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 

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

Flex 4 in Action – Hot off the press!

IT’S ALIVVVVVVVE! ๐Ÿ˜€ Go get it!

Writing is a beast. It is truly a long road but it is well worth it for this moment right here [well…royalty checks aren’t bad either; lol].

This book will enhance your knowledge. There is some really great information in there to pull your Flex 4 skills to top notch. The goal is to take you from Beginner to Winner in ~25 chapters.

If you’d like to discuss the book, visit the forum.

Also check Dan Orlando’s thoughts on the release.

Flex 4 Release Party Preso Recap

Last night I spoke at the AZFPUG and AZCFUG Flex 4 Release party. I am thoroughly happy I did!

What fun it is talking about something you’re passionate about and Flex 4 is definitely something I thoroughly enjoy working in and talking about. With that said, most of what I talked about was pulled directly from Flex 4 in Action. I had my fair share of plugs for the book throughout the meeting. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Hey…it is a great book, biased or not.

Technically something always happens and, according to @nathanstrutz, I didn’t have enough dongles. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I was missing my display connector(s) but thankfully @simpulton saved the day by bringing a couple and one worked. Big props to Ron Haberle for buying one. It wasn’t the right one but the effort must be awarded some kudos.

One example failed to work. It was about rotating an image around the center and the rotate not affecting the layout. Well…I ran the same exact code today…worked! BOGUS! To demonstrate, I put the code online for all to see how it works (view source is included). For simplicity, here is the mxml for the swf:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<s:Application xmlns:fx="https://ns.adobe.com/mxml/2009" 
               xmlns:s="library://ns.adobe.com/flex/spark" viewSourceURL="srcview/index.html">
    <s:VerticalLayout paddingLeft="100" paddingTop="100" />
    <s:Rotate id="effect" target="{image}" angleBy="45" 
              applyChangesPostLayout="true" autoCenterTransform="true" />
  <s:BitmapImage id="image" source="@Embed('images/flex.jpg')" />
  <s:Button id="mybutton" label="Click Me!" click="effect.play()" />

Other than that, everything was pretty smooth and I filled up 2 hours showing off Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 goodies. What’s crazy is I had even MORE to talk about. Flex 4 is a beefy upgrade and solves so many problems. It shines a light on the fact that more online tutorials, videos, etc are needed. Ahem…maybe I’ll get some done soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

#azfpug and #azcfug, thanks for having me. Catching up with everyone was a true treat. Keep rockin’ guys and keep @simpulton out of the weight room. That dude is lookin’ buff!!! lol


Here are some tweets about the preso:
@lavonwoods – here
@simpulton – here
@bwohl – here and here
@nathanstrutz – here
@alanrother – here

Join me for “Adobe Flex Development Primer” Session

My good buddy Guillermo (gman) asked me about some Flex info. He’s a solid PHP’er and said he wanted to get into Flex so I hit him back with some info on where to get started. I also, as I typically do, jumped on the opportunity to do a Connect session to help him ramp up. Last time I did this for a friend it was one on one. This time…I’m opening it up to the public.

Session Description
The Flex Dev Primer is a pure development session (don’t expect theory and graphics although you might get some) focused on helping non-flex developers ramp up to become comfortable with Flex in a short period of time. We will focus on Flex 3/Halo but will spend the last while discussing the shift in Flex 4/Spark.

This session will be recorded.

Connect URL

Session Details
Date: 7/13/2009
Time: 8-9 PM CST

I’ve updated my speaking calendar with the details. I will keep it updated regularly with any and all of my engagements as well as any changes to this session.

Co-authoring Flex 4 in Action

Flex 4 in Action

Flex 4 in Action

I’ve been hesitant to post anything about this ordeal (co-authoring Flex 4 in Action or Fx4iA for short) until things were solid but since things are flowing forward and the light is green…why not? There isn’t a ton of details to give at this point beyond what Tariq Ahmed (author) posted on FlexInAction.com. Manning, so far, is a great publisher to work for and I’m REALLY enjoying their style, support, and overall preparedness for their authors. They really have their stuff together.

For a while now I’ve, as I told Tariq in my initial email to him, “yearned” to write in a Flash Platform specific book. Tariq has a great plan together and it feels like I’m working with an all-star team. Project planning is an art perfected by Tariq and shown evident in this book process. He has the whole thing spec’d to the letter and planned with a full project plan including dates, etc. Along with planning he’s writing and running a team at Amcom Technologies…where does he find the time!!?!?? ๐Ÿ™‚

Dan Orlando and I met a bit ago on the interwebs and, little did i know, this dude is a Flash Platform PIMP! (shameless plug: get your pimp shirts here) What’s crazy is, when I resided in AZ, I lived probably ~10 minutes from him and didn’t know him. ๐Ÿ™ I’m excited to work with him in this capacity. Dan is writing all over the place in all sorts of magazines and online pub’s all the while holding down a consulting gig. Rock on!

Overall I’m thoroughly excited, if you can’t tell, and gracious for the opportunity. I’m going to do my best to put down some great writing to help each and every reader get from 0 to 60 in as short a time as possible! That is our goal as a whole and I’m taking it personally. ๐Ÿ˜‰

[in my best infomercial voice] BUT WAIT!

You don’t have to wait for the book to come out…”Buy now through MEAP (Manning Early Access Program) and get early access to the book, chapter by chapter, as soon as they become available.”

Support us in our venture. Let us know how we can make it better and we will!