A little self promotion never hurt anybody, right?
We play and play, but we rarely pause to ask ourselves about the humans behind the games that liven up our lunch hour and the hours beyond. But if you’ve ever given up a chunk of your time to conquering Crush the Castle, fighting for your “life” as a zombie in Sonny, or battling through the dirt and blood of Warfare 1917, you’re already made a connection with the staff and community at Armor Games–as have millions of players before you.
Why is it that users who do not use flash are subjected to the most disrespectful experiences. Here it is again, Disney and their Toy Story website essentially gives the middle finger to those who visit their web site without flash.
Top: with flash, Bottom: without flash
Its been over 13 years since Flash was introduce. To assume that users who visit a web site without flash have somehow forgotten to enable the plug-in is simply naive. Users who visit a site without flash have most likely done so purposefully. They have either chosen to disable flash or are not able to use flash because of some other limitation. Providing absolutely no useful experience to these vistors says a lot out your site, your brand and your respect for your users.
I get asked quite often about how to temporarily disable flash in Firefox and IE. Although there are Firefox Add-ons like Adblock and Flashblock, these don’t actually deactivate the plugin. They simply replace flash elements with static elements. For testing purposes its important to understand exactly what users without flash will see. With that in mind, here are two techniques I use to quickly disable the flash plugin in Firefox 3 and IE 7.
Firefox 3: Disable flash plugin
Firefox makes it very easy to disable any browser plugin. Simply go to Tools->Add-ons->Plugins. Select “Shockwave Flash” from the list of plugins and click the disable button. Thats it. No need to restart. When your ready to activate flash again simply follow the same steps. Screenshot not good enough for you?
Internet Explorer 7: Toggle Flash
Toggle Flash is a toolbar button that executes a script to temporarily disable flash in the browser. Again, no need to restart. Click the button and flash is disabled. When your ready to re-enable flash just click the button again. There is one quirk in that it dosent have any sort of visual feedback on whether flash is enabled or disabled. You sort of have to just remember. Regardless its a simple and very useful tool.
Guido van Rossum, a Google App Engine developer, has released into open source the Rietveld Code Review Tool at http://codereview.appspot.com. This web application ties into a subversion repository to create a work flow for the review and commenting of newly submitted code.
This tool was born from an Google internal tool that Guido developed called Mondrian. Guido gave a Google TechTalk on the Mondrian tool called Mondrian Code Review On The Web (YouTube link). This TechTalk provides insight into how the work flow operates and how helpful a tool like this can be. Perhaps something to play with on your next project…
So what makes Aptana Cloud different? From the looks of it they are offering an very specific LAMP based architecture stack that has tight integration with the Aptana IDE. They Offer developers synchronization and deployment management tools as well as an “integrated service management console”. Aptana Cloud offers administrators management tools, dashboards & stats, Google analytics integration, status tools and backup options. They offer development teams the ability to manage access to projects through Roles and Rights.
The interesting difference is that Aptana is partnering with Joyent to implement the Aptana Cloud solution on Joyents virtulatization platform. Aptana expects that in the future developers can select from a list of virtulatization providers including Amazon and Google.
From the sound of it Aptana is really looking to place their IDE at the center of web application development and give developers all they features they need to implement, deploy and manage web applications with one tool. The service is currently in closed beta but you can request early access (I signed up several weeks ago and no word yet).
I have personally just cut over to Firefox 3 as my default browser. I was finally able to gather the core add-ons I needed to make the switch. Some of the add-ons are still in beta, but are at least compatible with Firefox 3 so most of he functionality is there.