Rascut for Smooth Development on ActionScript/Flex SDK

After Adobe released Flex SDK, it enabled us to develop software runs under Flash Player for free. But, Flex SDK doesn't come with IDE like Flex Builder. At first, I thought It's not a big problem for me because I prefer old-fashioned terminal emulator and powerful editor such as Vim or Emacs, rather than full-featured, but less customizable IDE.

But, after I've started to develop my software on Flex SDK, I soon noticed that coding lifecycle with Flex SDK is rather troublesome by default. Imagine repeating following list back and forth.
  1. Coding ActionScript software on Emacs
  2. Do incremental compile on fcsh (a shell comes with Flex SDK)
  3. Run fdb on another terminal
  4. Back window focus to 3. as Flash Player take it
  5. Type 'c' (continue) on fdb
  6. Allow Flash Player to use my webcam (Note: I'm writing software uses webcam)
  7. debugging program
  8. Type 'q' 'y' (terminate current debug session) 'q' 'y' (terminate fdb)
  9. (back to 1.)

To shorten this list, Yuichi Tateno (a.k.a. id:secondlife), a software engineer working at Hatena, releaseed rascut, a powerful software that supports coding lifecycle on ActionScript/FlexSDK. I would like to introduce rascut briefly in English, as it seems to difficult
to get relevant information about rascut in English for the present.
  • Watch .as files considering their dependency, re-compile them on updates. Except for first compile, incremental compile is applied (like fcsh does)
  • "Server mode" for automatic refresh page (including .swf file) on your web browser. This is done by integrated web browser
  • Watch Flash Player's debug output by trace() and redirect it to terminal (standard error output)
To install rascut, you can start from Nitoyon's tutorial post (in Japanese). I wish you can install rascut successfully by following commands in the post, even if you don't understand Japanese. In case you couldn't complete install process, I will help you in English.

After I installed rascut, these sophisticated features released me from troublesome steps 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. and 8. of above. As a reasult, My coding lifecycle on ActionScript/Flex SDK has became much smoother.

Because rascut is still in beta, its install process was not so smooth for me. But it is still worth to install if you are coding with ActionScript/Flex SDK. If you encountered errors, you will be able to solve problems by googling its error messages.

Happy hacking!


When Japanese Language Falls

I decided to resume this blog.

At the beginning of this week, both Mochio Umeda and Dan Kogai, who are ones of most famous blogger in Japan, mentioned a new non-fiction entitled "日本語が亡びるとき―英語の世紀の中で" (in English, can translate "When Japanese Language Falls - in the Century of English Language") written by Minae Mizumura.

This book is buzziest Book in Japan's Blogosphere. It suddenly got 1st position on best seller list at Amazon.co.jp, on Nov.11, 2008 because they are very infuluential bloggers in Japan, and many readers bought it.

I'm also one of such person who read this book recently.

Mizumura's main intention is to warn how English is already main language for people who pursure truth and wisdom even if they are non native English readers or writers, and how this phenomenon weaken non-English literatures thorough their relative indiffernce by wisdom seekers.

As you can see in my profile of this blog, I'm a Ph.D student major in Web mining, one of research area which standard language is English, as well as an open source programmer. Because of my this background, I've already been noticed how world's attention is different between English and other languages.

People like me should notice such potentaial amount of attention by language written in. In my sense, its ratio is on Japanese and English is roughly 1:10. That is, there are 10 times many potential audiences when you wrote your thoughts in English. Today, English is nearly best practical platform to share wisdoms with other wisdom seekers.

In this book, Mizumura refered an article entitled "Scan This Book" written by Kevin Kelly on New York Times. In this article, Kelly introduced imaginal "universal library" which is whole digitalized colletion of wisdoms ever published by mankind.

But, even if "universal library" become reality, we all have to understand language consists it, to get its wisdoms. Thus she asserted "universal library" will be separeted by languages, and biggest one is English. (Note: She does not believe potential of machine translation)

Unlike other media (e.g. paints, musics or movies) that beyond languages, she also asserts "words to be read" is main part of wisdoms.

At this part her interesting idea is "ranking system of ranking system". As human's life is limited, great ranking system to extract best ones is needed for wisdom seekers. To do this, meta-ranking system that evaluates existing ranking systems, will appeers in the future. It will be very interesting technology issue.


Why I Started Blogging in English

As you can see in my friendfeed page, I've been run many blogs in Japanese, in parallel.

But, access logs of my open source project page and my homepage says that many non-Japanese people visited my pages written in Japanese.

I'm sorry for there people who couldn't read my pages. Now I realized that I should post entries in English as possible as I can, to make stuff more accessible for non-Japanese readers too.

Also, I know many brilliant guys in blogosphere but they never read Japanese. I wish I can communicate with them via this blog.