Interdum stultus opportuna loquitur...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

NonRant: What a Big Doohickey You Have...

Note - from June 24th 2009, this blog has migrated from Blogger to a self-hosted version. Click here to go straight there.

I mentioned earlier that I was going to give viewers (and other interested parties) a chance to preview some of the workings of the new Rant subscription site.

The first thing I intended to do was present the Index Analysis doodad that I've built - mostly because the data structure is relatively straightforward compared to Equities, and there are only 20 indices (hence 100 XML files - 5 per Index) as opposed to the 1400-odd Stocks that are in the stock database.

Normally, the Flex bizzo picks up the appropriate data file from where it resides - in a specific bit of the directory structure of the site. But since I'm not ready to unveil the site yet, I wanted to bung the Flex app in a GooglePages intarweb-hole... which necessitates recompiling the Flex and ActionScript code using different file locations.

I've had a crack at doing that this morning, but it is actually harder than you might think to get Flex code to point everything at an utterly flat directory structure. You would think that changing URLs ought to be really quite easy, but I've found a way to stuff it up.

Also, I've found it mildly annoying that the resultant SWF is almost 800k in size (although it only has to load once in order for you to check out every index... 4 seconds or so on a decent ADSL connection). If the final compressed SWF is still that size, anyone with a dialup connection will still be able to view almost the same content through the old PHP/mySQL/HTML structure... but it won't be near as purdy.

Anyway... the overall idea is to see just how damn sexy the app is (and how content-rich: there is no crew in Australia who does anything to the same level of analysis in the one shop).