Author Archive: Mike Chambers

My Weblog Has Moved

Just a quick fyi, but I have moved my weblog to a new server and domain.

http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/

Please make sure to update all of your URLs and feeds.

All posts should redirect to the appropriate post on the new site.

Apollo Chat today on IRC

Well, it appears that a lot of people are interested in an Apollo chat via IRC, so I set up a room today if anyone want to chat, or ask questions about Apollo.

Server: irc.prison.net (efnet)
room : #apollochat

I was hoping to get a room on freenet, but was having trouble registering the room, so for today, Ill hang around on efnet.

Ill be in and out, but if anyone wants to hang out and chat, then join up.

You can find information on IRC at wikipedia.

Ascension Application and Source Released

Well, I know it took forever, but I have finally released the source and an AIR file for Ascension, an Apollo based mp3 player and music explorer. You can download the latest AIR file, as well as grab the source, log bugs, and discuss the player from the Ascension project page at Google Code.

All of the source is included, and is released under an open source license.

Continue reading…

Flex / Apollo IRC Channel?

There have been a couple of posts over the past couple of days with people talking about using IRC to chat about Flex and Apollo. I think this is an cool idea, and would love to get an room started that stayed pretty active.

I would especially like to do weekly chats with the Flex, Apollo and Player teams. I think that would be a lot of fun, and enable everyone to speak directly with the people building these technologies.

Is anyone else interested in participating in an IRC channel for Flex / Apollo / ActionScript discussions? If so, which server should we use? What about a channel name?

Anyone interested? Post feedback in the comments?

Apollo Camp Twitter Application Released

Daniel Dura has just released the Twitter application that we used at Apollo Camp to help coordinate back chanell conversations (it saved us from a beer disaster!).

Anyways, not only can you download the application, but Danny has also open sourced it, and made the source available. So, now you can modify and use it for your own event.

You can grab the download, as well as the source, from here.

Apollo Cheat Sheets

Sean Moore has put together a set of free Apollo ActionScript cheat sheets.

You can download them from here.

Top 5 New Features in Flash CS3

Read about it here.

What videos do you want to see at video.onflex.org

Well, Ted Patrick and I launched video.onflex.org a little over 3 weeks ago, and we are already nearing our twentieth video on the site. If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure to glance through some of the videos.

Anyways, we are nearing the end of our backlog of videos, and it looks like I have some time this Thursday and Friday to create some more videos, so:

What Flex and / or Apollo videos you want to see on video.onflex.org? What do you want us to show? Who do you want us to interview?

Let us know by posting your thoughts in the comments.

Simple HTML Based Apollo Example

Most of the docs and examples for the Apollo alpha are Flex / ActionScript focused (next beta will be more focused on HTML / JavaScript). However, you can build Apollo applications using just HTML and JavaScript.

Here is a simple example that shows how to build an HTML / JavaScript Apollo application, and how to access Apollo APIs from JavaScript. The application shows how to launch a file browser from the application, and access information about the selected file (you could then easily read in the contents of the file).

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Why Apollo?

There has been a lot of excitement, interest and discussion around Apollo, especially since we released the public alpha on labs last week. One thing that has come up a couple of times, is confusion over what Apollo is as well as what value it provides. A lot of the discussion has focused on uncertainty about why would you want to move web applications outside of the browser.

A lot of times when this question gets answered, the answer focuses on specific Apollo features (file I/O API, working offline). While these are things that Apollo can do today, that are difficult if not impossible to do consistently in the browser, a feature based discussion doesn’t address the fundamental question of why would you want to move applications out of the browser.

I had been planning to write up my thoughts on this, and realized that I already had as part of the Apollo Pocket Guide for Flex Developers. Below is chapter one from that book, which explains what Apollo is, and what problems it is trying to solve. (You can download the entire book from here).

Note that the excerpt does contain a discussion of features, but one of the primary advantages of Apollo, which isn’t a specific feature, is that it allows applications to run outside of the browser. This is not a ding on browsers, or web technologies, and as I point out, the browser has some strong advantages that often outweigh its disadvantages.

Ultimately though, because browser based and Apollo based applications are built using the same technologies, it is possible to deploy to both platforms, taking advantages of the strengths of each. Because of this, Apollo applications compliment web applications. They do not replace them.

Continue reading…