Flash Player 8 is out of beta

Macromedia finished up Flash 8 this week and released it to their Devnet subscribers. With that happening, it was also time to push the player out of beta as well. As of today you can upgrade Flash Player 8 and not have any of those beta worries.

Check out my Express Install page to see what it’s like to upgrade without having to visit Macromedia’s site. One thing I thought was odd is that Macromedia’s own download page doesn’t give you the option of using Express Install, and instead they only give you a link to download the OS X installer. If you are using Internet Explorer, they have always sent you to d page with a Flash movie embedded so it would trigger the ActiveX install, instead of forcing people to download the executable installer for Windows. Seems like an odd move to me.

I also have some issues with the final wording on the Express Install mechanism. When you start the upgrade, the dialog warns you that “This content requires Flash Player 8” when in fact you may already be using Flash Player 8 and simply need to upgrade from 8.0.15 (a beta version) to 8.0.22 (the ‘final’ version). Can you imagine trying to explain to a client why their website tells them they need Flash Player 8 when they already have another version of it installed, and then not being able to change the text because Macromedia controlls it?

There may also be the few occasions when you would want to build a Flash 7 site, and use the Express Installer to upgrade users from version 6.0.65 to 7. The upgrade message would still inform them that they need ‘Flash Player 8’ when they really only need version 7. This situation is much less common I’m sure, but once Flash Player 9 is released, they will need to change the wording to something more generic anyway because people will still be using it to upgrade users from version 7 to version 8.

Katrina: how can you help?

Aside from the usual Red Cross website, here are two other websites that may be of interest to everyone:

I’m OK Registry – Enter the phone number of a loved one to see if they have checked in, or ask questions about a person by entering their phone number and posting a message. This is an excellent resource for people who may have relatives in the area and are wondering if they are ok.

Displaced Designer – A resource for those in the creative industry recently displaced by the on-going situation in New Orleans and the surrounding region. Offer up desk space to a designer who needs a place to work, or find a desk if you are a designer who no longer has a place to work because of the hurricane / flooding.

Please help spread the word about these sites. If more people see them, more people can help.

The Chopping Block is now hiring a Design Technologist

The Chopping Block is searching for a creative minded Programmer/Design Technologist. “We’re looking for a individual who is not afraid of stepping into the ring and landing a few solid punches.”

Primary responsibilities are (about 50% of your time):

  • Building Flash websites (using AS 1 and 2) that load data in dynamically (usually from XML files).
  • Authoring valid and semantic XHTML and styling it with CSS, using Javascript (AJAX and DOM) to enhance those Flash and XHTML websites. Familiarity with FlashObject and sIFR is a plus.
  • Cross browser compatibility is very important, so being able to work around all of IE’s quirks and Safari’s shortcomings is a required.
  • Having a good eye for design and good usability practices is a must.
  • Managing production artists and designers and being the technical lead on multiple projects at once.

Secondary responsibilities (about 30% of your time):

  • Building or modifying the back end for those websites using server side technologies like PHP, Java, ASP.NET, Ruby (on rails), MySQL, XML and XSLT.
  • Administering production and development web servers and e-mail (familiarity with Plesk is a big plus), including using Mailman to manage mailing lists.

Other responsibilities (about 15% of your time):

  • Assisting the principals in maintaining a small network of OSX workstations and a couple OSX file/web servers and a couple of Windows PCs.

And last (about 5%):

To apply, please send your resume in PDF or plain text format, along with a link to your online portfolio (or examples of your work) to jobs@choppingblock.com.

UPDATE (9-29-05): The spot has been filled, but if you are looking for work it wouldn’t hurt to send your info over to them in case they need more people!