Author Archive: Randy Nielsen

ActionScript Reference features in Flash Player 11.6/AIR 3.6

Hi all,
Yesterday, we shipped Flash Player 11.6 / AIR 3.6. To see the new features in this release, check out the Flash Player and Adobe AIR feature list. You can also get a quick view into API updates from the ASR What’s New page.

Also, and this is the point of my post, we’ve delivered some nice enhancements to the filter UI. Filtering is an important aspect of the ActionScript Reference, as it lets you customize your view to the products you’re currently using. That said, developers found the filter UI non-intuitive and often found themselves searching for API elements that were hidden by filter settings. So, I’m thrilled to tell you about the updates in our new release:

  • Re-designed Filter UI – A completely revamped design for Product/Runtime filters. The new design and color scheme make the UI more intuitive and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Expand/collapse filter area – You can now collapse and expand the filter area to increase the real estate on the main page.
  • New defaults – Now, by default, you see the current player and AIR versions and don’t see some of the other products.

This is all due to the great work of the ASDoc team: Dhwaj Agrawal (who really stepped it up for this release!), Paul Robertson (who did a great job with the user interface design!), Shashi Ranjan, Rachit Gupta, Sushant Gupta, Bhanu Kumar, Nitin Arora, and Anup Rav. They are an amazing team!

All the best,

-Randy

Flash ActionScript Reference search tips

I don’t know how many of you have had to deal with SEO, but if you have, you know that it’s an iterative, sometimes painful, process. Two steps forward, one step back; One step forward, two steps back; unintended side-effects; etc., etc., … a real learning experience.

Anyway, last summer, you may have noticed that SEO for content in the ActionScript Reference (ASR) was getting worse, and worse, … and worse. Finally, with help from the ASDoc team (in particular, Anup Rav and Dhwaj Agrawal) and Adobe’s SEO Dream Team (in particular Steven Ganczaruk, Dave Lloyd, and Mohammud Sayeeduddin) we were able to isolate and fix a variety of problems, and I’m thrilled to say that SEO for the ActionScript Reference is much, much better. For the last three months, page views have been up 10% each month and they continue to go up; improvements I attribute to visitors coming from search engines.

So now that SEO is straightened out, here are a few tips that will help hone in on what you’re looking for:

  • Last summer we added product names to the <title> tag text. For classes in the flash.* and flashx.* packages, the product name is AS3. So now, if you prefix (or append) AS3 to your search, the ASR pages should be at or near the top of your search results. Go ahead, take a minute to search for your favorite ActionScript class, adding AS3 to the search string. It’s so much better than it was.
  • Given our SEO fixes, this isn’t as important as it was, but I encourage everyone to learn to use the site: command, which restricts a search to pages under a specified site. You can use the site: command for all your searches, not just for ActionScript documentation, and I think you’ll find it useful.

Thanks. Have a great weekend!
-Randy

More Improvements and Features in the ActionScript API Reference (ASDoc)

Hi all,
Today, we shipped Flash Player 11.4 and AIR 3.4. In addition to all the great features, bug fixes and enhancements, we also upgraded the technology behind the ActionScript® 3.0 Reference for the Adobe® Flash® Platform (also known as ASDoc). This ASDoc release contains:

  • Copy example to clipboard – I’ve been working on my ActionScript chops over the past 8 months and would find myself repeating the same steps over and over again: select a code example, copy it to the clipboard, paste it into Flash Builder, rinse, repeat. I asked the ASDoc team if we could implement one-click Copy to clipboard for our examples, and Vivek did a great job implementing this useful feature. All code examples now include a Copy link in the upper-right-hand corner. To see what I mean, go to any page with a code example (for example, flash.geom.Rectangle), scroll down to the example, click Copy, and paste into your IDE or text editor.
  • Printing - We now provide a revamped printing option that prints only the main right-pane contents and leaves out unrelated information, such as Class/Package list, Filter info etc. This enhancement also works for PDF print-to-file. Thanks, Dhwaj!
  • Jive integration – We replaced our previous commenting system with the Jive forum-based commenting used in other Adobe learning pages. Most of the comments we get are questions, so redirecting commenting to the forums will help ensure that these questions get answered.

As usual, I need to acknowledge the fine work of the ASDoc team: Vivek Reddy Polem, Dhwaj Agrawal, Shashi Ranjan, Suman Kumar Thakur, Rachit Gupta, Sushant Gupta, Bhanu Kumar, Nitin Arora, and Anup Rav are the best team a Product Manager could ask for! I’d particularly like to acknowledge Suman Thakur and the great work he’s done on QE over the years. Suman has left to pursue an opportunity outside of Adobe and he will be missed.

Improvements and New Features for Adobe ActionScript API Reference (ASDoc)

The ActionScript® 3.0 Reference for the Adobe® Flash® Platform is the API reference for many Adobe products, including Flash Player and AIR. The latest release of the Platform ActionScript Reference (http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/) contains SEO enhancements, performance improvements, and other new features:

  • Search improvements – The team implemented several SEO recommendations from our Search team (big thanks to Steven Ganczaruk, Dave Lloyd, Warren Lee, and Mohammud Sayeeduddin) to improve the search results ranking of ASDoc pages in Google search.
  • What’s New – We added a “What’s New” page, which lets you see what is new for a specific product or runtime for each new platform/runtime release. This has been a popular request for a long time, and we’re happy to push it live. To see this in action, go to http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/whatsnew.html.
  • ASDoc on tablet browsers – The team made several changes in ASDoc to improve usability of the reference documentation when viewed in tablet browsers (iOS, Android). Note: While table support is much improved, we still have a long ways to go. If you encounter problems viewing the Platform ASR on your table browser, please post the specifics as a comment on this page. Your feedback will help us identify and prioritize the bugs in this area.
  • Code samples – Many pages now contain a More examples heading, under which we provide links to usage docs that contain code examples.
  • Quality – Over 30 bug fixes!

Although Stephen Gilson is no longer with Adobe, I’d like to thank him for all of his work as ASDoc Product Manager, and for driving these features to completion. I’d also like to acknowledge the ASDoc development team: Vivek Reddy Polem, Shashi Ranjan, Suman Kumar Thakur, Sushant Gupta, Bhanu Kumar, Nitin Arora, and Anup Rav; and also like to welcome Dhwaj Agrawal to the group!

- Randy Nielsen

Job Opening: We need a Technical Writer for ActionScript API docs

Hi all,
I have an opening for a Senior Technical Writer, focused on ActionScript API documentation. Given our current focus on features to support gaming (such as Stage3D and Alchemy), this should be a really fun job.

For application information, go to the Adobe Job Opportunities site and look for Senior Technical Writer-14542.

Looking forward to hearing from you!
-Randy