Tag Archives: Flex

Adobe Flash Platform and I

It appears to me (and perhaps others), I have distanced myself from Adobe Flash Platform during last couple of years. Not because I don’t like it, actually I love it, rather due to some other priorities here at our company, which does lot more (web-standards and design) than flash/flex stuff.

All this time, I have been keeping very low profile in flash-platform community, literally not talking about anything. I feel bad about it, I don’t know ‘why’.

I have done some trivial stuff (video players, flashlite and air apps) but nothing very cool or useful to everyone else.

My to-do list contains a long-list of applications targeted towards Adobe Flash Platform (desktop and other devices), I am supposed to do; Considering, my plate is full with all other responsibilities, I am not spending even 1/4th of the time writing actionscript.

Meanwhile, I have tried to encourage my team to learn actionscript and flex-framework. I even tried to hire some flash (or flex?) developers. I even managed to hire one flex developer last year.

Unfortunately, this person left the company as soon as when it was time to contribute back after 6 months training (no contribution period). That was big set back, a discouragement to me; I stopped looking for Flash/Flex developers.

I keep on promising myself, that I would do these applications; I keep on forgiving myself when I am not getting those done.

Anyway, there is still hope, I would building applications the on language (ActionScript), I am very good at. There is still hope, this blog would have more posts related to Adobe Flash Platform.

Ideas: FlashDevelop on OSX and GNU/Linux

FlashDevelop is an open-source IDE for Flash Platform development (ActionScript, MXML, HAXE, etc.) on Windows platform. I have extensively used it in past, and still, painfully, use it via windows virtual-machine on OSX host.

Couple of years back, I looked at FlashDevelop code to figure out, if we can port it for other operating-systems, such as Mac OSX and GNU/Linux.

I posted on Flash Develop forum about my experiments:

I have been trying to run FlashDevelop under OSX. In last couple of years, whenever I got sometime, I tried these:-

  1. Run FlashDeveloper with DotGNU: FlashDevelop was running but due to a lot of native (Win32) API calls, lots of components were failing (screenshot: http://pic.im/5Xk)
  2. Run Flash Developer with Mono: I tried to compile FlashDevelop using MonoDevelop and run using Mono for OSX. Most of the problems is one component/library i.e. DockPanelSuite (http://sourceforge.net/projects/dockpanelsuite/), an opensource code that uses a lot of PInvoke calls (Win32 API).

I am really excited about the possibilities, if we can port this one library we can get very closer to run FlashDevelop on OSX using Mono.

Note: pics.im seems to be dead, so I have uploaded new screen-shots
Flash Develop on OSX - ScreenshotFlash Develop on OSX

Some Ideas:

MonoDevelop is good enough and works well on OSX, I guess also GNU/Linux. However, I am yet to look at licensing and possibilities of forking the project (MonoDevelop)?

BTW! I have been lazy to write about such experiments on the blog, but while commenting on Jesse Warden’s post, I thought, it makes sense to post it here, so it lives.

Please let me know, if you have any ideas about making this happen? I would be happy to collaborate, contribute and donate in whatever capacity I can.

Job Opening: Flash Platform Developer

We are looking for some smart Flash Platform Developers who can be part of our team in Allies Interactive Services Pvt. Ltd., Kanpur, U.P.

We are a design and development company in Kanpur, though we are small but we are ambitious and have a great vision.

I posted the details on Flex-India sometimes back, pasting the same (edited the typos and formatted) over here:-

I have been meaning to post this for sometime but thought would it be appropriate to do that here?

I am part of a small design and development shop in Kanpur, U.P. Where, we mostly do web development using FOSS, mainly LAMP.

I moved to kanpur around 10 months back with a desire to build a great Flash Platform Team that would work on non-trivial type service projects and some great product ideas.

I could now start doing it, after we have managed to fix a lot of issues mostly a nice office, a good culture and some projects and a product in pipeline.

I need an experienced Flash Platform developer in my team, who can help us to make our vision, desire and dreams a reality.

Since Kanpur is not a metro or fancy place to live, it takes more than just technical aptitude to be here. That is some more strong reason f.ex. A desire to be part of a growing team, desire to be close to family, desire to contribute in the development of IT ecosystem in North and/or a desire to prove, hell yeah we can do great stuff from anywhere, even cities like Kanpur :-)

If you think, you want to help me by being part of my team and understand what I meant above, please don’t hesitate to contact me on [abdul dot qabiz at gmail dot com] off-list i.e. Direct email to me, please don’t reply here on this list.

As far as job description goes, I have already given an idea. However, we are looking for someone who understands web very well that is HTTP and other standards. Fundamentally good at problem solving, the real world ones, ActionScript, Flex Framework, Adobe Flash Player and AIR fundamentals and APIs.

Of course, good experience that says about in your behalf. We would also talk to you so things would get clear, i.e. If we are match for each other.

If you want to know more about company, please check out http://www.alliesinteractive.com

BugQuash

BugQuash is a great initiative to bring Flex community together to contribute in various ways (bug filing, fixing, patching, etc) to OpenSource Flex SDK.

I am sure, you must have heard about last BugQuash which was organized last month, by Flex community members: Nate Beck and Marty Mickelson.

Hundreds of community members participated including me.

I submitted some patches, which are not big ones, but I got a lot of appreciation from teams within Adobe and other people from community. It suggests that even small contributions matter, hence I should be contributing more often.

Dave Story (VP Developer Tools, Adobe Systems) sent some pictures from one of the all-hands meeting, where BugQuash was discussed, where entire team, along with Dave, thanked to each contributor for their contributions over phone.

Thanks to everyone who organized and participated. It helped me to get started contributing, which I always wanted to do. I am going to try to contribute as often as I can.

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Update:Next BugQuash is happening on May 17, 2009. Check out BugQuash for more details.
Update: BugQuash on May 17, 2009 was successful and your truely submitted two patches :-)

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Interviews on ActionScriptHero.org

Pablo “aSH” PARRADO of ActionScriptHero has been doing fantastic job of interviewing Flash Platform developers. It’s great to see and read those interviews.

I was fortunate to get a chance to express my views and I thank Pablo for that.

I must say, it’s really inspiring experience to read what all developers say.

Check out interviews at actionscripthero.org.

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Flex In Action – The Book

Flex 3 in Action, I think, is the only book, which covers Adobe Flex, in-depth. I have been reading various draft versions over the time, totally love it and I can bet you are going to love this book too.

The content of book shows, authors’ (Tariq Ahmed, Jon Hirschi and Faisal Abid) years of experience as developers. Authors have put tremendous amount of effort to make things easier to understand. Authors in all sense have brought a lot of wisdom to the book.

Book starts with basic concepts of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) and various paradigms, that’s great thing, it would really help to all kind of developers (beginners, intermediate, experts from any programming background).

Each chapter has a lot of details – background, examples, use-cases and of course best-practices. Book has detailed chapters on components, tools, testing, debugging, deployment, etc.

It’s a book you would not only want to read cover to cover but also keep it on your desk as reference material for your day to day development needs. I highly recommend anyone, interested in Adobe Flex, to read this book, whenever it’s available.

I have been meaning to write this post for last some months, just couldn’t manage the time. As you can already figure out from this post, it’s just an overview. I wish, I could write more details about the book now. Perhaps, a follow up post might have more.

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Live Documents – AIR app

After a long time, I checked out Live Documents’ website and found they have released an Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) application called “Live Presentation”.

I couldn’t resist to check it out and hence started looking at it. I am impressed, it has neat user-interface though there is a room of improvement. Overall, Live Presentations is nicely done.

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Flex Compiler Modules

In one of my projects, I was trying to use Flex Compiler Module for Apache. I was doing development on my Mac OSX and everything worked fine. As soon as, I uploaded application on server (CentOS 4.5, x86_64), it didn’t work.

After some debugging, I figured out Flex Compiler Module binaries are compiled as 32bit would not work on 64bit version of Apache. I could have used some third-party wrappers or rebuild it again for 64bit, unfortunately Adobe has not provided source-code for these modules.

There was another problem, it seems this apache-module has dependency on glibc, the required version of glibc is not available for RedHat/CentOS 4.5. Now that’s weird, even if I had source code, not sure I could build against 64bit of CentOS? Not even sure about CentOS 4.5 x86?

BTW! glibc seems to be an important library and one can not just go ahead and update for one requirement, it might actually break many other applications. Hence, I didn’t upgrade glibc on CentOS 4.5 to the required version.

So as an alternative, I used Flex Compiler API by writing some wrappers in Java and then invoke API using PHP. But it seems there is weird licensing i.e. I need to have license of Adobe LCDs in order to use Flex Compiler API?

I have fallen back on pure PHP implementation, I need to figure out about custom logging.

Flex Learning Paths @ Adobe DevNet

Flex Learning Paths, a new initiative by Adobe Developer Connection.

What is Flex Learning Paths? As it’s name suggests, it’s basically a way to point someone, new to Flex, to a relevant/right direct direction (design, development, architecture or management related).

I guess, it’s one of the best moves in the history of Adobe/Macromedia Developer Network. It would really take away a lot of confusion and information overloading and cluttered user-interface.

The best thing, there is section for managers, wow that’s time saver – now developers can just point their managers to that link :-)
Nicely categorized information can really save a lot of time and makes us very focused. I bet, you are going to like it too.

Flex Learning Paths

Flex Learning Paths Application (Beta)

I wish, Flex Learning Path can pick up information from some community driven wiki. Information on Flexcoders FAQ and CFlex are is great. I am sure, community can contribute a lot, of course wiki would require some moderation but again community leaders can be given that responsibility too.

That way, information on Adobe Flex Learning Path would be more useful and managers/decision-makers would take it more seriously when they see how other companies (community showcase) are using the technology and saying (company/start-up blog posts).

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Available for consultancy, training and development

I am available for consultancy, training and development services. Following is the rough list of things, I can provide consultancy, training or development services for:-

  • ActionScript 1.0, 2.0, 3.0
  • Adobe Flash/Flex
  • Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR)
  • Training on Adobe RIA technologies
  • Architecture for RIA
  • Web Application Development
  • Design and Architecture
  • Development for LAMP
  • Integration Services for Flex/AIR with existing Web Apps
  • Development Setup for small teams
    • Subversion Version Control
    • Bug Tracking System (Trac, Wiki)
    • Training on Development Life Cycle
    • Backup Strategies
    • Development Sandbox Setup for RIA development

    JFYI! You can check out my linkedin profile to know more about me. I am based in India and have around ten (10) years of experience, during this period I have worked for Macromedia/Adobe, Yahoo!, Mixercast and TIS and worked as independent-consultant, freelancer, trainer and co-founder. I have been working on various technologies/platforms (some listed above).

    I am a programmer who enjoys solving users’ problems whatever it takes (technology is no constrain). Having said that, I am passionate about ActionScript/Flash/Flex/AIR and Web (in general) which happen to be my core competencies.

    PS: Do you think, this is a shameless sales pitch :-)

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    initRIA was cool

    It was good to be at initRIA, I met many (known or new) people. The event went fine, we had some good sessions. The following list was the agenda:-

    • Data Visualization in Flex – Raghunath Rao, Adobe
    • Flash for Flex developers – Bhavin Padhiyar, SAP
    • RIAjaxified – Rakshith, Adobe
    • Designing RIAs with RC pattern – Yash Mody, TeknoPoint Multimedia
    • Building Live Documents – An online Office suite leveraging RIA technologies by Sumanth Raghavendra and Adarsh Kini, InstaColl
    • Optimizing Flex and AS3 – Mrinal Wadhwa, SAP
    • Developing Flex RIAs with Cairngorm Microarchitecture Debabrata Acharjee, CapGemini
    • Birds of a feather

    We had couple of more session and some discussions (on Silverlight, AJAX etc) along with the above listed ones. I enjoyed most of the session, there is always something to learn. The most interesting session was by InstaCol guys, who showed us Live-Documents and also shared their experience with Adobe Flex.

    I hope, all the slides/presentations (by everyone) would be uploaded to slideshare (preferably) or somewhere.

    Around 130+ people were expected to attend (based on registration count) but it seems some fifty people showed up, which is not bad for something that was planned and organized in such a short time-span.

    I feel, this is the first event, in India, which is focussed on the Flash Platform at the same time open for talks/discussions on all kind of RIA technologies. I am sure, next time (whenever it happens) we would have enough time to spread the word and developers from different RIA technology background can come up and share their views. As said, it was cool we had discussions on AJAX, Silverlight, AIR, Flex, Flash and RIA in general.

    I managed to click some photographs, not really good quality due to my impatient and lazy nature since I have moved to Bangalore :-).Check out photographs.

    Thanks to Mrinal Wadhwa of Bangalore FUG for taking the initiative and organizing the event. Thanks to Honeywell guys for a good venue with all facilities.

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    initRIA – More seats available

    There are more seats available for initRIA event, if you have not yet registered, you can register here. You can read more details on Mrinal’s blog.

    Two more days to go and I am already excited to meet everyone. I hope, I would get well by then.

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