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Rob Rusher

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Top Stories by Rob Rusher

First, yes, screen readers can read Flex applications. And yes, its fairly easy. But, I’ll discuss how in a future post. But, if you’d rather send people to your old HTML version of your site when using a read, there is good news. Flash Player has the ability to detect if a screen reader is running on the client machine, even if JavaScript is disabled and/or the Flex application is not compiled as an “accessible swf”. This is possible with the Accessibility class. It is important to note that if the Flex application is compiled as an “accessible swf”, the screen reader will also be able to read content in the swf. If not, the screen reader only reads the words “flash movie start” whenever you interact with it. Talk about a usability buzz kill. So, here is the code to see if a screen reader is currently running (not just installed) and then adds a LinkButton that call... (more)

Flash Player Is Not Open = Big Fat Lie; HTML5 Is the Savior

Flash Player is open and SWF is documented The core of Flash Player is the Tamarin Virtual Machine, which is an open source project under Mozilla. While the SWF file format is not fully open, it is documented by the community on osflash.org. Additionally, there are numerous open source products that read and write SWF files. The Flash Player’s product direction has traditionally been heavily influenced by the community and their needs. The core language for Flash Player is an implementation of ECMAScript 262, which is the same specification for JavaScript. Flex also uses CSS for s... (more)

PaaS vs. Managed Virtualization

I’ve been reading a few discussions on how to more effectively manage development of a Flex project. And the reason many are looking for a solution has nothing to do with Flex, per say, but has more to do with the complexity of our development environments. The hidden reason is cost. Cost for setting up each developer environment. Cost of licenses. The bigger reason is, or should be, security. Enter Platform as a Service (PaaS) to the conversation. Although the idea of using the cloud for development is good in theory, it can be cost prohibitive. Here is why: • The cost of using... (more)

No One is Moving from Flex to HTML5

The fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is been slung around by profiteers like folding chairs at a WWE event. The haters are still being haters. Nothing new there. But now I see JavaScript companies’ desperate pleas for Flex developers to start using their HTML5 software. The context is all wrong here.  Very, very few Flex developers have shifted, moved, changed over, or whatever you want to call it… to HTML5 (or anything else JS-based.) There is not a move to HTML5 I will go as far as to say that there is not a move to HTML5. The simple fact is that, developers are being develop... (more)

Back and Forth

For over a decade now, we have been trained to use the "back" and "forward" buttons in our Web browser to review or backtrack previously viewed content. We are trained to the point that there are even keyboard shortcuts. Unfortunately, this can be a problem when browsing Flex applications. Being the well-trained users that we are, we often forget that we could cause the Flex application to reload unwittingly. Fortunately, there is a solution that is built into the Flex SDK and HTML templates that are generated in a Flex Builder project. By default, Flex enables history managemen... (more)