Cool Stuff with the Flash Platform - 4/26/11
Posted on Apr 26, 2011
A ton of great content this week from the Flash Platform community. Among my personal favorites include a number of outstanding posts from Christophe Coenraets about iOS development with Flex and AIR, videos from Lee Brimelow showing games running on iOS using AIR, a sweet looking carousel layout from Tink, a runtime bitmap tracer from Claus Wahlers, an RGB color wheel tracker from Didier Brun and Todd Sharp open sourcing his ColdFusion-based and widely used presentation sharing site.
On a side note, sorry that the schedule has been screwy due to my vacation last week. I will try to resume normal Friday postings this week.
Cool Mobile & Devices Stuff (AIR for Android, AIR on TV, Flash on Android, iPhone etc)
Adobe evangelist Christophe Coenraets discusses how tablets are changing the way companies are developing and perceiving the concept of data dashboards and demonstrates, in a video, an application built with Flex and running on an iPad that displays multi-touch enabled data visualizations on tablet devices. As a follow up, Christophe created a data dashboard aggregator the iPad that demonstrates multiple types of touch-enabled charting components with multiple levels of drill-down capabilities. Finally, Christophe shares some code demonstrating how to create scrollable and touch-friendly Flex charts suitable for tablet devices.
Adobe's Frank Jennings talks about and shares code for implementing the concept of tombstoning as it relates to AIR mobile applications whereby your application persists data regarding its state if an interruption, such as a phone call or text message, occurs.
Fabio Biondi has released a free Android application specifically for Flash Platform developers called Flash Developer Planet that aggregates a ton of video and article content about the Flash Platform from a variety of sources. You can also suggest new sources for the application.
Adobe evangelist Terrence Ryan released his first official application to the Android market using Flex called Toddler Timeout that, as you might expect, is a timer designed for parents to control time outs for bad behavior.
Adobe evangelist Duane Nickull has released a new open source mobile application built with Flex that demonstrates how to retrieve XML from a server and return the results ot the user.
Julian Dolce shares some tips and workarounds for developing for the PlayBook with the AIR 2.6 SDK and the currently available preview release of Flash Builder 4.5 on Adobe Labs.
Adobe evangelist Lee Brimelow showcases some of the performance improvements coming in AIR 2.7 on iOS by previewing a number of Flash games by developer Terry Patton that are already available in the browser and on Android but will soon be available on iOS devices like the iPad (or iPad 2). In the first video he shows off Treasure Caves 2 and Meter Storm while in the second he shows a game called Pogs that uses Box2D for physics while still managing great performance on iOS and another called Solitaire 2. In the latter video, Lee discusses some of how the games were built.
Cool Flex, Flash Builder & Catalyst Stuff
Tink has developed a really sweet CarouselLayout for Flex 4 with the source code available for download. While it is currently built against Flex 4.1, he plans an update for 4.5 when it is out. Check out the running demo he has on his site to see all the ways you can customize this layout.
Adobe's Joan Lafferty contimues her ongoing series of tips for Flex 4 by sharing an example of how to change the barColor for an MX ProgressBar in Flex 4.
Jim Armstrong shares the next iteration of his TRON Clock with this one expanding the skin to make it more customizable while adding some new features.
Justin Shacklette posts an article on RIA Rockstars that discusses creating and using custom Flex layouts. He shares code for a couple of complex layouts including a clock face and a Monopoly game board.
Adobe evangelist James Ward shows how to use an Embedded WSDL with Flex's WebService API in specific circumstances when the WSDL isn't available at runtime.
Cool ActionScript/Flash Stuff
Didier Brun created an impressive RGB Wheel Tracker that he demonstrates in this video as well as providing the source code. The tracker is a simple image that is used to control a Flash application via video similar to the way some applications use tracking with QR codes. However, the wheel's RGB color arrangements allow him to also detect and react to rotation of the wheel for gesture-based controls.
Claus Wahlers created a new open source library called as3potrace that is an ActionScript 3 bitmap tracer that can convert bitmap images to vectors by tracing edges at runtime.
Dan Florio shows the difference in performance and rendering capability between the current Away3D 3.6 on the current Flash Player release and Away3D on Molehill on the Flash Player 11 incubator release.
Marco Scabia discusses the concept of perspective in 3D development and shows the math behind it as well as the ActionScript code for creating a simple example in Flash Player 11 with Molehill 3D API's.
Emanuele Feronato updates a game he created years ago that is a 3D rolling ball game with the view from above this time using Flare3D. He also follows up a prior post on pausing Flash games when the focus is lost by adding how to handle pausing when there is a Timer event.
Rich Tretola announces that a bunch of ActionScript 3 libraries created by Grant Skinner are now available on GitHub.
Bill Sanders shows a basic concept of object oriented programming in ActionScript 3 by discussing how objects communicate.
Andrew Alderson shows an interesting example of how to handle something like a series of user permissions using bit flags in Actionscript.
Cool AIR for Desktop Stuff
Antonio Holguin covers a topic that is important in developing any AIR application, desktop or mobile, which is the importance of the AIR App.xml descriptor file. He covers a number of important aspects of the files XML content including modifying settings for iOS and Android development.
Cool ColdFusion Stuff
Todd Sharp built and ran a site, built with ColdFusion, for posting and sharing your presentations called SlideSix that garnered a lot of respect in the developer community for its features and even got some coverage on some major tech media sites. Nonetheless, Todd was never able to find a means of making it either profitable or self-sustaining financially. Rather than completely end of life the site, he has decided to make SlideSix open source while pursuing the full rewrite he had intended. He is seeking community contributions from his users.
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