Daniel Dura

All About the Adobe Flash Platform

Archive for the ‘Platforms’ Category

TwitterCamp Update

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Just a quick note that I have finally (after much, much procrastination) updated the TwitterCamp application to be compatible with Adobe AIR 1.0. While I have not added any features to the application, I have moved the source over to Google Code. The new project can be found at http://code.google.com/p/twittercamp-official/.

You can dowload the new AIR file here, or find more information on the TwitterCamp homepage.

This project has really grown leaps and bounds further than I ever originally intended. It is a little funny how the projects I have spent the least amount of time planning and developing seem to gain the most traction. I have received numerous requests recently for new features. I am looking to add some more support for other services, such as Flickr and Brightkite, as well as updating the UI. Keep an eye on my blog for updates. As always, if you have any specific requests, please email me.

Written by Daniel Dura

June 2nd, 2008 at 12:40 am

Posted in AIR

The Official Google Maps Flash API

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For a few years now, I have been waiting for this: an official Google Maps Flash API (based on ActionScript 3). You heard it right, instead of using one of the many other solutions which tapped into the tiling servers of the various mapping providers, this is the real deal. And on the surface it looks great.

Google Maps Demo

It is also interesting to hear the Google Maps team talk about Flash on their blog, and discuss why they chose to do this project. In the post they maintain that performance is a big part of it, and that with Flash, the smoothness and speed of the mapping component are much better. From just playing with the demo they put together on their blog, I agree. The tiles load very quickly and the transitions are very smooth. It also integrates video very nicely. Obviously this isn’t to say that the current Ajax implementation is bad, but the Flash version definitely gives the map that little extra polish.

It is great to see Google realizing the benefits of the Flash platform. (I think they got bitten by the bug when they started Street View.) If you are hoping to see more from them, please show your support for this project and download the SDK and start playing with maps in Flash today.

Written by Daniel Dura

May 15th, 2008 at 5:58 am

Updated AIR Example Code

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Over the last year, my API overview presentation has evolved through 3 beta releases and the official AIR 1.0 launch. I have been a little slow in updating the examples, but I have just posted the updated archive file here.

Written by Daniel Dura

April 7th, 2008 at 12:10 am

Posted in AIR,Conferences

My Latest Obsession – Live Streaming

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There is no doubt that micro-content is the new way to communicate with the world. After more than five years of blogging, I find myself spending much more time on sites like Twitter, Pownce, YouTube, and a myriad of other sites. My latest obsession is live streaming of video content. The first leg of the onAIR Tour Europe has given me a chance to really experiment with this medium using Qik.com’s service. While there are many kinks to work out, I have to say that this is one of the most enjoyable and painless mediums.

Today we are in Amsterdam at the Beurs van Berlage, an old Dutch stock exchange which is experiencing a second life as an event venue. I must admit, this is one of the coolest venues to date. I have taken a number of videos of this event which you can view on http://www.qik.com/danieldura/. I just posted a quick interview with Ted Patrick, where he is demoing a new project which will help HTML developers test and deploy AIR applications (embedded below.)

If you want to watch videos that we are streaming live from the tour, you can follow my secondary Twitter account http://www.twitter.com/dduraqik. Be warned, the live streams are sometimes a bit choppy, depending on the connection. But if you wait a few minutes, once the video is complete it is a much more pleasant experience. Hopefully the bandwidth issues should be solved soon.

Written by Daniel Dura

April 4th, 2008 at 7:43 am

Posted in AIR,Conferences

Heading to Europe for the onAIR Train Tour

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As you may have heard, we are soon to head out on the first leg of the onAIR Tour in Europe. This time we will be sporting backpacks and making our way from city to city the European way, via trains (instead of our much beloved bus.) We have high expectations for this tour, we are already seeing amazing registration numbers. So if you have not registered, you will want to do it soon so you aren’t left out.

Register at the onAIR Tour website.

Written by Daniel Dura

March 13th, 2008 at 10:37 am

Google OpenSocial ActionScript Library

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There definitely has been a bunch of buzz about Google’s OpenSocial initiative in the past few days. I have always been intrigued by social networking and was hoping that one day somebody would create a central repository for this kind of information. I get tired of adding all my friends to different social apps every time I sign up for one. It appears from the outset that Google is trying to fix that, and I believe nobody is in a better position to do just that than they are.

Today they released the documentation on their API. It looks like right now they do not have an ActionScript version of it available on the site. I intend to fix that. I have created a Google Code project at http://code.google.com/p/as3opensociallib/. I have not committed any files just yet but intend to start on this project right away so I can play with the API a bit and get to know it. If you would like to contribute to this project or just keep an eye on it to see when it is available, keep checking the Google Code project or this weblog.

Written by Daniel Dura

November 2nd, 2007 at 5:05 am

AIR and Flex Presentations and Code Samples

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I have been pretty slack in posting this. Over the past few months I have been busy presenting on AIR and Flex at numerous events such as the onAIR Bus Tour and Adobe MAX. I have just finished cleaning up and compiling all of the examples and the presentations that I have been showing.

There are two presentations, compiled as PDFs. Most of my AIR presentations are a variation of the one below. I have also included a Flex Builder presentation that I gave here in Europe at the Beyond Boundaries events we held in Amsterdam and Brussels. Along with the presentations is an archive of Flex Builder project archives that contain most of the code I have showed.

Enough talking, here are the files:

Written by Daniel Dura

October 9th, 2007 at 11:36 am

Posted in AIR,Conferences,Flex

Weekly AIR Application Showcase

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I have decided to do a weekly showcase on this site. This will be a video showcase in which I will demo an AIR application of my choosing that I think is not only illustrative of what an AIR application can and should be, but is just plain cool and useful. If I have time, I may even interview some of the creators of these applications and get some insight into their work.

I have some ideas about which applications I am going to showcase first, and there are definitely quite a few to choose from now that the AIR Developer Derby has finally complete. But if you want to have your AIR application moved to the top of the list, or just want to make me aware of what you are working on, please feel free to contact me.

I will probably be starting this showcase next week, so keep an eye out here on my blog.

Written by Daniel Dura

September 18th, 2007 at 9:39 am

Posted in AIR,Showcase

Adobe AIR Does Not Compete With Silverlight

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As I have been reading in many blog posts lately, I felt that I needed to make one point perfectly clear. Silverlight is not Microsoft’s answer to Adobe AIR, it is Microsoft’s competitor to the Flash Player. This means they now have a competitor to Flash in the browser. Sorry for the bold type, but I wanted to make sure my point was made. I know that many of the readers of my blog get this, but there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion.

Adobe AIR is a new technology that allows developers to take their web applications which were built using Ajax or Flash and move them outside of the browser where they can take advantage of desktop features such as file IO, system notifications, multiple windows, drag and drop, etc. I am not sure where the confusion is coming from, maybe just ignorance and the fact that Adobe AIR and Silverlight are getting a lot of press. But right now Microsoft does not have a cross platform runtime equivalent to AIR (not that I know of, I am willing to be proven wrong here if someone has that information.)

I am not trying to put down Silverlight here. Congrats to the Silverlight team, I am sure they are having some big parties this week after their launch. Silverlight is a good attempt at accomplishing some of the same functionality that we have provided in the Flash Player. But we do have a ten year head start and the Flash Player is installed on 98% of all PCs today (we just announced that Flash Player 9 is on over 90% of PCs.) But, we don’t take the competition or our current position in this market lightly.

As you can see by our recent announcements, such as the addition of H.264 to the Flash Player, we will continue to innovate and do everything we can to make Flash the best platform for building RIAs in the browser and now on the desktop within Adobe AIR. As Ted mentioned yesterday, we have a lot of things you will want to keep an eye on. Just wait until you see what we will be talking about at MAX!

Written by Daniel Dura

September 7th, 2007 at 9:03 am

Taking Your Applications Offline Using AIR

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When we are out talking to developers about AIR, we spend a lot of time discussing offline applications. AIR has a lot of functionality for building offline applications such as connectivity APIs and an embedded SQLite database engine. What we don’t focus on is how you actually approach architecting these applications. Not only do you need to consider how to architect your code, but how do you actually surface the functionality to the end user?

Google recently announced a new browser plugin that allows you to build offline applications within the browser called Google Gears. Much like AIR, Google Gears uses an embedded SQLite database to store data for offline access. But again it is up to the developer to consider how to architect their application to use this functionality effectively.

Although there are differences between the Google Gears and AIR implementations, the way you architect your application is going to be very similar. Google just recently published a case study of a startup called Remember the Milk that is using Google Gears to do offline data storage within its Ajax based task management application. Although this article is targeted at developers using Google Gears, there is a lot of information that will be valuable if you are developing a Flex, Flash, or Ajax based AIR application and want users to have access to online data when they are offline.

Written by Daniel Dura

September 5th, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Posted in AIR,Ajax