Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 10/12/2011

Posted on Oct 12, 2011

As I noted in my prior update yesterday, this past week, which included MAX of course, had way too much stuff to cover in a single update. Today's update is focused entirely on tutorials, code samples and open source projects from the Flash Platform community - with none of the press coverage or official announcements that I covered yesterday. For those of you with whom I did not get to chat directly at MAX, let me say that there really is just so much great stuff within the Flash community that you guys continue to daily impress me. Keep up the great work!

Cool Mobile & Devices Stuff (Android, iOS, Television, Blackberry)

Dan Florio has released a new ribbon navigation component for Flex mobile including the project source. It involves a list of tabs with icons at the bottom of your application that can be scrolled to the left or right and is used to navigate across an application with many screens.

Adobe evangelist Greg Wilson discusses a simple approach to splash screens for Flex mobile applications whereby the splash screen will work in both portrait and landscape view across a variety of differing device screen sizes.

Adobe evangelist Andrew Trice had a number of great posts this week. In the first he links to his recent developer deep dive webinar on visualizing complex enterprise data in a tablet world and includes links to a quick demo as well as the source code for the demo app. In the second post, Andy gives a quick tip for detecting the device form factor within your AIR mobile application to detect whether the user is viewing on a tablet of phone. Finally, Andy responds to a user's question on how to scroll large blocks of text with Flex for mobile.

Adobe evangelist Renaun Erickson posts about how to apply styles to StyleableTextField with Flex CSS. StyleableTextField is a specialized class used for displaying text on Flex mobile that doesn't use TLF.

Daniel Freeman discusses an update to his open source mobile components library, MadComponents, that improved pure ActionScript support for adding MadComponents to your ActionScript mobile project.

Michael Schmalle lists out the steps for getting FlexUnit working with Flex Mobile projects in Flash Builder 4.5.

Cool Flex, Flash Builder & Catalyst Stuff

Damien Garbarino writes that the they team has rewritten the calendar component in Spark for IBM ILOG Elixir Enterprise 3.5 which is a set of commercial advanced visualization components for Flex offered by IBM.

I know Flex developers were asking about the lack of official announcements regarding Flex during the MAX keynotes, but as Adobe evangelist Andrew Trice notes, during the sessions Scott Castle, Adam Lehman, and Raghu Thricovil, Product Managers for Flash Platform, gave a great Flash/Flex/AIR Platform Roadmap 2011 that can be viewed online as well as a great Flex-focused sneak from Deepa Subramaniam.

Michael Schmalle has decided to open source his Spark skinnable navigator library including ViewStack, TabNavigator, TabBar, TabButton, Accordion and AccordionHeader components.

In response to a user question Adobe evangelist Raymond Camden does a quick video demonstration of using Flash Builder to inspect remote data results.

FlexUnit was a bit of a hot topic this week. In addition to the previous mobile tutorial, Douglas Reynolds shares a detailed tutorial with on how to stub a command dependency with Mockolate and FlexUnit including code samples. Also, Justin Opitz shares his temporary solution to working with FlexUnit and the Hamcrest libraries for comparing a collection value objects against another collection of value objects; he also solicits other potentially better solutions.

Dan Florio shares a simple code snippet for setting the scroll position on a List during initialization.

Thomas Burleson discusses posts an extensive tutorial discussing how to add deep link features in Flex applications using the Swiz IoC framework, the Swiz [DeepLink] metadata tag and the SWFAddress libraries to allow you to better handle forward/back button and favorites browser interactions.

Arcadio Carballares Martín shares a couple of code samples this week. The first demonstrates an export to Excel method adapted for the Spark DataGrid while the second is a new version of his ComboCheck custom component which now supports ComboBox and DropDownList formats.

Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff

Jean-Marc Le Roux of Aerys posts that the Minko framework has been released as open source under LGPL. Minko is a 3D framework for Flash Player 11 and Stage3D allowing you to create "shaders" and program the graphics hardware using ActionScript 3.0 code.

Tyler Wright also released a new project as open source called Stealth SDK which is a set of components specifically designed for mobile application and game development using Flash. The SDK can now be downloaded from its Github repository.

The Starling framework for 2D games using Stage3D justifiably got a lot of attention at MAX. Devon Wolfgang released a free, web0based particle editor for the Starling Framework built in Flash using MinimalComps and SimpleGUI.

Lars Gerckens posted a couple of examples using his ND2D framework for GPU-accelerated 2D development using Stage3D. The first covers infinite scrolling with animated UV coordinates while the second explains why you can't control individual particles usingParticleSystem2D in ND2D.

Adobe's Jay Armstrong links to a recent article by Keith Gladstein on communicating between SWF files with AS3 including code samples covering a number of scenarios.

Parker at Hook discusses what metaballs are and how to create vector-based metaballs using Flash including a number of demos with source included.

Jackson Dunstan shares a concept he calls pseudo threads to get some level of concurrency in Flash Player today by essentially faking threads (lots of interesting follow-up discussion in the comments as well). In another post, Jackson shows how to check class inheritance in order to tell if one Class object represents a class that subclasses another Class object.

Emanuele Feronato begins another tutorial series on developing a Flash game similar to Angry Birds using Box2D, including source code of course.

Daniel Sidhion posts on Activetuts a full tutorial with sample files on how to create a simple typing game with Flash and ActionScript 3.

Cool AIR for Desktop Stuff

Adobe evangelist Raymond Camden whipped up an AIR application built with HTML/JavaScript called LESS Tester for testing CSS code using the LESS stylesheet language. He even updated it with the ability to drag and drop files into the editor and for error handling within the files.

Cool ColdFusion Stuff

Dan Vega posted an example of using Quova service for geolocation using ColdFusion in order to get detailed location information about site visitors.


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My name is Brian Rinaldi and I am the Web Community Manager for Flash Platform at Adobe. I am a regular blogger, speaker and author. I also founded RIA Unleashed conference in Boston. The views expressed on this site are my own & not those of my employer.