Daniel Dura

All About the Adobe Flash Platform

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

An Update on Adobe’s Investment Program

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Over the past few weeks I received many questions about the $100 million investment program Adobe announced at MAX 2006 in Las Vegas. It has been about a year since the announcement, and many people have only heard about our investment and subsequent acquisition of Virtual Ubiquity, the makers of the Flex based online word processor Buzzword.

I did a little bit of research, and John Leckrone, who is in charge of the investment program at Adobe, pointed me towards a new site recently launched that contains specific information about the program, called Adobe Ventures. Virtual Ubiquity, while deservedly receiving a great deal of buzz recently, is only one of the numerous successful investments we have made over the past fifteen years. On this site, you can see a list of many of the companies that we have invested in as well as those who have made a variety of successful exits.

Adobe has invested in companies as diverse as Netscape, Seibel Systems, Vignette, EFI, and Shutterfly, as well as more recent startups such as MobiTV, Scrybe, and Bunchball. Those are just a few of the companies you may have heard of. I recommend that you check out this website and review the full portfolio. It is an impressive set of companies, and it was an eye opener to me that we had such a history of successful investments.

The real question you should be asking yourself is if your name is missing from this list. If you are interested in Adobe’s investment program, I encourage you to visit this site and submit a proposal using the link provided there.

Here is a list of some of the important links:

Written by Daniel Dura

October 19th, 2007 at 11:08 am

Posted in Adobe

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

How Not to Launch a Startup

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UPDATE: Looks like they fixed the page. Now go and try out their service and blog until your heart’s content! It does look like a great service on the surface. I will definitely be trying it out.

This week, TechCrunch’s TechCrunch40 conference is going on here in San Francisco and a number of new startups are launching their services. I started to sign up for one of them: Mint. Mint is an online money management application that looks well designed, simple, and easy to use. As I was signing up though, I noticed a particular checkbox with an agreement that I had never seen before: “I agree not to blog about or post screenshots of Mint.”

I am hoping this is just an overlooked feature that was for private testing before launch. I can’t think of any other reason they would have this. But, now I can’t sign up until they remove it. Neither will any of the other bloggers who may have been their best source of buzz! Hopefully they will fix this soon.

Written by Daniel Dura

September 18th, 2007 at 9:19 am

Posted in Web 2.0

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

Do you really want to pay $200 more?

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I usually don’t delve into topics outside AIR, Flash, or Flex on this blog, but I just cant resist. To preface this, I am a very happy iPhone owner. The iPhone is missing a few features, but overall it is the best device I have ever used. Yesterday, Apple decided to drop the price by $200 to $399. And in celebration of this, all I see today is posts about how pissed off iPhone users are. Here is my statement to you: Get over it! I am sure that if you really want to, Apple will be happy to accept an extra $200 from you while making any future iPhone purchases.

Anyways, if you want see something else related to this whole debacle that will give you a good laugh, check out this article about how Apple and Nokia are trading barbs using AdWords.

Written by Daniel Dura

September 6th, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Posted in Apple

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