Thursday, December 11, 2008

YoFrankie now ready for download

I'm happy to announce that YoFrankie - the first open-source 3D game is finally available for download. You can get both the binaries as well as the sources at . It's avaliable for download under the Creative Commons license. You can read more about the project here

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Future Awards - Nigeria

Some young Nigerians have been very exceptional in their fields of endeavour, and it's time for them to be appreciated and celebrated in the BIGGEST POSSIBLE way. This is what 'The Future Awards' seeks to address, so why not click here to nominate some young people who have excelled and have been doing Nigeria proud in their fields of endeavour. The nominees are underlisted:

On-Air Personality of the Year (Radio)

  • Phoenix (Rhythm Lagos)
  • Tito Otons (Raypower Lagos)
  • Tyeng Gyang (Cool FM Abuja)
  • Douglas Wokocha (Rhythm Abuja)
  • Yaw & Matse (Wazobia FM Lagos)
  • Wildchild (Rhythm FM Lagos)
  • Gbemi Olateru-Olagbegi (Cool FM Lagos)
  • Chuks Roberts (Cosmo FM Enugu)

Best Use of Technology

  • Saheed Adejuwon
  • Titilayo Akinsanmi
  • Bamidele Odufuye
  • Lanre Lawal
  • Icebox Studios
  • Yinka Adetoye
  • Yusuf Jimoh
  • Oluwaseun Faniran

Best Use of Advocacy

  • Temidayo Israel
  • Mohammed Ahmed-Shaibu
  • Ugochukwu Nwosu
  • Tosyn Bucknor
  • Toyosi Akerele
  • Obinna Etele
  • Emmanuel James-Odiase
  • Emmanuel Etim

Musician of the Year

  • D'banj
  • 9ice
  • P Square
  • Naeto C
  • Rooftop MCs
  • Banky W
  • Timaya
  • Sasha

Actor of the Year

  • Jennifer Osamor
  • Funke Akindele
  • Gabriel Afolayan
  • Tonto Dike
  • Oge Okoye
  • Nonso Diobi
  • Mercy Johnson
  • OC Ukeje

Artist of the Year

  • Ogunnubi Babadeji
  • Seyi Taylor
  • Abraham Oghobase
  • Emeka Okereke
  • Jumoke Verissimo
  • Adolphus Opara
  • Tolulope Ogunlesi
  • Jide Alakija

Magazine of the Year

  • Ace
  • Soundcity Blast
  • Tripz
  • The Applause
  • 234
  • Déjà vu
  • Trace
  • Acada

Style Entrepreneur of the Year

  • Dumebi Agbakoba (Dakou Collections)
  • Funke Adegbola (Ella Brown Couture)
  • Korede Roberts (Fusion)
  • Uche Nnaji (Ouch!)
  • Ebubedike Mary (West n Couture)
  • Yewande Perigrino (Beyond Faces)
  • Olamide Ajayi (Iconola)
  • Linda Ikeji (Blackdove Communications)

Comedian of the Year

  • Jedidiah
  • Wale Gates
  • Teju Babyface
  • Princess
  • Tunde Ednut
  • Seyi Law
  • Omobaba
  • Holly Mallam

Business Owner of the Year

  • Mosunmola Umoru (Honeysuckles PTL)
  • Tochukwu Onyemelukwe (Cotek)
  • Alexander Yangs (Testify Music)
  • Debola Lewis (Yvent Couture)
  • Ibidun Ighodalo (Elizabeth R)
  • Tobi Atunrase (Joolz Consultancy)
  • Hassan Rilwan (Focal Point Publishing Ltd)
  • Anita Ibru (Minerva)

Professional of the Year

  • Kolawole Osinowo (Nokia West Africa)
  • Oluyemi Oluwole (Chevron Corporation)
  • Shile Ibironke Consolidated Media Associates)
  • Dr. Adedayo Osholowu (Special Olympics Nigeria)
  • Uche Okorji (Utchay Okorji Associates)
  • Fatima Mohammed (Chapel Hill and Denham)
  • Fola Aiyesimoju (Stanbic Bank)
  • Carrena Sola (Travant)

Model of the Year

  • Bryan Okpara
  • Warebi Martha
  • Bisi Rahman
  • Bisi Sowemimo
  • Amaka Chirah
  • Isi Atagamen
  • Owobo Ogunlaja
  • Olubunmi Ademokoya

Team of the Year

  • Blue Labs Technologies
  • DNMT (Dance Na De Main Thing)
  • Four Kornerz
  • Babs Educational Consult
  • UnRuly Inc
  • Javabean Ltd
  • Knighthouse
  • Mo Hits Crew

Journalist of the Year

  • Rachel Ogbu (Newswatch)
  • Samuel Olatunji (The Sun)
  • Azuh Amatus (The Sun)
  • Arukaino Umukoro (National Standard)
  • Blessing Ogunli (TheNEWS)
  • Abdulkareem Baba Aminu (Daily Trust)
  • Ruonah Agbroko (Thisday)
  • Funke Adetutu (BusinessDay)

On-Air Personality of the Year (TV)

  • Onyinye Igwe (Soundcity)
  • Tana Egbo-Adelana (Channel O)
  • Lamide Akintobi )(Channels TV)
  • Dayo Ephraim (Hip TV)
  • Blaze (Nigezie)
  • Adaure Achumba (STV)
  • Jimmie Akinsola (The Best of Football)
  • Jumoke Alao (AIT)

Screen Producer of the Year

  • Gbenga Salu
  • Soji Ogunnaike
  • Matthew Ogunlola
  • Onye Ubanatu
  • Chuka Ejorh
  • Clarence Peters
  • Kemi Adetiba
  • Dayo Oyedele

Sportsperson of the Year

  • Yagazie Chukwumerije
  • Damola Osayomi
  • Osaze Odemwingie
  • Mikel Obi
  • Eniola Aluko
  • Obinna Nsofor
  • Chinedu Obasi Ogbuke
  • Olusoji Fasuba

Music Producer of the Year

  • Wole Oni
  • Cobhams
  • Alex Yangs
  • ID Cabassa
  • Don Jazzy
  • Jesse Jags
  • TY Mix
  • Suspect

Dancer of the Year

  • Qudus Onikeku
  • Kafayat Shafaru
  • Onyekachi Okengwu
  • Wale Akinbola Sodade
  • Jennifer Ogbor
  • Bimbo Obafunwa
  • Buddy Agedah
  • Flex (Nonso Cajetan Asobe)

Young Person of the Year

  • Asa (Bukola Elemide)
  • Toyin Bello
  • Yagazie Chukwumerije
  • Damola Osayomi
  • Oluchi Orlandi
  • Don Jazzy (Michael Ajere)
  • Cobhams Asuquo
  • D’banj (Dapo Oyebanji)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tour de Flex

If you will like to explore the capabilities of Flex, beyond what was provided by the Flex Style and Components explorers, you need to check out Tour de Flex

It's an Adobe AIR application that runs on all platforms just like Java. You can download it for manual installation by clicking here or install it by clicking the badge below:

Thanks to James Ward, Gregory Wilson and others for making this happen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I'm currently off on vacation to Kano, so I'd be doing no blogging for the next 3 weeks to 1 month. But once I'm back, there'd be lots of stuffs for you to benefit from on this blog; tutorials, articles, design works and lots more. See you then

Monday, August 18, 2008

Free Online Java Magazine

Java Jazz Up is a free online magazine on Java technology. It's a monthly publication and it usually covers everything that revolves around Java. Lots of open-source projects and Java frameworks are being discussed. The August edition focuses on JavaFX technology. Do check out their site to download your own free copy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Randy Pausch's Last Lecture

I stumbled across a writeup on James Gosling's blog and I felt I had to also support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer by creating an awareness for it in my own little way. Randy Pausch, a charismatic young college professor, as ABC News puts it, finally lost the battle against pancreatic cancer on the 25th of July, 2008. He gave a last lecture on the disease, and the video of his talk has been viewed over 6 million times and downloaded over 10 million times. A book is also being published by Hyperion on his last lecture. Randy, though I didn't get to know him or read about him while he was alive , did greatly on Alice which has been hugely used in teaching. He however gave the world a beautiful example of dying eloquently. His Last lecture was one of hope, grace and optimism. I can't imagine how it was for him; knowing that your days on earth are numbered and still moving on to make an impact in the last days instead of worrying to death about his circumstance. Randy, you'd greatly be missed. Thanks alot for creating the awareness about the killer disease before you eventually lost the battle against it.

So I'm putting forward the question to you, 'What would you say or do if you knew you were going to die and had a chance to sum up everything that was most important to you?'. If you had only six months to live, like he did, what would you do? How would you live your life?
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) say that approximately 37,170 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008 and 33,370 will die from it. How many people will die from it in a country like ours? If you've seen the kind of diseases that most of our old people here in Nigeria battle with, you will not but pray to God that you never experience such in your old age. The disease is said to be the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, and unlike other cancers, during the last 30 years, the medical community has seen very little advancement in prolonging the lives of pancreatic cancer patients. The video is highly inspiring. Instead of focusing on his death, he spoke about his childhood dreams, and he went on to attain quite a number of them, but they didn't all come easy. It's a video that will stir up something inside of you to get more done and work towards fulfilling your goals if you have one. One statement he made that I'd also like to leave you with is this: "The brick walls are there for a reason, they are not there to keep us out, but are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something". So why not fight against this disease with me, by creating the awareness. You can get to read more about Pancreatic Cancer on wikipedia. Read the more about his last days on ABC News

Friday, August 1, 2008

JavaFX Preview SDK is finally out!

I'm pleased to announce to you that the preview release of the JavaFX SDK is out for early adopters to try out. Go to to check it out. This preview was developed to empower users proficient in web scripting technologies (such as HTML, CSS, AJAX, JavaScript and ActionScript) to create connected applications that run in standard web browsers as well as on the desktop, as described on their website. Very good direction I must say. We've waited long enough for this.
There are some issues I'm not comfortable with while browsing the JavaFX website which I believe Sun should address.They need to still work on the site to enable we the users to get a better experience in interacting with the website. Some of the most essential features that need to be worked on for now is the way content is being loaded, create a smoother transition of the lightweight panels, and browser history needs to be supported. I see no advantage the users derive when you put AJAX, and nifty Javascript effects to use, but use it wrongly. While the user is viewing a particular section, the content of subsequent pages that the user might want to be should be loaded while the user is busy on this page, so that when the want to proceed elsewhere, the content is immediately shown if it has already been preloaded instead of showing us a useless throbber. Secondly, going back to a previously visited page involves showing the throbber again, and requesting for the same information from the server. This shouldn't be. One thing I seem to have noticed about Sun (correct me if I'm wrong), is that they tend to put people who are not skilled at working perfectly well with a technology work to do with that technology; that's why we've been having crappy look-and-feels since the onset of Java civilization. When developers become designers, what do you expect? But even that notwithstanding, I believe they should look into the issues I've raised. I can see that Mootools was used for the nifty effects, I urge you to please optimize the code to make it faster for the users; this is because the transitions are not smooth. The internal scrollbar too doesn't respond well to mouse scrolling.
Overall, I'm impressed that the Preview SDK is out so that early adopters like us can try it out to see if there's a future for it in our workflow.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trimming spaces in JavaScript

This is the first of the series of Tutorials I plan to put on this blog for whosoever might be in need of such information. Much more elaborate tutorials will be put up soon on GWT, GWT-Ext, Swift3D, Papervision3D and a host of other technologies.

Programming in Java and PHP has given me the impression that the trim() method which can be found in the aforementioned languages will be present in most popular languages. To my dismay, I looked hard for that function in the String class while doing some JavaScript coding recently. Luckily enough I did eventually stumble upon the regular expression that would help to trim leading spaces as well as trailing spaces in a string. It's as follows:

var s = " Adobe Flex is a good technology for implementing RIAs ";

//To remove leading spaces, i.e.spaces before the string s, use
s = s.replace( /^\s+/g,'');

//To remove trailing spaces, i.e.spaces after the string s, use
s = s.replace( /\s+$/g,'');

//To remove both spaces(i.e.both leading and trailing), use
s = s.replace( /^\s+/g,'').replace(/\s+$/g,'');

You never know, it might come in handy someday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Acrobat 9 will revolutionalize PDFs

I've always opted for Acrobat 7 to Acrobat 8 because of the latter's heaviness, until recently when I became more comfortable with it. I stumbled on a write-up recently on what Acrobat 9 is bringing our way and I became very excited. Here's an extract from the writeup

'Acrobat 9 Pro Extended has all the capabilities of Acrobat 3D version 8, but also so much more… There’s a Video-to-Flash transcoder which allows drag-and-drop of any type of multimedia format onto Acrobat 9 Pro Extended, and it’s converted to Flash video automatically. And, Adobe Presenter – a powerful add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint, is included! This technology is so cool. It allows you to add audio, video, and SWF in a PowerPoint presentation and then save it to PDF for viewing offline'

Click here for more information

Monday, June 23, 2008 plugin for FF3 is simply great!

I downloaded plugin for Firefox 3 yesterday and all I can say about it is that it's simply awesome. Why not give it a shot?
  • No more round trips to the server whenever you try to bookmark a new site
  • All your web bookmarks are imported into the browser and you have the option of exporting your browser bookmarks to the web
I haven't gone through their list of new features, but I've just stated my experience so far with the plugin.

Another great Illustrator!

Need inspiration? Neil Duerden is another great illustrator to watch out for. His designs are greatly inspiring.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Sony Ericsson dazzles us with their 8.1Mega-Pixel camera

On June 17, Sony Ericsson announced the new C905 Cyber-shot phone, a slider-style mobile phone with 8.1 mega pixel camera. What really got me interested was knowing that it had 'Face Detection'. I've only seen this feature on the high-end digital cameras and not yet on a mobile phone; but it's good to know that better times are here. It's also supports the Capuchin API, enabling flash lite applications to communicate with JavaME, creating infinite possiblities. JavaME has some cool features like Bluetooth communication, access to Contacts, 3D, Web services, File Connection API and a host of other features that Flash Lite doesn't currently have and since you can create spell-bounding apps with Flash-lite, the duo are going to be a crazy combination. can't wait to lay my hands on the phone and do some development on it. Click the screenshot above to find out more or click here

FF3 Happy Birthday to you - from IE7

Firefox 3 got another cake from it's fellow friend/foe, Internet Explorer, when it was released a few days ago. Funny, don't you think? The one they got during the FF2 release is still in the refrigerator, but anyway, M$ft will keep being themselves. Click on the image above to read the full gist.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Firefox 3 finally out!

Firefox 3 was scheduled to be finally ready for download on the 17th of June, 2008. That day when I got to work, I logged on to to go and download my copy of the great browser; only to get there and find out that the Release Candidate 3 (RC 3) was still there while the full version 3 wasn't available for download then. It was until later that a colleague of mine told me that due to time differences there will be some lag in the availability of the download link on their site. But I'm happy to announce to you now that Firefox 3 is now available for download with a lot of features

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nokia N95 8GB outguns Apple iPhone 3G

Nokia has done it again with their N95 8GB outgunning the soon to be out (July 11th) Apple iPhone 3G. Though similarly capable, the iPhone was found to be less capable though it stood head-to-head with the N95 8GB, but N95 nevertheless came out victorious. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is very high-tech but has more limitations than N95. (Should soon pickup one.) Some of the restrictive features of iPhone 3G are:
  • non-removable battery, 1400mAh, replacement is via sending away to Apple
  • Very limited RAM (N95 has around 90MB of RAM after booting)
  • Limited multitasking (all apps can be runat once,if necessary;but I don't see why I'd want to do this)
  • No Flash support
  • No option for Bluetooth keyboard, at present
  • 2MP camera- no flash, no recording,fixed focus (N95 has a 5MP camera with professional lens)
  • In use, requires two hands to use most of the time, proving a little restrictive
  • No MMS support (Emailed photos are all downsampled to VGA)

Though it sure has some features that you can't find on N95,like:
  • Pouched/cased by necessity, to protect the touch-screen from damage.(N95's camera is not mechanically protected and picks up small day-to-day scratches which slightly impact photo quality)
  • Better form factor
and some other ones, but the N95 still outshines it, but lets give it to Apple to have been able come-up with a device that can stand head-to-head with one of the highest-tech devices from a phone leader (Nokia). Come to think of it, this is Apple's first time coming up with a mobile phone. What Apple has always been known for is their excellent sense of aesthetics - I hope we all agree?

You can get to read the full comparison by Steve Litchfield here

Google I/O Session Videos & Slides now available!

Google is a driver of the future, take it or leave it. In furtherance of this, to be a participant in this future that we're talking about, there's the need to be abreast with what's happening in that cloud. Google I/O Session was held recently, late last month and a number of key technologies were touched which you might be interested in checking out to see which would interest you. You can get them here.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

All work and some play!

It's being quite some time since I've really taken the time out to relax with friends. The last time I did was on Dabar's birthday and he played some dirty pranks on us that day at Wonderland (Abuja). He cajoled us into riding the MOUSE and the PIRATES. God, it was such an unexplanable experience(more gist on this later). Anyway, I went out with a friend last evening to go and try out some peppered cow meat and it was great fun. Ladies are not as dulling as most guys. She adviced me to try to take some time out every now and then to unwind, rather than being on the PC all day. I'm working on that anyway. She's gonna start blogging too, soon. I'd post her URL when she does. The peppered meat kinda helped relieve me off the catarrh I was having. Thanks to you sis, you kinda made my night.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Khulsey Rocks!

This is one of the best illustrators I've ever come across in my whole life. He pays so much attention to detail. See it here. Here's a screenshot to have an idea of what I'm saying:

If Veerle could say that she feels very small, then what should people like me be saying?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Impressed with

I was impressed with's new look. That's what we've been expecting from Sun Microsystems since. We've been seeing it with the recent Java installers, displaying on screen while installing, what Java can do, so seeing it now on the Java homepage is really great. Anybody who hasn't heard of Java before (which I think is absurd) will have an idea of what people have been doing with Java or what he or she can do with it. Check out the site to see what I'm saying.

Opportunity for Female Nigerian Students

While going through Gbenga Sesan's blog today, I somehow found my way to Ore's blog and I came across an opportunity for Nigerian female students to become IT -able. You can find out more here

My take on JavaFX @

I came across a write-up on DZone today that asked if Java was dying, of which I just felt prompted into sharing my view about the whole issue, though I'm feeling compelled to start doing some JavaFX scripting myself. You could either go to DZone to read the write-up first here or just read my comment below:

"Java isn't dying. But we're all confused as to where Sun is taking us to with JavaFX. We hope Java wouldn't become another VB that was dumped for .NET. What I think Sun should have done is to create good tools - I mean very good tools, not built on the Netbeans of course; or extend existing tools. I'm not saying Netbeans is not good, though it's now fast, it's still not as fast as we want it to be, though it's on its way. Right now, we need tools can that accelerate the adoption of Java, so whatever it will take to get the job done would be cool. Or better still, I believe Sun has taken a good initiative, in making designers continue with the tool that they are good at and are productive in, like Photoshop and Illustrator and leave the coding side of things to developers. The demo that was showcased in the recent JavaOne conference where a designer used Photoshop to pimp up a design and then export as JavaFX Script was really cool. Sun needs to put a force behind this to ensure that almost everything you create within this tools is exported in the JavaFX script created. What I really think Sun should have done was to just make creating RIAs easier with Java probably by using the same tools - Photoshop , Illustrator and the likes - that export JavaFX script to export Java or XML that can be consumed by helper classes incorporated into the JDK. Flash is doing great stuffs in creating beautiful and stunning 3D interfaces and movies today with ActionScipt, not by creating another new language, but by building on what they have. They didn't have to create a new language that is declarative or something to be able to do 3D which it wasn't built for in the first place, but they innovated and the community created libraries like Papervision3D, FlashSandy, Away3D, WOWEngine, Tweener and a host of all others to make this possible.

Well to cut the long story short, Sun has come this far with the JavaFX publicity and can just do away with it now even if they aren't on the right path. What we need know now as Java developers is where we are headed with JavaFX, what are the stakes of we developers in this, because, a lot of Java developers are not being carried along with whats really happening and who JavaFX is for. What I don't understand is why Sun is creating a wrapper around the existing API (around Swing of course) to create RIAs, when there are still lots of improvements we are expecting in the base API provided for our use. We should take things as they appear to be and not confuse people with technology. Like someone said and I quote, most of this JavaFX craze as been seen more on Powerpoint slides than in implementation. I once tried playing around with JavaFX awhile back, say like 6 months ago or so, and wasn't impressed with it's performance at all then, though coding declaratively is great with JavaFX, but performance was really an issue then. I'd also like to make a special note of the Census benchmark carried out by James Ward (an Adobe Flex Evengelist), and also Joshua Marinacci of Sun, where Josh said the JavaFX implementation of the Bubbles demo was faster than that of Flash. I find that hard to believe becuase even when Flash is being used to fake 3D, it performs excellently well beyond what can be accomplished with JavaFX. We should be able to copy good concepts from others and build on it to move forward (sort of the Microsoft way), rather than refusing to accept the fact that some things are currently not the way they ought to be. See FlashSandy for instance, it borrowed it's Scenegraph concepts and has been doing excellently well with it.

So my suggestion to Sun, please let us know what the plans really are as regards the future direction of Swing, Java and JavaFX. Are you leaving everything you've stood for in the Java world for JavaFX or what, we'd like to know?

Then on a final note, I'm still curious as to why Hans Muller, Scott Violet and Chet Haase left Sun within a period of a year. Isn't something wrong somewhere? I'm still pondering on this. Then I'd also like to ask Amy Fowler if she actually tried disposing off the copy of the Flex Book Chet gave her. We shouldn't ignore the fact that some technologies are doing well, even if we have our own competing products. let's just accept the fact of life and improve what we have. Also, we'd love to see more real world examples of JavaFX, than we have been seeing. Most of the demos I saw in the presentation slides of the recently concluded JavaOne conference appear silly and stupid to me. We want more real world uses. The best one I've seen so far was that of the video site, - is it JavaPolis, or something - all other are just crappy demos. Also of note was the JavaFX version of Motorola's website that Chris Oliver spoke about awhile back on his blog, which performed excellently well when I ran it on my desktop back then. Flex Showcase houses more real world uses of Flex, than what we've been seeing with JavaFX. Thats my take for now on Java & JavaFX. "

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Bill Gates last speech as Microsoft employee

Bill Gates delivered his final publicly scheduled speech as a full-time Microsoft employee on tuesday after 33 years of active service and oppression(Sorry to say this). But like someone said either we like it or not, he has made his mark in the software industry and has laid the initial foundation of what is happening on the desktop today. You can read more here. Learnt he also spoke about the upcoming Internet Explorer version 8 beta 2 that is due to be out in August and the next operating system after Vista (Windows 7) which will spot a touchscreen technology. What a graceful step-down.

JavaOne Online Technical Sessions now available for download

If you were unable to attend JavaOne Conference 2008, like me, and you would like to have access to the slides of the presentations given at the conference, I'm happy to tell you that you can get them here. You can navigate to the category you are interested in, from JavaME, JavaSE, JavaEE, Consumer Technologies and a host of all others. So just pick your choice or go for everything. The presentations could be used to increase your development skills by taking the plunge and getting something done after reading through the slides. You also have access to those of the previous years.

Everybody seems to be breaking out of the browser

Adobe seems to be the first to introduce this concept with Adobe AIR, then Sun Microsystems also said that very soon applets will have the capability to be pulled out of the browser and run independently without the browser, Yahoo is also doing the same with BrowserPlus. Applications are ready going to be fun to use in the next few months-years. Google also introduced Google Gears for storing data on the client system and interacting with it from the browser. So take the plunge and start thinking in the real world way - where network connections could be unavailable at some points in time, and people still have to work.

PDF Redefined

Awhile back, say some months ago (between 12-15 months I think), I came across Acrobat 3D and actually downloaded a sample just to see it work and was really impressed to see 3D models being interacted with in Acrobat. I also read about being able to embed flash movies in PDFs and have been waiting to see that happen since. It seems it's about to become a reality with Acrobat 9. I came across this write-up yesterday about it on Ajaxian. What I'm really looking forward to now is the day when I'd be able to embed flash movies and probably manipulate them in PDFs using iText, - by Bruno Iowagie - the Java library for creating and manipulating PDFs.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good to know Adobe CS4 is almost out

I’m glad to hear that because I only have positive things to say Adobe CS3, and now that we are about to have a new version out for our use, I can barely wait. Here are some of the features we’re expecting:

For Fireworks:

  • New user interface
  • CSS-based layouts
  • PDF export
  • Live Style improvements
  • Adobe type engine
  • AIR authoring

The new Dreamweaver touts these features:

  • Live View
  • Related Files
  • Code Navigator
  • CSS best practices
  • Code hinting for Ajax and JavaScript frameworks
  • HTML data sets
  • Photoshop Smart Objects
  • Subversion integration
  • Adobe® AIR™ authoring support
  • New user interface

Very nice list of features indeed. A little more on this is available at Scott Fegette’s blog You can get to try out the beta versions by downloading them at Adobe Labs

The beta versions of Dreamweaver CS4 can be obtained here, and that of Fireworks CS4 can be obtained here. Reading through Adobe Labs today, the features that intrigued me most about Fireworks CS4 are:

  • Output your Fireworks designs to the application platform of your choice: Adobe AIR™, Flash®, Flex®, or HTML. In addition, export web standards–compliant, CSS-based layouts — complete with external style sheets — to Adobe Dreamweaver®.
  • Switch from Adobe Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and Flash — with the ease and familiarity of universal user interface design.
  • Generate high-fidelity, interactive, secure PDF documents from your Fireworks design comps for enhanced client communication.
  • Create your AIR interactive prototype directly within Fireworks, ready to be deployed to HTML and CSS, Flex, or Flash.
As regards Dreamweaver CS4, I’m excited to know that the following features are available:

  • Create multiplatform desktop applications from your Dreamweaver HTML and JavaScript sites with new Adobe AIR™ authoring support.
  • Drag and drop an Adobe Photoshop® PSD file into a Dreamweaver page to create an image Smart Object.
  • Work with popular JavaScript frameworks including jQuery, Prototype, and Spry.Hover over any property to view a tool tip with jargon-free English explanations of CSS principles. New CSS rules can be created and applied in the Property inspector panel and stored in the same document or an external style sheet.
  • View your web pages under real-world browser conditions with the new Live View in Dreamweaver — while still retaining direct access to the code. This simply means that we can now have the Aptana like functionality in Dreamweaver instead of viewing pages in an editable-like mode, we get to experience it fully as we would in the browser. This is one of the main reasons why I use Aptana, which is a great developer’s tool.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

I'd like to use this medium to thank all friends and well-wishers who made my day today. I really so much appreciate your kind gestures. Calls started coming in, in the middle of the night till the close of the day. Text messages too were uncountable. Thanks to FaceBook too for their message.

The much awaited GWT 1.5

Thank God, a release candidate of Google Web Toolkit is now available. The most important thing I like about this release is the ability to program with Java 1.5. Download the release candidate and give it a spin to see what I'm saying. And if you don't know what GWT is, it's simply a tool that enables you to be able to develop your normal Web applications (CSS, Javascript and AJAX) with Java and have it compiled into optimized HTML and Javascript pages that works well in all the major browsers.

GMail Beta Love

Oh how I love GMail. Google, right from inception has been giving us great tools to enhance our productivity. But what really piques my interest is that besides the productivity, they kinda suck you in with excitement as you us their product. Is it the Google Search itself that we want to talk about, is it Google Docs, Is it the Google toolbar; name it, they have it. As I have read on quite a number of blogs and have come to believe that Google is one of the best companies to work for on earth.

What makes me to be giving all these praises to Google was the excitement I got when I was making use of GMail, which I use in my day to day running; though I also use Hotmail & Yahoo, I say it boldly that GMail is the best. The new Hotmail is crap (bad use of Web2.0 concepts), while the new Yahoo is a little better though too bloated I think. I started with a Lycos account back then because I didn't want to go the Yahoo way; I wanted my email address to be different because if you were to ask most Nigerians what their email address is, all you'd get is So most times when I meet Nigerians and I get to ask what their email address is, I finish it for them by adding once they tell me their username. Later Lycos somehow had issues and I lost the account, then I proceeded to Hotmail, and I was satisfied with their service then until GMail came out. I was dying then to get an invitation to use their service then because you could only have an account then with them if you got an invitation. Somehow one of my friends (pumba@cowblock) gave me an invitation. That was how GMail became my number one email provider. The yahoo account I created was created because one of my developer friends (Dabar) got irritated with me some years ago when he wanted to chat with me and he learnt that I didn't have a Yahoo account; so I had to create a Yahoo account, but I didn't want so I opted for i used the account for developmental purposes alone (to be specific, Yahoo UI development). I joined the YUI forum a few years back and the amount of mails I was getting from the forum was becoming a nightmare so I had to dedicate an account to it.

So back to what I was saying:
I closed work yesterday and just hibernated my laptop. On getting home, I resumed my PC and I was able to check quite a number of mails offline, as if I was online. I navigated back and forth from my inbox to personal mails without the display going blank and you know what? I felt good. I must also give kudos to the Firefox (FF) team because Mozilla kinda helped the experience; try doing this with our dear friend, Internet Explorer (IE), and see what happens; know what? The displaywill just go blank because the connectivity is lost. So GMail is able to cache my mailbox without hanging or spoiling the user experience. This is not to say GMail doesn't have it's flaws; one of which is that it freezes FF attimes because one of its scripts is performing an activity that is affecting FF's performance, and FF requests to stop the script in it's tracks, and if you do, the display is broken. But really, come to think of it, GMail is the outcome of the development done in an individual's spare time, and it's this good. Kudos to the GMail team and to Google themselves.

Firefox Love

One of the things that makes Firefox the best browser is the abundance of addons out there that u can plug straight into your browser and be more productive. In one of my previous post, I made mention of PicLens, but there are lots of options out there that can make you more productive. I'd just mention a few that I use in my daily life and also in development.
  1. CoolIris: This addon is also from the developers of PicLens. It enables you to preview a link/page before you open it.
  2. Flash Switcher: As a good developer, you should cater for all kind of users when developing applications. Don't just build a website or an application that works only in the version of the browser that you have on your computer; you need to make provisions for everybody. When I'm building websites that involve including a flash movie, I try to cater for those that don't have the flash player installed on their system; either i provide a way for them to download the flash player and install, or I provide an alternate content to the flash movie. It's a poor practice to just include the embed & object tag alone on your website, which is what some developers do. Don't just generate HTML & SWF from within the Flash IDE, and then copy the embed section and then paste in your target document; this is going to turn out bad, either for you or for your users. Right from Flash 7, it seems Macromedia had started providing the option of injecting the flash movie into your page with javascript, and they still do in the current version. And if you don't want their option, SWFObject has a much reader and user friendly flash injection script that you can use. Back to what I was saying, before digressing, Flash Switcher frees me from the hassle of having to uninstall the flash player and then reinstall after I'm done just to make flash unavailable in the browser. One of the things that can make a developer unproductive is to waste time on an action that has an easier way of being carried out. That's where Flash Switcher comes to the rescue; you can switch between various versions of the Flash player, right there from within your browser, and you completely make Flash unavailable in your browser.
  3. FireBug: This tool is just like Google. Why did I say this? Can you imagine life without Google's search engine? Though their are other search engines, Google Search is the only search engine. Anytime I need to do a lookup, what only comes to mind is Google and when I need a better elaboration, I think of Wikipedia. In the same manner, I can't imagine life as a web developer without Firebug. Firebug is a great tool. Lots of amazing features that makes the life of a web developer interesting: From inline CSS editing(you edit any website's CSS inline and immediately see the results instantly without refreshing), style analysis (view the CSS code that makes a particular element on a page beautiful), Javascript editing and viewing, elements measurement (see the sizes of the various elements on your page), XHR (see the sizes of the various resources being put to use on your site, and also ow long it takes to load each one, view HEAD, POST and GET requests) and a host of more lovely features. Some people go to the extent of using this tool as an hacker's arsenal in downloading resources from sites like (YouTube, MySpace and some other sites like that); I wouldn't elaborate on how to go about doing this, but you can google it to find out more if you are interested.
  4. YSlow: Another good plugin that integrates with Firebug, enabling you to find out what makes your website slow. It grades your website based on some conventions adopted by Yahoo.
  5. Better GMail 2: I came across this addon a few weeks ago. Installed it but never put it to use. I just had a swell experience with it last night while I was about leaving the office and my Firefox browser asked if I wanted to upgrade to the latest version, of which I accepted. After installing the upgrade, I didn't feel the experience yet because I rarely log out of my account bacause I try to avoid having to type my username and password everytime I launch my browser and point it to GMail. Anyway, I did logout of my GMail account because I had one other GMail account I use for developmental purposes, that I wanted to checkout. God, I was completely sucked in with what I saw as regards the GMail interface that I saw. I first thought Google had revamped their site, but I remembered I just upgraded this addon. It was really beautiful (see screenshots above) Beautiful Interfaces wet my appetite, that's why Veerle is the one of the best women illustrators I have come to fall in love with her designs on the web. She's just too good.
  6. I'm used to the habit of bookmarking some of the websites that I use every now and then on paper, because I might at that time be using a public computer that wouldn't be accessible when next I have to browse. But I just decided to put the service to use, and having to navigate to their site every time I browse is a pain which they also know and have provided an addon that you can use within Firefox to bookmark or tag any link you want. So I can access my bookmarks on the web anytime without having to carry out my notebook or diary.
  7. IE Switcher: This addon is just like Flash Switcher too. It saves you time and makes your users or customers happy on the long run. It enables you to be able to view your sites in Internet Explorer, directly from within Firefox itself. What this means is that Internet Explorer is embedded right within Firefox, so you don't have to waste time launching a separate browser instance externally; you have it right there within Firefox. It's a little disheartening for me when I hear some developers say they develop on Firefox alone or on IE alone. One of my great pals once told me while we were working together on one website sometimes ago that we can enforce it on our users to use Firefox alone; this was because the site he designed was misbehaving greatly within Internet Explorer. I do debug for IE, but debugging that particular website was pain. The problem started from the habit that IE has, in ignoring transparency of PNGs, to some float issues I found very difficult fixing. So my pal was just like - we tell our users to use Firefox whenever they want to access the service, which I told him there and then that it was absurd. Eventually, we had to redo a new design that works perfectly well in both browsers.
  8. Clear Cache Button: There are times when caching helps you site load faster while developing, but at other times, it's just pain. This is because you don't get to see the recent changes you just made to a particular page because the browser has cached the old version and is not reloading the new one. In some cases, while developing with PHP, I've had to disable caching in the browser by sending an header request that expires the page immediately, so that on a reload, the browser has t o refetch a new page; though I heard that browsers often ignore this attimes. Anyway, I had to do a manually clear the myself, which is also a waste of time; having to click through several menus, checkboxes, and buttons just to clear the cache is a waste of time for me; I'm very conscious of my time and I don't want to watse it at all if I can help it. It's a pain to clear the cache in Firefox becuase I have to go to Tools -> Clear Private Data, then uncheck some checkboxes so that FF doesn't clear saved passwords, sessions and some other settings that I wouldn't want it to clear. Internet Explorer also makes this difficult because when you try to clear the cache, the browser freezes for a few seconds most of the time. The thought just crossed my mind last week while developing that there ought to be a FF plugin that will just allow me to click a single button and it will clear the cache. I did some Googling and there it was. My life is now easier with that addon.
  9. Tab Effect: This is not a productivity tool, but like one of my developer friends (Java personified, Dejjy); he so much likes those nifty effects you can find on desktops or in applications. There was a time his computer was sort of a toy because there was always something animated moving around. This addon takes your browser to 3D dimension with its 2D effects faked as 3D. You'd love it if you also fascinated by having some animated stuffs around you. The browser flips pages in 3D mode when you close or open new tabs.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lots of cool applications

Sometimes ago I read about FeedDemon on a fellow blogger's site, with it's ability to enable you to view feeds offline. I'm a sort of guy that loves to keep abreast technology so I'm always reading up most of the good things I come across both offline and online. I did take out FeedDemon for a spin and was really won over with it's slick interface and efficiency of operation. You can also check it out too.

There has been so much noise about Adobe Media Player on various blogs and on their site. I wasn't disappointed when I gave it a shot. Keep it up Adobe.

With these kind of apps, you cannot but be productive.

Watched a video yesterday showcasing JXTA. I was impressed with the kind of communication that can be created between various ubiquitous devices with it. Check out the technology to find out more. Also saw a version of Aerith running on a set-up box (kind of TV set) last night. It was really a great sight to behold. Java is doing great on various devices now from cars, to PS3, to TVs and a host of all others. James Gosling and Bill Joy have really been doing us great. I'd also like to give big kudos to everyone that has been making Java a success ever since it's inception.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

God bless Adobe

I have been having challenges having to code MXML by hand-coding it in Flashdevelop. I had Flex Builder 3 but it was a beta version and also a 30-days trial version. I was lucky to find out that Adobe gives students free license to use Flex Builder 3 and showcase their applications at Flex Showcase. Though I'm not longer a student, - now a graduate - I sent a copy of my scanned school ID to the team in charge of giving free licenses to students. I was excited when a few days later, I got the license. You can also sign up for the license if you are a student or a graduate at Flex Registration. If you are not a student, you have to go and buy the license.

PicLens is absolutely immersive

I downloaded some firefox plugins a few weeks back, one of which was PicLens. I installed it, but didn't get to see it work because I didnt read their how-to before installing it in my Firefox browser. I must have been fascinated by what I read online that it can do, which must have made me download it. Anyway, I inquisitively clicked on the play icon I saw appear on the photos within facebook when I saw PicLens take over the screen, in full screen mode, and pull all the pictures within the gallery I clicked on into a 3-dimensional immersive experience. I was really dazed. The experience was undescribable. Immediately I went to the devloper's site to see what was really possible with the tool and to find out more. I discovered that quite a number of sites are already supported by them like Flickr, Bebo, Myspace, YouTube and a host of all others. There's even the ability to add your own website to their collection. This is a must-experience plugin. Go to to find out more. Please try to play around with it and let me know what you feel about it.

JavaFX surely has a future

I wasn't able to attend JavaOne conference this year (May 5-9) - not that I've attended one before -, but I've been up to pace reading blogs, viewing JavaOne Pictures online and watching Videos related to JavaOne. From the various blogs I've read, people had this to say about this year's JavaOne conference; that it was more of JavaFX than anything else. try looking up for some of the write-ups.

Everyone has been making efforts to be a major player in the Rich Internet Application (RIA) space; talk of Microsoft with Silverlight/Windows Presentation Foundation(WPF), Adobe with Flex & AIR, Sun Microsystems with JavaFX. So far I've been very impressed with what has been done so far in the RIA space with Flex & AIR; bears me witness to this. I'm currently working for Quanteq Technologies Services Limited (, a consulting firm that solves ICT related performance problems for companies and organizations through IT Advisory, IT Project Management... One of the objectives I was supposed to meet up with was to embrace and develop with some new technologies and also recommend or research new and emerging technologies that would move the organization forward to realizing its Vision Statement. One of my team members suggested I try out Silverlight too since I was developing with C# (I just started when I resumed here; I've always been a Java guy), but I needed to see mouth-watering/amazing stuffs that people have done with Silverlight before taking the RED PILL. I didn't really see anything that would make me go crazy over Silverlight, but I eventually did see Lee Brilow's demos at, which were more than I bargained for. Silverlight is surely coming up, but it's still a kid beside its parent - Flash, but it surely has great capabilities for us in the near future which shows that Microsoft is also doing good in the RIA space.

Though I've been more of a Java guy in my development life, I've always been very skeptical about JavaFX. I've been following up with the technology just as its form was following function, since its inception when it was still F3, developed by Chris oliver then. I played around with it for some weeks, but eventually had to leave it because it was just too slow to startup. Even though Chris Oliver demoed some cute stuffs with it, I wasn't still impressed to take the plunge with it again.

I always joked with my Java friends that JavaFX was a dead technology. My perception has been that Sun was just trying to be a voice in the RIA space when they were not up to the task. Why don't they concentrate on the spaces where Java is a big force to reckon with rather than struggle in the RIA space that has almost been completely taken over by Adobe & Microsoft. Java has been doing really great in other spaces I must say, examples are Android (Google's new mobile platform), Adobe Flex Builder 3 (Built on Eclipse), BlazeDS (from Adobe too) and a host of all others.

But I was eventually proven wrong with the JavaOne video of 'Experimentating with JDK7 Features' which I saw. Men, there is really a great deal that Java is going to do in the RIA space. From On2's video capability been infused into JavaFX, Parley's website ( being developed completely with JavaFX with amazing features and to hear about the future direction Parleys website is going to be taken to, to Joshua Marinacci's (One of my inspirers) demo, and then to the killer demo of Using Photoshop and Illustrator to pimp up a UI, export it as JavaFX code, then add more code to it with any JavaFX IDE like Netbeans or Eclipse to produce an amazing application. I was more than impressed to see this. What this simply means is that Designers can do their stuff in their tools of choice (Tools that they are conversant with), export it as JavaFX code and have Developers continue from there, which is more than enough. The JavaFX team has created a plugin for Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for exporting your comps as JavaFX code.

I boldly say it not that Sun is really doing great by providing the community with great tools to use. JavaFX is set to rock the world.