A few weeks ago, one of our customers wanted to have real-time TV listings on their site. The currently airing program always had to be shown together with the one that follows. This information is provided by another company through pushed XML streams. Every time the information changes, we receive a new XML file on our server through secure copy.
I wrote a trivial scheduler task that picks up the last one of those files every five minutes and stores it straight into the RIFE content management back-end. This made it very easy to always provide the latest version of the information from the same URL.
Writing the Laszlo application was extremely straightforward. It fetches the XML directly from the server and lays it out automatically thanks to Laszlo's excellent data-binding features. Since the information is higher than the available height, I let the content pane scroll as soon as the lay-out is finished. When the scrolling is done, the application fetches the latest XML again, lays it out ... and round and round it goes.
I had one minor problem that was related to Flash's weird rounding habits. This caused the icons and the text to not be in sync and slightly fluctuate. It was quickly solved with the help of Henry from Laszlo Systems. He didn't hesitate to look at my code and pinpoint the problem. I just had to add the
pixellock="true" attribute to the data bound view.
All in all it took me a couple of hours to write and the application is only 70KB in size! The customer is very satisfied and it was a pleasure to develop. I'm sure that I'll be reaching for Laszlo more and more for this kind of functionalities.
This is the result: