Live from the New Media session

Quick update before we head out for the lunch break.

Managers have been wondering how much time we should be freeing up for people to work Flash. The answer: More than you'd expect.

R. Scott Horman and Don Wittekind (the Society's multimedia guru) described a project they worked on that went months over their planned deadline -- but it was well worth it. Google "airplane garage" and check out the build-your-own-paper-airplane site the Sun-Sentinel developed. It's a project that's gotten tons of traffic, but took programming in Flash to another level.

Scott described how at the Sun-Sentinel, folks on staff have a core scripting knowledge, but only a couple are identified as higher-end scripters. Other folks are stronger at Flash animation, so they concentrate on that.

As managers, we need some basic knowledge of what can be done; from there we can assign out projects and set realistic deadlines. So, while we may never be scripting experts, at least we can set folks up to succeed at certain projects.

As for the hands-on, we built a script to calculate how many years we've got left until retirement. What's surprising is how simple the coding would be once you get the hand of it; what's scary is how much of it there is out there.

Here's the code I built:

myname = "Kevin";
mylastname = "Wendt";
myfullname = myname+" "+mylastname;

myage = 29;
myretirement = 80;

yearsleft = myretirement-myage;

retiremessage = "You will retire in "+yearsleft+" years";

All that builds up to the message: "You will retire in 51 years."

Hey, in 51 years I could throw on my "old man" voice and remind kids of "Back in my day, we used to script with a program called Flash... You kids have it so easy."



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