Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Commonwealth Bank adopts Adobe AIR

The Australian has published an article about an Adobe AIR application that is being developed by the Commonwealth Bank.  The AIR app will allow the Commonwealth Bank's brokers to prepare loan applications offline and then transferring them for approval when a connection is available.  There have been a number of major players overseas who have developed AIR applications (i.e ebay, The New York Times, BBC etc).   But this is the first major Australian company  to announce  this sort of development.  I think it is also very significant that it is for such a security sensitive use.  This will go a long way to quell any client concerns about AIR's reliability and security.

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Australian AIR Camps

Adobe AIR Camps have been announced for Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.  At the moment we only have dates.  But there is a form for registering your interest and the promise of email notification when details are available.  Dates are :
  • Thu 27 Mar - Brisbane, Venue To Be Confirmed
  • Tue 20 May - Sydney, Venue To Be Confirmed
  • Thu 22 May - Melbourne, Venue To Be Confirmed
  • Thu 29 May - Auckland, Venue To Be Confirmed

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Flex 3 : Module Optimisation

In my last post I mentioned that the must have feature for me in Flex 3 is the module optimization. So one of the first things I did this morning after installing Flex Builder 3 was to re-publish an existing project using this feature. This project uses 25 modules to manage the various elements of the system. Prior to optimization the size of the published modules was between 140 Kb and 470 Kb. After optimization the size was between 24 Kb and 180 Kb. You can do the maths on the actual percentages but however you look at it's a very significant difference for very little effort. You can see a video of Tom Lane explaining this new feature here.

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Flex 3 Released

This is the obligatory post for everyone who breathes, blogs and uses Flex : Flex 3 has been released. You This is an exciting new release of Adobe's RIA juggernaut. From my perspective it is a must have release just for the module optimization features. But there are no shortage of great features to make our lives easier. You can find a full list of features with some videos here.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

IE 8 : Version Targeting debated

Over at "A List Apart" Jeffrey Zeldman and Jeremy Keith aren't quite seeing eye to eye on Microsoft's plan for version targeting in Internet Explorer 8. The idea is that IE8 will allow you to define a meta element that tells the browser how to render the page. Therefore, if your page has a bunch of hacks that work in IE7 then the page won't break in IE8. The cusp of the ALA debate is that standards savvy developers will need to add the meta element or have their pages forever rendered ala-IE7 because IE8's default render engine is IE7. Jeremy Keith notes "If Microsoft are to be believed, the self-crippling default behavior of IE8+ is necessary to save the web" and "Version targeting is not a bad idea. The choice of delivery mechanisms—meta element or server header—is inspired. As an optional feature, this could prove to be a real lifesaver in some development environments. As a mandatory millstone however, it strikes a blow against progressive enhancement". This is a subtle but important debate and everyone should take a moment to read these two articles:

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Quicktime 7.4 removes all support for Flash Player

I can't find any official mention of this except for a forum thread but the latest version of Quicktime 7.4.1(14) has removed all support for Flash Player. This has been coming for a while with an update last year (?) that forced users to manually enable Flash if required. This will create a serious headache for our group which has been using LiveStage to combine Flash and Quicktime for at least the last five years. Consequently everything we've made in this manner will stop working as soon as users update to the latest version of Quicktime. I know not many people used LiveStage but I also know we weren't the only people using it. One up side is we won't need to consider LiveStage as an option for interactive video projects in the future. Flash is now the clear leader when you need to combine video, animation and interactivity (some may suggest we look at Silverlight but I think we'll need to wait until it grows up a bit).

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Director 11 : Coming Soon

When Adobe and Macromedia "merged" there was a lot of talk about which apps would hit the waste bin of history.  High on that list were Freehand, Authorware and Director.  Freehand was the first to go.  But at a Q&A session at webDu 2007 one of the panel members (I think it was Mike Downey) surprised most attendees when he confirmed that work on the next version of Director was advancing.  Well this morning on c|net there is an article about a March release of Director 11.  The article doesn't have much detail but it mentions improved 3D, using Ageia PhysX engine, inclusion of the Flash 9 Player and an improved pricing model (with a $99 student edition).  It seems that Director really does live to see another year.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

pEngine released as glaze

A few weeks back I wrote about pEngine as part of a series of posts on Actionscript 2D Physics Engines.  At that stage pEngine source code wasn't available and there were only a few demos available.  But today pEngine has been re-named to glaze and the code has been released through Google code along with an impressive demo suite.  It's still very much a beta (0.3) with much functionality stiil to be implemented (no sign of any joints in the demos) but will be very interested to see what it has to offer.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

My internet connection appears to be online

The following message appeared while tring to view a Quicktime movie from a link in a web page. Who would have thought that being online would keep you from accessing internet content.
Quictime Error message : This computer's internet connection appears to be online

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Yahoo ASTRA : Flash CS3 Components

Yahoo have released a set of free Flash CS3 Components called ASTRA.  The component set includes a Tree, Menu, TabBar, AutoComplete and Charts.  Flex developers already have access to components like these through the Flex Framework.  But Adobe hasn't released equivalents for pure Flash developments.  There are a number of excellent commercial component sets around but who can argue with free.  To help developers get started with these tools Yahoo have provided a simple sample application : the ASTRA Aquarium which provides an example of using all the components.  The source code is available for download and there is also a comprehensive tutorial.

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