Archive for November, 2009

ShareFire Easter Egg & Prizes

By the way…
There’s an Easter Egg in the latest version of ShareFire. No one has found it yet, so I thought I’d tell you that the first three people to find it and respond will receive some Adobe stuff! (If you want it.) We have:

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1st: Two Adobe mugs and an Adobe thermos

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2nd: An “Adobe Standards” briefcase

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3rd: An Adobe license plate cover and an Adobe sticker sheet

If you think these choice of gifts is odd, you’re right….They’re some swag/schwag we had in the office, and I got the sticker sheet at Adobe MAX.
If you find the Easter Egg, record some evidence (a screenshot) and email me at dkoestle@adobe.com; I’ll let you know if you’re one of the first three to respond, in which case you can tell me where to send the prize. As always, you can grab the latest version at sharefirereader.com. ShareFire IS an open source project, but you won’t find the secret in the code until either the promotion ends or the prizes are given away.
Terms and Conditions apply. Please read them.

ShareFire 1.8 released!

After some delays due to the excitement and aftermath of MAX 2009, I’m happy to announce that a new version of ShareFire is ready. ShareFire is a feature-rich feed reader written in Adobe AIR, and it allows you to easily share stories across Twitter, AIM, email, and social networking sites. I created it with my boss Christian Cantrell when I was interning at Adobe, and I’ve had some time to add features to it and maintain the code. Some of the new features are:

  • Import from Google Reader
  • English spell checking of Tweets and AIM messages, using the free Adobe Labs project Squiggly
  • UI improvements to the Tweet window and the post display (which now displays the author’s name, if available)
  • Twitter URL shortening
  • Performance optimizations and reduced memory footprint
  • Keyboard usability improvements
  • Bug fixes

ShareFire is free and open source. You can access the code at http://www.code.google.com/p/apprise, including the list of changes made to this version: starting at revision 509.

Accessibility in AIR 2

Last night the AIR 2 Beta became publicly available on Labs! There are already some great tutorials, articles, and other information on the new features. To learn more about AIR 2, I recommend my colleague’s post from last night: AIR 2 Public Beta Resources.
The feature I’ll focus on, however, is accessibility support, which allows you to create applications that visually impaired users can use. Screen readers such as JAWS and NVDA can connect to your application and read off visual content. Using this feature in conjunction with existing Flex components is straightforward; I’ve written an article that shows you how to use AIR 2 and Flex to create accessible applications, and beginning to intermediate Flex users may also enjoy the tips on the Cairngorm framework, data binding, and using the Encrypted Local Store.
If you wish to use AIR 2 but need your own custom components, I recommend watching this presentation from Adobe MAX 2009, which goes into depth on AIR 2 and ActionScript accessibility.
Finally, I’ve created an open source application that you can use as a starting point for your own programs: QuothTheTwitter demos how to build an accessible Twitter client in AIR 2. It’s quite simple at the moment, but incorporates many of the best practices I mention in my ADC article.