Tonight Rich Kilmer presented his Alph Ruby to Flash bridge. I had checked out Alph before (version 0.0.3 from 2004) but was unable to get it working. Rich said that he’d place an updated copy up on RubyForge soon. The way to setup the bridge looks slightly different in his new version:
conn = Alph::ConnectionManager.new flash = Alph::FlashVM.new("id", conn)
Rich also had a demo with multiple bar charts which were dynamically updated from the Ruby server when the user clicked on the ‘play’ button in the Flash VM running in the browser. If he posts the code, I’ll add a link to it. Basically the Flash code creates two movies within the root movie and adds a text field to each along with a button which calls back to the Ruby server. This Flash code is compiled with the MTASC compiler to create the SWF which runs in the Flash player (in the browser). The Ruby code uses the code I mentioned above (in a separate thread) and then registers itself for callbacks – when it is called back it injects the progress bar into the running Flash movies (and twiddles with the text in the text fields, also in the Flash movies). Alph is currently being used by InfoEther’s indi platform. In this case both the Flash client and the Ruby server run on the same machine. After his talk, Rich mentioned the haXe and Neko projects from Nicolas Cannasse of Motion-Twin. They book look like very interesting projects and there are rumors that Ruby is being ported to the Neko VM (so now we have Rite/YARV and others working on a VM for Ruby – why can’t all of these folks work together?) The next NovaRUG meeting will be at FGM in Reston, VA on June 28 – Xandy will be presenting on Rake. I’m definitely looking forward to it.