Thursday, April 15, 2010

News Flash

Flash Code

Depending on whether or not you have this blog bookmarked directly or you got here via you may have noticed that my website has undergone a facelift. After five years I guess it's about time.

I have no experience building a website so I was pleased when the basic foundation came together quickly and without any real trouble. I have to give a shout out to for his tutorial which made it possible along with dad for help with the ftp account. The next step was to add a photo gallery so I found a plug in and plugged it in. No trouble there, but I wasn't completely happy with it. So being one who is always looking to expand my horizons and also a little bit of a glutton for punishment the thought occurred to me to build my own.

Now I have absolutely no experience with Adobe Flash programming, but I do love a challenge so I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  I figured the first step was to learn something about Flash so I sat down and soaked up all the pertinent video tutorials on the subject that I found on the excellent site of

Before attacking the photo gallery I decided to start with something I felt would be a little easier so I started building a Navigation Bar. It's a few days later and I'm still working on the nav bar. I've built two so far, but wasn't content with either so I tried combining some elements from each. That proved to be a small disaster, but I took another approach and now I'm back to having one basic nav bar.
Unfortunately, by looking at it you wouldn't know that it was done in Flash and that isn't acceptable to my vanity after all this work so I'm experimenting and hopefully tomorrow I can add a little something something and make it "Flashy"!

Learning coding is like learning another language, except you'll rarely hear anyone converse in it. At this point my code skills are sort of like my Spanish skills. I can read it and sort of understand what is being conveyed, but I can't put a good sentence together on my own to save my life. So when you get an code error it's worse than trying to find a needle in a haystack. At least a needle is shiny, metallic and has a distinctive shape. Finding a code error is more like trying to find a piece of hay in a haystack.  It is like being told there is a piece of hay in that stack which we don't like, now go find it!

So it's an interesting exercise, really frustrating at times, but rewarding when things work they way they should. I now have a huge semi-productive time sink in my life and lots of ideas floating in head to try so I should learn quite a bit, even if it will cost me a lot of time and a few fistfuls of hair!

Is it worth it? Well, I'll let you know.