Daniel Dura

All About the Adobe Flash Platform

The Ribbit $100,000 Killer App Challenge

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I know that all the talk of the weakening economy has you down, but guess what? There is a way to pocket a ton of cash by doing what you probably already do well: building an application using Flash, Flex, or AIR that uses the Ribbit platform. Ribbit has announced the $100,000 Killer App Challenge. This contest will award $100k in prize money to developers in five categories who submit applications that use Ribbit technology.

Ribbit allows you to very easily build voice enabled Flash applications, so even if you don’t sign up for the contest, this is some very cool technology to play with. But come on, if $100k in prize money doesn’t give you an incentive to try it out and build an app, I don’t know what will!

I am also happy to announce [in a slightly evil and sarcastic tone] that along with Lee Brimelow and Matt Chotin, I will be one of the three judges for the contest. There is a little less than three months left in the contest, so you better hurry and sign up, and get working on your app! And just as a note, this contest is open to US AND non-US residents.

Written by Daniel Dura

December 8th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

Posted in AIR,Flash,Flex,Miscellany

Flash on the Beach – Miami

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One of the most popular Flash conferences, Flash on the Beach, usually held in Brighton, UK is coming to Miami! If you have not heard of this conference before, be sure to do a quick search, and you will find raving reviews. There are only a few conferences that I recommend to people, and this is one of them. FOTB consistently puts on an amazing event, and now we yanks on the other side of the pond get one all to ourselves!

FOTB Miami will be held April 6th through the 8th, 2009, which should leave you plenty of time to get home and file your taxes. Tickets are currently $299, but there are only 199 tickets at that price, so be sure and sign up soon. Once those are gone, the price will go up. Considering how many amazing speakers will be there, this is an absolute bargain.

I will definitely be in Miami to enjoy the event, and take in some of that Florida sun after a cold winter. I hope to see you there as well!

Written by Daniel Dura

December 4th, 2008 at 1:18 pm

Posted in Conferences

Another TwitterCamp Update

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Just a quick update that a new version of TwitterCamp is available (see http://www.danieldura.com/twittercamp.) This is a pretty major release, as it adds support for the new Twitter search API, and removes the requirement for you to authenticate, or for people who want to post to the application to follow you. All they have to do is follow the search terms that you input into the application.

Also, I added a configuration panel for more easily updating the skin. Now you do not need to recompile the application to re-skin TwitterCamp. Just launch the configuration panel which appears on launch, or can be accessed through the context menu.

Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for features. Of course, now I need to spend a little time focusing on the upcoming Moderator update.

Written by Daniel Dura

November 24th, 2008 at 9:52 am

Posted in AIR,Conferences,Flex

Moderator Updates

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I just wanted to give a quick update on the Moderator application that I released a few weeks ago. Right now I am working on an update to include some of the most requested features (replying to comments, and viewing the full comment inline are the two highest requested features right now.) I will also be adding support for the WordPress 2.7 comment API. This will remove the need to have a plugin activated in your WordPress installation. All you will need to do is install the desktop application.

The timeline for this release is a few weeks out. At the very least, I want to wait until 2.7 is public, but I also have another application that I am working on (more information later) that will take priority along with the Adobe MAX conference next week. Just keep watching this blog and I will post when the release is available.

Also, I wanted to give a quick plug for the Open Web Awards. Nominations have begun and if you feel so inclined, please nominate Moderator in the Blog Plugins category. The form below should get you started. And while you are at it, feel free to nominated any other sites in the other numerous categories that are available.

Written by Daniel Dura

November 12th, 2008 at 7:30 am

Posted in Moderator

Launched: WordPress Comment Moderator AIR Application

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I have just released the alpha version of my WordPress Plugin, dubbed Moderator. This application, as discussed in previous posts, allows you to moderate comments from your desktop. Please make sure and read the official page for notes and warnings, this is an early release and as such will have bugs. But it is usable and marks the first official public release of the application.

Official Moderator Page and Download

Written by Daniel Dura

October 21st, 2008 at 8:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Update: WordPress Comment Moderator

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This is just a quick post to update you on the progress of the WordPress comment moderation application that I am building. It is coming along very nicely, and I should have a beta early next week. Unfortunately I spent a full day trying to get my WordPress installation back up and running after a botched upgrade to 2.6. Just two notes about that, make sure and disable plugins and clear your cookies!

Back to the application, the first version is going to be pretty simple and will only moderate comments for a single blog. I have heard many requests for multiple blog support, that looks like it will be the first feature added after an initial release. The first release will only support WordPress 2.6+, as that is the only version I am testing it against. Last but not least, I have received a few questions about this being open sourced. I am sure I will open source it eventually, but it isn’t the highest priority right now. Once I get an initial stable version out, I should be able to get the code to a place where that is possible.

Anyways, keep an eye out on this blog early next week for the beta. (As for this weekend, I am going to be gutting out a rental house after some of my tenants trashed it, oh joy!)

Written by Daniel Dura

September 12th, 2008 at 11:06 am

WordPress Comment Moderator AIR Application

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UPDATE: This application is now available. Please see the following page: http://www.danieldura.com/moderator/

I wanted to give everyone a quick sneak peak of something I am working, that I should be releasing next week. As you can tell by the footer on this page, this blog is powered by WordPress. I have found WordPress to be one the best, most feature rich, well coded, and well designed publishing platforms. It is easy to update, is customizable, and most importantly (for me atleast) is very extensible.

One problem I have though is that the dashboard is a web based application in my browser and one of the functions I use the most is, comment moderation, only sends notifications via email. What I really wanted was a desktop solution to alert me when new comments are awaiting moderation.

I did find one solution, but it is only on Windows. Man, I really wish there was a way to have a cross platform application that even allowed me to approve and deny comments from my desktop. Hmm… what could I use…

As you probably figured, AIR is a PERFECT candidate for this use case, and so I just went ahead and built an app myself. This screenshot is the application actually working. I have it running against a local version of a WordPress installation. It gives alerts when new comments are awaiting moderation, tells you how many comments are awaiting moderation in the dock menu, and allows you to approve comments, mark them as spam, or delete them.

If you want to try out the application, you will have to wait a week or two. I still have a few bugs to fix, and I want to test it out against a real installation first, probably mine (or maybe my brother’s since he doesn’t seem to be posting much lately.) If you have any feature requests or if you think this is interesting, please feel free to leave a comment, it will give me a chance to test out the app as well!

Written by Daniel Dura

August 29th, 2008 at 9:52 am

Posted in Adobe,AIR,Showcase

Have you registered for MAX?

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I was just recently in a meeting, where we were discussing some of the activities going on around MAX 2008 and some of the information we will be sharing about that time. All I can say is WOW! This will be my seventh or eighth MAX. I honestly can’t even remember how many I have been to at this point, especially if you include the international events. But this is the one I am the most excited for, and I already know all the secrets! ;)

We have a great session line-up with great speakers, many of whom are engineers at Adobe. And not to mention, we are holding it in the infamous Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, which is just a few blocks from our San Francisco offices (the old Macromedia building). If you really kiss up, I might even give you a tour ;) On top of that, the price right now is very reasonable.

So, stop thinking about it and sign up now. I hope this doesn’t come off as a sales pitch, but I know you won’t be disappointed by this event. I think we are going to sell out pretty quick this year if last year was any indication. Not to mention, I think the demand for tickets is going to be even higher because of the location. So hurry up! Sign up here.

Written by Daniel Dura

August 28th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Posted in Adobe,Conferences

AOL Embraces Flash with AIM Express

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This morning the folks over at AOL, and more specifically the AIM team, launched version 7 of AIM Express. And guess what, it is built using Flash! It really is a great experience and a quality example of the power of ActionScript 3.

What is most interesting to me though is not the client, but the API that they have made available to ActionScript developers. You can go to Google Code and actually use the same base AIM AS3 library to build your own client or integrate AIM functionality into your application! If you know anything about my history with the AIM client and Central, you will know how excited I am about this.

When it comes to building applications that have chat, presence, or some type of collaborative functionality, you have to consider the infrastructure it might take to get up and running. With this library, all you have to do is build your client, and let the user utilize their existing AIM/ICQ account! And guess what, I am sure most of them already have one of those…

Written by Daniel Dura

August 20th, 2008 at 7:09 am

I Got My Wings!

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While I usually keep this blog strictly ‘work related’ I am going to get a little personal. Yesterday evening I became an official FAA certified pilot. After a year and a half of training, almost 90 hours of flight time, passing an FAA knowledge test, and three hours with an authorized examiner, I was officially handed my temporary pilot certificate. (The real fancy one comes in the mail in a few weeks!)

I was bitten by the flying bug as a child, like many pilots, and no matter what I did it never seemed to go away. It was a horrible nagging feeling that just wouldn’t subside. Every time I saw a plane I would imagine flying it myself. About two years ago I thought to myself, “why haven’t I done anything about this!?” I went online, did some research, found an instructor, joined the flying club, and started my training. Many hours later (and unfortunately many dollars later) I finally got my pilot certificate.

Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without people like Vance Cochrane, my instructor, the advice of many other great instructors at West Valley Flying Club here in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Sherry Diamond, a very professional and fair examiner. I feel lucky to have done many things in my life, but nothing really comes close to the feeling of accomplishment I have right now. While there are many more ratings ahead of me and many more check rides, I am sure nothing will compare to this feeling.

So, my suggestion to you: if you have that same bug, that itching feeling to go flying when you see a plane fly over, do something about it! While it is a lot of work, it is also very rewarding. And quite honestly, would you rather be sitting at home this weekend watching TV, or be thousands of feet up in the air zooming across the country side? I’ve made my choice.

Written by Daniel Dura

August 6th, 2008 at 10:22 am

Posted in Miscellany