Flash Development

I read an article that talked about the state of Flash development. A couple years ago, Flash developers were making around $50k a year. However the article stated Flash developers make upwards of $150k. Bamm. That's a nice chunk of change. I thought I would look into this.

Checked out some local job listings. There were indeed a number of Flash developer positions in the area. Some of them even posted their salary ranges. However the highest paying ones were $100k or maybe one $110k job. No salaries were even close to $150k.

The jobs themselves required graphic design skills. You also need to know ActionScript. Not sure what that is exactly. However I am not a Flash developer. May never become one. I am always looking for the high compensation technical areas. Flash might not be on the top. It still could be worthwhile to investigate a little further.

Block Versus Inline

HTML elements can generally be classified as either block or inline. Block elements take up the full width of their area, and normally have a new line before and after the element. An inline element takes up only the width it requires, and does not force a newline.

Some examples of block elements are p, div, h1, blockquote and ul. Examples of inline elements are span, a, strong,
, and img. Note that the image element actually behaves a little like both types of elements. Table is another element that is not strictly block or inline.

Blocks can contain other blocks and inline elements. They take up the entire width of their parent content box. They normally begin on a new line. Block element are also called block-level elements. They describe structure.

Inline elements can online contain text or other inline elements. They do not break the flow. They also do not form new blocks. Inline elements join with other inline elements horizontally, and wrap only if they reach the end of the parent content box. Inline elements are also called text-level elements. They usually describe the appearance. You cannot set the width of inline elements. Their width are controlled by their containers. Be warned that Internet Explorer does not follow this last rule.

In all of this, you should know that the type (block or inline) that an element normally is can be redefined using the display tag. Here are some more rules. Elements in the body are either block or inline. An inline element cannot be directly under the body level tags. Knowing block and inline can separate you from the rank and file HTML coders.

The Rise of HTML5

I tried to visit a site that would produce a Google style logo for me. Imagine my surprise when I got a message greeting me as an "old timer". It then went on to say that the site I was visiting required HTML5. It recommended I download Chrome or Firefox to view the site.

Normally I would not think twice about this. I would just click to go to some other site. But I just went through an upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. The upgrade was a difficult path. My initial tries resulted in error. Had to get some help getting the thing installed and working.

I also thought that HTML5 was not even a standard yet. The current standard should be XHTML, which is HTML4 plus a little XML. What is going on here? Must be some Google ploy to battle with Microsoft. Maybe I will try going to the site with Firefox. But this better be a damn good site with all this trouble.

More on Node.js

I keep reading a lot about Node in blogs. Here is what more I have learned. Node is a command line tool. Programs can run it by calling sys.exec(). It works in UNIX, but not Windows yet. You install it by downloading the source code for it. It is geared toward network and file I/O. None of the calls block. You get an immediate promise and a future callback. Some call it the future of web development.

Ryan Dahl is the creator of Node. It currently is around 11k lines of C++ code, along with 6k lines of JavaScript. How do you like that? The JavaScript helper is itself written partially in JavaScript.

Node is good for small projects. It does not scale that great if you are dealing with large files. This is server side JavaScript for a lot of connections. The author believes frameworks will be written on top of Node. I am going to try to learn JavaScript, and then dive into Node.