Author Archive: Karen Leeburg

Examples, examples, and more examples

When we ask ActionScript developers what they want from the Flash Platform documentation team, their consistent answer is: more examples. There is no such thing as enough when it comes to code examples that developers can use to learn the language, solve specific problems, and share ideas with others who are working on similar applications.

The secret: our existing ActionScript 3 documentation actually HAS a decent range of examples. The problem is that these examples are somewhat well hidden. To solve this problem, we’ve analyzed pathing info (provided by Adobe’s Omniture acquisition) that tells us what users are searching for, where they are looking, and how we can help them find what they need.

The ActionScript 3 Developer’s Guide‘s appendix (How to use ActionScript examples) explains how to work with different types of  examples. Until recently, this appendix did not make it easy to find the ZIP file that contains the example source, never mind explanations of the functionality that each example demonstrates. Here is a link to the examples ZIP, followed by a list of examples and their explanations. Let us know what you’d like to see added to the list.

Example ZIP file: Flash Professional CS5 and Flex 4 samples

List of examples:

Optimizing Flash and AIR applications for mobile

Looking for ways to build incredibly speedy Flash or AIR applications for mobile devices? If so, look no further than Optimizing Performance for the Flash Platform. Released last year, this guide is brimming with valuable tidbits, provided in part by Adobe’s own Thibault Imbert. It offers tips for optimizing performance on mobile devices, desktops and TVs, ranging from basic ActionScript best practices to sophisticated graphics rendering techniques.

Here are a couple of simple ActionScript optimizations from the Miscellaneous optimizations section of the ActionScript 3.0 performance chapter.

Avoid evaluating statements in loops
Another optimization can be achieved by not evaluating a statement inside a loop. The following code iterates over an array, but is not optimized because the array length is evaluated for each iteration:

for (var i:int = 0; i< myArray.length; i++)
{
}

It is better to store the value and reuse it:

var lng:int = myArray.length;
for (var i:int = 0; i< lng; i++)
{
}

Use reverse order for while loops
A while loop in reverse order is faster than a forward loop:

var i:int = myArray.length;
while (--i > -1)
{
}

These tips provide a few ways to optimize ActionScript, showing how a single line of code can affect performance and memory. Many other ActionScript optimizations are possible. For more information,
see http://www.rozengain.com/blog/2007/05/01/some-actionscript-30-optimizations.

Adobe Cookbook recipe challenge begins!

Got a tasty tip or technique to offer to the Flash Platform developer community? Want a shot at winning a Samsung 10.1 tablet? If so, head on over to the Adobe Developer Center and learn more about the Adobe Cookbook recipe request challenge: http://adobe.ly/ot8Eoy. Everyone who responds to the challenge by contributing a cookbook recipe gets an Adobe Developer Connection T-shirt, plus a chance to win the tablet. Good luck!

New Melrose service helps you monetize Adobe® AIR® apps

As of August 24, Adobe’s newest service for AIR application developers (codenamed Melrose) is available as a public beta. Go to http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/melrose/ to download the Melrose SDK and access the Melrose Portal to distribute your applications.
 
What (you may ask) is Melrose? In short, Melrose is a monetization service for developers and distributors of AIR applications. Using Adobe® Flex® Builder™ 3, Adobe® Flash Builder™ 4, or Adobe® Flash® Professional CS5, you can add try and buy functionality to your apps. You can then use Melrose to distribute your apps to multiple online stores. The Intel AppUp Center and the Adobe AIR Marketplace are the first two storefronts available in Melrose.
 
Melrose is a new addition to the Adobe® Flash® Platform Services, which together enable developers to add social and collaborative capabilities to applications, then distribute, track, and monetize them. See http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/services/ for information.
 
Melrose helps AIR app developers with the following tasks:
 
Try and buy
When you are developing an AIR application, you embed the licensing SWC in your application, then enter code to specify the price and trial periods online. You can also add try and buy functionality to existing applications.
 
Monetize
When customers purchase your applications, the Melrose service keeps track of the income from each of your applications. You are paid at regular intervals, typically once a month.
 
View analytics
Reports are available online via the Melrose Portal. In this initial release you can view information regarding revenue, active trials, expired trials and downloads. These reports collect data from everywhere you distribute your application with Melrose–not just from apps that are downloaded from the Adobe AIR Marketplace.
 
Sound interesting? Go to http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/melrose/ to learn more and try it out for yourself.

Check out this great AIR for Android article

The August edition of the Adobe Edge newsletter features a great article by ace Flash/Flex/ColdFusion developer Brian Rinaldi. It’s called Getting Started with Adobe AIR for Android.  Here’s a quick excerpt from the piece that describes what it covers:

“In this article, I discuss the essential tools you need to start developing for AIR for Android using Adobe Flash Professional CS5. I walk you through getting AIR installed on your Android phone and configuring Flash software to develop for that platform. Then I show you how to build and deploy your first application.”

While we’re on the topic of Brian, the Flash Platform content and community team are very pleased to announce that Brian joined our team as Web Community Manager as of August 16. Brian will be working with Adobe to define and drive our community strategy and develop programs to promote community help.

Many of you may know Brian as an author, presenter and thought-leader within the Adobe developer community. He has more than 11 years of experience developing web applications in both small businesses and large enterprises including 10+ years with ColdFusion and SQL (he is an Adobe Certified Expert in ColdFusion) and 3+ years with Flex/AIR/ActionScript.

Brian has been an active organizer and volunteer for several years. He started  his own conference in Boston – known first as Flex Camp Boston, now as RIA Unleashed. In addition to running the Boston ColdFusion User Group for the past five years, Brian was an Adobe Community Professional as well as an advisor to the Boston Flex User Group.

Brian blogs regularly at remotesynthesis.com and is an unapologetic Twitter addict under the handle @remotesynth. Check him out!

Integrate your Flash/Flex/AIR app with social media: Flash Platform Services developer docs

Flash/Flex/AIR developers: if you haven’t already, check out the Adobe Flash Platform Services. They can help you add social and collaborative capabilities to your applications or websites, while also making it easier to distribute, track and earn money from them.

As of now there are three services: Promotion, Social, and Collaboration. Here’s a little bit of information about each and links to the developer documentation.

Promotion Service offers both free and paid methods for promoting applications to more than 70 social networks and services, desktops, and (as of the recent 1.5 release) mobile devices. You can also track distribution of and user engagement with your applications, and earn money by hosting ads in them. Adding a Share menu to your application enables its viral distribution. Users can add your application to their social pages, mobile devices, or desktops through the Share menu. The Share menu can be added using the extensions to Flash Professional, Flex Builder 3, or Dreamweaver.

General information about the Promotion Service, including where to download extensions
Developer documentation

Social Service lets you integrate social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace with your applications, increasing engagement with your apps and promoting them virally. You can integrate your application with multiple social networks using Facebook Connect, Sign-in with Twitter, and MySpaceID without writing separate integration code for each network.

The Social service consists of three parts:

  • An ActionScript 3.0 API, which can be implemented in Flash or Flex, and aggregates the different social network APIs.
  • Plug-and-play widgets that use the social API for login, share, invite, select friends and other commands.
  • Dashboard analytics for reviewing and optimizing your app’s social performance.

General information about the Social Service
Developer documentation


LiveCycle Collaboration Service lets developers add real-time collaboration and social capabilities to applications. Social games are a common example of this, but users increasingly expect real-time interactivity in areas such as online customer service, e-learning applications, etc.

General information about the Collaboration service
LiveCycle Collaboration Service Forum