Will Windows Phone 7 users buy apps?

With the Windows Phone 7 developer tools being finalized September 16th and the marketplace accepting submissions in October I started, a little late in the game perhaps, to wonder how likely Windows Phone 7 users will be to buy apps. The iPhone and Android users buying apps have been discussed at length by cnet, NYTimes, mashable and TiPb from just a little Googling by my part. Lets move forward considering for this post that it is true that the iPhone sells more apps per device than the Android at this point. I was a Windows Mobile phone user for many versions, I started using Windows Mobile back when the Compaq iPaq was just starting out and there were almost no free apps around. Will the history of Windows Mobile apps being paid for induce more purchases on this new platform? I tend to think that like the iPhone App Store that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace will be easy enough for users to make quick purchases of low cost apps. Couple this with Microsoft investing heavily in a huge launch list of games really makes me think that these first users will be conditioned from day one that good apps can be purchased from the Marketplace.

I know that the iPhone users buy apps and I know that Windows Mobile users of the past bought apps even though it was a pain to get to them and sync them with their devices. I really think that Windows Phone 7 will sell enough apps per phone to be considered a good bet for developers to invest time, effort and money into learning and marketing for their ideas, even if they are just copies of their existing iPhone apps.

Will single developers be able to see success on Windows Phone 7 the same way that we saw iPhone apps rise up or will it be a situation of good phones and support but poor sales like the Android. I’m sure no one wants to see it turn into another Palm Pre.

Work to get rich like someone has a gun to your head

Sensationalist enough? Maybe, it’s the polar opposite of the post I read today. I finished reading Hey, Guys, It’s Totally Okay If You Don’t Get Rich earlier today and I don’t think the guys and girls that are trying to get rich, make a successful business or make a difference in the world need to be coddled at all. They need to be pushed. Your family can be there to tell you that you’re amazing just the way you are but the rest of the world needs to push these obsessed men and women to make the things they are trying to make. If they want to become rich, push them to become rich, don’t tell them that their dreams shouldn’t be reached for. There are enough of people on Earth that have no drive to move forward to hold these driven people back from breaking down barriers, expanding to new territories and making the difference in life they want to make. Money does not equal happiness but that might just be the outward desire of the driven individual. Money gives you the opportunity to do almost anything you want, it enables you.

Don’t coddle and hold back our great and driven men and women from trying to achieve their goals at the expense of all else. Please push them forward into their success or pick them up from their last failure. Help your friends, don’t discourage them by telling them they aren’t cut out for their goals, there are a lot of rich folks that got just lucky. Remind your friend that they also need to stay grounded and aware of the present, you can have a lot of fun and really enjoy life on the way to riches.

Some folks like myself feel like I am working to get rich like someone has a gun to my head. It isn’t at the expense of my life that I work, it is for my idea of life that I work.

Flash cannot parse this document – Adobe Flash CS5

I found a fix for a single case of “Flash cannot parse this document” error when opening a file saved from Adobe Flash CS5. Here is how it happened.

A designer friend of mine upgraded to CS5 recently and sent me an email in a panic when she got this error “Flash cannot parse this document” after trying to open up a file she had just saved. While she tried to salvage some of her work from a decompiler I took a look at if we could fix the file.

Some quick Google searching came up with the right clue to figuring out what was wrong. The user wbfreek21 got me on the right path to figuring out just what happened. He talks about how he was able to fix his particular file by going into the new XML based FLA format and removing empty XML elements from the DOM here.

That’s it! Flash cannot parse this document, it’s an error in the XML! I quickly followed the instruction to open the FLA as a ZIP and started poking around in the XML files. They were large, this wasn’t a small project. Firefox has an XML parser as well but it lists out where the problem characters are, I tried opening all the files in the LIBRARY directory in Firefox and instantly found the issue. The empty character that wbfreek21 reported was this ETX (End of Text) character that had found it’s way into the document. I pulled out that character and successfully opening up the file in Flash CS5 again much to the designers joy.

Here is the step by step process I used to find and remove the problem:

  1. Make a copy of your corrupt FLA and put it in a fresh folder, in case you need to repeat steps
  2. Rename the extension on your FLA to ZIP and extract the contents to a folder
  3. There are several XML files in the extracted folder structure, I found my corrupt file in the LIBRARY folder but all XML files should be tested. Open each XML file in Firefox, when you reach a corrupted file you will get an error page that looks like this:
  4. Open that document in a text editor that can show hidden ASCII characters, I used Notepad++ but I wasn’t able to find an editor that worked for a Mac sorry, scroll to the line that Firefox reported your error on and take a look at the code in there to see what your problem area was, my XML document looked like this:
  5. Save your XML file with the character removed and repeat steps 3 and 4 on the same file you found an error in and the rest of the XML files in the folder structure.
  6. Now open up your XFL file in the root of your extracted folder structure, you shouldn’t get any errors, if you get a parse error again repeat steps 3 through 5. Use Save As to make a copy of your file as a FLA, you’re all set!