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August 31, 2004

Nonprofit weblog interviews

TechSoup has a new article about non-profits and weblogs: Profiles of Nonprofit Weblogs. Four organization were asked a series of questions--interesting answers.

August 27, 2004

Is the Flash Community Dead?

Is the Flash community dead? I don't think so, but it certainly is changing. Forums have slowed down, and many have the feel of a ghost town. We've all noticed the changes, and it's even been discussed on some forums. Where did everybody go? Have needs changed, and have forums failed to meet those needs?

Here are some possible reasons for the apparent slump in the Flash community:

1. Flash has gotten too serious--folks have forgotten to take time to have fun and experiment,

2. Time is tight--not much time left over for community or experimenting after work is done,

3. Fewer independents--less reaching out to other independents,

4. A lot of the communication is shifting to blogs.

A thriving community of developers is important for a thriving medium. What can we do to ease the growing pains of our community?

August 24, 2004

Off Topic--Back from vacation

Just got back from vacation--a road trip up the coast (west coast)--even stopped to see the "prehistoric gardens" where this guy had built life-sized models of dinosaurs in a very primordial looking forest.

We had a great time, but it's nice to be home...and it's time for me to get back to work.

Sam's new blog

I meant to post this before I left for vacation, but never got around to it. So this may be a little stale as far as its news value, but I think it's worth checking out if you haven't already.


// pixelconsumption // --Sam Robbins--works with Keith Peters

I had the pleasure of meeting Sam at FlashForward in San Francisco, back in March, and I'm looking forward to seeing what Sam comes up with.

August 13, 2004

Flash Paper Stands Alone

Woohoo! Macromedia is releasing FlashPaper as a stand alone product! Until now, you could only get it bundled with Contribute. Macromedia - Edge : August 14, 2004

August 12, 2004

Non-profit sector discovers blogs

Articles like these may help explain the benefits of blogs to newcomers:

TechSoup - Articles: Web Building - Weblogs: The Promise for Nonprofit Organizations

For non-profit organizations, the benefit of blogging can be even greater than for commercial organizations. Much of what a non-profit does is based on the individual level. Blogging can breath distinct personality into a website, and can serve as a low-pressure means of encouraging community.

August 11, 2004

Internet Engineering Program

Came across this program while researching something else...seems like that's how I find most interesting things.

Looks like they are currently accepting applications for the fall semester.

USF | College of Arts & Sciences | Academics | Graduate Programs / Internet Engineering

August 10, 2004

Some Cellular Automata variations

One of the most talked-about books in mathematics of the past few years has been A New Kind Of Sciene by Stephen Wolfram. It is all about the wonderful and intriguing world of Cellular Automata. But it is also a hefty read that can be very overwhelming and theoretical.

The links-section of the Cell-Auto.com site has an incredible amount of links regarding the subject, but 2 sites which refreshed my interest in implementing CA in Flash again this past week are Modern Cellular Automata and the Cellular Automata rules lexicon. They offer applets, pictures & rules of a variety of types/families of Cellular Automata (1D & 2D) that show the amazing complexity and variety that these relatively simple rules & concepts can provide. These are perfect for showing the beauty of Cellular Automata to people who are new to the subject.

August 09, 2004

Seeking volunteer webcam guru in San Francisco

Plans are well underway for the book signing and benefit event. It's coming together nicely. We'll be having wine tasting and door prizes!

A few days ago Edwin and I were chatting online, and we came up with the idea of having a webcam broadcast for folks who can't make it to the event.

So...we need somebody to help with the webcam and moderate a chat room (if we get one set up). If you're in the San Francisco area, and this sounds like something you'd like to help us out with, send me a note at khenry at galaxygoo dot org or post a comment here.

August 06, 2004

Adventures in CSS: New Version is Live

I uploaded the new, CSS based, version of the main GalaxyGoo site today. Tell me what you think. I'm waiting for bug reports galore :-)

What do you think of the design compromise for pages with Flash content?

This is my first experience with CSS for layout, and it's become a love-hate relationship. With more experience, I'm sure it will be mostly pure love ;-)

Meet Frances Segal

Please welcome Frances Segal to GalaxyGoo. She's a graduate student in Instructional Technology at San Francisco State University, and will be interning with me for the next several months.

She'll be on the forums, posting on the blog, and helping out behind the scenes. She'll also be picking my brain a lot. She's here to learn, so please be as helpful as you can. She'll be taking her first class in Flash this Fall.

August 05, 2004

Adventures in CSS: Success with New Design

After trying to get my layout to work one way without success, I've changed my layout.

The problem was that, in smaller browser windows, the flash movie would crowd out the side bar in unpleasant ways. I tried using percentage for the dimensions of the movie, but that behaved differently in every browser I tested it in...not a good sign for the browsers I hadn't tested in.

newGG1.gif

So, in all pages with flash movies as the content, I've modified the side bar. Some of the information in the side bar is now in a "top bar", some is in the "what's going on here" section, and part is still in the side bar which is now below the movie.

newGG2.gif

I'm implementing it now :-)

What is Flash?

Today I was interviewed by my local paper, The Noe Valley Voice. At one point, the reporter asked me "what is Flash?" At first, I said it was hard to sum that up in just a few words. I thought for a moment and replied that Flash was a "powerful animating and programming tool".

It got me thinking again, about how we present ourselves outside of the Flash Community. With a lot of what I work on, explaining what Flash is, seems easier to explain that what I use it for :-)

I wonder what has happened with What Is Flash? Granted, I've been very busy lately and haven't kept up with many things, but I haven't seen any activity on that front in a long time.

August 04, 2004

Adventures in CSS: Positioning Blues

I was so close, and yet...

Yes, I'm struggling with getting the site's new design to work across browsers at different window dimensions. I've got four elements in the layout: banner, content, sidebar, and footer. The last big challenge I was facing was to get content and sidebar to sit side by side, and to have them behave as they were the same length regardless real length, without overlapping other elements. First, I tried using position: absolute for the sidebar. But that led to problems of overlapping elements.

So, now I'm returning to float. To keep both content and sidebar vertically aligned at the top, I've nested them into a container div and set them to float: left and float: right. Since many pages have flash movies in them, I want the sidebar to move below the content if needed. Well, so far it's working in IE, but not mozilla or opera. Very frustrating.

On the bright side, the sidebar isn't overlapping the footer anymore :-)

August 03, 2004

Volunteer Technology Experts Serve Elections

It pleases me to no end, when I see geeks serving the greater good.

To quote the TechWatch website:

Are you a technology professional interested in election integrity? A geek who believes every vote should be recorded as intended? A techie who stands for reliable and publicly verifiable election systems?

If so, TechWatch is for you!