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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)

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)

Security Soapbox – Decompile Flash/Flex

Having built/architected/developed/consulted many Adobe Flex applications and being one of the first certified Flex instructors in the world, I’ve seen a lot of Flex applications. Some good, some bad. But no matter how many applications or who I’m talking to, I always stress the importance of securing proprietary information. By securing, I mean don’t put it in your application. Unless your are encrypting your application and decrypting at runtime, you are subject to a decompiler exposing your secrets. There are Flash decompilers that will take any SWF and give you the source: Tr... (more)

Adobe Flex/AS3 Code Quality Tool (PMD)

Adobe recently released (August 2009) the Flex implementation of PMD tool which is extensively used at J2EE shops for code quality management. FlexPMD is a tool that helps to improve code quality by auditing any AS3/Flex source directory and detecting common bad practices. The Flex PMD tool is locate on the Adobe Open Source Projects site. http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexpmd/FlexPMD It is available as an ANT task, command line and Mac OSX Automator. And before you ask, no, there isn’t an Eclipse plugin… yet. ... (more)