Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 11/1/2011

Posted on Nov 01, 2011

Lots of really great tutorials, demos and more again this week. Starling and Stage3D continue to be a hot topic with a number of people doing various hardware and software performance tests. Also, of course, we get details on the beta releases of Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 on Adobe Labs.

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

Adobe evangelist Michael Chaize has created a mobile application for the iPad and desktop using Flex called Narcissus that is designed to let you segment your Twitter followers using circles similar to Google+ and based upon influence and activity. Michael also shares a number of tips and tricks he learned during the course of developing this application.

Adobe evangelist Holly Schinsky presented an outstanding (I know because I was in attendance) workshop on building tablet applications using Flex 4.6 along with her colleague Christophe Coenraets at RIA Unleashed 2011 in Boston. She shares the full example including source code.

Adobe's Steven Shongrunden demonstrates how to enable scrolling in the tab bar of a TabbedViewNavigator so that rather than truncating tabs to fit hem all on screen, you can scroll through a list tabs.

Adobe's Justin Lazaro finishes his two-part tutorial on creating a mobile Facebook application using Flex and Flash Builder by discussing the Graph API and walking through how to get and post status messages.

Adobe evangelist Raymond Camden has updated his Death Clock Flex mobile sample application for Flex 4.6 and utilizing some of the new components such as the ToggleSwitch and DateSpinner.

Adobe evangelist Andrew Trice shows how to create the type of infinitely scrolling lists in Flex applications similar to what you see on social media apps like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. In order to do that he needs to detect when a user has scrolled to the end of list, which is an issue Dan Florio also tackled this week.

Jason San Jose explains a workaround that was posted as a patch to a Flex bug allowing you to use explicit height Items with IconItemRenderer.


Julian Dolce teaches you how to create AIR Native Extensions for BlackBerry PlayBook using the newly released Playbook NDK and Flash Builder 4.5.

Cool Flex, Flash Builder & Catalyst Stuff

Jesse Warden shares some code and a screencast on how to use Flash to skin Flex Components.

Adobe's Kevin Lin posted a couple of examples demonstrating how to customize the Spark DataGrid that is new to Flex 4.5. In the first, he shows a couple of methods for customizing Spark DataGrid row and column separators in Flex 4.5.1 or higher. He also explains how to change the fontWeight of Spark DataGrid headers.

Adobe's Alex Harui finally had the time to update his prototypes for a Spark Menu and MenuBar for Flex 4.5 and provides links to the source.

Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff

This past week featured the release of the Flash Player 11.2 and AIR 3.2 betas on Adobe Labs. In case you are wondering what features are included, Adobe evangelist Mihai Corlan discusses his feature highlights including background updates on Windows. In a similar fashion, Adobe's Thibault Imbert shares his own highlights including some hidden gems including StageVideo.attachCamera(), Camera.drawToBitmapData, Camera.copyToByteArray, Camera.copyToVector and a new VIDEO_FRAME event. He notes that several of these were the direct result of customer feedback initially coming via Twitter. Thibault also shares a video preview of a new mouse feature coming in the Flash Player that should make 3D game developers happy.

Adobe evangelist Mike Jones posts a screencast demonstrating how to set up Flash Builder 4.5 to support Stage3D allowing you to develop with Starling.

Ville Koskela revisits the topic of Starling performance from his earlier post, rerunning the tests outside the projector and with some of his laptop's power saving features disabled. He not only get different results than the prior tests but it further proves that performance can vary widely depending on the hardware.

Continuing on the topic of Starling, Devon Wolfgang shares a Starling Halloween game he made as well as some thoughts on Starling in general.

Lars Gerckens shares some performance tests of ND2D, his 2D game framework for Stage3D.

Clearly, performance tests for Stage3D and related frameworks were a hot topic this week. In the last one on this topic, Jackson Dunston did some tests on uploading data from system memory (RAM) to video memory (VRAM) in Stage3D.

Yasunobu Ikeda posts links and source for two Stage3D particle demos using Starling.

If you are looking for an impressive Stage3D demo, check out this awesome Stage3D experiment that has thousands of particles on the stage reacting to music by Daft Punk.

Emanuele Feronato updates his sample code and tutorial on developing a Flash game like Cirplosion using ActionScript 3 (the prior example was built in AS2). He also continues his tutorial series on developing a Flash game like Angry Birds using Box2D, with this edition covering how to have the camera follow the bird and skinning the crates.

Bill Sanders discusses walks through the idea of reusing event handlers to avoid potentially unnecessary garbage collection.

Ben Fhala posts a video tutorial covering the SharedObject in Flash including how to save and read data and covering recent changes.

Cool AIR for Desktop Stuff

Nick Kwiatkowski starts a four part video series on creating a Windows AIR Native Extension with Eclipse. In part one he covers installing CDT, the compiler and setting up Eclipse. Part two discusses how to create the DLL for use as an Android Native Extension (ANE).

Robert Bak created a step-by-step tutorial for getting sockets working in AIR.

Cool ColdFusion Stuff

Mark Mandel has just released ColdSpring 2 Alpha 1 which is the end result of a major overhaul of this popular (and really useful) dependency injection and AOP framework for ColdFusion. New features include AOP Expressions and ColdFusion 9 ORM integration.

Ryan Anklam the ColdFusion Koans project that is designed to help teach people the CFML language via unit testing (using MXUnit) and is based upon similar Koans projects for other languages.


Rob It is probably also worth noting that awarded "Best Timetracking Application" for both Mac and Windows to an AIR application. and


Posted By Rob / Posted on 11/01/2011 at 11:54 AM

chris dennett Excellent round-up, thank you. I'd missed quite a few of these.

Posted By chris dennett / Posted on 11/02/2011 at 2:58 AM

Brian Rinaldi @rob - thanks for the link, hadn't seen it.

@chris - thank you.

Posted By Brian Rinaldi / Posted on 11/05/2011 at 8:57 AM

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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.