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

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,
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'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'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!


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:

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