I’m John C Bland II

Husband, Father, Tech Author, Deacon.
Founder ofย Katapult Media, and full-stack polyglot developer.
Political Free Agents Podcast Host.

I create. I launch.

YouTube Channel

I post regular fun on YouTube like me playing the bass and anything else I find fun.ย 

Get Something Built

All project work goes through Katapult Media. Business is open. Let’s chat.

Upcoming Training Topics

I have a few suggestions on training desires and I’m pretty stoked about doing them.

  • Flex+LCDS+CF: A Sexy Relationship (preso will be for AZCFUG)
    Many Flex dev’s from back in the day loved AMF integration in CF. It seriously was the fastest way to get up and running but there is a newer, much sexier way to pull your data: LiveCycle Data Services. This is native to ColdFusion 8 and it even boasts some sweet features you can’t easily/quickly accomplish in regular CF-AMF.
  • Flex Development for .NET Developers
    I’ll utilize WebORB here to show a REALLY sexy integration point between Flex and .NET. General integration using web services will be shown as well but that isn’t nearly as sexy as WebORB. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Along with data integration I’ll discuss the comparisons between Flex dev’ and .NET dev. You may even hear the word XAML in there somewhere. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Flex/PHP Integration
    You will see data integration between Flex and PHP using AMFPHP. Since I love CodeIgniter so much, and if time allows, I might show how you can integrate a Flex app in a PHP site based on CodeIgniter.
  • ActionScript 3 Series
    • The Basics
      This may be a short preso but it will cover the basics of using AS3. I’ll discuss a few things specific to Flash CS3/CS4 and a few about Flex 3. This will also cover utilizing classes so don’t expect to see anything on a timeline, literally.
    • “Patternization”
      I’m a fan of design patterns and I’ll show how you can implement a few. There won’t be a laundry list of patterns discussed but I will cover a few of my fav’s.

These aren’t in any specific order. I’ll iron out a schedule here soon. For sure I’m doing 2 trainings a quarter but which two I’m not sure about yet.

More coming soon.

Free “Training” – What do you want to learn?

I’m going to start my “community service” by doing a series of presentations (via Adobe Connect). They will range from quick (15 minutes) to long (1 hour) and will cover a range of topics. I’m open to talk about a wide array of topics but I would like to know what you want to see.

Along with the above preso’s I’ll be doing a preso for AZCFUG one of these upcoming months. The talk will be over Flex+LCDS+CF. More info about that later.

BTW, all sessions will be recorded and I’ll add them to my Preso’s page once they are completed.

So, post a comment below and I’ll compile a list and pick/choose to create a schedule.


Accepted in Adobe Community Expert program

Yep, I’m accepted and STOKED! ๐Ÿ™‚ I won’t get long winded but…

4 score and 7 years…{hrmm, clears throat}…wrong speech. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Seriously, I’m excited and happy to be accepted in such a great program. I look forward to learning more about it and continuing my “community service” as I did when I was a UG manager.

Special thanks to Rachel Luxemburg and Sarge.


Where have I been? I’m glad you asked. For the past 6 months I’ve been SLAMMMMMED with work, server transitions, and with Movable Type issues. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been itching to blog but I didn’t want to blog on the old server (would need to transfer files, etc for my site again) then after getting the new server up I had MT issues that were nerve wrecking. Today I nixed the last MT issue, after having setup this WordPress blog weeks ago, and exported my old blog only to import here. I’m loving WP 2.7 and am ready to start blasting off blog posts again.

Anyways…look for me to start blogging again very shortly. I have a lot of lil’ code stuff to post.




I thought about this quote earlier and found it funny…figured I’d blog it to add my copyright to it. ๐Ÿ˜€ hehe.

“7 is the number of completion, unless your checking your voicemail…then it is the number of deletion.”


New Pages on blog

I didn’t realize my MT template didn’t have a navigation for the pages I had created. So, they are there now. The column spacing at the top is weird but whatever. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll add some more here soon.

Adobe Feeds

I try to stay away from the typical “Person X posted about Subject Y” posts but this seems relevant.

So…here goes…”Ben just posted about Adobe Feeds”:http://www.forta.com/blog/index.cfm/2008/5/5/Goodbye-MXNA-Hello-Feeds. There…you have the big news. ๐Ÿ™‚ I, for one, like the change in URL/name.

“Check it out here”:http://feeds.adobe.com/.

Designing the Moment

Our very own Robert Hoekman, Jr.’s newest book “Designing the Moment”:http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321535081?tag=geelif-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0321535081&adid=13RQV1EFNAT29RTPTS6G& is on the shelves.

You can read “Robert’s thoughts”:http://rhjr.net/theblog/2008/04/09/the-new-book-has-arrived/ on the book and his excitement to have his copy.

“BUY YOUR COPY TODAY”:http://www.amazon.com/dp/0321535081?tag=geelif-20&camp=0&creative=0&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0321535081&adid=13RQV1EFNAT29RTPTS6G&. My order is in already.

iTunes Movie Rentals…did they miss the mark?

“Michael Hagel blogged about Apple missing the mark”:http://www.michaelhagel.com/archives/2008/01/itunes-movie-rental-why-apple.php and I can’t say I don’t necessarily disagree. I have a bit of a different perspective though…I’ll be a bit brief. ๐Ÿ™‚

TiVo has had movie rentals for a short while now through Amazon Unbox. I love Unbox but HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE having to wait 2 hours to get my movie (due to the download). I’ve been renting more from Blockbuster lately (like 10 movies in the past few weeks). Everything else about Unbox I love though.

Mike suggested iTunes provide a subscription service. Pay $X.XX/month and get unlimited rentals (3 at a time). Honestly, on IM, I told him “ok…subscription for this would be horribly too great. {other conversation here} i highly doubt they’d ever do that but if they did i’d get an apple tv, mac, iphone, and ipod.”

These movies start in less than 30 seconds. You’re kidding me right? You mean I get a jones for Mrs. Doubtfire and can start watching in less than 30 seconds? AMAZINGLY nice. I wrote TiVo “hate mail” not too long ago about this exact thing (it is simply too easy to do for them to not do it; heck, run it through Flash…I’ll build the player…for a small fee. hehe). ๐Ÿ™‚

So, seriously…them doing that would be crazy. I don’t mean stupid-crazy but more along the lines of…ummm…what’s the world…AMAZING. For Apple folks, or those willing to use something from Apple, they would NEVER need to visit any video store OR subscription service.

Bottom line…+1 for them doing it. I’d get some apple stuff just for this service, unless TiVo comes out with it soon. ๐Ÿ˜‰

CoCoMo Beta & FMS 3 Announcement

I woke up not feeling too great today so I sat down for a few, popped open the laptop, and saw an email about the new FMS 3 Product Line (line??? huh?) and “Ryan Stewart”:http://www.digitalbackcountry.com blogged about a CoCoMo app in the wild.

So, FMS has changed pricing and separated FMS into multiple products. You can “read more on the press release”:http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/200712/120407adobefms3.html.

You can play with the “CoCoMo app here”:http://blogs.adobe.com/collabmethods/2007/11/testing_the_first_public_cocom.html. For those not following, CoCoMo is, in my words, Adobe Connect separated into reusable components and available for integration into your own app. This is a GREAT move by Adobe. Now I can build a whiteboard with 1 or 2 tags in my Flex app. Very nice!

Check them out. Also, you can apply for the “CoCoMo Private Beta here”:http://blogs.adobe.com/collabmethods/2007/12/cocomo_private_beta.html.

Bye Bye Rhapsody

I’m not going to rant for too long but I have to say my peace.

Urge made a HUGE mistake moving to Rhapsody. All of “my initial thoughts”:http://www.johncblandii.com/2007/10/rhapsodyagain-nooooooooo.html stand and were confirmed after using Rhapsody for a little over a week.

The first couple days I thought it had changed. The player was the same sucky player but I was able to live with that for a bit. Next I waited to see if the playback experience had improved and for a couple days I thought it had. Well, 1.5 days. I listened for any hiccups in the playback and things were moderately ok. BUT…at 1.6 days (an hour later; lol) I started getting a ton of hiccups in the playback. It got to the point where I turned off the player because every 3 to 5 seconds (literally…no exageration) it skipped. UGH!

Anyways…I just called and told’em to delete me (not just cancel…get rid of my info; lol). I doubt they actually delete me but hopefully it is canceled and this itme they don’t keep emailing me. The guy said my account was free but that didn’t even tempt me. I told’em I won’t use it…get rid of it.


Urge…I miss you. ๐Ÿ™ lol

The Importance of a Common Code Library

This is a “what do you think” post. I have my thoughts, will cover it briefly in a sec, but I want to know what others think about this topic.

First, a common code library is merely a way of saying the company or group you work for has a common code library which all files are based on/reference. So, you have a common DisplayObject class which extends EventDispatcher. That’s a reference to a lot of things you see in AS2 since a common event dispatcher wasn’t available, etc but I’m not restricting this to AS2.

So, what does your team do for a common library? Source control? Networked location? Do you even use one or does everyone go Commando on it?

Where does this come from? Well, I’ve been at LLNW for a few weeks now and the first thing I noticed was the lack of a common library. Without giving away too many details there are 3 different FLAs which do the EXACT same thing and all 3 had the same code duplicated in multiple files. So, the developer in me was pretty irritated having to make quick updates to fix bugs to numerous files.

Since then I have rewritten a few apps there and the main thing I did was create a common library, hosted in the UI teams Subversion repo. This has opened up the ability to share code across applications. All of this is AS2 code right now but I have started an AS3 library as well.

Over my years of contracting I only met 1 company where I didn’t have to write every line from scratch and that was “Terralever”:http://www.terralever.com. They really have their stuff together and their library is massive, including a lot of their own code and code from the community. This is what I’m attempting to achieve at LLNW so when/if we hire more Flash developers they can hit the ground running by viewing the asdoc generated docs and looking through the library.

Back to you, the reader(s). I’m more-so interested in seeing what other people do and what is approach is taken for file access.

Rhapsody…again? NOOOOOOOOO!

Ok, I used to use Rhapsody and loved it for a while but their player software was TERRIBLE!!!! That thing provided an absolutely bad listening experience. I couldn’t listen to any song without the player “buffering” then starting again. This would happen at least 3 or 4 times per song….UGH. I left them about 2 years ago. Ever since I left I can’t stop them from emailing me. Why? Because you have to login to change your notification settings. Cool…no prob, right? Nope…big prob since I no longer have an account with them! UGH!

So, why the rant? “See for yourself”:http://www.urge.com/index.jhtml. ๐Ÿ™ {insert really hard sobbing crying here}

At first, I was fine with the “Urge meet Rhapsody” deal because they played it off as “Urge is joining Rhapsody” BUT IT ISN’T TRUE. Rhapsody is taking over Urge COMPLETELY. I figured the available songs/artists would increase since the two services were joining but Urge is coimpletely gone now.

As of 10/25 you can no longer access Urge in Windows Media Player. I thought my work laptop was just tripped out when I couldn’t reach Urge but I checked my email (just now) and Urge emailed me with the following: “Beginning on Friday, October 26th, you will no longer be able to access URGE.”

I went to the “FAQ”:http://www.urge.com/answers/index.jhtml and it says you have to download the Rhapsody software….{insert really hard sobbing crying here}.

Well…I guess I’ll start looking for new services. Any suggestions? I may try the Rhapsody software again. It could have improved but I doubt it. ๐Ÿ™

Final Words/My Stance: RIA vs MSRIA

I’m about as sick of this discussion as I am with “Silverlight vs Flash”:http://blogs.katapultmedia.com/jb2/2007/08/silverlight_vs_flash_stop_it.html so I’m going to say it one more time for Scott Barnes since he thinks I haven’t taken a stand. I told’em I wouldn’t respond anymore on his blog (or any other blog for that matter) then “he responded to my comments with some falsehoods”:http://blogs.msdn.com/msmossyblog/archive/2007/10/14/rich-interactive-application-the-plot-thickens-adobe-s-not-happy.aspx so here’s my last thoughts and comments on RIA vs MSRIA as well as my thoughts on Scott Barnes.

[this post got super long; I’ll do a quick summary here then you can read it if you want]
Scott has closed his mind to other possibilities. He says he’s open to Adobe tech but only blogs about negatives. RIA is RIA and will always be. MSRIA is fine but they shouldn’t acronym it as RIA…be original and transcend the market instead of going about it by reusing a predefined term.

This post is very argumentative…no denying it. Again, only read it if you are Scott or feel like hearing a rant, seriously…it is pure rant.

TRUST ME…I WON’T SOAPBOX ON THIS ANYMORE (beyond responding to any comments).