Daniel Dura

All About the Adobe Flash Platform

Archive for the ‘Flex’ Category

ApolloCamp Twitter Application Open Sourced

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TwitterCamp in action.

Today I released the source code for the ApolloCamp Twitter application that we used at ApolloCamp last month. This Apollo application ran on a desktop which was connected to a plasma display and a projector. Attendees could get a ‘birds-eye’ view of the tweets that were being sent to the ApolloCamp Twitter account. I built the application in about two days which is a testament to the Flex Framework and Apollo. I should also thank the guys over at Twitter who helped us get this application working and gave us technical support using their API as well as Ely Greenfield for his great SuperImage component.

We were not sure how well the idea of using Twitter as a conference back channel would go over with the attendees. We found out that it works amazingly well! When attendees found issues with the venue or wanted to praise one of the speakers, they would Twitter the message and it would appear on the big screen inside the application. This not only facilitated great communication between attendees, but helped us as organizers stay apprised of what we needed to do to make the conference successful. I have now made the application and source available so that if you are hosting a conference or user group meeting, you can use and customize this application and display all Twitters for your Twitter account. If you don’t have a Twitter account already, you should set one up. You can view my Twitter profile and add me as a friend to keep up with what I am doing. Also make sure and add ApolloCamp as a friend, he is a little dormant right now, but we will probably start posting on that account soon to let you know what is up with the Apollo team.

The source for the application is available by visiting this page. You should be able to customize the application and graphics to fit your needs, or just use the application on your desktop for your personal use. It is built using Flex and Apollo.

If you have any questions about this application, please use the comments on the TwitterCamp page. For more urgent issues email me, but realize that I may not respond right away (I am consistently about 1000 emails behind, if someone can build an Apollo app that solves that problem, you would be a lifesaver!)

Written by Daniel Dura

April 10th, 2007 at 9:31 am

Posted in AIR,Flex

Apollo Multi-Window Support using Flex

with 12 comments

One of the most exciting features of Apollo is support for applications which have multiple native windows. Currently when using Flex in the browser, you are limited to using PopUpManager or rolling your own MDI architecture. With Apollo, your application can look more like, well… a native application. Each window will appear in the task bar on Windows, have a tab and z-order, etc.

An existing issue in the Apollo alpha that you may struggle with if you are doing Flex development, is that the Flex Framework does not currently support Apollo’s NativeWindow implementation. The issue stems from the fact that now your Apollo application can have multiple stages and the Flex framework which was originally developed for the browser player doesn’t take this into consideration. Right now if you try to add Flex content, such as a custom Flex component, to a new windows stage you will get unexpected and broken behavior.

Now, I wouldn’t bring this up unless I had a solution. But before I show you that, a few caveats: a future release of the Flex Framework will formally support multiple windows. If you are looking at this article and there is currently a post-alpha Apollo release, please check the docs first to see if Flex officially supports multiple native windows. Another caveat: You will still run into a few issues and bugs when using this technique. For example, PopUpManager may not work properly in new NativeWindow instances.

On to the code (the comments should explain what is going on):

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Daniel Dura

March 30th, 2007 at 8:01 am

Posted in AIR,Flex,Tutorial

New AS3 XMPP Library on Adobe Labs

with 6 comments

Almost a year ago I began working on an XMPP library using ActionScript 3. XMPP is a protocol which enables real-time collaboration and presence information to be communicated between clients. (For more information about XMPP see http://www.xmpp.org.) With the new Socket API in Flash Player 9, writing a formal XMPP protocol library in ActionScript was much easier than it was in previous versions of the player and showcased some of the new features of the ActionScript 3 language. I decided to start to write one from scratch.

I have submitted this library to the Adobe Labs repository. You can browse the repository using the link below. The path to the source is ‘projects/xmpp’ in the ‘flashplatform’ repository. Christian Cantrell has also made a great post on his blog that describes how to checkout the latest code here.

Over the past year I have made many optimizations and feature additions to the code base and I am still actively developing the library. If you have any suggestions, questions, or patches related to this library, please feel free to email me directly (ddura@adobe.com).

  • Browse the source here.
  • Download the latest nightly drop of source from the Adobe Labs repository here. (This contains the entire labs source tree.)

Update: The code for this library has been moved to Google Code, where some bug fixes and changes have occured. Be sure to update to that version. Link

Written by ddura

November 30th, 2006 at 2:41 pm

Posted in Actionscript,Flex

ASDoc Now on Labs

with 3 comments

A version of ASDoc that we use internally for generating our documentation is now available on Adobe Labs.

Written by ddura

August 14th, 2006 at 10:31 am

Posted in Actionscript,Flex

It’s True – A Free Flex SDK

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You may have seen the news swirling around CNET and a few blogs. I can confirm that what they say is true. Rub your eyes and read the statement again if you must. Most of these news outlets jumped the gun on the announcement, not that I can blame them. I have had a hard time keeping this news quiet myself.

Part of the pricing model for Flex 2 will include a free SDK which contains a command line compiler and documentation. It will also allow you to develop, compile, and deploy Flex applications with no additional server or licensing requirements. There is not a lot more we can say right now but as we get closer to the final release you should see more news about this.

The other part of the announcement is that we will be releasing the Flex 2 Beta and the first public release of the Flex Enterprise Services Server Beta on Adobe Labs very very soon. I really don’t want the free SDK to overshadow how amazingly awesome these releases are. Overall this is a huge update for Flex Builder as well as many changes and enhancements in the language and framework. I will outline these changes in a later post. For now, start freeing up some time to start playing with the updated Flex 2 Beta.

Written by ddura

January 31st, 2006 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Flex

MfgQuote Harnesses the Macromedia Flash Platform to Streamline MfgQuote.com

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From the press release: “MfgQuote Inc. … today announced the launch of its first rich Internet application (RIA) capabilities developed with Macromedia’s Flex technology, part of the Flash Platform. Using these new RIA capabilities, MfgQuote users can manage the sourcing process and collaborate with suppliers in a faster “software-like” experience. The streamlined interactions translate into more productivity and less time processing.”

They also seem to be using Flash Video on their home page.

Written by ddura

June 9th, 2005 at 10:00 am

Posted in Flash Video,Flex

Adding a View Source Menu to Flex Applications

with 7 comments

There is one thing that has continually impressed me about the Flash community: its willingness and dedication to helping one another. This weekend at FlashForward San Francisco, Lawrence Lessig encouraged the community to further adopt this culture of sharing and expressed his belief on how innovation is dependent upon this culture.

Yesterday, at the keynote, Kevin Lynch further reiterated this idea and showed off a script that Mike Chambers put together while we were sitting in the balcony watching the presentation. Then, when we were at the airport, on our way out here to Flash in the Can, I decided to build a Flex version of this.

So, here it is! Although this is simple, it should allow you to quickly specify a ‘View Source’ and a ‘View License’ menu in your Flex applications. The functionality is pretty basic at the moment, but I hope to expand this in the future.

Here is the menu in action:

I have exposed the functionality as a custom Flex tag. To see how to use this, check out the Example.mxml file in the zip.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Written by Daniel Dura

April 8th, 2005 at 4:44 pm

Posted in Flash,Flex

Tic Tac Toe – Done Jesse Warden Style

with one comment

Playing Tic-Tac-ToeJesse Warden has put together a nice example of integrating Flex, Central, and FlashCom; three technologies that are near and dear to my heart. Be sure to log in and get a game going. The only trick I found was that to use the icon, you have to put in a URL of where you image is located. In the image above, you can see Ethan Malasky, Jesse, and I chatting away and getting in a few games. If you are interested in learning how to build Flex applications in Central, I will be speaking at Flash in the Can in April on just that subject. A more formal announcement will be coming later.

Check out his app here.

Written by Daniel Dura

January 3rd, 2005 at 3:45 pm

Flex Trace Panel

with 5 comments

I had seen this earlier, but was reminded about it when I was browsing the Flexcoders mailing list this morning. As many of you know, the Flex framework has extensive debugging abilities, but many times a simple trace will do. Dirk Eismann has put together a great tracing package together that will help you monitor the traces in your Flex application. I assume this would work in Central also, where it will definitely come in handy.

Written by Daniel Dura

November 11th, 2004 at 12:08 pm

Posted in Flex