What Is a Theoretical Developer?

Note: Take this post with a grain of salt. It’s meant to be a slightly amusing rant, and should not be used as an official classification system for developers.

Engineers, Architects, and Chemists work with their hands on “real life” projects. They of course use their problem solving and thinking skills in their line of work, but in the end, they get paid to develop specific products with practical uses.

Mathematicians and Theoretical Physicists do the exact opposite. They spend all day thinking, pondering, and mediating; finding better ways of describing the universe, and using their minds to solve problems that may not even exist in real life. (Yes, I skewed those descriptions to fit the point I’m making.)

Sometimes their work has practical applications, sometimes it does not.

What is a theoretical developer?

Similarly, Theoretical Developers are software developers who are more concerned with solving “theoretical” problems than getting any actual work done. When a problem arises, it is more beautiful to develop a solution where all the pieces fit together perfectly than to “Just git ‘er dun”.

What Beginners Need to Know About Performance and Garbage Collection

Another category of beginner questions that often appear on the Kirupa forums are about performance and garbage collection. Some common concerns:

  • How do I make sure my MovieClips are garbage collected? Is setting everything to null enough?
  • Should I always remove all my event listeners?
  • Someone told me it’s better to use int instead of uint because it’s more efficient.
  • I used while(--i) instead, because it is much more efficient than for loops.
  • hitTest() is really slow! Every site tells me I should never use it.

My answer to all those questions: Don’t worry about it.

The Humble AIR Bundle

I’d like to say straight off the bat that this bundle does not exist. It’s just an idea I have been playing with in my mind.

Adobe recently announced that they will no longer be releasing updates for AIR for Linux. This saddens me, mainly because the reason I switched from working with .Net to Flash was the “multi-platformness” – the ability to compile once and have your game or application run on any operating system (it has a proper name, but it’s still on the tip of my tongue).

Is High Score Dead?

I have recently played with the thought of the classic high score system being “dead”. These viewpoints are from the perspective as a player rather than a developer.

Experiment: Drop Painter

No, it’s not painting with drops (though, that seems like a great idea for another project). Instead this experiment drops pieces of a painting down from above which eventually form to assemble a complete picture.

Click the image to go open the SWF

Understanding the AS3 Event System #3 - Easy Event Bubbling

This thread is part 3 in the “Understanding the AS3 Event System” series. It continues on the “office” illustration used in part 1 and part 2. If you have not read the previous parts, it is recommended that you do so.

This part describes how “Event Bubbling” works. Note that this is a strong simplification of the actual system (which is a bit more complex, but in the next part I will elaborate on that system), but for 99% of all Event uses, this is the only thing you really need to know about Event Bubbling.

Understanding the AS3 Event System #2 - Custom Events

This thread is part 2 in the “Understanding the AS3 Event System” series. It continues on the “office” illustration used in part 1. If you have not read part 1, it is recommended that you do so.

I originally wrote this thread as a response to a Kirupa forum thread: Passing a string to be a custom event

This is my first draft, so any opinions or thoughts are deeply appreciated, especially if there is anything you still don’t fully understand or would like me to clarify further.