are times when you won't get an array back. It seems that if the SWF was published as a compressed movie, then you get a null returned rather than the dimensions array. So if you depend on user supplied SWFs, you won't be able to rely on SWFFile.getNaturalSize() to allow you to generate the proper dimensions for use in your code.

I had seen a question in the Dreamweaver Extension forums a while ago and found out that compressed SWFs and SWFs created by Dreamweaver's Flash Elements seemed to cause the null return rather than the SWF dimension array. Thanks to Drew McLellan who ran into this issue on a new extension he's working on for bringing up this issue again, and inspiring me to find a way around the issue so that you don't need to find out the dimensions, you let Dreamweaver do it for you automatically.

So, what can you do to get around it? Well, you may think that looking in the Flash object on the Insert bar may give you some guidance, as when you use it, you end up with code on your page that has the proper dimensions for the SWF file in it. However, you'd be a little miffed checking the code in that the object itself doesn't do that, Dreamweaver seemingly performs some magic in the background after the Flash SWF code is added to the page. The code the Flash object generates sets the dimensions to 32x32, and immediately after the insertion, Dreamweaver somehow makes the changes to the code reading in the proper dimensions and setting them in the code.

So with this in mind you might follow along with the logic of an object that inserts code into a page and attempt to use dom.insertHTML() to place the code into your page. Again, you'd be stymied, as that doesn't seem to trigger the resetting of the SWF's code by Dreamweaver. Ok, if you're like me, you carry on with thinking through the problem, so if an object can do this, can I call an Object file to do the code insert for me? The answer to that would be: "yes...but". You can invoke an Object from your extension using dom.insertObject() passing in the name of the object file to run (minus the file extension). The "but" part of the answer is that you need to use the objectTag() type of Object to insert code into your page, as the insertObject() type of Object forces you to use dom.insertHTML() or some other method of code insertion. Doing with insertObject() causes Dreamweaver to do the replacement for you immediately after the code is inserted into the page.

So you have a workable solution, but you may need to be able to pass along the path to the SWF file to your Object that inserts your SWF code for you. Unfortunately dom.insertObject() doesn't allow for passing of parameters as dw.runCommand() and dwscripts.callCommand() do. So one way around this would be to attach a new property to the MM global object, say MM.my_flash_path, and then in the object take that value, and use it in the creation of the code to insert into the page.

Create an extension, and use whatever code you need to to get the path to a SWF file, then call dom.insertObject() and pass in the name of your Object. The following code just uses a default document relative path to the SWF, and calls an Object whose file name is blankFlash.htm. It doesn't matter which folder within the Object folder your Object resides, as long as it is named uniquely.

MM.my_flash_path = 'batang.swf';
var dom = dw.getDocumentDOM();

Within your Object file, in this case blankFlash.htm, create an objectTag() function and pull the value out of MM.my_flash_path and create the code to insert your Object. See the following code as an example (:

function objectTag(){
  var flashFilePath = MM.my_flash_path;
  rtnStr = '<OBJECT CLASSID="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"' +
' CODEBASE=",0,29,0" WIDTH="32" HEIGHT="32">\n' +
'<PARAM NAME="movie" VALUE="' + flashFilePath + '"> <PARAM NAME="quality" VALUE="high">\n' +
'<EMBED SRC="' + flashFilePath +
'" quality="high" PLUGINSPAGE="" ' +
'TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" WIDTH="32" HEIGHT="32">'+

  MM.my_flash_path = ';
  return rtnStr;

As you can see, the height and width are each set to 32, but when the Object is run, it will insert the code and Dreamweaver will automatically change those values to the proper ones. Plus, Dreamweaver will insert the code using your code tag and attribute case settings, so you'll get lower case tags and attributes if that's what you have set in your preferences.

Interestingly, if you try to just insert the <object> code and leave off the <embed> Dreamweaver will not perform the conversion. If you just insert the <embed> tag and no <object> wrapping tag, Dreamweaver will do the proper modifications.

Note: Your Object will be displayed in the Insert bar and be clickable, so you'll need to find some way around this if you only want to only be able to use your SWF code object through your extensions, such as checking for the MM.my_flash_path value in canInsertObject() prior to allowing the Object to run. Generally, you can include <!-- MENU-LOCATION=NONE --> at the top of your extension file to prevent it from being listed in the menus, and it does stop an object from being listed in the Objects panel, however, if you attempt to invoke an object with dom.insertObject() and it has the menu hiding code in it, you'l get an error popped up by Dreamweaver.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, JavaScript, Macromedia News

ColdFusion 7 extensions for Dreamweaver MX 2004

Posted Monday, February 07, 2005 10:02:14 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

ColdFusion 7 was released today, as you've probably heard if you've been reading the Macromedia related blogs today. With the new version comes new tags and attributes, and if you want to use them in Dreamweaver MX 2004, you'll need to get the CF7 extensions for Dreamweaver MX 2004. Also part of the suite of extensions for CF7 are several other enhancements:

  • A datasource editor that allows you to edit and create new datasources directly within Dreamweaver
  • CFC filtering for the Components panel to show cfcs only for the current site
  • CFC recordsets which allow you the same point and click creation through the recordset dialog, and drag and drop functionality from the Bindings panel but the extensions allow you to abstract things a bit by placing your code into a CFC rather than inlining the code in the page as with the "normal" recordsets.
  • Login wizard which brings point and click protection to a web site using the cfloginuser tag new to CF7.

To find out more about the ColdFusion 7 Extensions for Dreamweaver.

Category tags: ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Dreamweaver extensibility documentation error: Variable grid control columnWidths attribute

Posted Friday, January 14, 2005 12:18:05 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

The Dreameaver extensibility documentation contains an error that could cause your variable grid to not display the column widths correctly. The documentation, found at Help > Extensions > Extending Dreamweaver > Contents tab > Overview > User Interfaces for Extensions > Using custom UI controls in extension > Adding a variable grid control , has this code sample:

<select name="ParamList" style="width:500px;" type=mmparameterlist columns="Name,SQL Data Type,Direction, Default Value,Run-time Value" columnWidth="100,25,11," size=6> </select>

The widths of the columns are specified in the columnWidth attribute in the code above, however, this attribute is actually called columWidths. Note the pluralization of the attribute name.

This error was encounterd by yeudoi in a thread at the Macromedia DW Extensions web forum.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Undocumented Dreamweaver: Using Includes for code reuse within a Dreamweaver extension

Posted Tuesday, January 04, 2005 9:53:26 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

If you've been working long in the web world you've probably become accustomed to useing some type of include, be it #include with ASP, cfinclude in ColdFusion, include() in PHP, or other type of server side include. Well, Dreamweaver also offers this to you for use within its extensibility layer.

To include a file into your Dreamweaver extension, use code similar to the following:

<!-- #include virtual="demoInclude.htm" -->

The included file, in this case demoInclude.htm, will be pulled into your extension when it is run by Dreamweaver. The file being included can be referenced using a document relative path, or a root relative path. Root relative paths take as their root the Dreamweaver configuration folder.

Because of using the virtual method of including, Dreamweaver will automatically compensate for files located in the user's folder including files in the configuration folder for the application.

You may recognize this type of include as being quite similar to regular SSI type of includes, and you'd be correct. However, one difference is that the Dreamweaver includes only use virtual and not file references.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Breeze as a Virtual Help Desk

Posted Friday, December 10, 2004 5:09:28 AM by Kim


I've been using Breeze Live the last week or so in some further experiments in my day job. It's been interesting to see some of the things that can be done in Breeze, especially in terms of screen sharing.

I have a free Breeze account through my work with the Macromedia Education Leaders program, one of the nice bennies that we get in exchange for pestering the people at Macromedia to do a better job in the K-12 education field and for helping them define what works for us. (I even get a spiffy bio page, not that I'm vain or anything). Sort of a Team Macromedia for educators.

Back on topic, one of the interesting things I've done is set up a virtual Help Desk as a separate meeting room in Breeze Live. The room is always there when I need it, and I keep the URL stashed in my Tasks section of Entourage. When I need to see what's going on at someone's desktop I just fire them an e-mail with the URL and meet them in the room. Here are some examples of how that feature has saved me lots of time and aggravation:

  • I'm collaborating with a coworker who's office is about 30 miles from me. We needed to discuss the training materials he's working on and be sure that we had all our bases covered and that things were being structured correctly. This is for a series of Camtasia videos that we want to be as portable as possible--ready for web or CD distribution or as part of an on-line course--so getting all of the parts and pieces together is a big part of the job. Breeze allowed me to see right into his Explorer window and discuss with him the structure of the materials, file naming conventions, how to handle source files, and a world of little nitty-gritty details that were much easier for us to agree on when we were both seeing the same things.
  • We're exploring a new discussion board system that we launched as a beta the other day. Good thing we said it was a beta, since the permission settings that we need to give the users results in a much different view of things than I have as the administrator. So how do you train your users in what to expect when you can't see the same desktop they do? In this case I had a friend of mine across town log in for me, share her screen, and I then recorded her screen using Camtasia. Now I have a pretty nice (OK, a little fuzzy) introduction to the discussion board for new users, and they see the correct desktop. Recorded while I controlled her desktop miles away from her actual computer.
  • The biggest part of my job is to administer/train/coordinate a huge CMS that allows our schools to build simple web pages, maintain a calendar and news section on-line, and for the secondary schools, let's parents see their kid's grades on-line. Breeze has been incredibly handy for talking the school-level administrators through problems, having them show me what the problem is instead of exchanging eleventy-dozen e-mails, and generally making the support process faster and more efficient.

The upshot? Cool stuff. There are other systems that do the same sort of thing (Net Meeting I suppose is the best known), but I'm finding Breeze to be pretty easy to use for this sort of thing, and it certainly has added some new methods for how I do my work.

(John Dowdell had a mention of this function in Breeze the other day in his blog. I'd link to JD but I'm mad at him right now for suggesting that people register their blogs with the big aggregators out there. Funny how my first deluge of comment spam at my other blog happened just two days after following his advice. Just kidding JD. You know you're my fave.)

Category tags: Macromedia News

Breeze Search in Firefox

Posted Friday, December 03, 2004 11:49:54 AM by Kim


Way Cool Firefox Extension for Breeze: I've been using Breeze Live a lot lately, in the hopes that we'll pick up the software at my day job for doing distance learning, on-line meetings, and virtual help desks.

Tom King at Macromedia has posted a link to a very cool new extension for Firefox that allows you to search in your Breeze account for participants, content, and key words. The Breeze Search for Firefox installs right into the same little window in Firefox where you're probably used to doing your Google searches. Just drop down to the Breeze logo after it's installed, type in your search term, log on to your Breeze server, and the results will be displayed right in Firefox for you. Really great if you've got archived presentations that you want to search without having to guess when in the presentation a topic was covered.

Tom also announced the Outlook plug-in for Breeze a few days ago in case you missed it. Here's hoping they can work one up for Entourage as well.

Category tags: Macromedia News

New road to diminish mass!

Posted Friday, November 26, 2004 7:14:04 PM by Big John

Big John

I happen to be an economy sized galoot, so when I read the title above on an email, my normally vigilant internal spam filter was bemusedly overridden. I'm glad it was, because here is the text my occulars perceived within:

My tablets is an innovative fat-holding fast appurtenance that removes grease from a board we gorge! Explicated with the vigorous grease-banding fibre, the blend of all-natural multipliers...

Since I have indeed been "gorging boards" rather heavily recently, I had a powerful urge to get my hands on this "appurtenance", post haste!

Alas, my 'grease' is made of sterner stuff, and won't be so easily banded by a mere fiber. It's a pity, because my all-natural multipliers sure could use some blending, yeah boy!

Category tags: On the Personal Side, This and That, Web Business, Macromedia News

MAX 2004 Keynotes Online

Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2004 6:50:06 AM by Stephanie


Macromedia has posted video of the keynote sessions from MAX. The sessions were interesting and if you have some time, this is well worth seeing. On Day One, Kevin Lynch talked about the Evolution of Flash. There was info on Blackstone and the new Maelstrom player which rocks! Check it out at Macromedia MAX.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Macromedia News

My Big Fat MAX Update

Posted Wednesday, November 10, 2004 12:27:29 AM by Stephanie


Macromedia MAX -- now there's an interesting event! I spent four days in geek bliss. I knew it was destined the moment I landed in the New Orleans airport. Even landing from a midnight flight, I could sense them. I glanced around while waiting for the van to transport us to our hotels. I knew that all 8 of us standing there waiting were there for MAX -- and the gentlemen not there for the Macromedia event was easy to spot. He had on a suit and looked tired. We were tingly with anticipation -- plus there was more than one guy with funky little glasses and a short messy haircut -- always a dead geek giveaway.

I had been up working till 7:30am the morning before leaving. My usual, "I've got to get this client site live before I leave thing." I failed, but in the process of trying, I ended up with 20 minutes to pack my clothes before leaving for the airport. Large gaps in the wardrobe were the result, but that's another story. We geeks all chatted on the bus till we got to our hotels. I promptly got off at the first stop. However, this was not my hotel. It was the Marriott -- I was at the Hilton. On three hours of sleep Hilton and Marriott can sound very similar. They're both large hotel chains. :) I decided that after traveling all night on planes, I would just walk. It was only four blocks and so what if I had two suitcases, a Dreamweaver backpack and a purse. I'm tall and strong. I can do this.

Of course, it hadn't yet dawned on me that this is Halloween night in New Orleans and I'm now walking through the streets in black clothes with much black luggage. The bellman with the cute Nawlins drawl told me to go out the door, turn left at the first street and go four blocks. I know that's what he said because I repeated it and he said, "uh-huh." But what he really meant was to turn left out the door and go four blocks. At about the point where I hit Coyote Ugly near the Biker's Convention, and it was becoming apparent that there were less hotels in the direction I was going, I decided to ask. "Hello large Coyote Ugly bouncer -- where the heck am I?"

Back on track, it seems I've added another 4 blocks to my tour at 1:30am on Halloween night in the soppy humid New Orleans weather. And I've gotten some rather strange looks from the little angels and demons walking around holding hands. The idea of that cab sounds better all the time, but heck, I'm almost there. Really I am. Aren't I? I arrived in my room, shoulders burning from all the straps, at 2am with my poor roommate Christine Harold waiting up for me.

The next morning, Christine and I had some UGM and TMM training scheduled. The hotel said it was only about four blocks to the convention center so we decided to walk. Nothing like stretching your legs in the morning. It really didn't turn out to be very far either. Well, not till we got through the doors of the convention center and found we weren't even halfway. MAX was scheduled at the far end of the convention center which turned out to be over a half mile long. So getting to the center wasn't the issue. It was getting through the center. Lucky for us, our training was running behind since we were about 20 minutes late getting down there.

That's when the blur starts. At the point we were handed our registration packets (backpacks actually), with all our information in them, we were scheduled nearly 24/7. And this isn't exactly a bad thing. But it is an exhausting thing. Monday afternoon I got to meet some of the Macromedia people that work with the community including, Ed Sullivan, Amy Brooks, Christine Lawson and Scott Fegette. They are wonderful. I also met several people I've worked with online including my good friend, Robert Hoekman. That's always a blast -- putting faces with the names you've known online for a long time. And yes, in general, I always have them wrong. They're taller or shorter or blonder or darker -- but rarely what I'd envisioned. I believe this was also the day I met John Dowdell. What an awesome, brilliant man!

That evening there was a whirlwind of cocktail parties with a grand finale on Bourbon Street. This seems to be where many attendees ended up nightly, but at my age... well, we'll leave it at that! My nights at Cafe Du Monde were definitely more memorable. Morning comes early and the sessions begin. Except for one especially terrible session, everything I attended was top notch. I really enjoyed my hands-on ColdFusion session. Now there's a language I can tell I would love -- if there were time to learn it all. I also loved Bob Regan's session on Flash Accessibility. No, that's not an oxymoron. There are simple things you can do, requiring just a touch of knowledge and preplanning, that will make your Flash applications accessible. The fact that many people don't bother doesn't mean it's not possible. My only disappointment was that there weren't more advanced level CSS sessions, though I heard rumor that's being working on for next year.

Many times, we had more than one event booked and I had to choose what to miss. I didn't get to meet the Contribute Engineers in the "Birds of a Feather" session because I was handing out raffle tickets at the cocktail party in my "Pit Crew" T-shirt. Yes, that's one of the benefits of being Team Macromedia -- you get to work. ;-) I was able to attend the Dreamweaver Birds of a Feather meeting afterward however. That was very enjoyable. There were members of the DW team that didn't get to make the trip and I would have enjoyed meeting them, but those that did make it were wonderful. Jen Taylor and Randy Edmunds are a real treasure. I loved their responses to the feedback. When a complaint or concern was raised, Jen asked, "What would you like to see happen?" or "What would you expect the product to do?" Then she madly scribbled in her notebook to take the information back to the "rest of the crew." That's an attitude I love seeing! And it's an attitude I saw repeatedly throughout MAX. I saw attendees visibly excited by the accessibility of the Macromedia people as well as their attitudes toward input. It was great.

Some of the other highlights were the giant hall where the Community Pit, Cyber Cafe, Product Support stations and vendor booths were. There's nothing for a Mac head quite like seeing that 5 of the 6 rows of computers were Macintoshes. Exhilarating and sexy! Of course many of the vendors had special beads made for the event, so whether you went to Bourbon Street or not, you looked like you had been to Mardi Gras. Macromedia's own blinky MAX beads were my favorite. The Keynote was terribly interesting. Listening to Macromedia's research on mobile and non-PC devices was quite eye-opening. It definitely got my brain thinking about some future options. The Sneeks session was very fun and noisy. Mike Chambers had us all blowing horns to indicate which of the possible features shown we wanted them to keep. The final night, Macromedia threw a big party at Mardi Gras world. Yes, sounded weird to me too! Apparently they build the Mardi Gras floats in this huge warehouse. However, for parties, they have everything against the walls and the place is covered with large, colorful heads, creatures and I don't know what. There was a band and lots of New Orleans style entertainment, food and drink.

And then, after meeting and hanging out with more geeks than I can even remember, it was over. Finished. How sad. And how exhausting. So many great contacts were made. So many friends met in person. So many nuggets of knowledge were locked in my brain (hopefully they're locked in there). And now, after catching up on my sleep for a few days, I just can't wait for TODCON t

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Mac, Macromedia News

Extension Manager crashing on Mac OSX

Posted Saturday, October 16, 2004 1:11:50 PM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

Adding this entry because I've seen a number of people come across this bug recently.

What happens is that when Extension Manager is starting it crashes, and says that there was an unspecified error. This is happening because of a bug in either the way Extension Manager reads in the installed extensions within Dreamweaver or in the way that it installs Dreamweaver extensions that causes the reading in of extensions to break. I've not seen this issue with non-Dreamweaver extensions, but I've seen the crashing reported when installing an extension into another product such as Flash through Extension Manager. Apparently this has been a problem since Dreamweaver MX, and continues on with Dreamweaver MX 2004 on Mac OSX as there is a TechNote on the issue: Extension manager crashes upon launch after installing extension to Dreamweaver MX 2004. If EM is crashing on you, then please give it a read.

There is change to the process described with the TechNote that I think would be good to make. I would suggest moving one MXI file at a time into the "Hidden" folder, starting with the extension that was installed most recently and moving backwards, testing EM on each move to see exactly which MXI file EM is choking on. When you find the one, then start moving back the other MXI files making sure to again see if EM crashes.

As an extension developer, I think it fair to mention that this is not the responsibility of any particular extension; this is an issue with Extension Manager itself. Reason being is that I've seen this issue reported a number of times over the past year or so, and I've yet to see the same MXI file implicated more than once.

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Mac, Macromedia News

Macromedia Announces Captivate - the latest Iteration of RoboDemo

Posted Monday, October 04, 2004 9:15:03 AM by Jim Babbage

Jim Babbage

Macromedia announced today the latest version of RoboDemo - now named Captivate.

Macromedia Captivate is an easy way to create interactive software simulations and product demo's in Flash format, with no knowledge of Flash or Flash programming. It's a great product for teachers, IT support professionals and software trainers.

For more information, visit the Macromedia Website , and make sure to check out CMX on Tuesday, when I will have my own, first-hand look at the software.

Category tags: Macromedia News

Reminder: MM User Group presentation, Sept 20

Posted Friday, September 17, 2004 1:34:39 PM by Danilo Celic

Category tags: Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

MM User Group presentation: Building a Better Dreamweaver, Sept 20, Chicago

Posted Wednesday, September 01, 2004 11:58:27 AM by Danilo Celic

Danilo Celic

On September 20th, 6:30pm, I'll be giving a presentation on extending Dreamweaver at the Chicago Macromedia User group, so if you're in the area, please drop on by. While the location is still listed as TBD, the meetings are typically held at the Illinois Institute of Art, 180 N. Wabash Avenue downtown Chicago.

Building a Better Dreamweaver presentation description:

Dreamweaver has built in an extensibility programming interface that offers you the ability to automate some of Dreamweaver's current operations, as well as add entirely new functionality. This presentaion will introduce you to the parts of Dreamweaver that are extensibile, and guide you through the creation process required for several extensions types.

Visit the Chicago Macromedia User Group at, for more information.

Category tags: Community MX, Dreamweaver, Extensibility, Macromedia News

Macromedia Upgrades Flex

Posted Monday, August 23, 2004 5:24:12 AM by Kim


Macromedia Releases Flex Builder Extension: C|Net News has a story today on the release of the new Builder extension for Macromedia Flex. If you're unfamiliar with Flex and its intended uses, the article provides a good overview and background information from Kevin Lynch, Macromedia's chief software architect.

In a nutshell, Flex is:

"...a server application that converts code written in Java 2 Enterprise Edition, one of the most common languages for Web applications, into a form of XML (extensible markup language) optimized for reading by the Flash client software. The idea is that J2EE developers can dress up their Web applications with snazzy interfaces without having to learn the complex development tools typically used to create pure Flash applications."

Category tags: Macromedia News