Or how I managed to stop worrying and reconcile two creative disciplines – coding and performing…
One of my favourite performance exercises is called Yippee. It is very simple with a myriad of ways to subvert it and take the class in different directions. It encapsulates pretty much every performance skill needed, and is a good indicator of a group’s competency and complicity. Because of all these things I often use it to start a workshop.
I’ve just started shaving a goat, or yak, or whichever the ungulate of choice is this season. These are my steps so far.
- Trace out an API in MXML .
- But I can’t do that, because MXML won’t let me do what I want (yet).
- Master writing AS3 for building in MXML
- But I can’t do that, because I can’t find any references on the subject and none of my experiments have worked
- Write a blog about it.
- Yep, I can do that…
My last talk at Flash Brighton was (for me) a discussion about how other people used state machines in as3, basically because I was dissatisfied with the limited way that I was using mine.
It turned out they used theirs in pretty much the same way. As a backbone for simple staged processes such as bootstrapping, asset acquisition and shutdown.
And that was it.
I was a bit frustrated, my original intent for using a state machine was to completely model my controller, so I would have a map of processes through out the entire application. But I kept on hitting the same problems preventing me from doing this.
Coming out of the talk, I decided that I would set myself a challenge: to change the way I used my state machine, and map all my commands through it.
I succeeded (eventually).
In this session I shall highlight the problems involved and the very simple changes of perspective it took to overcome them.
Yes, I’ve just got this blog working again (its actually been out for a few months).
I’ve been putting a lot of effort into (as3)statemachine.org over the last few months, and hadn’t noticed that my ISP had moved their ftp server, and I was getting resolving errors.
Weirder though was the 500 error I was getting on trying to navigate to any wp admin pages. Eventually this sorted it. The php scripts were running out of memory, apparently. Adding a php.ini file in the wp-admin folder with memory=20MB fixed the problem.
I’m giving an introductory talk at FlashBrighton about State Machines on March 9th at the Werks. You can also catch it streaming live at http://live.flashbrighton.org at round about 7.00pm GMT (ok, it might not start till quarter past, when the bods in the real world have turned up :).
Recently this happened to my Flash CS3 Professional:
On start up I get error messages that won’t go away. They’ll always say “At line 1 of file “FLBridge_init.jsfl”: ReferenceError: FLBridge is not defined”, and whenever I try to exit the pop-up message, another one takes its place.
I’d have to do some acrobatic mouse work to actually quit Flash. Note that this isn’t a crash, Flash seems to be working perfectly, just with consistent and irritating alerts.
Re-installation didn’t help, and I found only three reference on web (one in Chinese) with no answers, Adobe support was also no help.
However, in an inspired moment, I thought I’d change my user profile (using Vista Home). Yup, that worked. So, still no idea about cause, but at least I’ve got Flash Back.
Well, I’ve just got through a busy patch work-wise, with no time to work on any private projects, so I’m afraid the FSMVisualiser hasn’t progressed at all since my last post a while back.
However, I thought i’d post some stuff that I’ve been working on. One of these projects is a flickbook navigated trail commissioned by ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival in Finland. The work is by word picture studio (festival entry here). My part was to composite and make ready all the final prints using AfterEffects, Photoshop and InDesign.
Below are some choice thumbnails, because I sort of like looking at the flickbooks this way:
Flick the First
Flick the Fifth
Flick the Sixth
Flick the Eighth
FSMViz for pureMVC StateMachine Utility
source code here:
So this is just the visualisation and the editing of the States and Actions. I still need to implement the saving out of state, and the export of the StateConstants.as
A few points and pointers:
If you do look at the code, please consider that it is a quick prototype, it will need to be optimised and architechtured (it doesn’t even have a FSM yet ;~/).
The visualisation is done using the Flare package
I am using the flex framework RSL, so the first time you visit, the app might take a fair time to initiate. However, from then on it will be cashed on your machine, so it will be much quicker.
I have used Joel Hook’s FSM diagram from his Piping the Machine tutorial as the initial diagram
You can add states with the form on the bottom left, the package is an optional field that allows grouping of states for a prettier layout using a dot as the delimiter (eg “io.out”, “io.in” or “display”). Then fill in the name and hit ENTER to submit.
Rolling over a state will highlight outgoing actions (red) and with ctrl down, all incoming actions (green).
Clicking on a state will switch to Edit mode, and bring up forms for editing the state and outgoing actions.
Rolling over the highlighted actions will popup their names
Clicking the top right x (or hitting ESC) will close the panels with out committing changes
Clicking the red X buttons will perminently delete the state/action (hitting DEL will delete the state)
Clicking the green tick (or hitting ENTER) will commit any changes
Clicking the strange-green-plus-arrow button (or hitting F1) will create a new Action. You can then give it a name and choose its target state.
As you can see I have a new badge on my blog. Thanks to the Open Source policy of those generous people at PowerFlasher I have been given a complimentary key for FDT Enterprise for my work on the pureMVC manifold project. If you contribute to an Open Source project, why not apply here.
Sorry I’ve been neglecting my blog recently. What with a brute force attack of malware, and working on some bread-and-butter projects, I’ve been a bit diverted.
However, I have found the time to play around with the FSM Visualiser and have been working on the best way to display and interact with it, so I’ll probably stick something fresh up with in the next week or so.