Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 3/11/11

Posted on Mar 11, 2011

Another seriously busy week with continued interest in the Molehill 3D API's release as well as new Flash Player 10.3 beta and Wallaby releases on Adobe Labs. Due to the volume of Molehill releases this week, I am continuing to provide a separate section for these links though I anticipate they'll simply be integrated into the Flash section going forward.

I also wanted to take a moment and highlight that 360Flex is coming up quickly - it's in Denver this year on April 10-13th. If you are interested in Flex and if you want to know more about "Hero" and "Burrito," I highly recommend you attend.

On an unrelated note, I will be enjoying the PAX East conference today and tomorrow. While it's not focused on Flash Platform, look for some posts covering some highlights from that conference if you are interested in gaming (as I am).

Cool 3D Molehill Stuff

Following the GDC, Mashable released an article covering what it sees as the 4 hot social gaming trends to watch. The number one item on the list was about "higher-quality browser-based games," specifically citing Molehill's release an indicator of this important trend.

The community continued to release so many new Molehill demos that Adobe evangelist Lee Brimelow decided to create a big list of Molehill demos as a Google Spreadsheet he hopes to keep updated going forward. Lee also updates a prior Papervision3D sample to Molehill in this spiral demo with Away3D.

While most of the buzz surrounding Molehill is obviously, some people were exploring the possibilities it opens up for 2D gaming as well. For instance, Adobe evangelist Tom Krcha notes a GPU accelerated 2D framework for Molehill created by Ely Greenfied called M2D. Tom forked Ely's framework adding a few additional classes for added functionality.

Lars Gerckens also continues to work on his own 2D framework for Molehill called ND2D. This week he posts an update on its development including implemented features and planned features.

Other demos continue to explore new possibilities with 3D and Molehill, such as this video demonstrating multi-touch and gestures controls and 3D content built with Away3D. Expand the description for a link to download full example source code.

Rick Winscot started an interesting experiment using Molehill and Away3D to visualize molecules. He follows this up with another example that converts a mol file into a 3D molecule viewer. Source code for both examples is shared.

Finally, there is a Molehill-based game called Delta Strike Buffalo scheduled to come out later this year. A demo and video preview are provided.

Cool Mobile & Devices Stuff (AIR for Android, AIR on TV, Flash on Android, iPhone etc.)

Action Creations posts this case study on developing the ASP Surf Vote application for Android, iOS, Blackberry and the desktop using ActionScript 3 and Adobe AIR. There are some interesting details in there, particularly, for me, some details on the development, exporting and app store processes.

Adobe evangelist Paul Trani shares his slides from an FITC Amsterdam presentation covering tips and tricks for mobile Flash development. There are some good hints on user experience and optimization hidden in there.


Adobe evangelist Michaƫl Chaize demonstrates using LiveCycle Collaboration Service (LCCS) and Flex to create a showcase for LCCS features on your tablet. He includes both a video demonstration and the source code.


Jonathan Campos shows how to make your final build process for your Blackberry Playbook application easier utilizing ANT with an application built using Adobe AIR.

Adobe evangelist Mihai Corlan shows how to extend the QNX TileList component into a Liquid Tile List that not only supports more complex tiles but also dynamically calculates the number of columns depending on some criteria.

Adobe evangelist Renaun Erickson shows how to build an SWF that uses the PlayBook QNXApplication SWIPE_DOWN gesture without breaking on other platforms that don't support the gesture.


Adobe's Shameer Ayyappan shows how to use Captivate 5 to publish a SWF for conversion to an iPhone app and Jayashree Pandeya follows it up with step 2, using the iPhone Packager to export your Captivate SWF to an ipa fit for iOS. Another alternative was shared by Adobe's RJ Jacquez who shows how to convert Adobe Captivate 5 to HTML5 via Wallaby. HTML5 would obviously work on iOS as well (and I talk more about Wallaby in a below section).

Cool Flex, Flash Builder & Catalyst Stuff

Adobe evangelist James Ward shares a demonstration video and source code illustrating how to integrate Flex and Java EE with JBoss using BlazeDS.

Adobe evangelist Piotr Walczyszyn covers how to create a slide effect in Flex using both the ViewState from his as3viewnavigator library or using straight Flex states and transitions.

Simon Gladman shares a library for "press and hold confirmation buttons similar to those you see on the Microsoft Kinect that he recommends as an alternative to "Are you sure you want to do X?" type dialogs.

Jeremy Mitchell posts this tutorial with code samples covering how to use Flex 4 skins and states to disable a component, essentially creating a modal overlay that prevents a user from interacting with the component whilst some action is performed (like awaiting a server-side response).

Adobe's Joan Lafferty continues her series of Spark Datagrid examples with this post discussing why it is best practice to size a Spark DataGrid's columns with a typicalItem and how to do it.

Adobe's Xie Fang from the globalization team shows how to create a localized DateChooser in your Flex application using the flash.globalization package.

Cool AIR Stuff

Grant Skinner built an AIR appliation to read an MP3 file and export peak volume data as a text or JPG image file. He uses this, along with his EaselJS framework to access the volume data of a file playing using the audio tag in HTML5.

Andrew Westberg shows how to utilize runtime logging within Flex-based AIR applications using the Flex logging framework as an alternative to the trace() statement overuse.

Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff

Another week, and plenty more releases to talk about. This week the talk was mostly around the new Flash Player 10.3 beta released on Adobe Labs. Adobe's Thibault Imbert details what it includes, such as media measurement, acoustic echo cancellation and browser privacy controls.

The other release story that got a ton of traction, though some of it misinformed, was the release of the Flash (FLA) to HTML5 conversion tool Wallaby, also on Labs. Much of the confusion from the media seemed to surround misunderstanding and sometimes overstating the intent and capabilities of Wallaby in its current form.

Nonetheless, major technology news publications picked up on the news including CNET News which covered both those releases, along with Molehill, in a good comprehensive and, in my opinion, fair article.

Speaking of Wallaby, Dave Gamez shows an example of a simple character animation converted from Flash to HTML5 including sharing the Wallaby-generated HTML and CSS.

Simo Santavirta demonstrates an application he is writing called APEXvj which utilizes PixelBender in Flash to create a variety of audio visualizations.

Jake at Hook continues is Alchemy tutorial series with an extensive and detailed Hello World Alchemy tutorial.

Speaking of Alchemy, it can make some seriously cool stuff happen like this Nintendo 64 emulator in Flash which is running Donkey Kong Country.

Back on the release topic, Adobe's Catherine Kwon announces the release of Sprint 2 of OSMF 1.6 including improved switching logic for HTTP Dynamic Streaming, bug fixes and a sample advertising plugin.

In addition, Adobe's Robin Briggs announces that TLF samples are now available on SourceForge.

Cool ColdFusion Stuff

Raymond Camden shows how to use Google Maps API to add driving directions to a jQuery Mobile web site with a little bit of ColdFusion on the back-end.

Finally, Adobe evangelist Terrence Ryan shares this quick tip for using CFImap to get all system folders from Gmail.


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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.