Making your own positives in the face of negatives.

Things have been rather up and down for me lately. Overall, on the up side luckily, but still too much up and down for what I like.

Ups:

  • I have a writing project that is nearing completetion that I will talk about soon.
  • At work, I am on a new client project that is challenging and has engaged my mind. Always a good thing.
  • I’ve continued to enjoy my reintroduction to woodworking, and have made great strides in cleaning up the shop.
  • The team that I helped put together is both awesome and supportive in the trouble that the project (below) has encountered.

Downs:

  • Vegas After Midnight, is a project that I have been working on in my head for years, and had assembled a great team recently to bring it about had to be shut down. If you want more details on that, I talked about it on http://vegasaftermidnight.net.
  • My deck continues to be a struggle to start. Today I finally am able to have someone over to dig the holes for the footings, and… it rains.
  • My 3D printer still has not arrived. The Eventorbot Kickstarter shipping is still happening, so I know that I will get it eventually. It’s just when that eventually is going to happen that is the most frustrating.

As I said, more ups than downs. I’d like things to be a bit more up, but life is life. I’m moving on with it and looking forward to making more up times.

When I have completed the edits and sent them into the editor, I’ll let you all know more about the writing project. I will tell you it’s up my alley with one of the things I am known to tinker with.

Once the holes are dug, I will be getting the building inspector out to look at them and then setting the footings for the deck.

Since Vegas After Midnight isn’t going to be happening, I have some other thoughts in my head to do.

I haven’t forgotten about the laser cutter either. I got the laser in, and I need to wire up a control circuit to turn it on and off using the Arduino. Once that is done, I’ll do some test cuts and post them here. Assuming success with that, I have the base of a larger version already started to allow me to make larger sized cutouts.

So again, things are up. The rain has let up, and the diggers are back at work. I’m going to go downstairs and help my daughter with a very tricky video game problem in Lego Star Wars. So if you will excuse me, I’ll be working on one of those high points in life.

Communication, the podcast – intro

The first in a series of stream of conciousness podcasts aimed at consolidating my thoughts on development, writing, and communication.

FlexUnit 4 – Starting out

For any of you familiar with FlexUnit 1, Fluint, or FlexUnit 4, move along. This is probably going to be so simple you will scoff at it. For those of you who haven’t started out with any unit testing, especially the new FlexUnit 4, then read on.

First:

FlexUnit 4 has NOTHING to do with Flash Builder 4 in terms of version number. It actually relates to JUnit 4 (which specific version, I don’t know, someone?). So for those of you wondering, yes, it can test Flex 3 SDK , not just Flex 4 SDK projects.

Next: Getting started

Whether you have an already created project, or are starting a brand new one, there is a simple set of steps that you can perform in Flex Builder 4 to set up your project for unit testing.

I am writing this, because I thought it should be easy, and it is, I just went about it the wrong way and I want you out there to not have to make the same mistake.

Originally, I was right clicking on the Package Explorer and trying to use Execute FlexUnit Tests menu item. While this will eventually work, it won’t yet. Why? You haven’t set up your project to know that it has FlexUnit tests!

Steps: (This is the way I know how to do it, if you know another way, let me know!)

  1. Select Run > Run > FlexUnit Tests
    1. This brings up a progress dialog that sets up all of the libraries into your project.
    2. Then the Run FlexUnit Tests dialog comes up.
    3. If you haven’t written any tests yet, then you can only Cancel from this.
  2. Write some tests!
    1. Create a new package that will contain all of your tests. This way you can keep track of them more easily and separate them out of your production code.
    2. A simple testing class will look like this:
    3. package TestingPackage
      {
      	import flexunit.framework.Assert;
      
      	public class TestSampleLayout
      	{
      		[Test]
      		public function testAssertFalse():void
      		{
      			Assert.assertFalse( false );
      		}
      
      		[Test]
      		public function testSampleLayoutFunctionReturn():void
      		{
      			var initialString : String = "Hello World.";
      			var finalString : String;
      			finalString = new SampleLayout().sampleFunctionReturnTest( initialString );
      			Assert.assertEquals( initialString, finalString );
      		}
      
      		public function TestSampleLayout()
      		{
      		}
      	}
      }
    4. This class does two tests.
      1. It asserts that False really is false. You normally wouldn’t do this, but it shows you something of what you can do.
      2. It tests the method “sampleFunctionReturnTest” of the class SampleLayout. The method merely spits back whatever string it was entered.
    5. So when it gets run through AssertEquals, and they are equal, then the test passes. If they are not, then it would fail.
  3. Note that before each test method is [Test], this is what FlexUnit 4 uses to determine if a method is a test or not. So you need that before every test you want run.

I am still working out all of the different types of testing that are available, but this should hopefully get you started until I post more, or more documentation becomes available.

Like my friend Chris Miller, I’m working, no really, I’m working.

I’ve never been exceptionally good at keeping up with the blog here, even though this year started out fairly well. So in order to keep my momentum going, you know an object in motion tends to stay in motion, I am going to be writing these smaller updates in addition to when I get out my long tutorials and other long form posts.

I’m still working at Digital Primates and loving what I do there. I haven’t had much time while on the job to study up for the Flex Developer’s Certification, so I do that as much as I can from home. I need to take a practice test or two to see where I would score if I took the actual test, and where I need to focus my studies to make sure I pass.

Over the last several months I have worked more with the Flex Framework than I have ever before. I am so used to doing things in pure AS2 an AS3, that I had to retrain myself to look for things in the framework that were already waiting for me to just use them. Some of the people at DP also have been a great help in this. I’d thank them all here, but I’d really be thanking everyone at the company, so thanks guys.

Moving on into the late summer, I am still working on my augmented reality project. My friend and now co-worker (he’s an intern at Digital Primates), Joe, is helping me work through the FLARToolkit. Making things make sense, and finding out where we can speed things up. Optimization was the main topic last week. This week it was me solo, but I was able to get DAZ3D models into our app. Definitely need more optimizing there (15 Meg for a model! jeesh!).

Oh, and I am also now a contributor to the FLARToolkit’s repo. Haven’t submitted anything yet, but I should before the next post. So with Podiobooks.com, this is the second open source project that I am currently active in.

I may get out another post before Gen Con, so stay tuned.