Posts in Category "General"

Update on Flex SDK “Hero”

I am pleased to announce that we have made the first build of Flex SDK “Hero” available today on the Adobe Open Source site.

The “Hero” release development practices have changed somewhat from the Flex 4 release – the biggest change is that “Hero” is built atop the latest (and as of yet, unreleased) Flash Player and AIR runtimes. Because of this tight coupling, we have been unable to provide nightly builds that showcase in-development Flash Player and AIR features. Once the current in-development Flash Player and AIR runtimes are showcased in a public release, nightly builds will resume. In the interim, we are releasing semi-regular stable builds that showcase “Hero” feature work not dependent on features under development in the latest Flash Player and AIR runtimes – the first of these builds has now been posted!

This build showcases in-development work like the Spark DataGrid (Tier 1), Spark ImageSpark Formenhancements to RSLsOSMF 1.0 integration and the SWF Size Report compiler option. Please download the build and play with the features and provide us feedback through JIRA.

Next, we are also announcing our first “Hero” Open Source Iteration meeting! This meeting is a gathering of the product team and the Flex community where we share work that has been completed in past iterations as well as discuss whats in store for upcoming iterations. The first meeting will be on October 1, 2010. You can find more details here.

And lastly, a collection of new “Hero” feature specifications have been posted! This includes:

We are eager for feedback through commenting on feature specifications and filing bugs in JIRA.

Thanks,

Deepa Subramaniam, Flex SDK Product Manager
(Posted by Andrew on behalf of Deepa due to connectivity issues).

Flex SDK 4 and Flash Builder 4 Updates Now Available!

The Flex team is very excited to announce the release of Flex SDK 4.1 and Flash Builder 4.0.1 which are available for download today! Flex SDK 4.1 is an update to Flex 4 and includes:

  • Support for mirroring layouts and text in order to support right-to-left- locales. The goal of this new feature is to trivialize the work involved to re-purpose Flex applications designed for left-to-right locales for deployment in right-to-left locales.
  • Native support for Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2.
  • Critical bugfixes and enhancement requests.

To support this new SDK, Flash Builder has shipped an update which lets developers target Flex SDK 4.1 (as well as support applications that target AIR 2). Additionally, the Flash Builder 4.0.1 update contains critical bugfixes. You can grab the Flash Builder 4.0.1 updater here.

Finally, be sure to check out newly shared information about the next release of the Flex SDK (code-named: Hero)!

Sincerely,

Deepa Subramaniam & Andrew Shorten
Flex SDK & Flash Builder Product Managers

Learn Flex, Flash Builder 4, Flash Catalyst and more next week

Interested in working more closely with a designer? Interested in building applications for Android based mobile devices? Interested in connecting your Flex applications to Java, PHP or ColdFusion servers? If you’re interested in any of these topics (or others), then check out Adobe Developer Week.

Adobe Developer Week is a week long set of e-seminars next week that go over all those topics and more. The sessions will be presented by members of the Adobe evangelism team including Ben Forta, Kevin Hoyt and Ryan Stewart, Lee Brimelow, James Ward, and Christophe Coenraets, and the Flex product team including Andrew Shorten, Deepa Subramaniam and Ely Greenfield and other very talented people at Adobe.

Flex developers will be most interested in the following sessions, but be sure to check out the whole list so you don’t miss anything:
New features in the Flex 4 framework
New features in Flash Builder 4
What’s new in Flash Builder for Java developers
Building a basic CRUD application with Zend AMF and Flex 4
Advanced features in Flex

Adobe Developer Week 2010 logo All the sessions will be recorded and posted online. If you’d like to help us spread the word about developer week, you can use the following code to embed the invitation image into your blog:
<a href=”http://www.adobe.com/go/developerweek?sdid=EUQZQ”><img src=”http://www.adobe.com/devnet/images/214×74/adobe_developer_week_2010.jpg” alt=”Adobe Developer Week 2010 logo” width=”214″ height=”74″ /></a>

Mirroring Layouts in Flex

Now that Flex 4 is out the door, don’t be fooled into thinking the Flex SDK team is resting on their laurels! We are planning a followup release to Flex 4 which should come out in the first half of 2010. This release will include support for Flash Player 10.1 and AIR 2 as well as contain some new feature work and critical bugfixes.

The feature I’m most excited about is the new “layout mirroring” feature. This feature allows developers to mirror their layouts for right-to-left locales. The intent of this feature is to trivialize repurposing a Flex UI designed for a left-to-right language (like English or French) for a right-to-left language (like Hebrew or Arabic).

To support layout mirroring, some new APIs have been added. The two most important are layoutDirection (defined by the new interface mx.core.ILayoutDirectionElement) that is settable on any UIComponent, GraphicElement, SpriteVisualElement or UIMovieClip. [Note: on UIComponent, layoutDirection is a style and for GraphicElement, SpriteVisualElement and UIMovieClip, layoutDirection is implemented as a property].

The new layoutDirection property can be set to “ltr”, “rtl”, or null. When set to “rtl”, a mirroring transform is applied to mirror the layout. This mirroring transform is implemented atop the advanced layout features that was introduced in Flex 4.

What about text? First off, applications that depend on layout mirroring need to use FTE text which supports bi-directionality. If you have a Spark based application or component, FTE is used by default. If you intend to mirror a Flex 3 application, you need to enable FTE text in order to have bi-directional text. Once the text in your application is FTE-based, all you need to do is turn “on” bi-directionality by setting direction=”rtl” on the text components (this style inherits, so you can simply set it at the top-level and it will percolate down). This will ensure the default embedding level of all text blocks in your application is right-to-left.

There are definitely some parts of your application you will want to hand-tweak as the UI gets mirrored. However, in order to get your feet wet, I’d suggest taking the application you want to mirror and setting layoutDirection=”rtl” and direction=”rtl” on the top-level container of your application. This will percolate down through the display list and mirror according to the default Flex implementation.

So, what does this all mean? Well, on Tuesday, 3/31/10 the layout mirroring feature signed off! This is a huge accomplishment for the SDK Dev and QA teams as this feature required a lot of coordination across multiple engineers on the team (as well as input from our globalization teams and external customers). I encourage people to use the multi-SDK feature in Flash Builder 4 to download a build containing the newly landed layout mirroring feature, and give it a try. The best build to download would be 4.1.0.15132 or any build posted after that changelist. To learn more about the layout mirroring feature, please read the specification and if you find issues, file them in JIRA.

Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 final releases are here…

On behalf of everyone on the Flex and Flash Builder product teams, it is with great pride that we can announce that the final versions of Flex 4 SDK and Flash Builder 4 are available for download today!

We’ve been working hard on these releases to make the Flash Platform the best RIA development platform ever and one that you can confidently bet on when you are asked to create your next generation applications.

In the Flex 4 SDK, we’ve implemented a completely new component and skinning architecture (Spark) that supports a level of expressiveness in RIAs not seen previously. With the new Spark component and skinning architecture, component logic is “divorced” from component visuals such that customizing either the behavior or look and feel of the component is much more straightforward. Additionally in the Flex 4 SDK, we have improved the Flex compiler performance, enhanced numerous language and infrastructure features and provided first-class support for the new runtime capabilities in Flash Player 10.

In Flash Builder 4, the team has made it easier than ever to connect to back-end services with a complete set of data centric development features, enabled new design and development workflows with Flash Catalyst and Flash Professional, as well as enhancing the core code development features that are essential to developer productivity.

In this area alone, we’ve implemented new refactoring options, improved the debugger to support conditional breakpoints, watchpoints and expression evaluation, added code generation features and made it easier to test applications with the new network monitor and FlexUnit support. It’s worth remembering that most of these improvements are available to developers building applications that use either the Flex 3 or Flex 4 SDK, so Flash Builder 4 will help in your overall development even if you aren’t yet ready to use the new Spark components.

As you can see, there are lots of great new features and enhancements in Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 – too many, in fact to list here. We recommend that you read the “What’s New in Flash Builder 4?”, “What’s New in Flex 4?”, and “Introduction to Spark” articles, as well as check out the rest of the new content published on the Adobe Developer Connection site to learn more. Additionally, you can watch David Wadhwani, Vice President and General Manager of the Flash Platform Business Unit describe the new set of products being added to the Flex product family.

If you’re just getting started with Flex then we hope that the new TestDrive content will get you up-to-speed on Flex and Flash Builder in just a couple of hours. If you have a little more time then you should review the Flex in a Week video training materials, which have been completely revised for Flex 4. There are plenty of other resources you can draw upon as you work with Flex and Flash Builder, including the new community-based in-product Help, Tour de Flex, the Flex Cookbooks and a completely re-vamped Flex.org site.

As excited as we are to ship these new products, we are already getting started on the next versions – if you have a feature idea that you’d like the product team to consider then we’d love to hear from you! You can now submit your feature ideas on the Adobe Labs Ideas website, as well as review existing ideas and vote on the ones you’d like to see us work on.

We couldn’t have delivered the new features in these products without the feedback received from everyone who participated in our public beta process or our pre-release programs. Thank you so much for helping us to create an amazing release! For those that did install a beta release of Flash Builder, be sure to uninstall the beta before installing the final release, otherwise you may find that your trial period has expired.

We think you will agree that these products will allow you to develop truly compelling user experiences that exceed your clients’ expectations. The entire team is excited to see what you build with Flex 4 and Flash Builder 4 over the coming months and we look forward to receiving your feedback on these releases in the Adobe Forums.

Andrew Shorten & Deepa Subramaniam,
Flash Builder and Flex SDK Product Managers

Update to Flex SDK 3.5

The Flex team has released an update to the 3.5 SDK that addresses an issue with the Flex-based AIR auto-update UI packaged within the SDK (SDK-24766). The refreshed build, SDK 3.5a, has only a few files modified in order to fix this issue and this change does not affect the signing and caching of the SDK 3.5 RSLs originally released in December.

We encourage all developers using SDK 3.5 to upgrade their build to SDK 3.5a to continue their development. The SDK 3.5a can be found in the “Latest Milestone Release Build” table here: http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/flexsdk/Download+Flex+3.

Flex SDK 3.5 Released

Flex SDK 3.5, the latest official build, has been released for a few weeks on the Flex Open Source site and can now also be found on the main Adobe.com downloads page with the updated data visualization components. We are not releasing a new version of Flex Builder, but the 3.5 version will work in Flex Builder using the multi-sdk feature.

This release supports the security updated runtimes of Flash Player 10.0.42 and AIR 1.5.3. Additionally, it includes key bug fixes in the SDK, which can be viewed here (please login to the bug system to see this list).

The Flex 3 Language Reference have also been updated to 3.5.

Take a 15 minute survey for a chance at great prizes

We’re calling on you, Flex and Flash users, to tell us the next generation of features you’d like to see. Please take this 15 minute survey, which will help us plan future releases. For those who take the survey you’ll be entered to win one of the following prizes:

One Apple 64 GB iPod Touch (valued at $399)
One Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5K 9 MP Digital Camera with 10x zoom (valued at $350)
One of two $250 gift cards from Amazon
One of five $100 gift cards from Amazon

For more information on the raffle rules, click here.

Flex Builder Linux Alpha 5 release

The Flex Builder for Linux alpha bits posted on Adobe Labs have been updated to extend the hardcoded timeout period. The current FB Linux Alpha 4 product will expire on Dec. 1st, 2009, so if you are currently using Flex Builder for Linux be sure to download the updated Alpha 5 bits from Adobe Labs prior to Dec. 1st. There are no changes to the functionality of the product in these new bits; however they have been tested on later versions of Linux distros. Please see the release notes posted on Adobe Labs for complete details.

Slides and Source for Glenn Ruehle’s Flex 4 MAX Talk

Glenn has posted his slides and source code on Acrobat.com. This talk was fantastic so I encourage everyone to check them out.

Slides
Source