Thursday, December 20, 2007

apple rumours site 'thinksecret.com' dies

Apple had sued thinksecret.com back in Jan 2005, alleging that recent postings on the site contain "Apple trade secrets"

And today thinksecret posted an announcement stating they have reached a settlement with apple and as a result, thinksecret would no longer be published!

Thinksecret.com has been around since since 1999.

R.I.P

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bangalore FUG organizes a nationwide RIA conference - initRIA - 1 seat left

"initRIA is the first of its kind Rich Internet Applications developer conference in India. I, along with some other members of the Bangalore Flex User Group, am organizing this conference with the hope of providing a platform for RIA enthusiasts around the country to interact and learn. You can know more about the conference at our FAQs page." , says organizer Mrinal Wadhwa.

At the time of writing this post, there is just 1 more seat left!
If you are in Bangalore area, and haven't registered yet, GO REGISTER!



Saturday, November 17, 2007

Singapore FUG meet - 14th nov 2007

This post has been overdue for a longtime now, blame it on my laziness.

We had the first FUG meet in Singapore on Wednesday evening. It was a great start, I should say. We had more attendees than we expected. Finally looks like the UG meetings here are starting to become more interactive! And to top it up, we had a good bunch of adobe folks joining in!!

Unlike last year (and before) this year Adobe decided not to 'MAX' in Singapore.

Marianne Young, our contact point for the UG activities in Singapore had attended the MAX conference at Europe. And for this UG meet she agreed to do a presentation about things she saw and liked at MAX. Sorta like a highlight. To be honest, I was expecting just a simple presentation with pics she probably snapped during live presentations. Boy! She went ahead and collected real demo material that was used in the actual MAX presentations. A whole bunch of them!! And did a great session to kick start the meeting.

Her session included demos for Flash player 10 - hydra, text improvements etc, thermo, etc. Thanks Marianne, you are awesome!

And during the presentation we had a surprise guest peeking in. Prayank Swaroop, the Flex Evangelist for Asia Pacific is in Singapore for some internal projects and he dropped by at the meet as well. And so did Jack Lim, the BD manager for Enterprise BU from adobe. Suddenly our small little user group meet looked so filled up with celebs ;o)

The second session was from our own homeboy, Lionel/Flashmech. He presented about the PV3D based Effects classes that Tink has put through. Like his session before in the FSUG meet, he did a very impressive job here too!





We also had Stefano Virgilli of AdobeSoftwares.com join us in the meet! Its great to have you Stefano in Singapore!.
He did a brief intro about the upcoming Flex camp and other events. Check out the event pages here:

http://flexcamp-singapore.eventbrite.com/
http://cs3-mobile-workflow.eventbrite.com/
http://flash-lite-integration.eventbrite.com/

I'll be attending the FlexCamp for sure. Haven't decided about the rest yet.


And ArulKumaran mentioned that he will be in India for the next couple months. You'll be missed in the upcoming UG events!

I got a few more pics of the event on my picasaweb album

Thanks everyone for coming. And thanks to Shunjie for putting things together to make the event happen :)

See you all at the next month's event! Go ahead and post your thoughts about what sessions you'd like to see next month here

Friday, October 26, 2007

Singapore Flex User Group meeting

After a couple of months of silence, the Singapore Flex User Group is back again. Its got its own home now - and we have a forum set up as well for discussions.

The first meetup of singapore FUG is gonna happen on the 14th of November. Check out the details here. If you are in singapore, and are excited about Flash platform development and Flex in particular, do join us for the meet!

Adobe will be sponsoring some food and drinks, and Shunjie has promised to give away some free eclipse as well ;o)

Google's experimental site - searchmash - has a Flash UI

Searchmash has been around for more than a year now, and their current UI has been written in Flex!

A few things that I noted:

Their data transfer with the search server is in JSON.
Google maps is being loaded on an iFrame over the SWF.

pretty cool. The only problem I see with this approach is, If a user right clicks on the SWF and selects the 'settings' option, he's pretty much stuck. Only way to get over it would be to refresh the page. This is because the Flash app pops up the settings modal window, and since the iframe sits above the flash app, the user can never interact with the settings window.

I like how they've integrated a video search tab - which searches for the video in google videos ( and hence, youtube) and loads the video player swf from the corresponding site. Simple, and neat.

Techcrunch isn't very thrilled about the app being Flash. They question 'why flash'; and I ask, 'why not?' I mean- searchmash is a site for experiments, isn't it?
The author of the techcrunch article wonders if Flash is as fast as AJAX, and quickly decides to assume its not! He should probably take a look at the benchmarks here

Searchmash also shows snapshots of the results , using snap.com's technology. Apparently, guys at snap.com are very thrilled about this: http://blog.snap.com/2007/10/25/breaking-major-news/

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

simplespark - a download.com for webapplications

Check it out: http://simplespark.com/

I was amazed at the catalogue for video apps they had. It ran into 28 pages! How many people out there can name something other than youtube?

Monday, October 01, 2007

Flex 3 Beta 2, AIR Beta 2, Adobe Media Player, Adobe Share, Buzzword, FlashLite 3.0....

Spry, Flash player9 update, AIR update for Flash CS3, AIR update for dreamweaver ...
Phew!

All those are available today. And probably more!. Check out Adobe Labs homepage, and its almost full of brand new builds!

FlashLite announcement press release is available here. ( Btw, I heard from some highly reliable sources, that FlashLite 4.0 - planned for 2008 is gonna have AS3 support!!! )

Share is another product (Also built using Flex!) from adobe that goes public today. I see it as an online storage + flash paper thing. It lets you import . Nice to see that adobe also offers a 'widget' to include documents from share to your own webpage. I guess its the first widget from the company that helped all ( or almost all?) companies to create their webpage embed-able widgets? Ironic, hmm?

I also got an invite for Buzzword, if you don't have an invite yet, go ahead and check register yourself at http://preview.getbuzzword.com/. You might get lucky as well!

Like Ryan posted earlier today -"Big Day for Adobe" indeed!

Adobe buys virtub - buzzword

A few weeks back I saw an article on wired.com suggesting that adobe might move into Office tools market. My immediate guess was that they would buy virtub's Buzzword. I was so sure about it, I went ahead and posted about it.

And today Robert Scoble and Ryan Stewart posted the news about Adobe's acquisition of Virtub!

I also another prediction about sliderocket in the same post. Go ahead adobe, make me proud! ;o)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thermo - a new member in the Flex product line?

Since last week blogs are busy speculating what Thermo would be. Sam Robbins blogged about discovering a job description for an Engineering Manager Position on Thermo. And Ted posted a note about it. Mark Anders was sad that he wasn't the one to expose thermo first, like he had planned ;-P

Well, as of yesterday Ted has a new post where he mentions that he will be blogging abt new features in Flex 3 Beta 2. He also has a little mention about "the expansion of the Flex Family." being a part of the announcements on Oct 1st. That confirms a few speculations that said Thermo had something to do with Flex and the Flash platform.

My guess is that Thermo would be something that would bridge the gap between Flex builder and graphical asset editing tools like Flash / Photoshop? Would it create visual effects - like transitions, and save it into an MXML? ( like what the 'Copy motion as Actionscript3.0' feature in does Flash CS3? )

Its kinda fun to play the guessing game isn't it ? ;o)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Flexplorer - an easy and neat tool to explore Flex SWCs

Over the past few months, Arul Kumaran, has been silently developing a set of ActionScript developer tools. Those who attended MAX 2006 at Singapore had a chance to have a sneak preview at his AS code editing tool, written completely in AS.

I've been lucky to know him in person, and hence have more previews of his work in progress. The last time we met, he showed me a bunch of other related apps. Being built to target the Flash/ AIR runtime, these tools will definitely open up an unexplored approach to Flash platform development. Among those was this application that can parse .swc files and display the components/ classes inside the swc. Its a pretty nifty tool if you wanna explore the APIs inside a swc file. It also keeps track of recently opened SWC files, so it can function as a repository explorer for all your SWC files! And adding a new SWC file to the app is as easy as dragging and dropping the SWC to the app!
I'm sure this tool will be a great addition to any Flex developer's toolkit.



He has now packaged a 'limited' version of the tool - christened as Flexplorer and released a public preview version. This tool is also his entry into the adobe AIRDerby contest. ( I say limited because I've seen more features in the app, which he is holding back probably for refinement ;o) )

You can try Flexplorer by downloading the .air installer file here. This app installs itself over the AIR public beta 1 runtime. If you don't have the runtime, get it here.

Did I mention, flexplorer has a real slick look?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

India's 60th Independence Day anniversary today

August 15, 1947 - 2007

Happy Independence day to all Indians out there.
( image courtesy: www.rediff.com)

Adobe planning a move into the Office tools market?

via http://www.wired.com/software/coolapps/news/2007/08/adobe_officedocs

My best guess would be: They'd acquire buzzword for the word processor element; acquire sliderocket, and they'll have a presentation tool; right now i don't remember any spreadsheet program on flash, but well, a wrapper over the new enhanced datagrid would suffice it?

And these apps would work on the browser using flash player, or u can take them standalone, using AIR.

+ +

Of course, these are just some of my personal assumptions, but what I know for sure is adobe (read adobe-ians) likes buzzword and sliderocket - a lot. If they were to really get into office tools development, they would seriously consider getting these two apps.

And if adobe can have all these apps ready around the time AIR makes its debut, AIR adoption is definitely gonna sky rocket!
Hmm.. interesting!

Monday, July 30, 2007

AIR based Instant Messenger - airTalkr - check out!

Hu Shunjie, a colleague and friend, has created an AIR based Instant messaging application, named airTalkr. Besides the native IM service, users can also connect their existing Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, ICQ accounts, thanks to JiveSoft's OpenFire server he uses in the backend. airTalkr also has a video module, which lets users view videos from YouTube, and a photo module, which lets users browse photographs from Flickr.

Its his personal AIR project based on Flex2. AFAIK, he developed the entire application, in a remarkable time period of around two months thanks to his amazing speed at churning out code. And thats besides his day job in our client team for velvetpuffin, (and not to mention, his newly married wife at home!). airTalkr is also a demonstration of Flex's (and AIR's ) rapid application development capabilities.

He is currently calling out for alpha testers for his application. Check out his post!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gaia - Steven Sack's flash framework for creating websites

I've been wanting to blog about this, more as a bookmark for myself, but then thought blogging would help someone knew learn about it as well.

Steven Sacks, a popular flash developer in the flashcoders community recently released a Flash website development framework Gaia. In Steven's own words :
Gaia (pronounced "guy-uh") is an open-source framework that provides powerful solutions for building Flash websites to designers and developers of all skill levels. Gaia dramatically reduces development time and is the first tool to feature a scaffolding engine for Flash.
Now, I don't do website development myself, so I haven't really used it. But I went through the demo video he had posted, and it looked really useful. Am sure it will give a jump start for website developers, when they start off to develop websites.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this post, the gaia framework's homepage seems to be down for maintenance. Bad timing huh? In case you aren't able to view the site, just bookmark the url and try it out later. If you are into website development, take my words - its really worth it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Singapore Flash Usergroup meet - MoM

I'm just back from the Singapore Flash Usergroup meeting, for the month of July. It was a day of information overload! We started off at 10 AM, and ended the sessions at adobe (the venue for the meet) at around 1:45 PM, and a few of us then continued to discuss about the future sessions etc., over lunch. In short, it was a saturday, well spent!

Ryan started off with a overview of what today's sessions were gonna be. He also talked about the FSUG site, and his Flex (and AIR) experiments on the site, using the RSS feeds for his forum. Am still amazed about how this guy single handedly handles a site that heavy; not to mention, He has a busy day job as well!

Then followed 3 full length sessions - Hu Shunjie started off with a session on AIR. He showed how the AIR commandline utilities ADT and ADL coupled with flashDevelop can be used to create AIR applications. He also demonstrated a few sample applications he had been developing using AIR. Everyone seemed to enjoy his icicle application ;o)

And then Lionel aka Flashmech started off his session where he showcased a few interesting flash extensions that he found around the web. Boy, this guy had a huge collection of extensions installed! I assume He must be hosting a detailed writeup about the extensions he demo-ed today, in his blog. Watch out his space!

And then there was this lousy presentation by yours truly. I had a tiny presentation that I aimed at 'demystifying Flex' to newbies. I spoke a little about the history of Flash based RIAs and then continued to talk about how flex came into being what it is now. But to be honest, though I've been following the developments in the flex world, I haven't really written any flex application that really does anything interesting. So I made this presentation a perfect reason to attempt something worthwhile. I wrote up a complete newbie style Flex application using the beta of FlexBuilder 3, which takes a tag as an input from the user and searched Flickr for pictures associated with the tag, and displayed them in a TileList component.

In total I spent about 1 hour building the application on stage - in the process also explaining the flickr REST API. I could've used the AS3 API for Flickr, but I did also want to demonstrate how easy it was to consume a REST response and parse it up using E4X. Luck was my side, and without any major glitches, the app was up and running! ( I've uploaded the files here)

We had Arul Kumaran attending the sessions today as well, and being an early Flex adopter, I could see him all irked by the lousy coding I was doing ;o) But like I said there, it was a demo of how a novice Flex developer could write some working flex application, in about an hour's time :D

Aftermath:
After the sessions, we walked over a bit to a food court, for lunch, and discussed on a wide range of subjects, ranging from future usergroup sessions to general tech stuff to velvetpuffin to movies. There was a whole lot of enthusiasm in everyone, which was great to see!

We finally parted around 4:30, after a whole load of geektalk. Expect to see a lot of improvements in the FSUG activities soon!

Thanks to all attendees, and thanks Adobe ( and Marian specially) for helping us with the venue and those donuts!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Singapore Flash UserGroup meet - 14th July

The FSUG meet for the month of July has been finalized to happen on 14th July ( saturday).

Details of the venue and timing as below:
Date: Saturday 14 July
Time: 10AM - 1PM
Venue: Adobe Office,
PageMaker Room,
8 Temasek Boulevard,
#06-02
Suntec Tower Three,
Singapore 038988

To register for the event, click here. Early registration would help adobe arrange for enough seats ;o)
The event's home page is available here.

If you are in Singapore, do drop by at Adobe. They got us some nice cakes last time ;o)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Error on gSkinner.com's heading banner - Cool stuff

I mean, how many times have you encountered a error on a webpage, and thought, "hmm, these developers are way too cool"!

check out the banner label, above the menu. (click image for larger view):



I just finished my day's work, had a few minutes to kill. And site hopping brought me to gskinner.com's blog. So was just checking out the tiny experiments on their banner, and came across their waveThing experiment. I saw it slow down after a few seconds, and just as I was thinking.. "uh ho, this thing has some performance issues", bang! the SWF refreshed itself and showed me this error report. How many of us developers account for issues like slowing down framerates after all!

Cool!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

[OT]: Want a pownce invite, anyone?

I'm on pownce.

Just started using it, UI looks neater than twitter. Haven't attempted sharing files, so no idea about how it works. Their AIR application looks slick, but think it will take some time to get used to. It somehow doesn't feel intelligent enough. I ended up sending messages, events to people I didn't intend to. Wish there was an API. When they come out with an API, am sure there will be a bunch of nice little apps.

Also twitter being integrated with the existing IM client is a big deal for me. I don't have to remember to launch a new browser page / new client app to see my updates every time. I get them in a gtalk client window. This feature is a big plus for twitter, compared to pownce, for now.

But well, its just a few days since they launched an alpha. So, things will definitely improve. Kevin Rose has a thread open asking for feature requests.

If you are already on pownce, and if you'd care to add me, this is my page: http://pownce.com/arulprasad/

And I got a few invites left. Leave me a comment, and I'll pass you one.

Friday, June 29, 2007

the iphone homepage is live

The iphone homepage is live on apple.com here: http://www.apple.com/iphone/

[OT] iPhone launch live on mogulus

From the mogulus team:
iPhone Launch TV powered by Mogulus

This Friday, Mogulus will bring you 24/7 live stream coverage of the
launch of one of the most anticipated product in history, Apple's
iPhone. Broadcasting Live from New York, witness the excitement of
fans as they camp outside and stand in line at the two Apple stores
in Manhattan, just to get their hands on the revolutionary device.

Apple expects to sell over 15 million iPhones by the end of 2008.

Coverage started today at http://iphone.mogulus.com and will feature
multiple cameras and interviews starting tomorow at noon EST.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

FSUG updates + ATTN: Flash / AIR platform developers from Singapore

A few quick notes on the happenings over the last couple of days:

A few Singapore Flash Users group(FSUG) members attended an informal meet at Adobe Singapore yesterday. Mike Downey did a presentation about AIR and demo-ed a few AIR applications; The eBay app, buzzword, scrapBlog, to name a few. Had some nice fun time,(and nice snacks, thanks to adobe ;o) ) [Ronnie Liew has a writeup about the meet.]

Mike presented today at iX2007 Academic Forum as well.

A bunch of FSUG-ers met again today at Starbucks to discuss about the upcoming sessions of FSUG meets. We decided on making the sessions more friendly to designers as well. There will be more sessions targeted towards designers in the future. So do drop by at Adobe Singapore, on the second Saturday of every month. ( check out http://flashmove.com/fsug/ for updates)

Finally, following the steps by Abdul, I thought I'd collect links to Singapore based Flash/AIR platform developers and designers. So if you are a Singapore based Flash / AIR platform developer please leave a comment on this post.

Thanks!

Monday, June 11, 2007

enabling cookies for AIR ( apollo) - enable it on IE

I had an issue a while ago with AIR ('apollo' back then)'s HTMLControl not being able to log me into gmail.com. Attempts to login showed me a gmail error page stating that cookies were not enabled for the browser. I had no idea on how to enable cookies for webkit browser plugin inside apollo.

Every now and then, I'd see some people come up with applications that load gmail, and I used to be wondering, why wouldn't it work just on my machine! An attempt to get help from apollocoders mailing list didn't work either.

And today I was trying it on the latest public beta release, and still had no luck. Then I was reading about manageCookies method on URLRequest class documentation , which mentioned that for windows, clearing cookies on IE would clear cookies for apollo as well.

So I got this doubt and checked IE, and IE couldn't launch gmail as well. (\I hadn't used IE for a real long time now. The last time I used it on my laptop was when IE7 was launched, and I just installed and tried it; That was it. )

When I checked the privacy settings for IE, it was set to 'High', where most of the cookies get blocked. I changed this setting on IE to default, which is 'medium', and gmail loaded just fine.
Now when I try loading gmail into my AIR test application, it launches just fine as well!

So, just in case you had any cookies related custom settings in IE, remember, AIR applications are gonna be affected as well.

I seriously wish this changes with the 1.0 release. I mean, how would a user know, that AIR was dependant on IE, if they had abandoned IE and moved on with FF?

But ideally, I'd expect AIR to pick up settings (that are not directly possible on AIR itself) from the default browser on that machine. Not from a specific browser on each platform.

apollo beta 1(now Adobe AIR ) available on labs

The new homepage for AIR Beta1 is available here:
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air/
A download for FlexBuilder 3 beta ( code named Moxie ) is available here
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/entitlement/index.cfm?e=labs%5Fadobeflexbuilder3

yay!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

FSUG ( Singapore Flash User Group) meet - June 09 2007

Am back home after attending the Singapore Flash Users Group meet at adobe's office in Singapore.

It was tiny little gathering of people, not just designers and developers but there was an art director, a solution architect and a couple of students as well. There were three sessions in all; Marianne, a solutions engineer at adobe started off with a brief session on how Device Central CS3 allows integration between different CS3 applications. She showed how Adobe Illustrator CS3 could work together with Device Central CS3.

Then there was this intro session to Flash CS3 by Ryan, the founder of FSUG. He demonstrated how skinning V3 components was easier, the new actions panel features, and the 'copy motion to AS3' feature. He also demo-ed an advt banner which doubled up as a game; it was put together by two ploytechnic students, at the adobe Leadership Forum over the last week. I liked their concept behind the game. Pretty cool. (Hope they put it up online somewhere)

The final session was by Alvin of 3D sense media school, about how remoting could be achieved with Flash CS3 and AS3.0, by directly using the NetConnection class. He also spoke about Flourine and AS3LRF . He'd put together a small blogging application as a demo as well.

We also heard that Mike Downey is gonna be in city sometime next week, to be talking to customers about apollo. Looking forward to meet him there.

Next meet is gonna have our own Shunjie Hu talking about apollo. Hope to see more people join us for the same.

Thanks to the program manager at adobe who made this meeting possible. She was a sweet lady, and I forgot her name!! [UPDATE: her name is WEE LENG. Thanks Sandeestar for pointing it out, and to Ronnie for correcting me on Marianne's name. Am so bad with names!!] Also thanks to Ryan and all the attendants!

Spotted Mars on Google Maps street View

Check it out on google maps; its from the wrong side though...

Ok, that wasn't very funny; But am sure a lot of Flash teamers are preparing to welcome their weekend at Mars today ;o)

Happy weekend everyone.

And yea, a reminder to all flashers in singapore: the FSUG meet is on tomorrow. See you all there!

Friday, June 08, 2007

flash player to cache Flex framework!

This is awesome news. Am so excited that I can't go to sleep now!

via Ted Patrick, Flash player's upcoming update is gonna allow caching the flex framework separately. The framework thus cached can be used across multiple applications. This is awesome news! Long ago, I submitted something in the same lines as a feature request for Flash player; And later I even discussed with a few friends about developing a service, which would host a UI framework which can be used by different applications, hence letting them share the same framework. And now the flash player is gonna allow that natively!

The details about how this is gonna be done is yet to be known, but am sure this is one powerful feature which is gonna drive up Flex adoption crazy!

Woohoo!!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Singapore Flash User Group meet on 9th June 2007



Its been over 7 months since I moved to Singapore, and I'm gonna be attending my first Singapore Flash User Group meet here in Singapore on 9th June( saturday). So guys, if you are in Singapore this weekend, do drop by at Adobe's office here.

Here are the details of the venue and the timings:

Date:
9 Jun 2007
Time: 10AM - 1PM
Venue: Adobe Office, PageMaker Room
8 Temasek Boulevard
#06-02 Suntec Tower Three
Singapore 038988

This would be my first real chance to meet up with fellow actionscript developers ( and designers) in Singapore. So am looking forward to this event. Thanks to MAX2006, I did meet a few people, but I was busy catching up with the visiting celebrities most of the time;o)

For more details about the event, go here.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Using AS3.0 with E4X for Jabber IQ packet parsing? watch for the xmlns attrib in the query node

I'm working on a jabber based client, and recently I was attempting to implement a tiny widget, which would parse a jabber IQ packet and do some stuff with the data in it. Since it was more of a personal project, I thought it would be a good place to attempt some AS3.0 + E4X.

The first time I attempted to parse an attribute from a node, my trace returned me nothing. The sample XML provided in AS3.0 documentation was behaving as expected, but my IQ XML node wouldn't return me what I was looking for. And there no error message too. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts, I just closed the file and forgot about it.

Today I decided to give it another shot, and opened it up again. After a little examination of the IQ packet, I realized that the query node had an xmlns attribute in it. Duh! I wasn't handling the namespace :P

A quick search returned me this article by Darron. http://www.darronschall.com/weblog/archives/000223.cfm. So I went ahead and handled the xmlns as he mentioned in his article, and bingo! it works. Thanks Darron!

var req:XML = <iq type="get" id="01" to="xxx.xxxxx.com">
<query xmlns="xxx:iq:xxx">
<getXXX attrib="blah">
<authorized />
</getXXX>
</query>
</iq>;


// I had to add this
namespace ns= "xxx:iq:xxx"
use namespace ns;

trace(req.query.getXXX.@attrib);
So if you are parsing jabber iq packets, remember to handle the xmlns.

Yea, I know the AS3 XIFF library would most probably handle it all, but there were reasons why I cannot use the XIFF library for this purpose.

Friday, May 11, 2007

One of those reasons why I like "FlashDevelop + MTASC" over Flash 8 IDE for editing AS2.0

(Click to enlarge)
Click to enlarge

and the same bug in Flash IDE - (Click to enlarge)



hmpf!
Back to work ;o)

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Flash CS3 About box easter egg

Unlike Flash 8, Flash CS3 has a slightly bigger hit area for the hidden button, and in a pretty easily predictable location ;o)

I was thinking of taking snap shots of all the people I know, but it would mean a lot of work to do, especially at 3 AM! I got no idea how to digg out the SWF with the slideshow, like how the ASVGuy did last time around. So, just a couple of the most recognizable faces in the list.





As you see, it's similar to the easter egg that was found in flash 8. A slideshow of pictures representing all the engineers in the flash authoring and flash player teams. Watching it brought some nice memories of a few old friends in there. One of them even has a picture that I clicked of him!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Flex open source - Will future flex versions never sync with Flash player releases?

Was wondering, won't future versions of Flex coincide with releases of Flash Player anymore? Coz, if a new version of flex was to depend on a yet to be released Flash player's API, how's adobe gonna handle it?

There are only two ways that I see this being handled:

  1. There will have to be binary builds of flash player required to be released with every internal build being made by the Flash player team. Instead of public beta builds of flash player, there will be daily builds of Flash player ?
  2. Flash plugin will be open sourced as well :P

    Or,

    Flex will always depend on an already released flash player version. Won't that delay the adoption of Flex & the player?

Am sure guys on the flex end have some thoughts in place around this.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Google personalized homepage has themes now!


Pretty cool. And this theme that I selected can change colors based on the time of the day of the location that I am in. neat!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The firefox kid is doing something with Flash!

Its been a long time since I last heard about parakey, the 'set of applications' that the Firefox kid Blake and his team-mate Joe-Hewitt are working on. So went to their site check for any updates, and I saw a summer internship advertisement there.

What really caught my attention was this statement in the Qualifications section : Experience with Flash is a plus.

Can' wait to see what they are doing with Flash. Meanwhile, any news of what the GodFathers is coming up with ?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Quick note: mProjectorV2 + Flash Player9 = no video download

I'm working on an application that uses mprojector to create a desktop client app. ( yea, no apollo yet! ) Flash player used to be bundled into the application until a few days back, when we decided to use the drop flash player from the executable, and use flash player installed in the client machine. And ever since, video playback has stopped working on machines with flash player 9 installed. The FLVPlayback component would just keep showing the buffering bar. No download!

Publishing the application on mProjector V3 did the trick. So remember- If you used mProjector V2, and had some http download of videos in the flash application, either upgrade to mProjector V3, or bundle flash player 8 in your application.

May be this is not just with video downloads, but with the entire NetConnection object. Haven't tested yet. Am in a rush, gotta get back to work again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"RIA degradation"? whats all that fuzz about?

Over the last few days, I've been noticing (am sure that I'm not the only one) a lot of 'bashing' between adobe and microsoft enthusiasts; Last time, one such 'discussions' went to the level getting to personal bashing. Today, there is a new 'discussion' happening out there. About microsoft's SilverLight and Adobe Flash, and other related stuffs, and of course, which term was first to be created: Rich Internet Apps or Rich Interactive Apps.

I thought I should note down my personal take on these kind of discussions.

IMHO, by fueling these kind of discussions, adobe employees are gonna do no good to Flash. They are only gonna make things easier for MS people out there, to popularize their 'silverlight' among developers. Here why is why I think so:

As someone in today's discussions pointed out, Microsoft wouldn't have to struggle much in getting their plugin to windows users; Many techies will download it, just for the heck of it; and for those who don't, there is always the windows update. If a corporate user had to update his flash player to the latest version, chances of getting his system-admin do it for him is not very high. But an update from Microsoft, they'll readily apply that patch. Add a few 'security bug fixes' and call it a security update, and home users will download it right away. Apple users are always ready for heavy updates; Who knows, Microsoft might even get Apple to agree to include it with their updates ;o). Linux users always had problems. They never had Flash player 8! (And if they are desperate, they always have Wine at their disposal!)

So making people download their plugin wouldn't really be a big deal for Microsoft. What would be tough for them is to get developers to start building apps for their plugin. Flash / Flex developers are their easiest target. Getting a .Net developer to understand the 'timeline' would be much tougher than getting a AS developer to learn some C#, If you guys have seen C# code, you know what I mean. Now, with all these crazy discussions, the flash siders are indirectly getting more and more developers educated about their rival technology. Quiet a lot of developers would go check it out, just because if these discussions.

I like flash for what it is today. And I feel Flash is the best at doing what it does. But as I say it, my consciousness pricks me: This "Flash is the best" feeling comes to me, because I've known Flash and actionscript longer than I've known my best friend! I heard about WPF/E like what - last year? I've never really developed anything using it. So I can't really say, can I? May be WPF/E is better? Is that why all these Flash supporters are paranoid over things tiny things like, "MS is trying to spoil the real meaning of RIA" etc? You guys end up creating a doubt in my mind!!

Honestly, if someday I learn that sparklight is the best for something that I'm trying to do, I'll go ahead and attempt it. And if some other technology feels suitable, I'd use that, of course. There was a period when I was a die-hard macromedia fan. And back then, Adobe was our villain. I used to evangelize about macromedia products to my collegues and friends. I even successfully made a few of my designers use Fireworks, over their beloved PhotoShop. And then one fine morning, Adobe and macromedia joined hands! Thats when I realized, all these brand bashing is so silly; All that evangelism I did for fireworks went for nothing!

As I look back, if it was microsoft which had bought macromedia, we would've all ended up being in one happy family! Microsoft would've probably announced next version of Flash and Dreamweaver integrated into next version of Visual Studio. Who knows, Macromedia would've taken its cross-platform culture into microsoft, and there would've been a .Net runtime for all major OS platforms by now! May be, Freehand and Flashpaper would've still existed! ( I'm getting to like this imaginary part now, LoL!)

So, I don't really see a reason why all this bashing must happen between these two companies. Isn't there a way we can all co-exist? Let Microsoft-ers call their apps Rich Interactive apps. Lets call ours Rich Internet Apps. And if you feel your technology is not as good as the others', get back to the drawing board and get us more features. We developers will happily buy your products and use them!

All that said, I feel the name 'silverlight' is just a lame copy of 'Flash'. Couldn't they come up with an original name!!

And I don't mean disrespect to any of you guys out there. You are all my heros, after all! I gotta go catch some sleep now. Its 4:20AM in this part of the world!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

When style meets substance...

Philips and Swarowski team up to create an new range of line of fashionable tech accessories called Active Crystals. Details here.
The lock-like USB drive looks really cool. Ideal for a gift to a girlfriend ;o)

Now all I need to do is find a geeky girlfriend by the time that product is launched. Anyone available? :P

Via digg.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Google acquires doubleClick for $3.1 Billion

Through NewyorkTimes

Considering the fact that adobe bought macromedia for just around 300 million dollars more than that, this is a surprisingly huge deal!

Friday, April 13, 2007

3,462 miles of Atlantic ocean ? Just swim it, says google maps

A friend today showed me something really funny on google maps. Search for directions from London to New York. And follow the directions. ( If you are too busy to read it all, check out No 37 in the directions list. )

It got me thinking, may be google can make some money out of those directions as well. They can display adsense ads next to those directions. For eg: Next to directions between two ports, probably they can show ads for a cruise ship company; directions between two airports, they can probably have ads for some airline company, or probably a travel agent who can help u get a ticket. ;o)

I wont be surprised if someone told me that google is already working on it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

flash goddess 2007 results announced. Sandy's got a runners-up!

A colleague and friend of mine, Sandy Tnay (or 3D, as I call her-why?) won a runners-up for her site.

http://www.flashgoddess.com/html/FITCawards.html

From the flashgoddess site,
"The first ever annual Flash Goddess Award is designed to recognize, promote, and reward talented, yet not quite discovered, women designers/developers working in the Flash industry."
Sandy is one of the two designers helping us with the UI for our social networking application. She's been producing some really cool designs, over the last few months. The fact that being a fresh grad out of college, she found her place next to the likes of Stacey Mulcahy is really impressive!

Congrats to all the winners!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Google Tisp, a new product from google!




I ROTFL-ed at this particular disclaimer note:
We take your privacy very seriously. So we treat all TiSP users' waste-related personal information with tremendous discretion, in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
And this one:
Why should I switch to Google TiSP?
.....
It's good for you. Your FREE TiSP service includes a Google Toolbar-based analysis of your dietary habits and genetic predispositions, along with recommendations for healthier living.
Happy April fools day folks! Have lotsa fun!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

apollo alpha build available on Labs

I guess this would be one of the most anticipated releases on adobe Labs for a long time now.

For starters, the runtime can be downloaded here. This will help you view all the cool examples developers are gonna be churning out in the next few days :)

The SDK and docs are available here. If you'd wanna start building applications based on Apollo runtime, this download is for you.

This page here has the online documentation. A pocket guide put up by Mike chambers and others is available here

Thats all the basic links you need to get started. Watch out for what the developer world is doing with Apollo, on MXNA.

Personally, am pretty thrilled about the HTML control provided by the apollo runtime (like many others out there). Am not gonna be building a really needy of a web browser inside Flash, to me it means, all that formatting issues we got with getting images and text together in htmlText in flash html textfield are gone! + a real good performance improvement ( hopefully)

I can't wait to have my hands dirty with Apollo now. But gotta be rushing to work!
Good luck people!

Monday, March 05, 2007

BBC strikes Google-YouTube deal

For someone like me, who doesn't watch TV (on the TV set), thats an interesting move.

Read more about it here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/6411017.stm
or here : http://www.youtube.com/press_room_entry?entry=0VMEPAJuK7Y

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

How's this: "looking for ppl to make games (dont have enough money to hire ppl yet)"

There is this mailthread on flashCoders today: this guy started out as "Anyone hate flash 9 already" (!!!!) . Yea right.. he hates Flash9, even before its released ;o) And in one recent mail replies he goes
"looking for ppl to make games with or hire someone(dont have enough money to hire ppl yet)".

I kept archiving mails in that thread everytime it popped up in my gmail inbox since morning.

And just now when I was about to go sleep, I saw that post had quiet a lot of replies and decided to check out how people were reacting. And came across a reply, which had this link : http://positionrelative.wordpress.com/2007/01/23/craigs-pissed/. A discussion that looked so silly till then looked turned so informative, just with one link!

The link above points to a blog post, which quotes another 'flagged and removed ' post from craigslist (author unknown). If the original author ever happens to read it here, - you deserve a warm applause man! ( and like the author of the post at position : relative mentions, "Designers everywhere owe him a hot coffee and a big hug." )

I thought I'd cross post the content of the original post in here, for a quicker reference. Hope guys at position : relative, or the actual author won't mind!

Post from CraigsList

Every day, there are more and more Craigs List posts seeking “artists” for everything from auto graphics to comic books to corporate logo designs. More people are finding themselves in need of some form of illustrative service.

But what they’re NOT doing, unfortunately, is realizing how rare someone with these particular talents can be.

To those who are “seeking artists”, let me ask you; How many people do you know, personally, with the talent and skill to perform the services you need? A dozen? Five? One? …none?

More than likely, you don’t know any. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be posting on craigslist to find them.

And this is not really a surprise.

In this country, there are almost twice as many neurosurgeons as there are professional illustrators. There are eleven times as many certified mechanics. There are SEVENTY times as many people in the IT field.

So, given that they are less rare, and therefore less in demand, would it make sense to ask your mechanic to work on your car for free? Would you look him in the eye, with a straight face, and tell him that his compensation would be the ability to have his work shown to others as you drive down the street?

Would you offer a neurosurgeon the “opportunity” to add your name to his resume as payment for removing that pesky tumor? (Maybe you could offer him “a few bucks” for “materials”. What a deal!)

Would you be able to seriously even CONSIDER offering your web hosting service the chance to have people see their work, by viewing your website, as their payment for hosting you?

If you answered “yes” to ANY of the above, you’re obviously insane. If you answered “no”, then kudos to you for living in the real world.

But then tell me… why would you think it is okay to live out the same, delusional, ridiculous fantasy when seeking someone whose abilities are even less in supply than these folks?

Graphic artists, illustrators, painters, etc., are skilled tradesmen. As such, to consider them as, or deal with them as, anything less than professionals fully deserving of your respect is both insulting and a bad reflection on you as a sane, reasonable person. In short, it makes you look like a twit.

A few things you need to know;

1. It is not a “great opportunity” for an artist to have his work seen on your car/’zine/website/bedroom wall, etc. It IS a “great opportunity” for YOU to have their work there.

2. It is not clever to seek a “student” or “beginner” in an attempt to get work for free. It’s ignorant and insulting. They may be “students”, but that does not mean they don’t deserve to be paid for their hard work. You were a “student” once, too. Would you have taken that job at McDonalds with no pay, because you were learning essential job skills for the real world? Yes, your proposition it JUST as stupid.

3. The chance to have their name on something that is going to be seen by other people, whether it’s one or one million, is NOT a valid enticement. Neither is the right to add that work to their “portfolio”. They get to do those things ANYWAY, after being paid as they should. It’s not compensation. It’s their right, and it’s a given.

4. Stop thinking that you’re giving them some great chance to work. Once they skip over your silly ad, as they should, the next ad is usually for someone who lives in the real world, and as such, will pay them. There are far more jobs needing these skills than there are people who possess these skills.

5. Students DO need “experience”. But they do NOT need to get it by giving their work away. In fact, this does not even offer them the experience they need. Anyone who will not/can not pay them is obviously the type of person or business they should be ashamed to have on their resume anyway. Do you think professional contractors list the “experience” they got while nailing down a loose step at their grandmother’s house when they were seventeen?

If you your company or gig was worth listing as desired experience, it would be able to pay for the services it received. The only experience they will get doing free work for you is a lesson learned in what kinds of scrubs they should not lower themselves to deal with.

6. (This one is FOR the artists out there, please pay attention.) Some will ask you to “submit work for consideration”. They may even be posing as some sort of “contest”. These are almost always scams. They will take the work submitted by many artists seeking to win the “contest”, or be “chosen” for the gig, and find what they like most. They will then usually have someone who works for them, or someone who works incredibly cheap because they have no originality or talent of their own, reproduce that same work, or even just make slight modifications to it, and claim it as their own. You will NOT be paid, you will NOT win the contest. The only people who win, here, are the underhanded folks who run these ads. This is speculative, or “spec”, work. It’s risky at best, and a complete scam at worst. I urge you to avoid it, completely. For more information on this subject, please visit www.no-spec.com.

So to artists/designers/illustrators looking for work, do everyone a favor, ESPECIALLY yourselves, and avoid people who do not intend to pay you. Whether they are “spec” gigs, or just some guy who wants a free mural on his living room walls. They need you. You do NOT need them.

And for those who are looking for someone to do work for free… please wake up and join the real world. The only thing you’re accomplishing is to insult those with the skills you need. Get a clue.


Though the post talks more about illustrators and graphics people, I guess the same happens to almost every young professional at the beginning of their career.
When one of the commentors at position : relative said, "this should be taught in colleges around the world", I couldn't agree more!