The search continues – Day 2

So today is day two of the job searching. I’ve put together a plan for my day to accomplish two things. 1. It helps me become more marketable by honing my skills. 2. It keeps me busy so that I don’t do time wasting things like watch TV or surf the internet all day. As a side benefit, I think staying busy will help me stay positive through this.

Here’s my plan for my work week:

  • Get up and get the kids to school
  • Once people are out of the house, make this daily blog and get things going on the computer.
  • 9:30 am – start making recruiter and other phone calls. No one is really functioning in the office for phone calls at 9am.
  • Get out of the house and do any running around that I need to do.
  • Housework, I do some normally, but now that I am home I will be taking over much more of it.
  • Continue coding – I have some personal projects that have been languishing due to lack of time, and now I have time to spare. I’ll post them here as I complete them.
  • Write some fiction, which I may post here. This is more to break up my day, since coding straight I start to lose my creative edge. This gives it back to me.
  • Back to coding
  • Evening stuff
  • Get kids to bed
  • More coding, or time to relax
  • Go to sleep at a reasonable hour, so that I can do it all again the next day. This one is also a key thing. Staying up until all hours means I sleep in the next day, and gets me in a habit of not doing the things needed doing. So I’ll be headed to bed early and waking up early.

That’s the plan I have currently. Suggestions are always welcome, but I think this one will work for me. I already have some good leads, and I hope that at least one of them pans out. I will of course, keep you all informed.

Today I continue my search for the perfect job.

I say continue, because in this economy and with the shakeups at my last, as of today, employer, I thought it would be prudent to start putting out feelers to see what the market for someone with my Flex, Flash, and web development skills would be. It’s fairly lukewarm, but jobs do still seem available.

As you might have gathered, I was just recently laid off. It was the second of the most recent round of cuts, and about a dozen people were let go, including some very senior staff. It seems that I was on the list of people that were compensated well, and they are trying to cut costs.

My intent on this new series of posts is to be positive about the job search, to get my name out there, and lastly, to give myself a routine during the day so that I keep moving forward with my life and career, rather than letting things stagnate. So you can expect this and other blog posts, once a day until I get a new job. They might continue after that, but how about we decide that after getting over this first hurdle. Getting the job. The one rule I have for these posts, is that they are positive. They may relay bad news, but I am going to strive to look on the bright side of things instead of wallowing in self pity or some nonsense like that. (I’ve already done that in my past, and let me tell you, it doesn’t work. It also has a tendency to make you stink. Which does not help your chances of getting a job.)

Flash animations in Flex ignoring their stop() actions?

Remember that issue I had with getting Flash and Flex to play nice and give me events from Flash swfs loaded into a Flex application? Well, it’s the same project, same files, and with a new wrinkle.

So we have the near final files from the client’s agency, and they look good, and perform all the interactions that are needed for the launch in a few weeks. Great! Only one problem. The animations never stop, flash on and off, and do all sorts of other things that are strange.

All of it though, is explained by there being no stop() actions in the Flash swf. To remind you, our gentle reader, both Flash and Flex are published in AS3 for Flash Player 9. I had the foresight to request the original FLA files, so even though I don’t have the fonts available, I can still look at the code, and tweak it to see if any changes I suggest to the agency will actually work. The stop() actions are there! What the frell?

So I do some searching, and searching, and searching. Nothing. I did find out that the default frame rate for Flex movies is 24 fps. So taking that, I thought that the frame rates might not be syncing, since the Flash swfs are set at 30 fps. So I change the setting in the Flash swfs down to 24 fps. Nothing, same errors with things spinning, and button states flashing.

Then I noticed that when I rolled over the buttons, that they stopped flashing, even when I was no longer interacting with them. It was like they caught the stop() that was on their timeline. So after a bit of tinkering I found out this. In our Flex application, when these swfs were loaded, if the loaded swfs had Tweens that tweened an animated movieClip, the animation would ignore the stop() actions in it’s clip.

To solve this, I found out that stop() actions needed to be added to every keyframe that the animation had, and it needed to target the movie that was animating. So if a sign was twirling around, it was, I had to add sign.stop(); to every keyframe where I wanted the sign to not move. I added this on the timeline that had the fade in tween of the sign movieClip.

I still don’t know why this happens, but adding the stop() actions that directly target the movie clip that needs to not move fixes it. If anyone has more insight into this, please let me know. I’m stumped as to why it is happening, and why this workaround is needed.

NOTE: I created a test Flex application, with nothing but a swfLoader to see if I could give that to the agency for testing purposes. In that, the animation behaved 100% correctly. So it’s not all Flex applications, just the one I am working on.