Atellis passes the one year mark, and we still don’t have a website!

As a lot of friends know I’ve been busy the past year since starting my company and I thought I’d share that we just passed the one year mark last month. Amazing how quckly time has passed and how much we’ve accomplished in a year, yet we still don’t have a website for the main company Atellis. In the past year we grew to 15 people, outgrew an office, have two products in the market (and more coming), and everyone got an iPod Video for Christmas too. Our division B-Line Medical has been doing very well and the future is looking better than ever. If you are or know of a talented developer out there looking for a fun place to work and live in the D.C. area or wouldn’t be apposed to moving here, drop me an email. We’re hiring developers for Flex 2/Flash, .Net, and C/C++ low level developers.

We’ve got a lot of exciting stuff coming up this year which I will be sharing here, just need to get time to do the website for Atellis sometime :)

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Belated announcement about working on “Programming Flex 2″ by O’Reilly Publishing

Probably no secret right now, but just thought I’d officially announce it here finally that Joey Lott and I are working on a book covering Flex 2 for O’Reilly publishing titled “Programming Flex 2“. This is my first book and I have to say this writing stuff isn’t easy although I’m enjoying it. I hope this book helps spread the word on how truely excellent of a job Macromedia (Yeah I know, now Adobe) have done with this platform.

Could Flex replace HTML one day? FXT is a good start

Ted posted FXT, a project he’s been working on and I couldn’t help but feel think when he first shared this.. Wait, Flash/Flex being used for things that usually I see HTML used for. I’m a pragmatists when it comes to Flash usage so I cringe when I see people wanting to go that far (like building a house out of Flash).

In our products we use Flash a good deal, but we also use traditional HTML application and dare I say some AJAX too. I love Flash and Flex, but don’t see it replacing HTML anytime soon. One of the benefits though of Flex over Flash has been its development process is much closer to how traditional development shops work. There are more things I would consider Flex for than I would have considered using Flash just purely based on the economics of rapid development and maintaining code base vs the richness of Flash. So with Flex 2, I am expecting more and more applications that developers only considered HTML as the proper technology to use to give Flex a try.

Back to Ted’s announcement of FXT. This looks like an interesting project towards seeing Flex moving even closed to replacing more places where HTML is better. It allows you to take the power of Flash/Flex and bring it to more traditional web applications. It also should be attractive to some developer who don’t even like the Flex data exchange model, and want it to behave even more like traditional HTML applications. The programming model has built in organization via our favorite pattern MVC. Definitely worth a look, especially the implementation details of how data is provided and how templating works.

Worth mentioning here are things that have progressed in the past over how the Flash Player integrates within the browser. We now have hacks to get bookmarking working, browser history, content scrolling, and some other things I’ve probably forgot.. but it’s still not truly part of the browser like HTML is. I’m sure if it were up to Adobe the player would be a first class citizen in all browsers out there (we would get benefits like being able to open links in a new tab and hitting ctrl+a to select the entire page’s content be it Flash or HTML), until then I bet the will keep try to find ways to improving the integration of Flash and the browser as much as possible with the limitations of the browser plug-in API’s. Which brings me to Apollo:

Apollo is the code name for a cross-operating system runtime being developed by Adobe that allows developers to leverage their existing web development skills (Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript, Ajax) to build and deploy Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) to the desktop.

I can’t help but think that Apollo was inspired by the inability to take Flash to the next level without being able to have complete control over the entire runtime. HTML isn’t going away, but all this can only lead to more usage of Flash everywhere..

Enable SWF Files as a Supported File Type in Firefox on OS X

I’m posting this for myself and in case anyone finds it useful. There currently is no stand alone native Flash Intel Mac Player, so I resort to dragging SWF files to Firefox often. One thing that bothered me was the inability to drag a SWF onto the Firefox icon in the Finder or selecting Firefox as the default file handler for SWF files, instead you have to drag the SWF file to an open Firefox window. Turns out it was an easy change. After a look at the contents of and adding swf as a supported file type, it turns out to be a quick change. And rather than having to do this manually each time I upgrade Firefox, I decided to create a patch file that way I can just quickly add back the support after I upgrade Firefox


  1. Download the archive (Firefox Patch)
  2. Expand the archive
  3. Open terminal and navigate to the folder
  4. Assuming Firefox is in your applications folder, execute the command “patch -uN /Applications/ ./firefox.patch”
  5. For the Finder to pick up the change in the support file type you have two options
    1. Restart your mac
    2. Create a copy of Firefox, delete the original, and rename the copy back. Creating a copy causes the Finder to re-evaluate the support files types without needing to restart your mac

I’ve used this with Firefox 1.5.x and 2.0 beta1-rc3 with no problems.