Archive for June, 2008


I use Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) Web Premium every day, Flash, Fireworks, Photoshop, but most of all Dreamweaver. I consider Dreamweaver CS3 to be the best HTML/CSS visual editor available and a it’s a very handy FTP client as well. It also serves as a nice text editor with syntax highlighting for PHP (although PDT for Eclipse is MUCH better). My problem is that it crashes on me almost every day with this really annoying error: Runtime Error! This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way. Here’s what it looks like:

This error makes my blood boil! I’ve done everything to try it including, but not limited to:

Delete the configuration Files

This seems to give me the most success. Dreamweaver stores a file cache and some non-site related settings in C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration. If you delete or rename this directory then Dreamweaver will recreate it when it starts up.

Delete the Dreamweaver Windows Prefetch file

When a program starts up, Windows trys to optimize the startup process by creating a “cache” type file in C:\windows\Prefetch. Next time the program opens it uses this file to speed up the process. You can safely delete everything in the Prefetch folder. Doing this helped me get Dreamweaver working yesterday.

Get rid of Logitech SetPoint

Someone on an Adobe forum said this worked for them – I haven’t had much success

Restart computer with only essential processes enabled

Also from Adobe, this seems to have no impact on my computer – it still crashes.

Maybe it’s the 8KB file bug???

According to many people on Adobe’s forum, if you a working on a file that is exactly 8,192 bytes (8KB) Dreamweaver will crash. Well, my files are taking up 8,192K because the block size on my disk pushes 7+K files up to 8,192 (look at “size on disk”), but I put a huge HTML comment at the end of the file to push it past 10K and it didn’t help.

Doing the exact same thing every time will make Dreamweaver crash every time

Here’s my most effective solution as of this morning: once Dreamweaver crashes, you can’t do the exact same thing when you reopen it or it will just keep crashing. I was trying to add a 4×3 table to a document and everytime I did Insert->Table->OK it immediately crashed (I did this 10+ times while changing other Windows stuff). Then I went to show my business partner and instead of adding a table, I went to a different Site and changed some code around, then when back to the original site and BAM! it works fine now! What the HECK is going on here?

Final thoughts

You know, I’ve been working with Linux and open source software for over 10 years, and I finally break down and by a $2,000+ software package – I expect it to work! If it doesn’t work I expect that I can get support to make it work (and not that “please restart your computer then uninstall/reinstall” BS)! Come on Adobe!!! If I charge my clients >$100/hr and I have to fight with Dreamweaver for 1 hr per day, where’s my $36,500 from Adobe for the last year?

P.S. I think the problem is related to MS Visual Studio 2005’s runtime update and Vista or something.

Although I use AMFPHP RemoteObjects with the Cairngorm Framework everyday, I never had a need for a simple LocalConnection. LocalConnections let you communicate between running SWFs, the only problem is that they are unidirectional. SWF A can make a new LocalConnection to SWF B and invoke it’s methods, but SWF B can’t contact SWF A. The way to get around this is to make another LocalConnection back from SWF B to SWF A. Trying to wrap my head around receiving and sending connections was starting to make me angry! They are annoyingly misleading – the receiving SWF needs to .connect() to a named connection, whereas the sending SWF doesn’t – it just calls .send() with the same named connection. I figured I could do the world a favor and abstract this confusion for you.

Here is the result (demonstrated with a Flex SWF and a Flash SWF):

Flex SWF


Flash SWF



In both the Flex MXML and the Flash FLA, I am including my BiDirLocalConnection class and it does all the hard work for me.

To make this bidirectional concept easier to handle, I introduced something called Roles. There are two roles available to your SWFs: Master and Slave. You must pick one of these roles when you instantiate the BiDirLocalConnection Object. If you have more than one running SWF in a given Role you will get an error on the newest one.

Here’s an example of how to use the class in Flex:

import net.teratechnologies.common.BiDirLocalConnection;

private var connection:BiDirLocalConnection;

private function init():void{
    connection = new BiDirLocalConnection(BiDirLocalConnection.ROLE_MASTER,this);
    connection.connect();
}

The constructor takes three arguments (the third is optional):

BiDirLocalConnection(role:String,callbackScope:Object,connectionBaseName:String="BiDirConnection")

role: The role of this SWF (ROLE_MASTER or ROLE_SLAVE)
callbackScope: When a SWF connects to this one and tries to invoke a method (call a function), where should it look to find the method? Normally you specify this so the remote SWF has access to the functions in your current scope.
connectionBaseName: This optional argument is only required if you have more than one BiDirLocalConnection at the same time. You can use any string here and it will serve as the prefix for the two LocalConnection connectionNames that are used.

Here is the complete code from the Slave in Flash CS3 as seen above. There are three things on the stage: TextArea (receiveText), TextInput (sendText) and a Button (sendButton):

import net.teratechnologies.common.BiDirLocalConnection;
           
var connection:BiDirLocalConnection;

function init():void{
    sendButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK,send);
    connection = new BiDirLocalConnection(BiDirLocalConnection.ROLE_SLAVE,this);
    connection.connect();
}
function send(e:Event):void{
    connection.send('showText',sendText.text);
}
function showText(t:String):void{
    receiveText.text = "Received: "+t+"\n"+receiveText.text;
}

init();
stop();

Now here is the complete code for the Flex MXML file:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<mx:Application xmlns:mx="http://www.adobe.com/2006/mxml" layout="vertical" creationComplete="init()">
    <mx:Script>
        <![CDATA[
            import net.teratechnologies.common.BiDirLocalConnection;
           
            private var connection:BiDirLocalConnection;
           
            private function init():void{
                sendButton.addEventListener(MouseEvent.CLICK,send);
                connection = new BiDirLocalConnection(BiDirLocalConnection.ROLE_MASTER,this);
                connection.connect();
            }
            private function send(e:Event):void{
                connection.send('showText',sendText.text);
            }
            public function showText(t:String):void{
                receiveText.text = "Received: "+t+"\n"+receiveText.text;
            }
           
        ]]>
    </mx:Script>
    <mx:Panel width="100%" height="100%" layout="absolute" title="Flex 2/3">
        <mx:TextArea id="receiveText" right="10" bottom="39" left="10" top="10."/>
        <mx:TextInput id="sendText" left="10" right="72" bottom="10"/>
        <mx:Button label="Send" id="sendButton" right="10" bottom="10"/>
    </mx:Panel>
   
</mx:Application>

It really is quite simple, the SWFs are calling each other’s “showText” functions with the text of the TextInput box as an argument. You can pass as many arguments as you want to connection.send(), and they don’t need to be simple Strings.

Finally, here is the ActionScript Code for the BiDirLocalConnection class itself:

package net.teratechnologies.common {
    import flash.net.LocalConnection;
   
    public class BiDirLocalConnection{
       
        public static const ROLE_MASTER:String = "master";
        public static const ROLE_SLAVE:String = "slave";
       
        private var txConnName:String;
        private var rxConnName:String;
        private var txLC:LocalConnection = new LocalConnection();
        private var rxLC:LocalConnection = new LocalConnection();
        private var callbackScope:Object;
       
        public function BiDirLocalConnection(role:String,callbackScope:Object,connectionBaseName:String="BiDirConnection"){
            if(role == ROLE_MASTER){
                txConnName = connectionBaseName + "_TX";
                rxConnName = connectionBaseName + "_RX";
            }else{
                rxConnName = connectionBaseName + "_TX";
                txConnName = connectionBaseName + "_RX";
            }
            this.callbackScope = callbackScope;
        }
        public function connect():void{
            trace(rxConnName);
            rxLC.connect(rxConnName);
            rxLC.client = callbackScope;
        }
        public function send(methodName:String,...rest):void{
            txLC.send(txConnName,methodName,rest);
        }
    }
}

You can also download the Flex 2/3 file, Flash FLA and Class file in a ZIP file.