Helisso – A Packager for Symbian devices

As some of you know, learning about AIR, AS3, Flex, Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder has been my side-project for a few months now.  As I mentioned in a previous post, it is essential to prepare for the future and invest now in learning new skills.

For me, the best way to learn new things is to create a project that’s difficult, yet cool enough to keep you interested.  So my first few steps revolved around learning how to use Fireworks, then Flash Catalyst, Flash Builder and ultimately distribute an application using Adobe AIR.

AIR 2.0

One of the amazing new features of AIR 2.0 is the ability to embed and execute native code from right inside Actionscript, an API called NativeProcess.  This means that you can safely run existing services over the command line, as well as install your own native service components.  AIR 2.0 is in beta right now on Adobe Labs, and is mobile ready as designed so it’s a great time to get started.

So what would a Platform Evangelist for mobile and devices create?

Introducing Helisso

What is it?

  • A packaging utility that can produce SIS packages for Symbian devices
  • It targets the Flash Lite 3.x runtime for Nokia’s S60 devices
  • It runs on PC and Mac OS, all versions

Details

  • The tool has embedded Python binaries inside, compiled versions of “Ensymble
  • For signing purposes the tool also includes OpenSSL for certificate signing
  • It is unsupported and without warranty

How do I use it?

  • A tutorial from Ms. Myers, reigning packaging queen, is here.

Where can I get it?

I have been hugely impressed with the capabilities provided by AIR, in this only my first AS3 project.  Looking back on all of the technologies that I have used has really got me excited about AIR applications on Android, and even sprouted a few iPhone applications in advance of that.  Seriously, imagine having all of the power of AIR and this toolchain on mobile phones?

Lastly, a big shout out to Steve Hartley of Oppian, Jussi Ylänen creator of Ensymble, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible.

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