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IBM developerWorks:
Generate Flash movies on the fly with PHP
December 21, 2006 @ 09:02:00

The IBM developerWorks site has a new tutorial posted about creating Flash movies on the fly with PHP (and some help from Ming).

Rich Internet Applications is the new buzz-phrase for Web 2.0, and a key component of the substance behind Web 2.0 is Adobe Flash. Learn how to integrate Flash movies into your application and generate Flash movies dynamically using the Ming library.

They start with a brief look at Flash and how its embedded into a web page, including the needed HTML. From there, they jump right into Ming.

They create a sample Flash file - a "Hello World" - to get the ball rolling. They modify it a bit and create some moving text of varying colors. Next up is working with shapes and lines, and finally - importing and using images in your simple PHP-generated Flash animation.

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PHPClasses.org:
CAPTCHA harder to break using animations
December 07, 2006 @ 08:28:00

PHPClasses.org is spotlighting another package from their site today - this time it's a CAPTCHA class that takes things a step further and introduces animation into the mix to make it even harder for bots to get through.

Laszlo Zsidi is a PHP Web developer that has written an harder to break CAPTCHA solution. It consists in generating animated GIF images that exhibit the validation text.

Since the text never appears all at once in each of the animated frames, this solution certainly raises the bar in terms of difficulty for the robots to guess the validation text, making it very hard to defeat, if possible at all.

You can check out the class here, including a sample animated gif file and a download of everything you'll need to get started.

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PHPClasses.org:
3D graphics in pure PHP
November 08, 2006 @ 08:13:00

As spotlighted by the folks over on PHPClasses.org, there's a developer, László Zsidi, who has contributed several packages to the repository - including some that work to create 3D images with just the built-in functions PHP provides.

He has developed several pure PHP components that implement impressive 3D animated graphics, like a 3D objects rendering engine, emulate a waving flag or the reflex of an image near a lake. The generated frames are combined into a single animated GIF with another pure PHP component also written by László. All these components were nominated to the PHP Programming Innovation Award for the evident creativity, demonstrating that PHP can be used for non-trivial software applications.

Some of the libraries in the listing include:

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