Tom Lauck’s

Feed Me!

author: Feed Update

I would like to make everyone aware that the feed will be moving to a new location:

As you know, FeedBurner is used to serve up both the new ( and old ( feeds. I will be removing the old FeedBurner url in the next few days, so make sure to update your bookmarks and RSS aggregators!

New Feed Location:

Mar 27 2008

Pre-Caching Flex Applications Using YUI


I thought a little scenario might assist in prefacing this post.Bob has built a cool Flex application and it now time to show it off to the world. Bob is a web guy, so like most web guys, he uses YSlow to see the performance on his pages. Flex application and YSlow in hand, Bob uploads his files to his web-server. He then realizes that he forgot to ask himself one very important thing, “how big is this Flex application anyway?” To Bob’s dismay, the final size is almost 2 mb! Bob has some options:

  1. Not caring – he has some decency.
  2. Revisit code – he has a deadline to meet.
  3. Play around with RSLs – now he’s getting on the right track.
  4. Pre-caching the application – getting warmer.
  5. Pre-caching the application and the Flex framework – tada.

Now back to me…Bob’s best options here are 3, 4, 5. And more specifically 3 and 5. If you aren’t familiar with RSLs (Runtime Shared Libraries) in Flex, I highly recommend them. By implementing RSLs, it becomes possible to cut down the initial file size of the application, only loading libraries when needed.But one still has to load the swf libraries, even if RSLs are utilized. In many scenarios users visit a specific page or URI before accessing or launching a Flex application. For instance, a search page followed by Flex search results. To take advantage of this, why not take employ AJAX? After all, its primary purpose is the asynchronous transmission of data, so AJAX seems like the perfect tool for the job.I chose YUI for this example, but you could use jQuery or something of the like.

//Caching methods using YUI
var flashCache = {
	handleFailure:function(o){ },
	processResult:function(o){ },
	startRequest:function(url) {
		YAHOO.util.Connect.asyncRequest('GET', url, callback, null);
var callback = {
	scope: flashCache

//Cache the swf and swz
window.onload = function()

By asynchronously loading the Flex application, Framework while the user is taking a preliminary action, you basically take the 2 mb Flex application (although hopefully it is less because you are using Runtime Shared Libraries) and turn it into 12-40k. Otherwise known as the size of the page which the swf file is embedded. (The photo below is not a real representation of the scenario, but illustrates the difference in cache.)

YUI Cache

It is understood that most users who visit your site have an empty cache. However, if you have instances where the user will spend some significant amount of time (enough to load the swf), you and Bob (from the outset) can rejoice in the now optimized speed and total score benchmark you will receive in YSlow…2 mb Flex application included.

Mar 19 2008

Apple iPhone SDK Rejectment Letter?


After reading the live blog of the press conference on March 6th and then watching the video of it, I was really excited about playing with the SDK, especially the OpenGL and OpenAL stuff that was demoed.Excitedly I went to, $99 in hand. Unfortunately, I was met with a “please refresh this page and check back later message.” After waiting, and switching to Firefox (I initially used Safari), I logged in and applied. I started to rejoice, then looked at my screen. Another canned message:

Thank you for submitting your information.While we process your information, please visit the iPhone Dev Center to download the iPhone SDK and access a wealth of technical resources.Please note, the iPhone Developer Program will initially be available in the US and will expand to other countries in the coming months.Next StepsYou will receive notification of your enrollment status. Enrollment ID: XXXXXXXXXX 

Deflated, although still bearing hope, I eagerly awaited their email. Day 1 passed. Then day 2, 3…you get the picture.Finally, today, I see a message arrive from “iPhone Developer Program.” Oooo, excitement again…or so I thought:

Dear Registered iPhone Developer,Thank you for expressing interest in the iPhone Developer Program. We have received your enrollment request. As this time, the iPhone Developer Program is available to a limited number of developers and we plan to expand during the beta period. We will contact you again regarding your enrollment status at the appropriate time.Thank you for applying.Best regards,iPhone Developer Program– snip – 

I’ve been an a loyal customer and somewhat of a fanboy for years. I just don’t get it. Steve and company has this big press conference about the SDK, then they don’t give people access like they said they would?

So Apple, what’s up with the rejection letter?…At least they haven’t taken my $99.

Mar 14 2008