Category Archives: PHP

Flash Media Playback – WordPress plugin

Last night I started writing a plugin to easily embed the Flash Media Playback video component on WordPress blogs and its now ready for you all to use!

Flash Media Playback is a free media player based on the Open Source Media Framework and hosted by Adobe so its ideal for bloggers to use. You don’t need to install the video player yourself and can very easily just point to a video file, set up some optional configuration settings and you’re done.

Thanks to some very helpful beta testers I’ve got an update ready and a stable release is hosted on the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Using the plugin couldn’t be simpler, in a post you just use the following syntax:

[FMP] path to your video file [/FMP]

[FMP]http://adobe.edgeboss.net/download/adobe/adobetv/platform_evangelism/believe.mp4[/FMP]
 
The path to the video file is the only required argument, in which case the video will be shown with the default width and height you set up in the plugin options page.

Optional arguments include: width, height, poster, autohide, controlbar, playbutton, autoplay, loop,…

Example:

[FMP width="320" height="240" controlbar="none" autoplay="true"] http://mydomain.com/video.mp4 [/FMP]

On the plugin options page you can set up whether or not to embed SWFObject 2.2, the text to be displayed if Flash Player isn’t installed and the default width and height for the video if not specified.

Using SWFObject ensures cleaner embed code than the raw object / embed tags generated with the Flash Media Playback Configurator.

I plan to support setting up more default values in the plugin options page (controlbar style, autoplay,…) in a next release as well as possibly some of the more advanced features supported.

[update] version 0.8 now adds support for HTML5 video fallback (useful for iPhone, iPad) and default values for all optional arguments.

 
You can download the component here or install it through your WordPress admin interface. I look forward to seeing people use it on their blogs. Websites developed using WordPress will run both on Windows hosting and Linux hosting
 

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TwitLive AIR application

Last Sunday afternoon I was listening to The Tech Guy on twitlive.tv and when I accidentally closed its tab one too many times decided to quickly make an AIR app for it to have it available as a desktop application.

TwitLive AIR application

It literally took me 11 lines of code and a good 15 minutes to build. Decided to send it to Leo and was happy to hear how excited he was about the app and did a plug for it on the net@night and MacBreak Weekly podcasts.

You can use the application to watch the live video stream and see the schedule for upcoming shows. Looks like it was released just in time to see him do the 24 hour iPhone 3G launch marathon.
 

How was this built?

For those of you not familiar with Adobe AIR:

  • AIR is a free cross OS runtime (Windows, Mac and Linux)
  • There’s no new language to learn, it uses web technologies like HTML, AJAX, Flash and Flex
  • You get a lot of additional API’s like drag ‘n drop, filesystem access, network detection, clipboard access, local database support and much more that you can directly call from your code

This particular application was built in Flex with a TabNavigator component and two HTML components that are specific to AIR (the runtime has the open source WebKit embedded, the same HTML rendering engine as Safari uses).

For embedding the AIR install badge on his blog, Leo is the AIR Badge plugin for WordPress, a project I started a couple of months back.

I hope you’ll like this little application, there’s obviously a lot more you can do with this so am happy to hear any feature requests you might have. Leave a comment or drop me an email.
 

Download and install

[airbadge]TWiT Live Desktop, http://leoville.com/wp-content/uploads/twitlive-air/TwitLive.air, 1.5, null[/airbadge]

 

AIR Badge WordPress plugin

If you want to distribute AIR applications the install badge is definitely the best way to go. The one problem I had with it is that its a pain to prepare and embed on your blog.

To help remedy this I started working on this AIR Badge plugin last night, it allows you to simply use an [airbadge] tag and a couple of arguments in your blog post which will then be replaced by the AIR install badge.

 

Example

[airbadge] application name, full URL to .air file, application version, image.jpg [/airbadge]

[airbadge]Contact Manager,
http://www.peterelst.com/downloads/sqlite/sqlite-contactmanager.air,
1,https://peterelst.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/contactmanager.jpg[/airbadge]

 
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AMFPHP and Flex 2

There have been a number of posts and tutorials posted on this topic but just wanted to post it here as well because I’ve heard some people who were under the impression it is not possible to hook AMFPHP or other Flash Remoting solutions up to Flex 2.

Flex 2 uses a newer and more optimized version of the AMF format, while its true that exisiting Flash Remoting solutions currently don’t support this latest AMF format, it is possible to set a property on the NetConnection class to make it compatible.

Getting this done is pretty easy, you create a custom class by extending flash.net.NetConnection and set the objectEncoding property to AMF0 (the constant is set in flash.net.ObjectEncoding.AMF0).

For more information see:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/flex/articles/flex2_amfphp.html
http://www.tweenpix.net/blog/

WordPress updated to 2.0.1

If you’re running WordPress its well worth doing the upgrade to 2.0.1! I just did it here this afternoon and it fixes a whole lot of issues I had with 2.0.

The dashboard is now actually usable and doesn’t crash all the time, performance seems to be way up, smilies are working, linebreaks in the WYSIWYG post editor are converted to linebreaks in HTML etc. Not sure what went wrong with my 2.0 install but it was extremely buggy to say the least and now I’m a happy camper again 😉

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Configuring a Flash application – Part Two

DMXzone.com has just published my follow-up article on using an XML file to configure your Flash applications, its a pretty cool piece even if I say so myself 😉

The article talks about how to take things one step further, change config parameters at runtime and save the XML file back out using a simple PHP script. I’ll probably have more articles available in this series in the coming weeks, so if you liked to first free article, you’ll definitely be interested in reading this one.

Any feedback or suggestions for future articles is of course very welcome!

http://www.dmxzone.com/ShowDetail.asp?NewsId=11543

WP-ShortStat WordPress plugin

I recently got word from my good friend (and CMS guru) mattie about a great plugin. This plugin is a really cool addition to those of you running a WordPress blog for getting some visitor stats (including those that read it through your RSS feed) inside the admin panel. Extremely easy to install, just upload and activate it — no further action required which was a pleasant surprise!

http://dev.wp-plugins.org/wiki/wp-shortstat